Today’s demonstrations held in all 16 states of Germany by farmers, railway workers, truck drivers, workers in all trades, business and other community sectors were universally described by participants as huge, peaceful, and in many locations, unprecedented. There were multiple thousands of demonstrators and tractors. The mood—often stated explicitly—is that there is much more at stake in the protest than even “farm” issues. The crisis is the continuation in office of the incompetent, mean and deadly government figures and policies. They have to be stopped.
All protest actions were tightly organized, with outstanding friendly collaboration among the demonstrators, police and the community. Wherever tractorcades, manure-dumping, or any other action blocked roads, provision was made for through-transit of emergency fire, medical, rescue, and other such vehicles. A police union president described today’s event as “disciplined” and conducted “responsibly.” He drew out the point that efforts to criminalize and drive farmers into a corner are wrong and have failed. The farmers’ protest is completely different from the wild “climate” protesters, who glue themselves onto street pavements and cause chaos.
All the advance disinformation spread to undercut today’s events, through mainstream media and government trying to smear farmers as “peasant mobs,” and right-wingers, etc., has flopped or even boomeranged.
Youth were predominant in the ranks of protesting farmers, most being sons and daughters of the senior farmers. And there were many reports of widespread public support for the farmers. Public broadcaster NTV published a poll which found that 91% of respondents think the farmers are justified in their action.
The following are a few of the firsthand reports from organizers with the Schiller Institute in different parts of the country.
BERLIN: Farmers began the day blocking the on-off ramps all around the national capital, allowing tractorcades to move into the city, for a rally at the Brandenburg Gate. The U.S. farm leader statement of support was distributed as a flier, along with the Schiller Institute’s “Turn Swords into Plowshares.”
MUNICH: Biggest demonstration in 40 years. Very important: The new farm protest leader group, the LSV, which has activated since 2019, and the “mainstream” farm associations are working together now, given that the whole nation is in crisis. They had previously not collaborated.