Polish farmers clash with police

Polish farmers clashed with police on March 6 during a mobilization on Warsaw, part of ongoing protests over increasing economic pressures on the agricultural industry. Warsaw police stated on X (formerly Twitter) that they arrested 55 people in connection with the protest, and that 13 officers were injured in the clashes. Police described the protesters' behavior toward officers as "provocative." In contrast, the Rural Solidarity trade union, representing the farmers, described the police behavior as "provocative." Rural Solidarity said the protest was "successful" and "peaceful" until the police arrived to break up the demonstration. 

The demonstrations are part of broader farmer-led protests across Europe demanding relief from taxes and rising costs. Farmers are also protesting against new environmental regulations imposed under the EU Green Deal, which aims to combat global warming. Farmers are additionally unhappy with the waiver on custom duties for imports from Ukraine. Last month, Polish farmers launched a 30-day nationwide protest, while truckers blocked borders with Ukraine in conjunction with the farmers' actions.

Rural Solidarity has criticized a statement by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Feb. 22 claiming that the blockades are preventing humanitarian aid and emergency vehicles from entering Ukraine, calling it a manipulation intended to stop the protests. Rural Solidarity chairman Tomasz Obszański asserted that emergency vehicles were allowed through the blockades.

Even after the clashes with police, Rural Solidarity maintained that they will continue with the protest campaign. The next protests are scheduled to occur on March 20.

From Jurist, March 7. Used with permission.

Notes: These actions follow similar militant farmer protests in India last month, and come amid growing concerns for global food security

The 2018 Yellow Vest protests in France similarly had an element of anti-environmentalist backlash.