Pushback of the Week: February 12, 2024: European Farmers, Belgium and France

“No farmers, no food!” ~ Cry echoed across the cities and streets of Europe

Farmers across Europe share many serious concerns. In an attempt to defend their livelihoods and have their urgent concerns heard and addressed by government, farmers and their supporters have blockaded roads, cities, and highways across the continent. In various cities, the sky is filled with billowing smoke from burning tires and piles of farm waste. There are reports of over 1000 tractors gridlocking central Brussels outside the European Parliament, with riot police summoned to face down the farmers and other protesters.

European farmers argue that cheap imports from other countries, overregulation, reduced subsidies, low pay, and “carbon taxes” are forcing many of them to consider shutting down their farms. Some farmers are also rightly asking whether imported food from non-European countries is subject to the same requirements as the increasingly stringent regulations that European farmers are being compelled to follow.

In France, farmer actions are delivering a powerful message, demanding attention and resolution from the authorities. In recent days, French farmers blocked major motorways with tractors in an apparent standoff with the government over concerns about inflation and competition from cheap imports. They also threatened to block significant roads into the capital and “starve Paris.” In the commune of Bergerac in Dordogne, a priest blessed farmers participating in the large-scale protests as they drove their tractors through the streets. Sheep were allowed to roam freely, agricultural waste was dumped and sprayed, and massive straw-bale barricades were erected, all while thousands of passersby honked their support.

Subsequently, prime minister Gabriel Attal publicly stated that farmers had to be respected and protected, and farming unions called off the French protests. Attal admitted that mistakes had been made, offering concessions and promising new laws to restrict food imports and prioritize home-grown produce.

France appears to have secured a deal for now, but what of Belgium, the Netherlands, Romania, the UK, and the remainder of the European Union? We encourage you to help spread awareness and support for the farmers’ protests in Europe by sharing information and keeping yourself updated with the flood of footage on social media and elsewhere.

Last year it was rumored that the French electricians had shut down the central bank; we would note that without the electricians and plumbers, the control grid cannot continue to be built. Hint hint.” ~ Catherine Austin Fitts


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