‘No farm, no food, no future!’: Farmers clog traffic in Hamburg with 4,000 tractors, reject ‘scapegoating’ by govt (VIDEO)
German farmers have flooded a city’s streets with thousands of tractors, in protest against new environment regulations; they are accusing the government of bullying them as it conducts its fight for a ‘green’ economy.
Around 4,000 tractors arrived in the northern city of Hamburg on Thursday, where a meeting of regional environment ministers was being held. The kilometer-long convoys, stretching across the city’s busy streets, caused “considerable traffic disruption” downtown, police said. The protesters also held a rally at the city’s Gaensemarkt square.
Placards displayed on the tractors included slogans such as ‘Cooperation instead of bans’ and ‘No farm, no food, no future.’ Another popular protest motto – ‘Just say ‘Thank you’ – was also heavily present. It conveys many farmers’ desire for the government to appreciate what those in agriculture do for the economy, instead of engaging in what they see as bullying and scapegoating in the name of pursuing green goals.
The Environment Ministry has recently proposed a set of regulations what would limit the use of certain types of weed killers and fertilizers – in order to protect birds, insects and groundwater. The farmers fear this will tank their businesses and endanger their very livelihood.
“The rules, which are coming from the German government, are so hard for us that we can’t work on our farms.” Klaus-Peter Lucht, Vice President of the regional Farmers Association, told RT. “We can’t make good crops. We can’t have good fodder for the dairy [cows].”
The farmers have also been accusing the government of crafting ever-more restrictive rules without consulting them first. Dirk Andresen, the spokesperson for the ‘Land Creates Connection’ movement, which organized the rally, said that Environment Minister Svenja Schulze has been avoiding frank dialogue.
“We invited her to come here but she is staying in Berlin and isn’t speaking to us.”
The situation, meanwhile, remains grim, Andersen said. He earlier warned that “things for us look so bad that the regional farming culture will disappear in the long run.”Also on rt.com WATCH farmers roll out HUNDREDS of tractors in German cities protesting new eco-rules
Similar ‘tractor demos’ have taken place in different parts of Germany in recent months. Around 1,000 of vehicles rolled through Bonn alone last month. Food and Agriculture Minister Julia Koeckner promised the farmers subsidies and the help with modernization but their anger does not seem to cool down just yet.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!