This article appears in the December 6, 2019 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
NEW ECONOMIC SYSTEM NEEDED
Massive Farm Protests in Europe, Discussion in U.S. Farm Belt is Hot
Nov. 30—This last week of November saw mass farmer protests with thousands of tractors blocking streets in Germany, France and Ireland. In Berlin, the biggest demonstration, 5,600 tractors and 15,000 farm family members shut down the inner city on Nov. 26, by taking over a 10 kilometer stretch. The same day in Paris, hundreds of tractors converged on Avenue Foch, near the Champs Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe. In Dublin, farmers and their tractors disrupted traffic in the city center for two days, November 26-27, blocking the entrance to Parliament.
In the United States, there is a parallel upsurge, manifest in other ways, including large rallies, legal initiatives and social media mobilizations by farmers and ranchers.
The European street actions come after huge feeder protests over recent weeks, all carrying the implied demand for a new economic system. Conditions are so bad that family agriculture can no longer continue. This comes from the twofold situation where commodity prices to farmers are way below what is necessary for them to continue in operation. Then there is the extra hit from government “green” mandates, dictating practices for farm chemical usage, animal husbandry, water access, crop cultivation, and more—under the excuse of controlling smells, nitrogen emission, run-off, etc. These dictates are more extreme than in the United States at present, along with which, public hysteria is worse. This has reached the stage of greenie attacks on butcher shops, farm equipment, livestock pens, and bullying of farmers’ children at school.
In France, farmers at the latest tractor rally in Paris stressed that the “whole farming profession” is under assault—grains as well as livestock. The French farmers, and those rallying in Brussels, Amsterdam and elsewhere, as well as in Berlin and Dublin, are all denouncing the European Union deal-making for so-called “free trade” with Canada, and the South American Mercosur countries, which is just a means for the transnational food cartels—a special branch of commodity control and speculation by Wall Street/City of London circles—to further screw farmers in all nations involved.
On the front against the green insanity, German farmers staged a protest November 14 in Hamburg, outside the venue of a meeting of state-level environmentalist ministers with Federal Environmental Minister Svenja Schulze. This followed mass farmer demonstrations in October in seventeen German cities, against greenie agri-bashing. There is both fury and humor among the farmers, for having to take to the streets like this, to force public attention to food and the crisis. Dairy farmers at one location mocked the greenies by taking off from Greta Thunberg’s infamous “How dare you” speech to the United Nations in September (she denounced inaction to cut CO2 for taking away her future). The farmers’ protest signs proclaimed, “How Dairy You!” In Finland, last month, farmers brought cows to graze on a university lawn, to protest the college cafeteria banning meat and milk.
The follow-on from the European protests so far is that, in Germany, a roundtable among farm leaders and Chancellor Angela Merkel is set for December 2. In France, farmers are set for more demonstrations on December 7, two days after the national strike already announced by transportation and other workers, and the Yellow Vest movement. In Ireland, unless there is emergency relief from the government, more tractor protests are set for December 15.
Beef production is in the crosshairs in particular, from the Wall Street/City of London commodities wing, which imposes low prices on the cattlemen through cartel control of processing, in the context of lack of parity pricing and anti-trust law. Meanwhile, CO2 reduction fanatics blame cows’ flatulence and beef eaters for ruining the climate.
In Ireland this summer, cattle raisers staged picket lines at packing plants, to protest getting a price per head below their production costs. On September 15, a deal was struck with the government, to take steps for relief for the farmers. A Beef Market Task Force was to be set up. But nothing has happened. This week, hundreds of farmers came to Dublin from as far away as Counties Kerry and Cork to protest. They demanded to see Agriculture Minister Michael Creed.
U.S. Cattlemen Activate
In the United States, there are now hot policy discussions at meetings of cattlemen and other producers, as shown, for example, at the October 25-26 Kansas Cattlemen’s Association (KCA) Convention, and in the Omaha, Nebraska rally October 2, which brought out nearly 500 ranchers, feedlot operators and others in the cattle sector, from surrounding states. The name of the event was, “Rally to Stop the Stealin’.” It was hosted by the Organization for Competitive Marketing (OCM), a nonprofit group mobilizing for anti-trust relief in farm and industrial production. Day-long, non-stop presentations exposed the degree of agribusiness consolidation in the U.S. and worldwide. There were fiery demands for President Donald Trump to intervene. “All he has to do is sign an order!”
In October, a mass Twitter campaign was conducted (#FairCattleMarkets), initiated by the Western Ag Reporter, a weekly based in Billings, Montana. In a one-week period over 35,000 tweets went out delivering the message of unfair cattle markets. The Western Ag Reporter wrote on October 3, “President Trump may not have tweeted using #FairCattleMarkets himself, but it’s safe to say the movement is definitely on either his or [Agriculture] Secretary Perdue’s radar.”
Another notable initiative was the R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America) October 4 filing of a lawsuit in federal court to stop the move by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to mandate Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID), instead of continuing with existing animal ID practices. Within less than three weeks, the Trump Administration then stayed the RFID mandate.
