We’ve had a week of it. Last Friday night/Saturday morning some members of the the community were robbed of gear, some up to 800 Euros worth. Some were insured, some not. Electronics and cash were the preferred items on the agenda for this professional team. They knew what they were doing. The stole from the periphery, in a big team, of the party, out of site of all the workers. No passports were taken, lessening the potential of a serious criminal investigation – passports are possession of the nation states that issues them and police should and, generally do, take their thief seriously. They also leave a trail harder to extinguish. There is still hope that in trying to offload their booty the thieves will leave a slug like trail all the way to the criminal justice system. Some have photos of their lost possessions and they are posted on social media – tattoo machine and needles for example. Any tattooists picking up a cheap machine in the last week? Or indeed any potential stolen property – we kinda know when it’s hot don’t we? Please contact asap.
To a degree ourselves we were responsible for the losses. We – I was one of the lucky ones whose meager, hidden tent and belongings were in the house or on my possession – should have secured them on the busiest day of the week. That lesson, would-be larcenists, has been well and truly learnt by this community and next time you may pick up a punctured air mattress, an old shoe or two, and if you’ve time before the new security regime pounces, a leaky tent and a pair of old knickers. All valuables are now well out of reach of sticky fingers. Let it be said pilferers, “The time Tojeiro was an easy mark has passed”. Pass it on.
There is a lesson here for all volunteers here, a lesson that can be applied to the broader activity of travel – don’t bring that which you cannot afford to lose. Too valuable, deep sentimental value, don’t bring it. Simple. No tears, no cry.
There was another theft in the community this week. This one hurt too. It was some alcohol. It is alleged that one, maybe more, volunteers leaving recently took some spirits, vodka, rum, whiskey, gin. Maybe they felt a misplaced sense of entitlement, you know, “I’ve given 6 weeks of my time time the place, helped run the place, made money for Rudi, etc., it’s the least I deserve”. Now let’s get this straight from the start, I’m not one of those prudish people who think categorically theft is wrong. No sir, no sir, people have the right to food and shelter and if theft is the only way to feed a starving child then thieve away from the big corporations and supermarkets. Ruling classes have been stealing from working people for centuries (the theft of Common Land still drives me incandescent with rage) and still continue to do so with aplomb and fuck them and the system that supports them. To steal from those bastards is direct action and justice. But here we are trying to create and alternative to the exploitation of Capitalism (obviously within the strict boundaries that Capitalism creates – supermarket visits are a fact of life here). Here you know the terms and conditions. Free board and lodge for work – and believe me there is no strict time watching here, you are free to do as you wish but if you don’t put in shift you’ll soon find yourself ostracized and maybe there is the argument of the Tyranny of Work but that is for another time. But the food is regular and good, very good and Rudi prices drinks and snacks so cheap they are basically cost. It’s a cheap easy life where just about anybody can find a place and fit in. Not all Workaways offer such advantageous conditions – there are some real Clockwatchers out there – and I’ve been there and couldn’t wait to leave. We should depart as friends, contract closed, redemption paid – and promises to return should we desire to do so. To steal from Rudi is, in this case, to steal from us all. It takes valuable resources from the community that have to be replaced at the cost of a new washing machine, flea treatment or extras for the Woofers Wednesday party or any number of things the 60 odd Euros would go towards. So hear up thief or thieves – for it was blind theft – show decency and honour and offer up your spoils and let justice be done. Basically don’t be a prick. You risk your reputation and the reach of social media goes far.