Farmers Take Protest Directly to European Parliament in Belgium

2024-02-04 09:00:07

You would think that a movement in which the food-growers of an entire continent rising-up in protest against over-regulation and bureaucratic mismanagement would garner more attention by the media than it is currently experiencing.

Demonstrations leave little time, or motivation, for growing crops or raising livestock. This factor could be problematic, especially for both bureaucrats and regular citizens who have enjoyed eating regularly.

However, as the press bitterly clings to the “right wing” exploitation narrative behind this development, the X-stream is regularly carrying updates on these demonstrations that have now expanded beyond Germany.

The last time I checked in on these protests, French farmers were blockading highways.

More recently, farmers in Belgium had surrounded the European Parliament area and had a special message for Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. I would like to highlight that one of the key areas of complaint is the green rule-making that has hindered the profitability of European agriculturalists.

Hundreds of tractors gathered on Luxembourg Square in the Belgian capital on Thursday.

On the Paris-Brussels motorway, angry farmers wrote in huge yellow letters visible from afar: “Ursula, we are here!”

It was chalked on the road with equal parts defiance and desperation, warning European Commission Ursula von der Leyen not to ignore farmers’ pleas for better prices and less bureaucracy.

The European Union is holding a summit on Thursday – and von der Leyen, or any other EU leader in attendance, will be looking out their windows at the crowd of farmers protesting in the street.

Hundreds of tractors will gather in Luxembourg Square in the Belgian capital on Thursday to call on European leaders to put an end to free trade agreements between the European Union and third countries.

They want a review of agreements such as Mercosur, for imports to be subject to the same rules as European agricultural products, and for the “costly” bureaucracy of agricultural and environmental regulations to be made more flexible and simplified.

It seems like the bureaucrats aren’t heeding the messages the farmers are sending.

Now the protests are expanding. Legal Insurrection readers may recall my piece on the potential culling of the iconic dairy herds of Ireland.

Not surprisingly, Irish farmers are now demonstrating against the regulatory inanity and senseless government policies.

Again, I will note that unhappiness with green tyranny is one of the critical components of their complaints.

Meanwhile, thousands of farmers turned out at protests across Ireland on Thursday evening. Hundreds of tractors and other large farming vehicles paraded through towns and along motorways across the country.

“Farmers are saying enough is enough. The message is clear. The Government needs to sit down with us and sort out the over-regulation which is driving farmers to the wall,” said Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) president Francie Gorman

The Irish demonstrations were designed to show solidarity with farmers protesting in Germany, France, Belgium and other EU member states.

“They feel they are being regulated out of business by Brussels bureaucrats and Department of Agriculture officials who are far removed from the reality of day-to-day farming,” said Mr Gorman. “Irish farmers are pro-EU, but there is mounting frustration about the impact of EU policy on European farmers, and its implementation here in Ireland.”

Arriving at a summit overshadowed by the protests, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told reporters he understood “the pressures that our farmers are under, whether it’s increased energy costs, fertiliser costs and new environmental regulations”.

The list of countries with protests on the European continent keeps growing. And, I stress, over-regulation of their livelihoods is one of the over-arching themes here.

The movement, triggered by concerns over low wages, heavy regulation and cheap imports, has involved farmers from Spain, Italy, Germany, Romania and Greece calling for action.

Lines of tractors rolled menacingly across a residential street in Poland and across a German bridge, while farming protesters in Italy burned spectacular nighttime fires by stone statues.

The farmers are not going to be bought off with token gestures, as the government in Portugal tried to do before its farmers staged their demonstrations.

The government on Wednesday announced emergency aid worth 500 million euros for farmers to try to avoid the kind of mass protests causing disruption in France and Brussels, but a small group of farmers, feeling under-represented in public discussion on the issue, contacted each other on social media and decided to take action.

Starting at dawn hundreds of farmers with tractors and other vehicles made their way slowly to the four main crossing points to neighbouring Spain.

Road police GNR said that two Portuguese highways had been cut in both directions close to the borders with Spain, in Vilar Formoso in the north and Caia in the south, as well as a smaller national motorway in the region of Alentejo.

I sincerely doubt our press will give this news the attention it deserves. I look forward to its surprise when the other countries in Europe decide Netherlands had the right idea . . . unexpectedly.


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