The slogans and demands seen at these protests and related initiatives indicate the desperate conditions giving rise to such mobilizations. The saying, “No Farmers, No Food, No Future,” is now universal in Europe and North America. But the most forceful message shown by the farmers and ranchers taking to the streets is the morality to demand action—a powerful signal for others to get engaged as well. It is urgent for citizens to force action by governments to thwart the green fraud assault on nations, and to defend basic economic and scientific activity. Defeating the green attack also must include restoring a credit system to serve the public interest in furthering independent farming, manufacturing, infrastructure, social services and technological advancement. The Wall Street/City of London looting system is now at a dead end.
At the Kansas Cattlemen’s Association’s convention, one of the authors of this article—Marcia Merry Baker—was invited to participate, representing the Schiller Institute, to give a briefing on who is behind the green assault on farming and ranching. Her presentation was titled, “The Green New Fraud & Big Money’s Role in the Climate Change Phenomenon.” She presented a rogues’ gallery of such figures as Michael “the Moderate” Bloomberg, who wants to shut down all coal-fired electricity, Bank of England Governor Mark “Green Finance” Carney, Warren “Windmill” Buffett and others. She also addressed the darkest side of the green assault—those advocating genocide. She displayed EIR’s famous image of the World Wildlife Fund’s logo of the panda, shown eating a human arm—an image that hits home in farm country.
Robert Baker, EIR Agriculture writer, also briefed the convention, reporting, for example, on the huge Federal Reserve repo bail-out operation underway since mid-September, marking the imminent blow-out of the bankrupt system. Baker showed photographs of the European farmer tractorcades to the Kansas ranchers, not one of whom knew that these protests were happening, because of the black out by the Wall Street/City of London-serving media.
The tumult among farmers and cattlemen in the trans-Atlantic region is part of the same picture of mass demonstrations now taking place, from Chile, to Algeria, to Lebanon. It is a telling irony that the next big world Climate Summit, planned for Chile in December, had to be cancelled by the Chilean government, because of the peoples’ revolt. Spain will be the fallback host, December 2-13.
Green Fraud—Bullseye on Cattlemen
The story line of the global warming fraud—that people and their activities are overheating the planet by producing carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen and other gases that trap the Sun’s rays like a greenhouse, has as a top target, reducing or eliminating cattle, and beef-eating, along with cutting the human population. There is a bullseye on cattlemen. The argument is that cattle, with their four stomachs, emit too much methane into the atmosphere. Cattlemen like to respond that they are raising “vegan livestock,” for humans to eat.
The lying green assault on food production reached a new, institutional low this summer, with the release of the 1,300 page Special Report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) titled, “Climate Change and Land.” The document, not worth refuting, simply asserts that beef production is a menace. In Chapter 5, we find this ridiculous gem: “All estimates agree that cattle are the main source of global livestock emissions (65-77%). . . . Products like red meat remain the most inefficient in terms of emissions per kg of protein produced in comparison to milk, pork, eggs, and all crop products. . . .”
This IPCC salvo is just the latest academic cover for mandates that have already been initiated in recent years and months, against cattle production directly, or otherwise indirectly, by imposition of various green energy and related regulations on farming. In Germany, a plan is under active consideration to coerce livestock producers to give up their herds, and instead allow their pastureland to be covered with solar panels.
Secondly, the campaign for “green finance” involves setting terms for lending—in this case to ranchers, processors and other food chain links—to conform to insane green practices, in ways the bankers intend to control. The “green finance” campaign was launched by mega-bankers after the December 2015 COP24 Climate Summit in Paris, with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney (known as “Carnage” in the UK) in the lead. (The “Conference of the Parties” (COP) is the supreme decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change, which meets annually.)
The mega-bankers intend to get a cut from new, “green” investments, to infuse some cash into their otherwise expiring system. One of the first such so-called “green bonds” in the food sector, was a $500 million issue in August by Brazil/London-based Marfrig, the second largest beef processor in the world, whose terms can be expected to include whatever green limitations on cattlemen suppliers in Brazil, the United States or anywhere, that Marfrig, a commodities player for the City of London, chooses to impose.
Finally, there is the fake meat campaign, advocated in the name of saving the planet. The plant-based Impossible Burger, Beyond Beef, Meati Foods and other brands, are promoted by the Wall Street/City of London mega-food commodities concerns, including through fronts such as the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, whose board includes officials from the World Wildlife Fund, McDonalds, ODS, Ahold Delhaize (the globalist supermarket cartel) and others. The next phase in the works is petri-dish produced ersatz meat.
The green assault on livestock producers comes on top of already untenable conditions for producers to continue in operation. First, prices received by U.S. ranchers and farmers over the past five years have been below, or barely at, their costs of production. The total farm debt will hit a record high of $416 billion this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This debt level is more than 40 percent higher than it was in 2012.
