Farmers Rise Up in Protest of Climate Tyranny, Block Highways with Their Tractors

Farmers in the Netherlands are rising up against climate tyranny by blocking major highways with their tractors in some of the largest protests the nation has seen.

Dutch farmers conducted several demonstrations this week, causing widespread chaos.

They are protesting against the country’s radical plans to slash nitrogen and ammonia emissions.

On Monday, farmers in their tractors blocked highways in multiple parts of the country and set fires near the town halls of Apeldoorn and Epe in Central Netherlands, The Associated Press reported.

Near the nation’s capital Liessel — 93 miles from Amsterdam — a truck dumped large plastic-wrapped bales of hay on a stretch of highway.

According to The AP, Dutch authorities warned motorists of roadblocks as tens of thousands of farmers from all over the country congregated in Central Netherlands to protest the emission policies.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that farmers brought cows to the Dutch House of Representatives building at The Hague.

The farmers threatened to slaughter their livestock if the Dutch government adopted the nitrogen emissions cutback plan.

“If the nitrogen measures are adopted, one of these two ladies will not go home, but will receive a one-way ticket to the slaughterhouse,” Dutch farmer Koos Cromwijk told local news agency ANP, according to Bloomberg.

Later that day, some farmers clashed with police officers outside the home of Cabinet Minister Christianne van der Wal, who oversaw the Netherlands’ anti-pollution reforms.

According to the Washington Post, protesters smeared a nearby street with manure.

“You can demonstrate, but in a civilized way,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at a Wednesday news conference in the backdrop of the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid.

“So don’t block highways, don’t set off fireworks outside a minister’s house and spread manure and … scare two children, and endanger families,” Rutte said, according to the Post.

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The protests continued through Wednesday and Thursday, the U.K’s Daily Express reported.

Some protesters blocked the Dutch-German border, preventing the movement of people and goods until politicians addressed their concerns.

In response to the protests, the Dutch cabinet has considered measures to outlaw demonstrations near the homes of politicians, ANP reported, according to local outlet NL Times.

The protests arose after lawmakers in the Netherlands ordered reductions in nitrogen oxides and ammonia by up to 70 percent in areas near protected nature regions, The Associated Press reported.

According to the wire service, the restrictions went up to 95 percent in some areas.

The decision came after courts in the country blocked permits for infrastructure and housing projects in recent years, citing the government’s failure to reach its emission targets.

To achieve those emissions reduction goals, the government assigned $25.6 billion to fund agricultural reforms intended to force farmers to cut down the number of livestock they hold or get rid of all their animals, The Associated Press reported.

The Netherlands is one of the world’s largest agricultural producers, exporting 65 billion Euros ($67.7 billion) worth of vegetables, fruit, flowers, meat, and dairy products each year, according to a government website.

According to the Express, the Dutch government claims that its crackdown on farmers’ livelihoods amid a global food shortage is an “unavoidable transition” to improve air, land, and water quality.

“The honest message is that not all farmers can continue their business,” the government said, the Express reported.

“We cannot invest,” 23-year-old dairy farmer Marijn van Heun told Euronews.

“Our fathers, our uncles, cannot invest in the future.

“And so as young farmers we also have no prospect of … taking over a farm.”

“Now the agricultural sector is dismissed as a major polluter and that is not right,” dairy farmer Jaap Zegwaard said, according to Euronews.

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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