French farmers vow to shut down Paris in protest of government regulations

 January 29, 2024

Farmer unions in France have taken their activism to a level that is now forcing leaders of the country to take them seriously.

According to Le Monde, agricultural unions are prepared to mount a "siege" of France's capital in play to pressure the French government into "meeting their demands on pay, tax and regulations."

The situation has brewed for several months and became especially serious in recent weeks as massive protests have broken out in the nation's capital and other areas.

Farmers and related workers in France have already proven they have the numbers and support to force the government's hand in taking them seriously, and now they're taking it to the next level.

And it most certainly doesn't appear anywhere close to being a bluff.

The outlet noted:

The leaders of two of France's largest farming unions said Saturday that members from the regions around Paris "will begin an indefinite siege of the capital." "All the major roads leading to the capital will be occupied by farmers," they added.

Farmers from all areas, including from southern France where some of the largest protests have already taken place, are prepared to block and shutdown major markets, including the "massive Rungis wholesale food market south of the capital."

At the core of the concerns and issues expressed by agricultural union leaders are "is a squeeze on purchase prices for produce by supermarket and industrial buyers, as well as complex environmental regulations."

The outlet noted:

The government has been trying to keep discontent among farmers from spreading just months ahead of European Parliament elections, which are seen as a key test for President Emmanuel Macron's government.

Social media users reacted to the ongoing protests, with most expressing support for the farmers.

"Great to see these people protesting the government. I hope they choose not to disrupt this with the army. That won’t look good…," one X user wrote.

Another X user wrote, "We need to fight for our God given right to be stewards of the land. We retain the right to provide for our families and community!"

Only time will tell if the farmers make their mark and force the government to pay attention. It looks like they're definitely on the road to making that happen.