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Three cops hurt during farmers' protest in Brussels

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 27 Feb 2024, 05:47 am Print

Three cops hurt during farmers' protest in Brussels Brussels

Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

At least three Belgian law enforcement officers have been injured in clashes during the agricultural workers' protest on Monday in Brussels, the RTBF TV broadcaster reported, citing the local police.

About 900 tractors entered the Belgian capital on Monday and blocked key roads in the centre of the city. Protesters approached the EU headquarters, where an EU agricultural ministerial was underway. They threw manure, eggs, and bottles at police deployed to protect the building.

The police have already launched an investigation into the protesters who attempted to break through police barriers using photographs received by law enforcement bodies, according to the report published on Monday.

The Belgian media reported that the police used tear gas and water cannons after protesters started throwing explosive substances, setting off fireworks, and setting tyres on fire. Protesters were eventually able to breach a section of the police cordon and bulk hay in Brussels's European Quarter, which is home to several EU institutional buildings.

The rally in Brussels was called by large trade unions, including the Federation of Agricultural Trade Unions (FUGEA), the Wallonian Agricultural Federation (FWA), the Young Farmers' Federation (FJA), and the European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC). It was the latest in a string of similar collective actions that have taken place across the EU in recent weeks.

Belgian authorities have reportedly agreed to meet with FJA representatives after the agricultural ministers' meeting.

Farmers across Europe are demanding changes to the EU's agricultural policy, the removal of numerous restrictions, including environmental ones, and an end to the uncontrolled influx of cheap agricultural products from Ukraine. The protests have already caused disruption in France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Romania, and the Netherlands, also causing a rift in Ukraine's relations with some of its neighbours.

(With UNI inputs)