Attempt to talk or attack on democracy? What happened in Biberach?

At the political Ash Wednesday, they just wanted to have a conversation, say the farmers of Biberach. That was an attack on democracy, say the Greens. Close-up of a debacle.

The pictures from Biberach already belong in every chronicle of the year 2024: Dozens of farmers blocked the entrances to the town hall with their tractors. The Greens’ political Ash Wednesday was to take place inside; the Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, the party leader Ricarda Lang and the Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir were invited; In addition, the old Green Jürgen Trittin wanted to celebrate his departure from the political stage. In protest against the traffic light government’s policy, the farmers unloaded manure, sandbags and paving stones. Craftsmen and transport companies joined them, as did citizens and imperial citizens. The result: three injured police officers, a burned bale of hay, a smashed car window on a support vehicle – and a lot of political excitement.

Since then, Biberach has been seen as another symbol of anger that is increasingly being released on the streets. The images line up with those of the raging mob at Habeck’s ferry pier, of the traffic light gallows from which politician dolls dangle. It’s not always just symbolism: in 2023, politicians were physically attacked 2,800 times, according to police statistics; almost every second attack was directed at a Green party. Last Saturday, party leader Lang was hit again. At a performance in Magdeburg, eggs flew and tires burned – an atmosphere like in Biberach.

Politicians speak of an attack on democracy. The farmers from Biberach from a misunderstanding. Some couldn’t speak, others weren’t heard. Who is guilty? What went wrong? Both sides have their say here.

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