There are numerous valid reasons for farmer protests, but the decision this past week by the German government to abandon state subsidies to farmers’ use of diesel has provoked an outburst of new street actions, culminating in a national rally in Berlin today, with thousands of farmers taking part, many with their tractors.
The German Farmers’ Association (Deutscher Bauernverband, DBV) organized a demonstration in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin beginning at 11 a.m. Under the slogan, “Too much is too much! Now it’s over!” the farmers demanded that the government withdraw its intent to hike diesel fuel prices. If that does not happen, there will be “massive resistance” from January, said DBV President Joachim Rukwied: “We will not put up with this.”
Smaller protest actions were already occurring at the end of last week. On Dec. 14 Thursday evening, some 30 tractors rolled out to protest at the Lüchow-Dannenberg private home of Green Lower Saxony Agriculture Minister Miriam Staudte. Farmers also unloaded manure in front of the Schweinfurth district office of the Greens, and farmers also protested at the Kempten office of the Free Democrats. There were similar actions in Vechta, on Dec. 15.