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Spanish union members raid supermarket to feed the hungry
Disclaimer:  I'm no expert on Spain, and speak just enough Spanish to get the gist.  By all means if you can provide more nuance, please comment below.

Mayor Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo has taken a controversial stand on behalf of his constituents:  he gave the go-ahead for a group of union members to go to two supermarkets, fill up about a dozen carts, and leave without paying.

From El Pais:

Sánchez Gordillo estuvo en el asalto a un supermercado de la cadena Mercadona en Écija, aunque él no participó directamente. Alrededor de una treintena de miembros del SAT entraron en la tienda, llenaron diez carros con alimentos como aceite, azúcar, arroz, pasta, leche, galletas y legumbres. Cuando intentaron salir sin pasar por caja se produjo un forcejeo entre los sindicalistas y los empleados del establecimiento, que no fue a más por la intervención de la Policía y de dirigentes del SAT.

Sanchez Gordillo was at the Mercadona supermarket raid in Ecija, though he did not participate directly.  About 30 members of SAT (Andalusian Workers Union) entered the store, filled ten carts with food like oil, sugar, rice, pasta, milk, cookies and beans.   As they attempted to leave without paying there was a scuffle between union members and store employees, which was de-escalated by talks between the police and union officials.

Gordillo remains unrepentant.

Quoted in El Pais:  "We don't like doing this.  We have no choice."  

Another highlighted quote:  

"If the minister wants to catch criminals, he should start with the banksters."
Needless to say, the crapstorm shows little sign of abating.  A number of union members have been arrested, and hundreds of police have been sent to hunt down the raiders.  They're being charged with armed robbery, though they claim that no force was used and they simply walked out without paying.

Gordillo has described the tactics as civil disobedience and promised to continue mounting non-violent actions on behalf of the people.  

Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, Mayor of Marinaleda, Andalusia
“En este momento de crisis, cuando están expropiando al pueblo, queremos expropiar a los expropiadores, esto es, terratenientes, bancos y grandes superficies, que están ganando dinero en plena crisis económica”. Con este argumento justificó este martes el diputado de IU, alcalde de Marinaleda, miembro del CUT y del Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores, Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, el asalto por parte de miembros del SAT a dos supermercados en Écija (Sevilla) y Arcos de la Frontera (Cádiz). Como todos los meses de agosto, estas organizaciones suelen protagonizar protestas muy llamativas que acaparan la atención informativa.

"In this time of crisis, when they're robbing the people, we want to rob the robbers, that is the landlords and big banks that are profiting from this crisis."  With this argument Tuesday the United Left official, mayor of Marinaleda, member of CUT and Andalusian Workers Union (SAT), Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, justified the raid by SAT members on two supermarkets in Ecija (Seville) and Arcos de la Frontera (Cadiz).  Every August these organizations organize high profile protests seeking media attention.

The actions did not receive unilateral support from the left.

From El Pais:

“Gordillo está fuera de control”, dijeron fuentes de Izquierda Unida desentendiéndose de las acciones que capitanea su parlamentario por Sevilla. “Sánchez Gordillo se manifiesta contra la participación de IU en el Gobierno. Yo, contra la barbaridad de que este diputado asalte supermercados”, escribió en su cuenta en Twitter el presidente de la Junta, José Antonio Griñán.

"Gordillo is out of control," said a United Left spokesperson condemning the actions of the congressman from Seville.  "Sanchez Gordillo protested against allowing the United Left (IU) to participate in the government, I protest the violence of this supermarket raid," tweeted the alliance's president, Jose Antonio Grinan.  

The tactic is not without controversy aside from the infighting. Some commenters say that they're suffering too, but don't feel they have the right to steal from the stores, who didn't cause the crisis.

From the comment section:

Qué malo es Sánchez Gordillo... y más todavía después de leer esto: "NADIE DE GOLDMAN SACHS IRÁ A LA CÁRCEL POR METER AL MUNDO EN LA CRISIS. El Departamento de Justicia anuncia que no imputará cargos al banco ni a sus ejecutivos por el engaño de las subprimes".

How bad is Sanchez Gordillo after reading this?  Nobody from Goldman Sachs will go to jail after causing this global crisis.  The Justice Department has dropped the charges regarding the subprimes.
And
Tu no has leido mucho sobre historia de Andalucia verdad??Te hablo de familias que se iban de allí con lo puesto,pasando HAMBRE y penurias,esclavizados por los "señoritos andaluces",viviendo entre la enfermedad y el agotamiento físico...para hablar con esa seguridad no tienes ni p... idea

You haven't read much Andalusian history, have you?  You're talking about starving families, enslaved by their Andalusian overlords, sick and tired of the economic reality.  You have no f'in idea.

Originally posted to Xavier Onassis EMT-P on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 03:28 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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