Farmers in the Brittany region of France staged a protest on Wednesday, using tractors and manure to express their discontent with the government’s agricultural policies. The demonstration, organized by members of the Federación Nacional de Sindicatos de Agricultores (Fdsea) and associated workers, escalated as farmers poured manure and cow urine on government buildings, highlighting their frustration with perceived burdensome regulations.
The farmers, numbering around 100 and mobilizing with tractors, first converged on the headquarters of the Brittany Regional Council in the city of Rennes. Reports indicate that they spread straws in the parking lot and scattered official documents as a symbolic gesture of protest against what they argue are excessive regulations imposed on their agricultural activities.
Later in the day, the protesting farmers moved to the front of the regional directorate of agriculture and forestry, where they spread grass with their tractors. The demonstration aimed to draw attention to the challenges faced by farmers in dealing with regulatory complexities and the impact on their daily lives.
The farmers resorted to pouring manure, ensilage, pumpkins, and branches on the buildings of the Dirección Departamental de los Territorios y el Mar (Ddtm) in the town of Quimper, northwest France. Videos of the protest quickly went viral on social media, depicting tractors covering government buildings with manure, reflecting the intensity of the farmers’ dissatisfaction.
The farmers’ grievances extend beyond regulatory concerns to include issues such as increased taxes, challenging administrative processes, and discrepancies in regulations compared to other European countries. They also voiced concerns about rising production costs, the impact of controls and taxes, and damages caused by wildlife. The protesters are demanding improved working conditions and fair incomes, emphasizing the need for urgent and concrete solutions.
The protest follows a meeting earlier in the week between the farmers and the prefecture, where no agreements were reached. Frustrated by the lack of progress, the farmers escalated their protest by resorting to unconventional tactics, including the symbolic act of pouring manure on government buildings. This escalated demonstration led to traffic disruptions and challenges in navigating the affected areas.