Over 150 tractors have been blockading the A2 motorway into Warsaw since the 3rd February to protest the land grab regime that will come into force next year
ICPPC | 9 Feb 2015
Polish Farmers Blockade Motorways Across Country
ICPPC directors, Jadwiga Lopata and Julian Rose joined more than 200 farmers at a Solidarity protest in Kielce, South East Poland.
These actions represent a dramatic escalation of protests that have been simmering across the country over the last year. Edward Kosmal, chairman of the farmers protest committee for West-Pomeranian Region said: "We are ready for dialogue. We look forward to meeting with you Prime Minister and beginning a comprehensive government commitment to solving the problems of Polish agriculture. If you do not enter into a dialogue with the Union, we would be forced to tighten our forms of protest."
The four key demands of the farmers are:
- Land rights: implement regulation to prevent land-grabs by Western companies and to protect family farmers rights to land (NB. From 2016 foreign buyers will be legally able to buy Polish land).
- Legalize direct sales of farm produce: the government must take action to improve farmersý position in the market, including the adoption of a law to facilitate direct sales of processed and unprocessed farm products (NB. Poland has the most exclusionary policies in Europe around on-farm processing of food products and direct sales, which make it impossible for family farmers to compete with bigger food companies).
- Extend inheritance laws to include land under lease as a fully legal form of land use.
- Ban the cultivation and sale of Genetically Modified Organisms in Poland
Quotes from Solidarity farmers trade union press releases on the 2nd and 3rd of February:
"We are entitled to conclude that the European Union blindness deprives people in our country from thinking in terms of the importance of development for Polish citizens, and thus the Polish economy"
"We demand the introduction of legislation that will protect Polish land from exploitation by foreign capital! Agricultural land can not be sold to commercial companies. It's part of Polish territory. Once sold it will be lost."
Please send expressions of your support for Polish farmers to Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz (with copy to [email protected]):
Kancelaria Prezesa Rady Ministrýw
Al. Ujazdowskie 1/3
PHOTOS AND FILMS FROM PROTEST HERE:
You can donate to our activities here
Jadwiga Lopata and Julian Rose - ICPPC
Joanna Bojczewska and Adam Payne - Landworkers' Alliance
ICPPC - International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside,
34-146 Stryszýw 156, Poland tel./fax +48 33 8797114 [email protected]
www.icppc.pl www.gmo.icppc.pl www.eko-cel.pl