Since September 8th, the French farmers' union, the Confédération Paysanne, has been occupying the Maison du Lait in Paris. The union's demands are simple- they are calling for inclusion in the discussions and accords that govern and regulate their production of milk.
The Confédération Paysanne, which calls itself as the second largest agricultural union in France, is speaking out against its exclusion from meetings that take place at the Maison du Lait amongst France's other agricultural unions who are described in the Confédération's tract (which can be downloaded here) as protecting "private industry, cooperatives and producers [who] sign the accords on the price of milk which are catastrophic for cattle farmers".
Their tract justifies the union's actions, pointing out that farmers are increasingly suffering from the effects of agricultural legislation put in the place by the powers that be, who "aim to index prices on a global level which allows the creation and reenforcement of an unstable circle of prices paid to producers while support for farmers diminishes".
The decisions of the unions who are represented at Maison du Lait meetings have direct results on the farmers who aren't invited to the table. It is for this very reason that the Confédération has spent the last week occupying the space, asking for transparent negotiations of these important issues as well as an end to the political evolution of agricultural which is destroying the chances of survival for France's cattle farmers.
In a press release issued on September 8, a spokesperson for the group explained that the Confédération is simply asking for the right to take part in discussions regarding their profession as well as their ability to earn legitimate revenue from the work they do. And they're not leaving until they get it.
If you're in Paris, you can go visit them at the Maison du Lait:
42 rue Chateaudun à Paris 9è.
(M° St-Lazare ou Chaussée d'Antin)
Or you can send words of encouragement and outrage to this address: