Protestors pretending to be a funeral procession demonstrated on Thursday evening in Pieterzijl.
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate was holding a town hall event at De Wending village hall, which had drawn quite a crowd. The protestors, dressed in black, carried a coffin draped in the Groninger flag while church bells tolled in town.
The protest was against the recently announced plans for fracking operations near Pieterzijl, and the funereal imagery was chosen to convey the death of the trust of the local residents in the government.
Ankie Voerman, member of animal rights political party Partij voor de Dieren, said that the residents of the north were hopeful last week when economics minister Eric Wiebes announced that gas extraction would be brought to an end in Groinngen. But when they found out the next day that the ministry had voted in favour of moving forward with gas extraction in the Pieterzilj-Oost field, that glimmer of hope was gone.
Some residents who attended the event and oppose fracking themselves found the protestor’s morbid theme inappropriate. Residents at the town hall event expressed concerns about beginning gas extraction operations 100 meters away from a current NAM/Gasunie gas storage facility in Grijpskerk.