‘Liberating’ basic foodstuffs from supermarkets in Andulasia


The more rich the bigger the thief

El que es muy rico

An Andalusian trade union removes trollies of food from 2 supermarkets without paying in order to then provide the basic necessities of life to those unable to afford them. Bankers and others who steal from the public – those who have caused the present crisis – immune from prosecution call for the full force of the law to be used against these ´thieves´. 

Supermarkets are stuffed full of food (they even throw some of it away at the end of the day) but in Spain there is an increasing number of people who go hungry. What to do?

The decision of one trade union in Andalusia, the Sindicato Andaluz de Trajabadores/as (SAT), was to go into two supermarkets, fill a number of trolleys to the brim with basic and everyday necessities and then walk out without paying. This food was then distributed to people who had no money whatsoever to buy such necessities.

SAT members raiding supermarket

Can’t pay, won’t pay

This follows, in a number of ways, the scenario of the play ‘Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay’, written by the Italian satirist Dario Fo in the 1970s. Checking some information about this on the internet I see that there are a number of theatre companies around the UK who are, or have been, performing this play as it rings so many bells in the contemporary situation in many European countries.

The attack on the supermarkets happened on Monday 6th August and I don’t know what sort of coverage (if any) this has had in the British press, the Olympics being useful (yet again) to hide any bad news or anything that might be important.

Aznar and Gonzalez

Ex- Prime Ministers feed from the trough

SAT argued that in a society, and at a time, when money was given to bankers and their ilk by the wagon load there was ample justification for their actions.

Not surprisingly the owners of the two supermarkets, Mercadona and Carrefour, did not agree and have been calling for the full force of the law to be used against the individuals directly concerned as well as the trade union. In response the union has begun a campaign for a boycott of Mercadona, being the most vociferous in its call for the use of the courts to defend the sanctity of private property, until they withdraw their claims against the union. It seems the company has a history of illegal and unjustified sackings with accusations of discrimination being upheld in the courts. That would seem to be one of the reasons that that particular supermarket was chosen for the raid.

Mercadona has a history of being a bad employer

Mercadona – the perfect employer?

The last news I’ve seen is that those who’d been arrested have been released but the matter will not rest there. Not to prosecute could lead to copy cat activities throughout the region (if not further afield) but taking them to court could turn them into martyrs. The propaganda war is already on with local people being interviewed who say that such action goes too far but don’t offer any suggestions about what should be done instead. It’s early days yet but will try to keep an eye on developments.

One bit of information I received whilst discussing this matter is the fact that there is (or at least was) a law under Spanish jurisprudence that allows for the hungry to take food, as long as no violence is involved. The fact that the food taken in these supermarket raids could not be classified in any way as luxuries might well mean that this case could fall within the meaning of this law. Being, as we are in the UK, used to ancient laws being resurrected so that the state can exact its revenge against workers (such as the Shrewsbury Three) or brought out to pull the state out of the mess it has got itself into (such as the Pentonville Five in the Dockers’ Strike in 1972 with the mysterious one and only appearance of the Official Solicitor) it’s interesting that a law exists which can be used by workers. Not that we should put any faith in laws introduced by a capitalist state.

In Britain the tendency is to suffer in silence. When people do take the law into their own hands, as some did in different cities throughout the UK this time last year, they were condemned because they stole trainers and TVs and NOT foodstuffs. Would people’s attitudes have been different if all that was looted was the milk, eggs, potatoes, flour and the like used to produce a healthy and substantial meal? Now that would be a real danger to society.

Poster calling for a Boycot of Mercadona.

Boycott Mercadona!

The images in this post depict the general argument of the Union. Who are the real thieves? The ones who steal cooking oil to give to the hungry, or those who seek to increase their already vast fortunes, including ex-Prime Ministers, of both the conservative and so-called socialist breed.

Although in Spanish you can click here for the link for SAT for more information on how things are developing.

See also:

La lucha continua becomes La lluita continua

Workers take over a palace in Andulasia


Charity is the answer!


Por fin – Spain wins its first Gold Medal

El Periodico Front Page

At Last – a Gold Medal


‘POR FIN’ (at last) was headline on one of the Catalonian ‘red tops’ on Wednesday, August 8th, 2012, the day after Spain had won its first gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

If those of you who lived in the UK during those two weeks thought there was nothing more important on the planet than the Olympic Games you can, perhaps, be consoled that (for some people) it was of equal importance in Spain as well.

In Britain things were muted when the first gold medal winner was tardy in stepping up to the podium. Favourites were failing to quite get that illusive piece of metal and fears were growing that Team GB (nearly always forgetting to mention Northern Ireland) might have a disastrous Olympics and the home advantage would be lost.  Nothing was said but there was definitely a sensation the country could end up with egg on its face and politicians were fearing they wouldn’t be able to make political capital out of any sporting success that came the country’s way.

Now they’ve swung in completely the opposite direction and have announced a parade as if the athletes were victors in some foreign war.  Wouldn’t it have been more in the spirit of the Olympics that such a parade was planned before the medal tally was known?  Is it only an achievement if the numbers of medal are high and the country can claim that it won the bronze medal in the international competition?  And what about poor Rio de Janeiro, having to follow the ‘greatest games EVER’?  ‘It’s not the winning that matters, it’s the competing that counts’ is obviously a thing of the past and modern states don’t like you unless you’re a winner.

But back to Spain. If it was bad in Britain imagine what it was like there, having to wait another 6 days after the British were able to breathe a sigh of relief.

The Spanish weren’t able to get much closer to Britain’s total by the time of the closing ceremony on Sunday but I’m sure the Tories in power in Spain are feeling envious of their allies in London who are able to distract the population from the crisis through which the country is living by calling on the Olympic ‘feel good factor’.

And will Spain now be encouraged to call a victory parade for its athletes or would that only be drawing attention to their 21st placing?