Claudio Bresciani/TT
A farmer protestor at Mynttorget in Stockholm Friday. Credit: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Farmers stage highway tractor protest

"The countryside is bigger than the biggest towns"
2:53 min

Around midday on Good Friday a large line of tractors slowed some motorists down on highway E4 as protesting farmers sought to raise awareness of food production and conditions in Sweden's rural areas.

Fredrik Nordin from Landsbygdsupproret (the "rural rebellion") told Radio Sweden that around 50 tractors drove from Örnsköldsvik to Sundsvall en route to a demonstration at a market there. The tractor drivers were trying to keep to the right side of the road to let traffic pass, he said. During their parade he had only seen signs of support.

"They put their thumbs up," he said. "Very happy people only."

Demonstrations are being held in other parts of the country as well. Last year farmers had held a similar demonstration, according to daily tabloid Expressen. This year a police official from Västernorrland toldExpressen the farmers had received a permit for the demonstration.

Nordin said he wants to raise awareness of food production and conditions in the Swedish rural countryside.

"We have to get a handle on rural areas and the urbanization that is happening," he said to Expressen. "Soon there will be no farmers left and we have to be able to live on something. It doesn't work that we import as much food as we do today."

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