Given their low returns, many farmers and ranchers are now being denied regular bank financing, and are turning to “shadow” finance outfits, private funding syndicates, that charge far higher interest rates, whose operations are now expanding in the Farm belt. Mediation services are working overtime, negotiating among farmers and ranchers and their creditors. The number of filings for farm bankruptcy went up 24 percent from September 2018 to September 2019, according to the latest figures from the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Contributing fundamentally to this crisis, is the extreme consolidation of packers, after years of non-enforcement of anti-trust laws. These cartels are the commodity wing of Wall Street/City of London. At present, just four firms—Tysons, Cargill, National Beef (Marfrig), and JBS—account for over 85 percent of all U.S. beef processed. The latter two companies are based in Brazil and London, and are the top two meat processors in the world. The idea of a “market” of buyers for your cattle is today a complete myth. The per-head profits on cattle made by these firms are significant, while the cattlemen and independent feedlot operators lose.
The number of cattle ranchers and feedlots has fallen drastically in recent years. Mike Callicrate, founder of the farm advocacy group, Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM), summed it up November 9, at the annual convention of the Northern Plains Resource Council:
Basically, the U.S. has lost nearly half its ranchers, over 90 percent of its hog farmers and 80 percent of its dairy farmers just in the last 35 years. Where in the world are people and the policy makers at, when we are losing our food system and today, are a net importer of food on a value basis?
Adding to this contraction are the beef import practices. Imported cattle and beef can be sold in the U.S. as “made in the U.S.A.” if they are merely “handled” in some way in the U.S. For example, if packaged beef comes in, and is simply re-wrapped, it is considered domestically produced. For a short time, this was not allowed, and Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) was in effect. But in February 2016, Congress overturned it, at the behest of the globalist beef packer cartel.
U.S. Cattlemen—Justice, Glass-Steagall
A number of U.S. farm and ranch leaders and organizations are in motion against this situation, as described above. For example, the R-CALF USA group, whose head office is in Billings, Montana, has initiated critical lawsuits in recent months, after finding that Congress is impervious to its constituents. R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard described the cattlemen as in the decisive battle right now, to retain independence, which has been lost so far over recent decades by chicken farmers and hog producers. In particular, Bullard stressed the necessity of restoring COOL. At the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association meeting in Rapid City on October 31, “Non-core issues may be compromised when the outcome does not harm your opportunity to remain profitable, but restoring mandatory COOL is not on that list.”
The Kansas Cattlemen’s Association, formed 21 years ago, maintains a high commitment to policy discussion. At its October 25-26 convention, in addition to presentations on herd nutrition, genetics, veterinary, marketing, and related topics, plus anti-corruption in the Beef Checkoff program, it took up strategic questions. They had a briefing from Kansas State University biologist Dr. Michael Chao, on the status of fake meat, titled, “Discovering Lab-Grown Meat.”
Robert Baker, after showing graphics to the KCA audience of the huge, Federal Reserve infusions into the daily interbank overnight “repo” loan market, presented the necessity for the “LaRouche Four Laws,” beginning with reinstating Glass-Steagall. What is needed urgently, is a back-up contingency to separate and protect commercial banking, from the speculative “everything bubble” now afloat solely due to Fed bailouts. Baker discussed the need for a national bank, plentiful credit, a huge infrastructure-building program, and funding for advanced R&D for space exploration and harnessing fusion energy.
The KCA has on record a resolution from its 2018 convention in support of Glass-Steagall. (KCA resolutions remain in effect for two years.) The resolution states:
Re-Enact Glass-Steagall Law for Sound Banking and Credit to Rebuild the Nation
Whereas, there is imminent danger of another financial blow-out, bigger than 2009, because nothing was done to fix the underlying dynamic of uncontrolled mega-bank speculation; our nation won’t survive more bail-outs and consolidation; and
Whereas, we need sound banking to extend credit to re-build infrastructure and productivity—modern rail systems, new water supplies, nuclear power, rural hospitals, upgraded waterways, etc. with millions of new jobs and a secure farm sector; and
Whereas, the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act worked for 66 years (until repealed in 1999), to keep useful community banking separate from speculative financial entities; therefore,
Be It Resolved, that the Kansas Cattlemen’s Association calls on the Kansas Congressional delegation and all of Congress, to re-enact the Glass-Steagall Act.
European Farmers—Parity Pricing
In Europe, the Schiller Institute is circulating a statement, “Defend the Common Good Against Green EU Dictatorship and Financial Cartels!” among the protest actions of farmers in Germany and other nations. The document opposes the new, restrictive production quotas, and the attempts to transform farmers into solar panel operators under climate hysteria pretexts. The statement presents a list of six demands that farmers from Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden and Spain jointly issued back in 1986.
Upfront in this declaration is the call for a parity price system. It is followed by calls for the EU to be part of an in-depth reorganization of the global financial system; for emergency intervention to help financially strained farms survive (income support, tax relief, etc.); protection of such farms against the greedy grab by banks and other creditors (a stay on foreclosures); for the elimination of excessive environmental regulations; and for a re-regulation of the farm sector in Germany and Europe to promote family farming instead of creating big agro-production complexes.
These planks, worked out in 1986, are still more than valid today, the Schiller Institute asserts, as shown by the fact that farmers throughout Germany and Europe are having to take to the streets in protest against the greenie pipe dreams of the Eurocrats, which endanger the food supply in Europe and worldwide.