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German Farmers Continue Mass Blockade Protests

On Monday, farmers in the German capital city of Berlin continued their efforts to block streets with their tractors and other farming equipment out of protest of the government’s plans to cut diesel subsidies.

As Fox News reports, the demonstrations on Monday were the latest in a series of widespread protests across Germany by disillusioned farmers, increasingly frustrated with the left-wing government’s efforts to crack down on farming in the name of fighting so-called “global warming.”

Long lines of tractors drove into the capital for the demonstration, which took place at the historic Brandenburg Gate. The protests have taken to blocking highways and choking traffic across the country in an effort to force Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his government to abandon the plan. Although the governing coalition announced its intention to scale back the plan on January 4th by retaining car tax exemptions for farming vehicles and staggering the diesel tax break cuts over the next three years, the farmers still disapproved of the plan and continued their protests.

“Take back the proposed tax increases, then we’ll pull back,” said Joachim Rukwied, chairman of the German Farmers’ Association. “Too much is too much. We are an important part of Germany, please don’t forget that.”

Finance Minister Christian Linder made remarks in defense of the government’s plan, to which he was booed and faced chants of “Get lost.”

While admitting that the original plan “was too much and it was too fast,” he nevertheless said that “there should be no special sacrifice by farming, just a fair contribution.” He implored Rukwied to end the protest, saying that “your protest was already successful” due to the previously-announced revisions to the plan.

The ongoing protest movement in Germany is just one example of a new particular brand of right-wing, anti-government populism spreading throughout Europe as a direct result of mass protests by farmers. In the Netherlands, farmers have engaged in similar protests by blocking streets and highways with their farming equipment out of protest of “climate change” proposals that would crack down on farming. Farmers in the Netherlands eventually formed their own political party, the Farmer-Citizen Movement, which swept the provincial elections in March and saw the new party win 137 out of 572 seats in the country’s provincial councils.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: 16 January 2024, Berlin: Numerous tractors drive along the Straße des 17. Juni to the Brandenburg Gate. Farmers, haulage companies and tradesmen protest against planned cuts in subsidies by the federal government, including for agricultural diesel. Photo: Carsten Koall/dpa (Photo by Carsten Koall/picture alliance via Getty Images)