Huge Farmer Demonstrations in Germany Demand Productive, Modern Agriculture!

Some 100,000 tractors and other vehicles took to the streets of big cities in all 16 states of Germany on Monday, January 8 in a protest on an unprecedented scale and widely supported by the general population. This was the opening salvo of a “week of action” called to prepare the ground for the next roundtable with government officials in Berlin scheduled for Jan. 15. The farmers demand that a serious discussion take place there about the value of farming and the need to protect farmers from self-professed “green” ideologues.

Thus, the attempts by the government and mainstream media to discredit the growing ferment by claiming “extremist right-wingers” were behind it, have totally failed – and will in all likelihood backfire. As farmer activists point out, this protest is about more than just the reinstatement of state subsidies which the government intends to cut, it is really about the reversal of the European Union’s policies against the agricultural sector in general. The overall sentiment was summed up by one activist: “This is only the tip of the iceberg to be honest, because we are all united in wanting to get rid of politicians who are trying to get rid of us.”

In a discussion with associates later in the day, Helga Zepp-LaRouche insisted that this event is “unbelievably important for Germany, because it was stated very clearly by several of the farm leaders that they have taken the courage to step forward, to defend the interest of not only the farmers,  but of all of Germany, against a government which many characterized as producing total junk…. Many voices are pointing to the fact that the entire farm policy is not made by the government, but by Silicon Valley, Wall Street, BlackRock, and the international cartels.” In sum, the artificial and “parallel reality” that politicians and mainstream media have attempted to create has fallen apart.

The BüSo (Civil Rights Movement Solidarity headed by Helga Zepp-LaRouche) was on the ground, with posters saying “Tractors instead of Tanks!” and distributing leaflets headlined “Swords to Plowshares”, calling for a retooling of military-industrial capacities to produce goods required for peaceful economic development.

The farmers received support from four state governments run by the SPD (Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg, Sachse-Anhalt), that want the national government to cancel the planned subsidy cuts and to issue public guarantees on investments made now by farmers. Other categories applauding the protests were truck and bus drivers, teachers, transport workers and medical doctors, all of which are slated for further cuts, including to fund the defense and climate protection budgets.

The broadening of the farmers’ actions is being followed closely in other countries, particularly in the Netherlands and in France, which has a tradition of very forceful protests, but also in the United States, where senior representatives of the agricultural sector in contact with the Schiller Institute sent a telegram of support to the protesters in Germany, headlined: “Let the Tractors roll!”

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