‘We've had enough!’ WATCH German farmers drive tractors through Berlin to protest agriculture policy
More than 150 tractors rolled up to the iconic Brandenburg Gate in downtown Berlin on Saturday afternoon, paralyzing traffic in the adjacent areas. Anticipating this, the authorities have urged residents to use the public rapid transit system instead of car when travelling through the city's center.
Around 15,000 people are participating in the demonstration, which takes place as Berlin hosts the International Green Week, a food and agricultural fair attended by top-ranked officials. United by the slogan 'We've had enough!,' a grand alliance of 100 organizations, including farmers and environmentalist and animal rights groups, is demanding "better appreciation" of farm work by the state and clearer regulation on pollution and animal welfare.
Bei der „Wir haben es satt!“-Demo sind auch 170 Trecker aus ganz 🇩🇪 am Start. Ob bio oder konventionell, hunderte Landwirt*innen fordern mit uns eine Umkehr in der Agrarpolitik. 👏👏🎉🚜 #WHES2020pic.twitter.com/dfaiCXpfU5— NABU e.V. (@NABU_de) January 18, 2020
The 'tractor rallies' have become more commonplace in Germany in recent years, as farmers are growing indignant towards what they see as the government ignoring their interests and endangering their livelihood by introducing tighter rules.
Mile-long slow-moving convoys were rolled across German cities in October and November. Around 400 tractors drove across central Berlin on Friday, while similar demonstrations were held in Bremen and Kiel, among other places.
A lightning-rod issue for farmers is the government's plan to limit the use of certain types of weed killers and fertilizers to protect birds, insects and groundwater. Commenting on the protests, Food and Agriculture Minister Julia Klockner told t-online.de on Friday that the country would face massive fines from the EU if it fails to implement stricter rules on farming methods.
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