Farmers Set Fires, Dump Manure in Protest Outside EU Parliament

Police turned water hoses on farmers gathered outside the European Parliament in Brussels on February 1, as their protests continued against trade deals, regulations and tax reforms.

Footage by Thomas O’Reilly shows a large gathering on Place du Luxembourg, where protesters held banners reading “This is not the Europe we want”, dumped manure in front of the parliament, and lit fires. Police can be seen aiming hoses at the farmers.

Local media reported that the situation had deescalated, with video by O’Reilly showing a “carnival atmosphere”, with music playing.

Police in Brussels said some 1,300 tractors had arrived in the city, with farmers clogging the streets.

Farmers have been protesting across Europe against what they see as onerous regulations, low prices, taxation reforms, and the threat to their business posed by imports from outside the European Union.

French President Emmanuel Macron has come out against an EU-Mercosur trade deal, saying “the deal should not be signed in its current shape”.

Ireland’s prime minister, Leo Varadkar, cited the farmers’ protests as he arrived for Thursday’s European Council meeting in Brussels. He said he would “echo” Macron’s concerns, and said “this trade agreement cannot be ratified in its current form”. Credit: TOR_EuroCon/EuroConOfficial via Storyful

Video transcript