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Left-Wing Activists Evicted By Guardia Civil

Translated Monday 13 August 2012, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Derek Hanson

Spanish police have evicted farm workers and SAT activists who were occupying a large landholding in Andalusia. The same activists had carried out an “expropriation” action in supermarkets.

At dawn on August 10, Guardia Civil police evicted 40 to 50 trade union activists from the Adalusia Trade Union of Workers (SAT) who had been occupying Las Turquillas, a 1200-hectare farm belonging to the Defense Ministry, for the past 18 days. SAT spokesman Diego Cañamero explained that beginning at 6 a.m. dozens of policemen arrived at the farm and told them they had “strict orders” to evict them. The evicted activists then regrouped off the farm behind a big banner reading “Las Turquillas For the Workers?” One person was arrested.

The goal of the occupation was to condemn the use of the Las Turquillas farm by the Defense Ministry, which owns it. The army only uses 20 of the 1200 hectares. During the occupation, “the SAT activists cleared about three hectares of the farm of branches and weeds and cultivated part of the land on the military property,” a SAT spokesperson said.

Peaceful eviction

The regional deputy of the Left Party Izquierda Unidad, who is also mayor of the village of Marinaleda, José Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, and who participated in the occupation, declared that he will leave the farm “peacefully” in the coming hours. SAT spokesman Diego Cañamero, for his part, indicated that there were no particular incidents in the course of the eviction and that the day laborers (farm workers – editor’s note) were not there to confront the police.”

Some of the SAT activists led by elected official Sanchez Gordillo and by SAT spokesman Cañamero had already drawn attention on August 9 by carrying out an “expropriation” operation of food articles from two supermarkets in the region. The shopping carts of food had then been distributed to associations. Since August 8, five activists have been arrested, according to the police, including two who were released after being charged with theft.

As a consequence of the economic crisis that is shaking Europe, and Spain in particular, Andalusia today holds a sad national record, as 33.92 percent of its population is jobless.

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