Farmers Fight Back, Spray Police With Liquid Manure

( – Hundreds of farmers gathered in Brussels on February 26 in protest against the agricultural summit being held in the Belgian capital. Protesters threw eggs at EU buildings, burned tires, and sprayed police officers with liquid manure.

At least 900 tractors descended on the city, and in the violent clash, protesters set fire to mounds of tires, ignited fireworks, and threw eggs and bottles at the police, who used a water cannon on the protestors. Farmers also protested on the Polish-German border and in Madrid over the European Union’s green policies. Farmers were also rallying against its plans to establish a trade deal with a South American bloc—“Mercosur”—which they say will further undercut the prices of European farmers.

There have already been protests in France in January 2024 in which farmers ignited hay bales, blocked roads, and sprayed liquid manure to fight back against cheap imports and rising costs. In the city of Agen, protesters ignited rubbish and tires and tipped them into the prefecture courtyard as they called on the government to relax its regulations.

Thomas Waitz, an Austrian Green EU lawmaker, explained that the increased costs and workloads that farmers are burdened with must be reflected in food prices. Waitz, who is also a beekeeper and a farmer, urged the 27 states in the EU to ensure that imported food meets environmental standards and does not provide unfair competition to European farmers. Cem Özdemir, Germany’s agricultural minister, commented that any biodiversity and environmental measures needed to ensure that farmers could make a reasonable living. He claimed that farmers spend a quarter of the time at their desks on average because of the “bureaucracy monster” of the EU.

Writing for UnHerd in 2023 about the “Great Reset” and the threat posed to the establishment by farmers in the Netherlands, Thomas Fazi noted that according to a “heavily redacted” European Commission document, the strategy’s mission is that of “extensifying agriculture” and reducing or buying out livestock. Fazi commented that though this would be voluntary at first, mandatory measures were not being ruled out.

At the protest in Brussels, farmers were breaking through blockades with their tractors. Tijs Boelens, spokesman for the Farmers’ Forum, said that the EU’s agricultural policy and resulting economic insecurity were to blame for the riots and that you reap rage for sowing misery. Not all supported the direction of the protests, however; the Flemish Boerenbond farmers’ union praised the protests in Flanders in recent weeks but commented that the violent protests on the 26th were not their method of campaigning.

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