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Food Fight in Brussels

Angry farmers took to the streets to protest low food prices in Brussels, Belgium. They dumped milk into the streets and threw eggs. One pictures shows a farmer aiming streams of milk directly from a cow’s udder onto policemen.
The protest organizers, the European Milk Board, said that more than 1,000 tractors and 5,000 people took part on behalf of “more than 80,000 dairy farmers”.

The group said milk prices are below 75 percent of production costs. Another European farm union organization, Copa-Cogeca, says that milk prices have plummeted 30 percent in a year and that dairy producers will lose up to 14 billion euros before the end of the year if nothing is done.

See the awesome full version of this cropped picture at the New York Times. Link -via Buzzfeed

(image credit: Georges Gobet/Agence France-Presse)

I'll bet they don't mind buying other goods cheaper than local producers can make them for, but get upset when it's their own industry.

This is a legacy of the CAP, which favours French farmers most egregiously. They are starting to reap the rewards of decades of protectionism.
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Yes, destroy food while people elsewhere go hungry. This will surely garner sympathy for your cause.

The solution is very simple--some portion of those 80,000 dairy farmers need to switch to producing something else. Isn't this basic economics?

Sigh. But I suppose a lactogun is sort of neat.
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You can't just expect people whose entire lives have been built around dairy farming to sell all their cows and grow corn. Or raise beef cows. They have millions of dollars invested in their dairy facilities, and they certainly wouldn't make any of that money back by overrunning the market with the low-grade beef that comes from retired dairy cows. So if you suggest they switch to producing something else, they'll need stimulus money to make that happen. And that probably doesn't make you happy either.
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Ashley - that might be true if it had happened suddenly, but this has been going on for decades. They've been subsidised since the end of the war and have known for at least twenty years that it's coming to an end.

Also - if you've been to France you'll know that though there are some multi-million Euro farms, many are under fifty head of cattle. They really don't have any right to have the rest of us subsidise their chosen job any more than anyone else does.

Fishermen are the same. They've ruined their own industry by overfishing, and then expect the rest of us to pay them to stay tied up at the quayside for several days a week. Much like the bankers, they've been to the well one time too many and a lot of people are fed up with it.
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This photo is awesome. Still, the whole situation in Europe really isn't. It's an awful time for dairy farmers (and really anyone who's trading with them) in Europe right now. Dairy farmers are currently not even able to cover production costs as prices continue to drop and the EU hasn't done anything about it. Many farmers, like the man in the picture, are protesting by spilling (or shooting) milk out onto the streets. The waste is huge and really sad, but the farmers have to get the EU to listen.
There is an interesting video on all of this at The video highlights main events surrounding this huge controversy, offering a few different perspectives/sources. It's worth watching and commenting on if you have a few minutes:
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