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Protesting in Brussels? Throw milk at the government

Posting in Environment

Thinking of protests, kettling, bottle and coke-can missiles, the occasional building on fire and riot police come to mind.

In Brussels, there is a new weapon of choice -- milk.

Screenshot/ BBC footage

The BBC's Anna Holligan recently visited Brussels, where hordes of angry farmers, dismayed at current dairy prices, took to the streets in protest.

The BBC reports that milk is currently being sold for less than it costs to produce, which effectively means dairy farms in the region are running on a loss. To bring the issue to international attention, thousands of dairy farmers and accompanying tractors descended on the Belgian capital this week -- spraying police and buildings -- including the European parliament -- with hoses full of milk.

Protester Julien Husquet said:

"Politics are really killing us. It has to change very quickly at the European level. When Europe is without food, we will see how we will survive. But the way it is going, we're going to be in trouble."

The protesters are not looking for subsidies or grants, but simply want consumers to be charged a price which would result in profit for the dairy farms. The European Milk Board (EMB) says that small dairy farmers are being forced out of business, and the wholesale price of milk is 34 cents, but costs roughly 50 cents to produce.

View footage of the milk protest here.

Image credit: Screenshot/BBC

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— By on November 27, 2012, 9:38 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure