Spain

Spanish "Robin Hood" Mayor Begins March

Trying to rally support for anti-austerity measures.

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A Spanish mayor who became a cult hero for staging robberies at supermarkets and giving stolen groceries to the poor sets off this week on a three-week march that could embarrass the government and energise anti-austerity campaigners.

Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, mayor of the town of Marinaleda – population 2,645 – in the southern region of Andalusia, said food stolen last week in the robberies went to families hit hardest by Spain's economic crisis.

Seven people have been arrested for participating in the two raids, in which union activists, cheered on by supporters, piled food into supermarket carts and walked out without paying while Sanchez Gordillo, 59, stood outside.