Polish government blames 'hooligans' for violent clashes as farmers protest Ukraine imports

  • The Polish government attributes violent clashes during farmer protests to hooligans and provocateurs, promising to prosecute offenders.
  • Warsaw police reported that 14 officers were injured, one seriously, as aggressive protesters pelted them with stones and other objects.
  • Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that those found guilty of inciting violence for political or other motives will face legal consequences.

Poland’s government on Thursday blamed hooligans and provocateurs for this week’s violent clashes during farmer protests that left many police officers injured, and vowed to prosecute the offenders.

Warsaw police said that 14 officers were hurt, one of them seriously, when aggressive participants in the massive farmer protest Wednesday pelted them with pavement stones and other objects. The police used tear gas against them.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Thursday that those found guilty of provoking the violence “for political or other reasons” will be punished according to the law. He said the violence will not prevent him from talking to representatives of disgruntled farmers who say their livelihoods are being undercut by recent European Union decisions.

VIOLENT PROTESTS GRIP POLAND AS FARMERS CLASH WITH POLICE OVER UKRAINE IMPORTS

Interior Minister Marcin Kierwinski said some people took advantage of otherwise legal protests to sow unrest.

Polish police

Police officers detain a man during a protest in Warsaw, Poland, on March 6, 2024. Poland’s government on Thursday blamed hooligans and provocateurs for this week’s violent clashes during farmer protests that left many police officers injured, and vowed to prosecute the offenders. (AP Photo/Michal Dyjuk)

“I want to make it clear: We need to differentiate between two categories. The farmers, who were protesting in accordance with the law. But we were also dealing with a small group of hooligans and provocateurs who attacked the police,” Kierwinski said.

POLISH FARMERS BLOCK UKRAINIAN BORDER IN PROTEST AGAINST NON-EU IMPORTS

More than 50 participants were detained and 26 of them are under investigation, according to the police.

Farmers across Europe are angry over EU climate policies and food imports from Ukraine that they say threaten their livelihoods. Such protests have occurred across the 27-member EU in recent weeks, but the one on Wednesday in Warsaw was decidedly angrier than earlier demonstrations in this central European nation.

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