Some farmers leave protest early in disapproval at demo turning ugly

A portion of the protesting farmers left Monday's demonstration early, with estimating that around 230 farmers had taken their tractors from Prague's main thoroughfare, where they had been intentionally slowing down traffic in protest at worsening conditions for farmers, and set off home. The protest coordinator for Ústí nad Labem and Litoměřice, Miloš Malý, told Czech Television that they were leaving because they felt the protest had been "stolen" by people chanting anti-government slogans and swearing, while they had wanted a peaceful protest.

The remaining several hundred farmers went to Prague's Malostranská Square around 1 pm for a planned demonstration starting at 3 pm. Some tried to attack a group of counter-protestors carrying Ukrainian and EU flags but the two groups were separated by riot police.

Prime Minister Petr Fiala wrote on social media site X that the protest had little to do with the fight for improved conditions for farmers and that it had been organised "by people who do not hide their support for the Kremlin". He emphasised that the main agricultural organisations, i.e. the Agrarian Chamber, the Agricultural Union and the Association of Private Agriculture, had all distanced themselves from the protest.

Author: Anna Fodor