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Dairy farmers' protests bring Compostela to a standstill


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Time of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Dairy farmers' protests bring Lugo and Compostela to a standstill
By: thinkSpain , Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dairy farmers in Galicia, demanding a decent market price for their milk, took to the streets in protest for the third day running today, blocking the ring road around Santiago de Compostela and bringing the centre of Lugo to a standstill with over 2000 tractors surrounding the city wall.

Their protest was aimed at the five main distribution centres in the Compostela area, but they ended up causing major tailbacks on all the surrounding roads and the traffic police had to intervene and set up diversions.

One protestor was injured after receiving a blow to the head from a police officer whilst emptying a 'Leche Río' milk lorry onto the road leading to the airport and was taken to hospital where his injuries were deemed to be 'mild', but union leaders have been highly critical of the heavy-handed police intervention in the protests.

Police sources maintain that the dairy farmers had no licence for their public protest today and were therefore in breach of the law, but Carme Leire of the Galician Workers' Union (SLG) told the press that this was not the case and that the police were just trying to mobilise public condemnation for the dairy farmers' actions.

Amongst the protestors was José Luis López Vázquez, president of the Galician Co-operative Association, who was hopeful of achieving a solution to the crisis in the dairy farming sector once the Minister of Agriculture meets with representatives of the various unions.

On behalf of his own and the other trade unions involved, López Vázquez apologised to the local people for the inconvenience caused, but stressed that their action was borne of 'desperation' for the current situation faced by Galician dairy farmers.
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This is a terrible thing for the dairymen.
Someone "in the middle" is getting the money from the milk, not the farmers.
In California, friends of our family are forced to destroy their herds because they are not making enough from the milk to feed their cows.

I personally believe this is a conspiracy to control the world's food supply by a few people "at the top."
It goes hand in hand with the rest of the financial trouble most of the world is experiencing right now.
Thanks for the post Sil. As I understood the situation during my Camino in May, there are cheap imports of milk and dairy products from France and Holland into Spain. The 'factory farming' in parts of the E.U. is apparently done with few restrictions by local Governments. Spanish farmers with their small holdings are just not able to compete. The greatest loser in all this is the environment! Bulk milk tankers trucking round europe including into the U.K. where dairy farms are shutting down every week.
As a responsible 'Perigrino' with a love of the countryside and nature it grieved me to see abandonded farms and houses along the Camino. What to do about it is not so easy!
Here in the U.K. i am a member of a group called Farm Crisis Network. A support group for farmers with a national helpline and a network of volunteers who are willing to listen and 'walk with' those in difficulty. Among other reasons I published my blog as an advert for FCN and asked for any donations to be made to them. When tax relief is taken into account the total should be around £1000 + a write up in the press!
I am continuing to update my blog at http://walktocompostela.blogspot.com/

Walk well and safely
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A union set a dumpster on fire as I arrived in Santiago in 2007. Traffic stopped, but you will notice the pilgrims walking by on the left, a truly brave and hearty bunch!


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