Welcome to Marinaleda: The Spanish Anti-Capitalist Town With Equal Wage Full Employment and $19 Housing

We live in an era not only of an economic crisis, but essentially a crisis of values and ethics. It's hard to stay optimist, confront the difficulties and have faith when everyday reality slaps you in the face. But then, you hear about Marinaleda and you hope again. If you wonder what Marinaleda is, let me introduce you to the village of Andalusia, Spain with zero police, zero unemployment and zero crime rates. Marinaleda is relied on its farming cooperation and it's described as a democratic, socialist utopia, yet an existing utopia.
Although, Marinaleda is located in Campiña valley, Andalusia, Spain’s poorest province and nothing seems to distinguish this town from other neighboring ones, thanks to Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, the village's democratically elected mayor since 1979, along with his inhabitants, this small town achieved the impossible.

The fame of this anti-capitalist village skyrocketed, since 2008, when the economic crisis began and a big part of it is due to the attitude of Gordillo towards the crisis. Manuel Sánchez Gordillo or ”The Spanish Robin Hood,” if you prefer, he took matters into his own hands when he organized and carried out a series of "robberies" in supermarkets as a protest, last August. Basic groceries such as oil, rice and beans were loaded into carts, wheeled from the store and taken to a local food bank to help the poor families.

In an interview after the event, Gordillo, said it was not theft, but a non-violent act of demonstration. “There are many families who can’t afford to eat,” he argued. “In the 21st century this is an absolute disgrace. Food is a right, not something with which you speculate.”
The last years, in Spain, the bank foreclosures have increased dangerously as people can't pay their debts. But not in Marinaleda. Anyone who wants to build their own house can do so for free. Materials and qualified workmen are provided by the town hall. Families then pay just 15 euros ($19) per month for the rest of their lives, with the agreement that the house cannot be sold for private gain. Also, the unemployment rates are extremely high, but in Marinaleda, population 2700, has virtually full employment through the town’s farming cooperative, where laborers are paid with equal wages of 1200 euros ($1600) per month.
“We need to rethink our values, the consumer society, the value we place on money, selfishness and individualism,” Gordillo remarks. “Marinaleda is a small example, and we want this experience to extend throughout the world.”
I think we all agree with him.

via: filmsforaction.org
Share on Google+