Farmers’ protest in Warsaw. “We will be forced to take tractors, plows with dredgers and plow through the bureaucracy in Brussels”

“If the current policy is the same, there will be nothing to collect, gentlemen in Brussels, and we will be forced to take tractors, plows with dredgers and plow through the bureaucracy in Brussels” – former Minister of Agriculture Gabriel Janowski said during a demonstration in front of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, which took place on 6 March in Warsaw in protest against the introduction of the Green Deal and the entry of agricultural products from Ukraine into Poland. Protesting farmers brought with them a coffin symbolizing the decline of agriculture and the fall of Poland. Also present were miners, steel workers, hunters, foresters, beekeepers and representatives of many other industries threatened by EU “green” regulations.

Farmers driving tractors did not receive permission to enter Warsaw. They said that spike strips had been placed around the city at the toll gates. In places where they had permission to enter, for example on E7, a ban was introduced. Three tractor drivers – despite police barriers – managed to get to the capital. “This is the rule of law according to Donald Tusk” – the chairman of Solidarity, Piotr Duda concluded.

Farmers protested against the Green Deal and the uncontrolled inflow of products from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. “Mr. Prime Minister, it hurts us!” – they turned to the absent Donald Tusk. “This Green Deal is the end of all of us. If we do not face it and the government does not protect us, Poles, we will perish. There will be no Poland” – they said. “Peasants and workers together! Poles together” – they chanted. “We are here to fight for Poland, fight for our families, fight for family farms, for farms that have traditions. We are fighting for our ancestral lands! We will not give up our ancestral lands! This is not why our forefathers shed their blood! We will not allow it!” – they shouted. “This is Poland, not Brussels!” – they reminded. “This is a real agricultural Spring of Nations” – farmers emphasized.

Hunters came to the aid of the farmers. “No one should tell us, as hunters, how to hunt, or as beekeepers, how to keep bees. This is our business. In our country, we should be the hosts and no one should have the right to impose their will on us. Especially since people who make these key decisions, often saw farm animals only on TV” – said Przemysław Owoc, a representative of hunters.

Foresters also expressed their concern. Zbigniew Kuszlewicz from the Forest Secretariat informed that “economic works in the State Forests have already been suspended. For now, it is 1.3%, and it has caused a great rebellion in the communities affected by it”. “There has been constant hate against foresters throughout recent years. Foresters are the ‘evil’. It turns out that those who started this spiral against foresters, those who run forest management in Poland, which is praised all over the world, these are these pseudo-ecologists. It all started with them. This Green Deal is them, called by many – and very rightly – eco-terrorists” – he recalled. He added that “if we do not stop what is happening, economic activity will be limited in 20 percent of forests. There will be no wood raw materials. There will be parks. There will be reserves”. “There will be an open-air museum in Poland, while other Western economies will develop, and we will buy forest products from them, having our own well-run forest management” – he concluded.

“Is it normal for an official in Brussels to tell a farmer when to plow, when to sow and when to harvest?” – former Minister of Agriculture Gabriel Janowski asked. “If the current policy is the same, there will be nothing to collect, gentlemen in Brussels, and we will be forced to take tractors, plows with dredgers and plow through the bureaucracy in Brussels” – he said.

“We will not leave the roads until all three of our demands are met: STOP the Green Deal, STOP the uncontrolled inflow of products from outside the European Union, STOP any restrictions on animal breeding. Until these three demands are met, we will not leave the roads and believe me, we will be able to handle the field work” – announced a representative of rural women on behalf of the housewives gathered at the protest. “We will be prepared for a long fight and we will certainly not take a step back” – added Sebastian Dziamski, a farmer from Greater Poland.

“The last weeks have been spent in a political storm, in political shit-slinging, about who is to blame for this whole situation, which party is to blame. We, farmers, say today clearly: all of you who have been in power for the last thirty years are responsible for this whole mess that we have to fight today! It’s because of you that we don’t have ports! It’s because of you that we went from being a leading pork producer to becoming the largest importer! It’s because of you that we went from a country that depends on coal to becoming one of the largest importers and became dependent energetically! It is your actions, it is your short-sighted policy pursued from election to election, from campaign to campaign, that has brought us this fate! And we will finally hold you accountable for all this! All of you who are responsible for this! Today, tens of thousands of farmers, fruit growers, industrialists and ordinary citizens gathered here to say clearly “NO”, that we have had enough! We must say clearly today that we, farmers, those who fought at the blockades, those who blocked the border, do not agree to be represented by criminals, people who cheated farmers! We, ordinary farmers, will fight for our right, for our future, and the greatest sin that could have been committed was any attempt to politicize our protests! And no matter which party, no matter which union, if anyone committed this, it would be as if he had committed an attack on us, ordinary Poles! Farmers with God to victory!” – thundered the outraged farmer.

Farmers pointed out that grain warehouses were already full and asked rhetorically what would happen after the harvest. They explained that they could not agree to give up animal breeding because it would lead to a collapse on the grain (feed) market. “The drama is still ahead of us, so, as my younger colleagues said, we will not back down. Mr. Prime Minister, how long will we be humiliated?” – they asked.

Anna Wiejak

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