79 people were arrested during the farmers' protests in France, causing significant traffic delays in Paris due to the presence of tractors.

79 people were arrested during the farmers’ protests in France, causing significant traffic delays in Paris due to the presence of tractors.

Paris — French farmers angry over increased taxes and European agriculture policies they say threaten their livelihoods were on the roads well before dawn Wednesday, blocking highways and access roads to Paris. The

The protests have been ongoing for approximately two weeks now.

Protests involving tractors caused major traffic disruptions in various locations, with some tractors blocking lanes or long stretches of highways for miles. Additionally, 18 individuals were arrested on Wednesday.

The farmers remained resolute in their efforts to continue exerting pressure on the French government to revise their policies. The blockades surrounding the capital show no indication of ending soon. On Wednesday, they moved closer to Orly airport to the south of Paris, as well as other major cities and towns such as Lyon in the east and Toulouse in the southwest.

What is the reason behind the protests by French farmers?

The French farmers are facing challenges such as higher taxes and restrictive European agriculture policies, which they believe are putting their survival at risk. They are also requesting additional support from the government to address the rising costs of fuel and animal feed.

French farmers continue to protest

On January 31, 2024, in the Chilly-Mazarin district of Paris, France, police officers implemented security protocols while a group of French farmers organized a convoy using their tractors to block roads. This was part of a nationwide protest organized by various farmers’ unions to demonstrate against issues such as pay, taxes, and regulations.

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Numerous individuals have raised concerns about certain large grocery stores paying them lower than market prices for their goods in order to provide discounted prices to customers. The government has issued warnings of potential fines for suppliers who partake in unjust practices that harm farmers.

Farmers aimed to reach the expansive Rungis wholesale food market in southern Paris, a hub for supermarkets, stores, and restaurants to purchase their goods. Despite being blocked by police at the gates and 18 individuals being detained, some farmers persisted by parking their vehicles and vowing to stay overnight if necessary.

In the afternoon, a group of farmers successfully entered the market complex. As a result, 79 individuals were arrested by the police at Rungis on Wednesday.

Police blockades were set up on highways encircling Paris in response to farmers attempting to move forward. The interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, stated that the farmers would not be compelled to retreat, but made it clear that it was not acceptable for them to impede the capital.

In numerous locations, farmers resorted to using smaller roads and rural lanes in a strategic pursuit with law enforcement and other governing bodies.

from the community, have been taking place in many cities across the country.

Many cities throughout the nation have been seeing peaceful demonstrations that are receiving significant backing from their respective communities.

Both parties emphasized that the protest was maintaining a non-violent approach. Some farmers expressed that they were being escorted by the police rather than intimidated, as the national Gendarmerie accompanied them, prepared to redirect them onto an alternate path if they approached the boundaries set by the interior minister.

The farmers have received significant backing from the community, despite facing challenges with their travel arrangements and longer commute times. Motorists have been showing their support by honking while driving past roadblocks and lengthy lines of tractors on highways.

Xavier Bertrand, the president of Hauts-de-France in northern France, stated on French radio that farmers are advocating for the benefit of all French citizens. He further expressed at a protest blockade that the support of the French people is crucial as the issue at hand is the quality and availability of food.

On Tuesday, France’s newly appointed Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, discussed the concerns of farmers in his first address outlining his plans for the upcoming months.

He stated to parliament that our agriculture is both a source of strength and pride for us. He solemnly declares that there is and must always be a unique French agricultural presence.

It is possible that the protests could continue and become more intense.

On Wednesday morning, several farmers at the roadblocks expressed that they were in need of action, not just words.

For over two weeks, the farmers have been demonstrating by blocking traffic in multiple towns, placing manure in front of government buildings, and filling public areas with decaying produce and hay bales.


On January 16, 2024, in Toulouse, a bystander witnessed farmers from Midi-Pyrenees, a region in southwest France, dumping manure and spoiled produce in front of a government building to protest against taxes, decreasing income, and challenging working conditions.


The government has been taking a mild approach up until now, but there are concerns that the predominantly peaceful protest could become aggressive if it continues and if farmers feel their voices are not being heard.

France has experienced a significant amount of prolonged demonstrations in recent years. In the previous year, protests against the government’s proposed changes to the pension system lasted for a period of six months.

The farmers’ protest has also extended to nearby nations. In Belgium, highways have been obstructed as farmers express their grievances against European Union regulations on farming. An estimated 100 to 300 tractors are scheduled to travel to Brussels on Thursday to participate in a demonstration at the European Parliament.

Farmer organizations in Spain, Germany, and other countries are also contemplating taking action before the EU elections in June.

Source: cbsnews.com