“Languages not only inspire loyalty, they also provoke fear, hatred, resentment, jealousy, love, euphoria – the entire gamut of human emotion.”

 

Photo Credit: Miriam Pérez

 

Gustavo Pérez Firmat 2003: 3, as cited in Pavlenko 2005: 22

 

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The Spanish Robin Hood

When Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo led a farm labourer’s raid on a supermarket he was redistributing wealth to the poor. You’d expect nothing less from the mayor of the communist utopia of Marinaleda

 guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 15 August 2012 19.30 BST

Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, mayor of Marinaleda

‘Utopias aren’t chimeras, they are the most noble dreams that people have’ … Mayor Sánchez Gordillo. Photograph: Cristina Quicler/AFP

Last week, and not for the first time, Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo found himself in the Spanish headlines. Dubbed “Robin Hood” by El Pais, Sánchez Gordillo, the mayor of a small town in rural Andalusia, led farm labourers into supermarkets to expropriate basic living supplies: they filled trolleys with pasta, sugar, chickpeas and milk, left without paying, and distributed the loot to local food banks. His reasoning was blunt: “The crisis has a face and a name. There are many families who can’t afford to eat.” Continue reading