|J.M. Sánchez Gordillo|
José Manuel Sánchez Gordillo (Gordillo for short) has been the undisputed mayor of the de facto communist Andalusian village of Marinaleda since 1979, founder of the Land Workers' Union (SOC), now recycled into the Andalusian Union of Workers (SAT) and of the Collective for the Union of Workers - Andalusian Left Bloc (CUT-BAI), a nationalist revolutionary Andalusian political party, so far under the clout of the wider pan-Spanish United Left (IU).
As such, Sánchez Gordillo was elected member of the Andalusian Parliament, being the only representative of that group who remained loyal to the word given in campaign and voted against a new social-democrat government, even if in coalition with IU this time. For that reason he has been revoked of all speakership but that will not shut him up, for sure.
Today Spanish newspaper Público has an extensive and most interesting article with interview on his socio-political role and opinions, specially as the unionized Andalusian peasants have been occupying lands belonging to the armed forces.
|Landless peasants take what is theirs... in Europe as well.|
We must not forget that all former Al Andalus is a plantation colony where most of the lands belong to a few snobby aristocratic landowners. Agrarian reform has been a demand for two centuries now but it has never been done in any meaningful way. For that reason among others, Andalusia holds the record figure of unemployment in Spain (after the tiny colonial remnant of Ceuta) with almost 34%. This surely means double that figure for the young ones. Many many families survive on scant state subsidies, threatened by the budgetary cuts policies wielded by Madrid and Brussels.
Gordillo is very critical of the pact between IU and the social-liberal PSOE:
I am in disagreement with the government pact because it could be foresighted that what has happened would happen: that we are swallowing everything. An anticapitalist force cannot accept social cuts, just like that. It's not about minimizing them, it is that we cannot accept them at all. The cuts basically mean that the rich are robbing the poor. Here we are working for the German banks. The debt, besides being illegitimate, it is not payable. And for that reason we are dismantling the welfare state and such essential services like healthcare and education. From Andalusia we must show a clear rebellion against Madrid, against Brussels, with everything that is happening now.
Then he mentions that the grassroots of United Left are everyday more unhappy with the leadership and that he keeps close contacts with Julio Anguita, former state-wide leader of the left-wing coalition, and one who did not shut up, unlike the current leadership, so unable to rally the unhappy voters.
Of Anguita he says:
He has been all the time against the [government] pact and much more so after the application of the cuts. He says that we have crossed the red line and that United Left has dug its own tomb. He proposes a global alternative against all this because he feels that the problem is not anymore just that the welfare state could collapse but even the very state or even Western Civilization altogether. Either we solve the crisis in democratic terms or we will just achieve more misery for the poor, with even more cuts.
Politically Gordillo hopes for an ample left-wing platform, shaken as he is by the reality of desperation and hunger, in Andalusia:
I see some of the most desperate cases: normal working class families, who earned well in the building industry and who are now without job, without home and needing a psychiatrist, what is terrible.
... as in Greece:
I was in Greece and there were queues for food. You get goose bumps from watching that and then those guys who live so well say that we must tighten belts even more. Tighten those who still have something to squeeze, not those who don't have a place to live in. I have seen hellish scenes in Greece. In Ireland, Portugal, Italy... things are also very bad. Something must be done. There are almost revolutionary objective conditions but there are no anticapitalist political organizations nor labor unions that act as flag-bearers. People cannot find instruments, referents, tools to say "enough!" But I am also persuaded that people will keep protesting and that repression will grow. I don't know where this will end. At any moment someone will be killed. I will be "an accident" like always but they have to scare people somehow.