Organizer says Dutch govt is 'blocking' farmers' major protest

'More and more they take our civil rights, like today, they are blocking our protest in all kinds of ways with bureaucracy,' says Mark van den Oever, the organizer behind a farmers protest set for this Saturday in the Netherlands.

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The Dutch government is pushing ahead with its radical nitrogen emissions policies, which Dutch farmers say will damage their industry.

Despite widespread protest last year, which we here at Rebel News brought you through, and several months of back and forth negotiations between the farmers and Dutch government, a mutual agreement on tackling nitrogen emissions hasn't been found.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte's government has refused to backdown on nitrogen emissions targets, and this has prompted the farmers to come on protesting again.

Proposed policies are estimated to force more than 11,000 farms to close and 17,000 farmers to dramatically reduce their livestock farming.

Critics of the Dutch government fear these policies will irreversibly damage the Dutch farming industry, and will have negative knock-on effects for global food supply chains.

We travelled to The Hague, Netherlands to cover the farmers' upcoming protest this weekend, where huge crowds are expected to turn out and had a speak to the organizer, Farmers Defence Force chairman Mark van den Oever.

Van den Oever says the Dutch government has been pushing these policies for 12 years, and that “more and more they take our civil rights, like today. They are blocking our protest in all kinds of ways, with bureaucracy,” he says. “That's the main problem here in Holland. They're taking our civil rights, especially farmers.”

“They want to close down a lot of farms, and we are against it of course,” the organizer tells Rebel News

We also asked whether Rutte's government had budged at all since our team was in the Netherlands last year.

“No, not at all,” van den Oever says. “Actually, they are doing more strict regulations on farms and three weeks ago they took 62,000 hectares (620 square kilometres, about 240 square miles) of our land that we cannot use anymore because of nitrate regulations.”

With tractors set to shut down a portion of the city as part of their protest, the Farmers Defence Force leader says the government is afraid this huge protest will have an influence on public opinion.

“They want to block our protest because they think this huge protest will have a major influence on the public opinion, and that's why they try to block us in every way,” he explains, adding that the government is down in the polls and the farmers side only needs four seats to “block all this ridiculous regulation, that's our goal.”

Rebel News will be on the scene Saturday, covering the farmers as they protest once again. You can follow along with our coverage and support our work at

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