Home » Baden-Württemberg – Greens cancel political Ash Wednesday in Biberach in view of aggressive farmers’ protests

Baden-Württemberg – Greens cancel political Ash Wednesday in Biberach in view of aggressive farmers’ protests

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Baden-Württemberg – Greens cancel political Ash Wednesday in Biberach in view of aggressive farmers’ protests

The Green Party’s political Ash Wednesday was canceled due to the farmers’ protests. (David Nau / dpa / David Nau)

Dozens of tractors were parked on the access roads to the town hall. A large pile of dung was dumped in front of the hall. Loud horns and music could be heard. Several officers were injured during the police operation. Among other things, they were pelted with objects and therefore used pepper spray and batons against the protesters, the police said. One person was arrested. Nothing can yet be said about injured demonstrators. According to Biberach’s mayor Zeidler, several fires were deliberately set; the fire brigade was partially prevented from passing through.

The state farmers’ association said it had not called for the protests.

Signs calling for murder

The Greens announced that, in close consultation with the security authorities, they had decided to cancel the event because the proper implementation was at risk. We would like to thank the security forces for their efforts as well as the many peaceful demonstrators. However, there were isolated cases of aggression.

Green MP Brantner also emphasized that many farmers protested peacefully. But a small, violent group posted signs calling for murder. There should be no tolerance for this type of protest, but there should be constitutional consequences, said Brantner.

Green Party co-chair Lang criticized the violence. She said that when people are intimidated and police forces are attacked, the framework of democratic discourse is abandoned.

Harsh criticism from other parties too

The Baden-Württemberg Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) described the “aggressive behavior” of protesters in Biberach as “completely unacceptable”: “These demonstrators have done the farmers’ cause a disservice.”

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Federal Interior Minister Faeser explained that a red line had been crossed in Biberach.

Özdemir seeks dialogue and is booed

The Greens in Baden-Württemberg have been meeting in Biberach for Ash Wednesday for years. Lang and Federal Agriculture Minister Özdemir, among others, were actually supposed to speak at this year’s event. Özdemir has been the target of sharp criticism from farmers’ associations for weeks. The reason is the federal government’s planned reduction in agricultural subsidies.

Özdemir addressed the demonstrating farmers in Biberach and expressed understanding for their anger over the subsidy cuts. The original government plans would have placed an undue burden on farmers: “That was wrong, that’s why the protests were justified,” said Özdemir.

The mood heated up when a heckler accused the minister of not showing up at the farmers’ protests – and the minister defended himself against this accusation. “I was at the rallies,” Özdemir said. He described the accusation as an “insolence” and said: “Now that really upsets me.” The protest participants reacted with boos and catcalls.

A few weeks ago, building protests on the North Sea sparked discussions. Farmers prevented Vice-Chancellor Habeck, also a Green Party, from getting off a ferry on his vacation.

This message was sent on February 15, 2024 on the Deutschlandfunk program.

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