At Beauvais - 35 miles north of Paris - about 12,000 farmers rallied in the main square, April 7, to protest against the French Government's agricultural policy.
At Beauvais - 35 miles north of Paris - about 12,000 farmers rallied in the main square, April 7, to protest against the French Government's agricultural policy. After the meeting, demonstrators marched to the local war memorial where they laid wreaths.
Simultaneous demonstrations were held in 16 other French agricultural centres, including Avignon, Nantes, Quimper, Strasbourg and Tours. An estimated total of 30,000 farmers throughout the country took part in this protest action.
At Sens, 70 miles from Paris, 15,000 demonstrators clashed with riot police, who used tear gas and charged the crowd as young peasants tried to break through to the local administrative headquarters.
The French Government has approved various Bills - to be tabled in Parliament at the end of this month - intended to provide a long-term plan to meet the requirements of French agriculture. They cover rural equipment, inoculation of livestock, water supplies, agricultural education, and farm prices.
Farmers are complaining that agricultural prices, as envisaged in the new Bills, will still be at disadvantages as compared with industrial prices. They also point out the importance and difficulty of keeping young people on the far. Indignation runs high among the farming population, and one speaker referred to the agricultural authorities in Paris as "this gang of technocrats in bedroom slippers who want to murder our farming".