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Laura Sangrà

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Grocery Shopping for Free

Posted: 11/14/2012 3:40 pm

Robin Hood still lives in Spain. He keeps stealing from the rich to favor the poor, but instead of acting in the woods he attacks in the supermarket aisles.

His real name is Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, and he is not only mayor of Marinaleda -- a town with less than 3,000 inhabitants in the province of Seville -- but also a deputy for Izquierda Unida and a member of the Andalusian Workers Syndicate. In his spare time, he organizes assaults on supermarkets to get free rice, pasta, sugar, oil and some other basic food to let those most affected by the recession survive.

This avenging man never acts alone and hundreds of people help him fill the carts and walk out of the supermarket quietly, showing up behind the piles of flour packages and waving goodbye to the cashiers.

"When the rich ones steal, they say we are in a recession. If we steal in a supermarket, we're robbers," claims Sánchez Gordillo, who has raided several grocery shops since last summer and has been emulated by a few of other Robin Hoods.

Whether or not they'll go to court is something that remains unclear, since they can argue the situation is so dramatic that their actions for the starving are justified, according to the Spanish law.

Heroes, this is what they are. Tough people who are not afraid to eventually go to jail, and for the time being help people survive. In a country where we are choked by higher and higher taxes, an eviction tsunami that is leading hundreds of families to squatting, an unemployment rate around 50 percent amongst young people and 25 percent in general, and austerity, the action of individuals is a must.

This is why on Wednesday, November 14, we need to go on the streets: There will be an international strike against the austerity and privatization policies in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus. Take the streets, stop this drama. Shout out loud for our rights or just support us from the other side of the Atlantic. Let them know that this ruin has been too much. Because they won't admit it by themselves.

 

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