'Robin Hood' activist collective evicted from Spanish farm
OSUNA - Agence France-Presse
A member of the regional parliament for the United Left party in Andalucia, Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo (3rd L), and the secretary general of the SAT Andalucian trade union, Diego Canamero (R) and SAT menbers hold a banner, reading: "Las Turquillas for Workers," protest on August 10, 2012. AFP photo
Spanish police evicted left-wing activists from a sprawling, government-owned Andalucian ranch on Friday, a day after some of the activists looted supermarket food to hand out to the needy.
The activists had for the past 18 days occupied a 1,200-hectare (2,965-acre) farm belonging to the defence ministry to demand a more equal distribution of land in Andalucia, which has a tradition of large landholdings.
A spokesman from the civil guard said a man was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the supermarket thefts and about 40 to 50 people present at the farm were in the process of being evicted.
The interior ministry issued arrest warrants Wednesday for the group that carried out the supermarket raids, including its leader Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, a member of the regional parliament for the United Left party in Andalucia and mayor of the village of Marinaleda in southern Spain.
The major political parties condemned the raids, which came at a time when recession-gripped Spain grapples with deep austerity cuts.
Andalucia has been hit particularly hard by a recession brought on by the collapse of Spain's construction industry. The region, which had a major construction industry, currently has an unemployment rate of about 33 percent.
Two people were already arrested Wednesday after the supermarket raids that saw activists piling food into shopping trolleys. The two were later released on bail.