Matt Myers


27 May 2016

In Madrid

Seventeen members of the Andalusian Workers Union (SAT) have been on hunger strike, camped out in central Madrid, since 16 May. ‘It has weakened us, and people are shaky,’ Juan Pastrana Serrano told me. He's an SAT secretary in Jódar; his daughter is one of the hunger strikers. A movement of rural farm workers founded in 2007, SAT is famous for occupying fallow land, left uncultivated by large landowners, and returning it to the collective use of jornaleros (day labourers). They have also organised Robin Hood style ‘expropriations’ from supermarkets to feed the homeless, unemployed and destitute. Some 574 union members collectively face more than 600 years in jail and €700,000 in fines. The hunger strikers are demanding the release of an SAT spokesman, Andrés Bódalo, imprisoned in March for allegedly assaulting the deputy mayor of Jódar.