Protesting EU Farmers Spray Cops With ... Milk?

They're protesting low milk prices

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 27, 2012 9:32 AM CST

(Newser) – Thousands of enraged dairy farmers converged on the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday, and sprayed the building, and the cops who showed up to contain them, with their stock in trade: milk. The protesters arrived on tractors, blocked traffic along many of the city's main streets, then pulled out hoses and let thousands of liters of the white stuff fly, Reuters reports. They also set fire to a trailer full of hay, and hung a nondescript body in effigy.

The farmers are demanding a 25% bump in milk prices, which they say have become untenably low, the BBC reports; In Belgium, for instance, a liter sells for about $0.34 wholesale, but costs about $0.52 to produce. Part of the problem: the EU sets an annual quota of about 143 tons of milk, more than Europe can consume. "It's very simple: you can't live off milk anymore," one French farmer said. "If I go on, it's thanks to European aid."

Police officers, left, are sprayed with milk by European milk farmers during a demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels, Nov. 26, 2012.
Police officers, left, are sprayed with milk by European milk farmers during a demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels, Nov. 26, 2012.   (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
European milk farmers stand on a cherry picker as they spray milk onto the European Parliament building in Brussels, Nov. 26, 2012.
European milk farmers stand on a cherry picker as they spray milk onto the European Parliament building in Brussels, Nov. 26, 2012.   (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
Police officers, left, are sprayed with milk by European milk farmers during a demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels, Nov. 26, 2012.
Police officers, left, are sprayed with milk by European milk farmers during a demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels, Nov. 26, 2012.   (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
A trailer with hay burns during a European milk farmers demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012.
A trailer with hay burns during a European milk farmers demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012.   (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
Police officers, left, are sprayed with milk by European milk farmers during a demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels, Nov. 26, 2012.
Police officers, left, are sprayed with milk by European milk farmers during a demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels, Nov. 26, 2012.   (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
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