Global attacks on farmers prompt massive rallies in support of food producers

A mix of tractors, semi-trucks, half-tons and cars gathered near Peanut Hills Campground on July 23 as part of the nationwide Farmers’ Slow Roll protest.

Concerned that world governments are attacking farmers’ ability to grow food and feed the planet, more than 100 vehicles recently rumbled slowly from Moose Jaw to Regina in support of these producers.

A mix of tractors, semi-trucks, half-tons and cars gathered near Peanut Hills Campground on July 23 as part of the nationwide Farmers’ Slow Roll protest. Supporters of Swift Current and Regina gathered at The Friendly City before making their way to The Queen City.

On that day, about 60 similar events happened across Canada.

The event was in response to restrictions the Dutch government is putting on its farmers to reduce nitrogen use by 30 percent by 2030. The Canadian government is also planning the same restrictions in this country.

Robin Mitchell was one of several hundred people who attended the event and thought it was amazing. She comes from a farming family and works part-time on a farm. She learned that governments – including Canada’s – are requiring farmers to reduce their fertilizer use, which would reduce the amount of food and crops they grow.

“All the talk about these cricket farms and stuff, I like my beef. I order my beef from my local family farmer,” she said. “I think we’re going down a bad path here and I definitely wanted to support[the Dutch and Canadian farmers].”

The Moose Jaw group drove about 30 kilometers per hour and arrived in Regina in two hours.

“There were people on the side of the road supporting us and honking their horns,” Mitchell said. “That’s important. There were very few — just a few people — that turned us over the bird, which I guess doesn’t like to eat.”

The cavalcade ended at Northgate Mall because access to the Legislature was blocked. Several people spoke at the rally while some musicians performed.

“I am very concerned about the direction in which our country is developing. I will stand on my feet and not die on my knees,” Mitchell added. “I will continue to try to spread the word and raise awareness.”

In a video posted to his Facebook pageevent organizer Mark Friesen explained that international policies are being imposed on farmers worldwide as part of the United Nations’ agenda for sustainable development, to which Canada adheres.

“If it’s going to decimate the smaller farms across Europe, it’s going to really decimate the big farms here in Saskatchewan (and the rest of Canada)…” he said. “And it’s our food that’s going to be affected, so we have to do something.”

Standing by farmers is a measure to ensure the federal government is on guard as it confronts frustrated citizens, Friesen continued. He was also concerned that prime ministers remained silent on the issue and thought they needed to speak up on behalf of voters.

While the Prime Minister has accused Canadian farmers of being big polluters, Friesen pointed out that the latter are among the cleanest and most productive people in the world. In addition, he found that nitrogen has helped feed the planet and avoid famine.

“We have to say no (to reduction), we have to stand firm and our politicians have to stand up for our farmers’ livelihoods and our food,” he said.

The carbon tax kills farms, agribusiness and families, while to demonize it is wrong because carbon dioxide is a fundamental building block of life, Friesen said. It makes no sense to penalize citizens with this tax since Canada causes 1.6 percent of the world’s pollution.

A recent study in the medical journal The Lancet showed that more carbon dioxide encourages more vegetation growth, he added. So he thought there were bigger issues at play than just reducing nitrogen.

About Gloria Skelton

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