– The situation of farmers is critical, we sell agricultural products below the cost of production. At that time, politicians admit pay rises – thundered Michał Kołodziejczak from Agrounia, who organized the blockade of the national road number 12 near Piotrków Trybunalski (Łódź Voivodeship). – We will be here until the end, at least 48 hours, until someone seriously looks at our problems – protest protesters announce.
The protest started on Wednesday at 8 a.m. In the village of Rękoraj, a group of farmers appeared, who blocked the passage of the national road No. 12. – We are meeting here in the middle of the harvest, let this be the best sign of how desperate we are, how difficult our situation is – said a moment after the start of the blockade, the leader of Agrounia, Michał Kołodziejczak.
He announced that farmers from all over Poland would be coming in the coming hours. – We’ll stay here at least 48 hours. We will change, but we will not allow ourselves to be ignored any longer, stressed Kołodziejczak.
He emphasized that the part of the farmers he represents felt cheated and betrayed by the authorities:
– Politicians found a way to deal with inflation. Raises. They took the money, although the raises are not due to them: farmers, nurses and people working in supermarkets deserve it – said the leader of Agrounia.
He pointed out that he had deceived them, among others President Andrzej Duda – in the opinion of the leader of the protesters – was to be “the defender of the Polish countryside” and became “the defender of the political class”. He also criticized the politicians of Law and Justice and opposition parties which – as Michał Kołodziejczak said during the blockade – also “want to earn more instead of helping farmers”.
The organizers – as they say – only received the consent to organize the protest on Tuesday. Earlier, the mayor of the Moszczenica commune, where Rękoraj is located, did not agree to the demonstration.
The spokesman of the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways in Łódź tells drivers how to best avoid difficulties related to the protest:
– Driving on the Łódź Piotrków -Trybunalski route (or in the opposite direction), should use the A1 motorway, which will avoid serious travel delays. Drivers will be supported by the police, which will appear, among others at the Piotrków Trybunalski Południe junction and will direct the traffic – says Zalewski.
In the event of a junction blocking, those driving from Warsaw on the S8 expressway will be directed to the national road number 91.
– Driving from Łódź DK12 or the A1 motorway towards Tomaszów Mazowiecki, from the Tuszyn junction should take the A1 motorway to the Piotrków Trybunalski Południe junction, where they will be able to turn back and continue their journey on the S8 expressway – adds the spokesman of GDDKiA in Łódź.
– Sorry, drivers. We know that the difficulties will be big. But we are not your enemies. All because of politicians who act to the detriment of the Polish countryside – emphasized Kołodziejczak.
They are waiting for the prime minister
Protesting farmers point out that the price of pigs is falling, farmers have to contribute to production – all because, according to the leader of Agrounia, an ineffective fight against ASF:
– The Prime Minister travels around the country. He does not respond to Agrounia’s letters. He pretends not to see the problem. We are ready to meet the prime minister. We are calling him to talks once again – said the activist.
If the prime minister does not respond to the farmers’ appeal, for the second 24 hours they will move a few hundred meters further to the roundabout where the national roads No. 12 and 91 and the S8 expressway intersect. They protested in the same place on July 20. At that time, about 150 tractors and agricultural machines blocked the traffic between 8-15, and finally the protesters scattered manure in the center of nearby Srock.
The protest started in the village of Rękoraj
Main photo source: TVN24 Lodz