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Farmers clash with police in Warsaw (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

More than 20 people have been detained during the protest, police said

Protesting farmers clashed with police in Poland’s capital Warsaw on Wednesday amid the ongoing row with Ukraine over the grain trade. 

The farmers and their supporters gathered outside the prime minister’s office and marched towards the parliament building, where they were met by riot police.

The protesters threw rocks and firecrackers at the officers, who responded with pepper spray, tear gas and stun grenades. Sporadic fights broke out, with police using batons to push back the angry farmers.

Interior Minister Marcin Kierwinski said that 23 “provocateurs” have been detained on Wednesday. A total of 13 officers were injured, including an officer who suffered a “serious” head trauma, Warsaw Police wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Around 30,000 people took part in the protest, according to city hall spokeswoman Monika Beuth. Inspector Robert Szumiata said that although the protest was initially “overwhelmingly peaceful,” there were “groups of people who only sought to confront the police.” 

The farmers came out to denounce the EU’s ‘Green Deal’ laws aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change. “These are absurd regulations that farmers must conform to, which will only make the situation worse and raise production costs and product prices,” a protester told AFP.

Polish farmers have also been blocking the entry points at the border with Ukraine, arguing that the imports of cheap grain and other produce are killing their businesses.

READ MORE: Polish farmers’ blockade is ‘beyond morality’ – Zelensky

Kiev is denying that Ukrainian grain is being sold in Poland, but has slammed the protesters for hurting the Ukrainian economy during its ongoing armed conflict with Russia.The blockades had “gone beyond both economics and morality long ago,” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said on Sunday.

Ukrainian officials have also claimed that Russia was somehow influencing the protesters in order to damage Kiev’s ties with Poland. Moscow has denied any involvement.

©  Wojtek Radwanski / AFP

March 07, 2024 at 06:22AM

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