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What do Roger Pion, Gandhi and Martin Luther King have in common?
The answer is: nothing. However, I can’t seem to stop believing that Pion, most probably in all of his ignorance, may have started a movement. Could his act of crushing the whole fleet of police cruisers with a giant tractor be a wake-up call for VT farmers and, for that matter, farmers across the nation? I can already picture massive flotillas of farm equipment landing in towns, cities and on major highways, with their benevolent yet determined presence, demanding for this crap to stop and bring it to a halt. By crap I mean corporate greed, government corruption and all else that trickles down a giant pyramid of utter degradation and destruction of resources, human potential and the planet. Farmers and workers are at the bottom of that pyramid, holding it on their backs while getting crushed by it with every passing day.
Growing up in Europe, I followed with interest and elation when farmers decided to come out in all their force on tractors and combines, block the main roads and peacefully await nervous government officials to come and hear them out. And officials always came. Yes, in many cases, the form of protest was wasteful dumping of crops in the road, because government is forcing prices below cost of production. Most recently, the EU dairy farmers spilled millions of gallons of milk in the streets of Brussels. No one got hurt, but I bet you Brussels had a healthy dose of odor to remind them not to @^$%&* with the farmers. Actually these blockades are commonplace all over Europe every growing season. While they don’t cause major change, they serve as a warning for potential loss of millions of Euros, which is the only thing that motivates negotiations.
Not to mention that if the farmers really get irked, road blockades will be nothing in comparison to absence of food on the shelves. That’s the true power of the farmer.
The question is, when will our farmers get sick of being messed with? When will they get tired of seeing their land stolen by the banks, by Monsanto and the gang? Will Roger Pion be remembered as the first farmer who ignited the spark with his foolish and impulsive act? Maybe not, but I’ll sure remember how big and powerful his tractor was.
Brown lives in Fayston.