The Hague, the seat of the Dutch government, has declared a state of emergency to prevent farmers from driving their tractors into the city to protest the government’s mandatory fertilizer reduction targets.
The organizers of Thursday’s protest, the Farmers Defense Force (FDF), have said the state of emergency is a way to quash their democratic rights and freedom of assembly.
They have also accused the Dutch government and the EU of imposing rules that would destroy their livelihoods.
Rutte is forcing farmers to reduce nitrogen use
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is forcing farmers to reduce their emissions of nitrogen and ammonia by 50% within the next seven years, in order to comply with EU regulations. The government has also concocted a farm buyout scheme, where approximately 3,000 farms will be forcibly taken over by the state.
The FDF had initially planned to stage a massive demonstration in front of parliament, where the fertilizer emission cap was being debated. However, local authorities issued an emergency order to prevent the protests.
This is dictatorship
“Demonstrators are being sent away by the police at the 2nd Chamber building. Otherwise violence will be used. These demonstrators are not farmers with tractors, but they are still being sent away. This is dictatorship. Right to protest is a fundamental right!” Twitter user Kees posted in Dutch.
The FDF was forced to reorganize the protest in Malieveld, a large field near the city centre, where they were met with a heavy police presence.
Police have since arrested seven people.
“The demonstration at Malieveld in DenHaag is in full swing. We have now arrested 7 people, including for non-compliance with demand and assault. Two officers suffered minor injuries during an arrest,” the Hague police force Twitter account posted.
Despite the order, dozens of tractors were seen driving towards the Hague on Thursday, according to social media reports.
Police have been diverting tractors along the highway to prevent them from reaching the city.
Farmers are committing suicide
As previously reported by The Counter Signal, Dutch farmers are committing suicide at a disproportionately high rate amid the government-enforced land buyouts and the EU’s radical green agenda.