Spanish mayor hailed as 'Robin Hood' as he oversees looting
Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo ignores arrest warrant and prepares to march on Madrid
THE mayor of a small Spanish town is being heralded as a modern-day Robin Hood after organising daylight robberies at local supermarkets to steal food for the poor.
Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, the left-wing leader of Marinaleda in Andalucia, has overseen the looting and, because he has political immunity as a member of the regional parliament, has ignored a warrant for his arrest and refused to appear in court.
Now he is set to embark on a three-week march on Madrid, starting tomorrow, to highlight the plight of those in southern Spain affected by the country's economic crisis.
According to The Times his campaign is designed to "embarrass the government and energise anti-austerity campaigners".
It reports: "The raids involved a group of labour unionists, cheered on by supporters, piling staples such as pasta and oil into supermarket carts, which were pushed through the exits past the tills. Mr Sanchez Gordillo stood outside the shops, urging the raiders on with a megaphone."
"There are people who don't have enough to eat. In the 21st century, this is an absolute disgrace," Gordillo told the Times.
Gordillo has been mayor of Marinaleda for 33 years, according to The Daily Telegraph, and has been jailed seven times and survived two assassination attempts. He and other protesters were evicted last week from a farm they had taken over as part of their campaign to demand a more equal distribution of land in the Andalucia region.
Gordillo is not alone, according to Time magazine: "Protests are everywhere and in almost every form these days in Spain."
Most of these protests are of the "chanting and placard-waving variety" says Time, but it also cites Gordillo's eccentric campaigns and those by a carnival group called Pim Pam Pum Indignado and a group of Flamenco performers who have been organising flash mobs in banks. ·