The Dutch Farmers in the Netherlands converged on Zuiderpark in The Hague on Saturday to protest against the Dutch government's nitrogen emissions policies. Thousands attended the event, and several high-profile politicians and commentators spoke on stage to express support for the farmers.
There was a high police presence at the event. The Dutch authorities had also mobilised the military, fearing an escalation and potential violent clashes. Jan van Zanen, the mayor of The Hague, had put out a statement last week stating that only 25,000 were allowed to attend the event. Throughout the day, police attempted to stop tractors and busloads of protesters from travelling to The Hague from around the country.
The Dutch government is pushing ahead with radical nitrogen emissions policies, which Dutch farmer say will damage their industry. Despite widespread protests last year and several months of back and forth between the farmers and the Dutch government, a mutual agreement on tackling nitrogen emissions hasn’t been reached. The government has refused to backdown on nitrogen emissions targets and enforcement of new policies, which has prompted the farmers to resume protests.
It is estimated that the proposed policies would force more than 11,000 farms to close and force 17,000 farmer to dramatically reduce their livestock farming.
Critics of the Dutch government fear that these policies could irreversibly damage the Dutch farming industry, and have negative indirect effects on the global food supply chains.