On Monday, the 27th of July, Dutch farmers conducted protests and blockades on major highways throughout the Netherlands, including the north: the A28 in Drenthe was blockaded by over sixty tractors.
The demonstrations are in protest of the Dutch cabinet’s plan to reduce nitrogen emissions across the Netherlands by up to 95 percent. Farmers throughout the country feel the plan is unfeasible, and potentially risks their livelihoods.
“We ask the commissioner and the council to distance themselves from the nitrogen plans of The Hague,” said spokesperson Eddie van Marum on behalf of the protest groups from the province of Groningen, reports the Dagblad van het Noorden. The commissioner in question is John Hamster, regional deputy of agriculture: he is also the government representative in charge of implementing the cabinet’s new nitrogen plans in the province of Groningen.
In addition to their demonstrations outside the provincial government building, the protesters also delivered a letter requesting the province distance itself from the cabinet’s nitrogen demands to Hamster, according to the Dagblad.
The A28 in the province of Drenthe was once again blockaded on Tuesday by the protestors, reports the Royal Dutch Touring Club (ANWB), on Twitter. While the section of the highway near Meppel has reportedly been cleared of tractors, the area near Zwolle remains blockaded as of 16:00. On the A32 highway between Meppel and Friesland, tractors are on the move, with traffic following slowly behind.
As reported in our original coverage of the protests on the 27th of July, representatives from the Farmers Defence Force (FDF), a farmer’s coalition partly responsible for the protests, state that the demonstrations will continue until the government revises its new nitrogen plans.
Looking for more information on the protests? Check out our coverage on a farmer-led demonstration on the Grote Markt in the city centre of Groningen on the 16th of June.