*(Bauer = Farmer / agricultor / campesino /magsasaka)
There are a lot of things to hate about Berlin as a hometown, to love as well, no doubt, but one thing you can never accuse this city of is being boring. On the radio this morning they announced today´s demonstration in the usual part of the city centre, and believe me when I tell you that Berlin residents are immune to protests and demonstrations by now, because there are so many of them. What makes today´s demo different, however, is that it is the farmers from the surrounding areas of Berlin and Brandenburg protesting the demise of the agriculture, lack of government support, and the current agricultural policy.
The Brandenburger farmers are taking to the streets, but not in the usual manner of shouting on foot and clogging the main roads through masses of angry demonstrators. Don´t expect potatoes and onions to be thrown around in this protest. Thousands of farmers have taken over the city, yes, and clogged the main arteries, yes, but with their tractors honking non-stop. It is, to put it politely, absolute bedlam in Berlin at the moment, since the demo is taking place around the Brandenburg Gate. All public transportation lines leading to the Parliament and Brandenburg Gate have been cancelled until this afternoon and commuters have been asked to find alternate routes via subway or tram. Good luck with that. Bike or on foot is the only viable solution at the moment.
I didn´t think I would see any of it and manage to stay clear away from the mess, but when I got off the subway I heard the honking a few meters away, of course I had to check it out! This particular tractor squadron was on its way to the main meeting point, but were in full force as far as temperament was concerned, honking the living daylights out of those monstrous tractors.
A standard German tractor is intimidating enough as it is, but thousands of them gathered in one spot or driving by convoy is a sight to behold. They remain good-natured and polite thus far, although I must admit it reminded me very much of an invasion of Daleks… calling Dr. Who! Do I see a TARDIS flying in over Tegel? No wait, Schönefeld!
Mind you, the tractors are only part of the protest. The trainloads of farmers rolled in later…