Farmers use tractors to tear down police barriers in Brussels as EU's agricultural ministers meet

On Monday, hundreds of farmers once again descended upon the streets of Brussels to make their voices heard amid concerns that the European Union isn't doing enough to support agricultural production on the continent.

While EU agricultural lawmakers met to address farmers' concerns, the farmers clashed with law enforcement outside, even at one point tearing down barriers set up by the police with their tractors.

According to Reuters, riot police in the Belgian capital began firing water cannons as protesters while 900 tractors had made their way into the city, with many parking on streets near the buildings that hold the European Council and other EU institutions.

A number of protestors responded by throwing eggs and bottles, while others used hoses to fire a stream of manure at anyone who came close.



"We're here again in Brussels today as farmers because the European Union is not listening to our demands. Our demands are for fair revenue," said Morgan Ody, general coordinator of the farming organisation La Via Campesina.

"We produce the food and we don't make a living. Why is that? Because of free trade agreements. Because of deregulation. Because the prices are below the cost of production. So we demand the EU to move on this."



Protestors have been successful in getting the EU to listen to some of their demands. Earlier this month, for example, an anti-pesticide policy was set aside in an effort to appease the farmers. 

Farmers make up a sizable voting block, and with continent-wide elections set to take place in June, politicians are hoping that they can win their support.

Image: Title: Brussels
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