Spanish agricultural workers get occupied
Jobless Spanish farmworkers outmaneuvered police in August when they occupied the vacant pink palace Andalusian estate of the Duke of Segorbe in Spain’s agricultural heartland. Record levels of unemployment has fueled resentment at European policies that pay absentee landlords not to grow crops.
“We’re here to denounce a social class who leaves such places to waste,” said Diego Cañamero, the leader of the Andalusian Union of Workers.
Somonte, a nearby government-owned farm, meanwhile remains occupied by about 20 people who since March have been growing red peppers, tomatoes and eggplant.
Andalusia was wracked by confrontations over land ownership in the lead up to the Spanish Civil War in the 30s, when a landed elite blocked agrarian reforms aimed at giving farm workers better work conditions and job security.
There are some photographs of Somonte taken by photographer Guy Smallman at http://guy-smallman-photos.photoshelter.com/gallery/Occupied-farm-Andalucia/G0000obuIYA_4FMs