The farmers, who are not happy with the current government’s policy regarding the environment, and are also unhappy with the way they are portrayed in society, have split into two groups
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported in the Friesch Dagblad, the Frisian delegation of protesting farmers went to The Hague on the first of October under the flag ‘Agractie’, but have now decided to represent themselves under the title the ‘Farmers Defence Force (FDF)’. Under the new name, the FDF will again travel to The Hague on Wednesday, 16 October to protest again.
This is according to Jitty van der Werf, named by the Friesch Dagblad as the leader of the Frisian protest. Van der Werf: “I have made the choice for Friesland to have a reliable partner. I have myself been at the meeting of the FDF and they are relaxed people, who approach the problems with agrarian wisdom.” In the still-active Frisian WhatsApp group from the 1 October protest, the move has been met with strong support, according to Van der Werf, who is a dairy farmer by trade and lives in Hitzum, close to Franeker in Friesland.
The FDF, set up following a protest-occupation of a pigsty in Boxtel (Noord-Brabant) in the middle of May, is more pro-active than Agractie, which has said that it will protest again in four weeks, if Minister Schouten does not adequately respond to their previous protest and demands. Since the last protest there has been a large amount of fundraising activity, with 120,000 Euros raised: the fundraising drives have involved no tractors, but significant public interest, according to Agractie.
Van der Werf himself questions the accountability of Agractie’s finances. Wednesday, though, is what matters to him: “sleeping-bags, cabins, and significantly more tractors are participating. It will be big, bigger than the protest on 1 October. I think that we are going to double the number of tractors that join in. That’s what I have seen in our app-group here in Friesland.”
Image: A tractor in Holwerd, via Wiki user Gouwenaar