“Expropriating the Expropriators”
So here’s where I run into questions. On the one hand, I find this direct action by unemployed fieldworkers in Spain very inspiring and wonderful!
The Spanish field workers union the SAT has gone en masse to two supermarkets to take food by direct action.
Unemployed fieldworkers and other members of the union went to two supermarkets, one in Ecija (Sevilla) and one in Arcos de la Frontera (Cadiz) and loaded up trolleys with basic necessities.
The foodstuffs, including milk, sugar, chickpeas, pasta and rice, have been given to charities to distribute, who say they are unable to cope with all the requests for help they receive.
And at the same time, it’s actions like this that immediately spring to mind, as kind of a nagging doubt, whenever I hear the Second Precept in a sangha context. Refraining from taking that which is not freely offered? Is this a training that is actually helpful to us as Buddhist activists in this day and age? How do we propose to contend with the systematic hoarding of goods, for the sake of the free market, while people who actually need those goods go without?
What do you think? What’s your gut reaction to philosophies / strategies / tactics like expropriating (taking property away from its owner)? Sometimes good? Never helpful?
(article via JM Wong of Seattle!)