The vast majority of Germans back farmer protests despite ‘far right’ label from media and the left

Tractors are parked during a farmers' protest in the government district close to the Chancellery (background), office of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. The sign reads: "Without Farmers, No Future." (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

An overwhelming majority of Germans back the farmers’ protests despite media claims that the “far right” was co-opting the demonstrations, a tactic that was also used by the media to discredit Covid-19 demonstrations in Germany.

A new poll from INSA shows that 69 percent of Germans support the current farmers’ protests, while only 22 percent reject them. Despite one in five poll respondents saying they were directly affected by the protests, which featured tractors blockading roads and highways, the majority still gave their nod of approval.

Support is highest among respondents who said they would vote for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, with 88 percent of the party’s backers expressing sympathy for the farmers’ protest.

The support for farmers is particularly clear with regard to the climate protests. Only around 16 percent of Germans recently stated that they had sympathy for the climate radicals of the “last generation,” while 79 percent were of the opposite opinion.

The results come despite a widespread media campaign attempting to demonize the protesters. For example, the state-funded Tagesschau media outlet ran headlines such as, “Farmers’ protests: Gallows, AfD poster, demo with lateral thinkers” while state-funded Deutsche Welle ran headlines such as “Farmers’ protests – fantasies of overthrow from the right.” And Spiegel ran stories such as “Tractor with a right-hand twist.

The farmers’ protest week has sparked the survival instincts of left-wing politicians and journalists, many of whom appeared to go into panic over videos of endless columns of tractors coupled with criticism of the ruling government. Nearly in unison, they printed stories or made allegations about “right-wing infiltration.”

Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (Left Party), who was booed in the city of Erfurt on Monday, claimed protesters who dared boo him were “Reich citizens.”

The science writer Dr. Christian Scharun also suddenly saw Nazis everywhere he turned, taking to X when he believed a farmer’s banner in one photo stated “Führer Gemüse,” a reference to “Hitler vegetables.” However, if he had looked more closely at the sign, it actually read “Föhrer Gemüse” which are vegetables from the North Sea island Föhr.

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