Video: Spain's "Robin Hood" mayor sets off on a march against austerity

Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo had accompanied activists on supermarket raids where food was distributed to the poor.

Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, the mayor of the small Spanish town of Marinaleda (population 2,645) in Andalusia, has begun a three-week march from Jodar, the city with the highest unemployment in the region, in protest against the continued austerity in the region.

Sanchez Gordillo has previously hit the headlines for accompanying activists who stole food from supermarkets to give to the poor.

The Irish Times has the story:

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

He has political immunity as an elected member of Andalusia's regional parliament, but says he would be happy to renounce it and be arrested himself.

The International Business Times has video of the raid at which Sanchez Gordillo made his appearance:

Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, centre, sets off on his three-week march. Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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Parliament debate could go ahead as petition to accept more asylum seekers reaches over 100,000 signatures

Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for a debate.

A petition to allow more asylum seekers into the UK has reached over 100,000 signatures. This is the figure petitions require for parliament to consider a debate on the subject.

The petition was launched by Katie Whyte, and gained almost 70,000 backers overnight following the publication of photos on 2 September of a three-year-old Syrian boy who had drowned.

The petition reads:

There is a global refugee crisis. The UK is not offering proportional asylum in comparison with European counterparts. We can't allow refugees who have risked their lives to escape horrendous conflict and violence to be left living in dire, unsafe and inhumane conditions in Europe. We must help.

With an estimated 173,100 asylum applications, Germany was the largest recipient of new asylum claims in 2014. The USA was 2nd with 121,200 asylum applications, followed by Turkey (87,800), Sweden (75,100), and Italy (63,700). By comparison, the UK received 31,300 new applications for asylum by the end of 2014. 
(Source: UNHCR 2014 Asylum Trends Report)

David Cameron has so far refused to accept further refugees into Britain, in spite of calls from campaigners and Labour frontbenchers to at least discuss the issue in the Commons.

> Read the petition here.

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.