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French farmers block iconic Paris locales with tractors and hay

French farmers block iconic Paris locales with tractors and hay

French farmers block iconic Paris locales with tractors and hay

PARIS — Farmers descended on Paris early Friday to obstruct access to two of the French capital’s iconic sites, the Champs Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe, in the latest sign of simmering discontent in France’s agricultural sector.

The protests, apparently organized by the farm union Coordination Rurale, saw demonstrators use tractors and hay barrels to block the road where Champs Elysées meets Place Etoile, the massive roundabout encircling the Arc de Triomphe. Photos posted by the union on X (formerly Twitter) showed dozens of people waving the group’s yellow flags in front of the arc.

Police said 66 people were detained.

Coordination Rurale, which represents about 20 percent of unionized farmers, has been at the forefront of farmers’ protests rocking France this year. People wearing the group’s trademark yellow hats have been spotted at unruly protests — including chaos that accompanied the opening of the Paris International Agricultural Show last Saturday.

After unrest at the trade show, French President Emmanuel Macron alleged that Coordination Rurale was in cahoots with French far-right party National Rally. Leaders from the party and the union, respectively, denied the accusations.

Aurélie Hallain, a local Coordination Rurale representative for the Eure-et-Loir region west of Paris, called the French president’s comments “sickening.”

“He’s undermining our credibility,” Hallain told French daily Le Figaro. “This isn’t politics, it’s about the profound anger in the farming community.”

Victor Goury-Laffont contributed reporting.

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Emmanuel Macron,Far right,farmers,Farms,France,French politics

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