About 10,000 German farmers rolled into Berlin on Tuesday with at least 5,000 tractors, parking them in front of the Brandenburg Gate to protest recent government policies which would hamper their activities in the name of environmentalism.
The protests were prompted by a set of restrictions on fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides put forward in September by the Agriculture and Environment ministers. Touted as pro-environment policies to lessen nitrate in groundwater and reduce insect death, they have instead provoked accusations from Germany’s farmers that the impact on their industry was not considered.
The farmers pointed out that the decreased use of agricultural chemicals would have a direct effect on their crops and revenues, and questioned the research that the government claimed justified the restrictions. They called for subsidies to protect the agricultural sector if their livelihood continues to be squeezed.
The German protests follow closely on the heels of similar demonstrations in the Netherlands just last month, which also saw thousands of farmers descend on the capital with tractors to protest attacks on their industry and its image.
The reaction was in response to proposed policies to limit the number of live animals and enforce more “sustainable” agricultural practices. The farmers also pushed back against an unfair image of being polluters and animal abusers.
Both of these events clearly fit a broader pattern of intensifying discontent with the material conditions inflicted by the increasingly disconnected globalist political class on the peoples of Europe. In Germany and the Netherlands, as in France where the Yellow Vests have now been in the streets for over a year, exploitive neoliberalism is being combined with progressive environmentalism in a perverse union that the ruling elite use to war with their own populations.
Unfortunately, if France is any harbinger, then the road ahead remains long and dark, and it appears certain that things must still get worse before they get better. Let us hope that the people continue waking up to the reality of their plight, and never give up their resistance!
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