Farmers Plan Another Tractor Convoy
March 13, 2017
Krasnodar farmers intend to hold another protest against the illegal seizure of land on March 28, Alexei Volchenko, chair of the grassroots organization Polite Farmers, announced at a press conference at Rosbalt News Agency. According to Volchenko, the tractor convoy will set out from the village of Kazanskaya in the Krasnodar Territory’s Kavkazsky District and spread to other regions.
“You’ve all heard about the African Swine Fever that has been making its way around Russia. Farms are being destroyed, subsidiary farms are being destroyed, and people are simply going hungry. They take out million of rubles in loans to get their farms going, and as we see now, due to the fact these farms are being destroyed, people are hanging and shooting themselves. It’s a total mess,” said Volchenko.
The tractor convoy will be held as part of nationwide strike by truckers. Earlier, strike organizers announced their intention to call for the abolition of freight charges on federal highways and an amendment of the regulations concerning freight haulage. If the authorities do not react to the strike, the truckers will call for the government to resign.
According to Volchenko, organizers of the protest have faced pressure from officers of the regional Investigative Committee and the FSB. Criminal cases have been opened against several of the activists.
“This convoy is mainly about the fact that the squeeze has been put on farmers. Instead of helping farmers in some way (in fact, the problems of farmers are not so great: they canbe solved), criminal charges are filed against them,” Volchek added.
Polite Farmers activist Nikolai Maslov underscored the fact that the convoy participants so far have no plans to make political demands, insisting only that their legal rights are honored.
“We would like the situation resolved. For the time being we are not making political demands,” he said. “We don’t want a revolution, we know our history. We just want to solve our problems through dialogue.”
Translated by the Russian Reader. Thanks to Comrade Koganzon for the heads-up