It's not just Farmers in France that are up in arms over EU pesticide reforms (which have been cancelled) but also Spanish ones, who are being squeezed out of existence.
The city of Granada was brought to a standstill by farmers blocking roads using tractor convoys. There was even a small protest at Motril Port, which soon collapsed through a lack of support.
Protesting farmers (who consider that the general public should be backing them because people’s shopping baskets are also being hit by rising prices) all turned out not through an organised, worker union call-out, but almost spontaneously through Whatsapp messages.
This was the complaint from the authorities because the strike was not authorised as it should have been, but when people consider that they have taken just about all they can, they’re not worried about formalities.
From 07.00h Tuesday morning farmers from all over the province joined a national-level protest, jumping into tractors to strangle the main thoroughfares of the city and the A-92, remaining all day until the Guardia Civil gave them an ultimatum around 19.00h: pack up, go home or stay and be arrested.
The six strangle holds on the province were the A-92 near Huétor Tájar, blocking access to the province from the West. Another group closed the A-92N blocking the autovía near Cúllar (Baza), cutting off the province in the North-East from Murcia. In the city they blocked access at Albolote on the A-92 and the Circunvalación (bypass) was closed down at two points; near Armilla at one end and at kilometre point nine at the other. The last choke hold was on the A-380 in Iznalloz to prevent it from being used as an alternative to the A-92.
All this was achieved with around 1,200 protesters: around 300 manned the Cúllar blockade, 200 in Albolote, almost the same number in Iznalloz and another 100 at each ring-road blockade. They used 404 tractors to this end with the majority (200) blocking traffic in Cúllar. Some of these tractors had arrived from Almería to help out. All this caused 30 kilometres of tail back between them
But it wasn’t over because the following day, Wednesday, they were back. This time there were fewer; around 600 but they were not able to affect traffic flow as much because the Guardia Civil were ready for them this time and stopped tractors getting onto the A-92 at Moraleda de Zafayona, and from points nearer to the city. By the end of it there had been six arrests.
The farmers feel that they have the right to protest because agriculture is going under. It’s not just the drought nor the restriction imposed by the EU in order to restrict the use of pesticides; it’s also about how the small farmer is being squeezed out of existence, forced to sell at below production prices, by the food-chain giants and big-business lobbies.
(News/Noticias: Granada, Andalucia)