Two arrested as farmers gather in The Hague to protest

Farmers on tractors on their way to protest in The Hague, 1 October 2019
Farmers on tractors on their way to protest in The Hague, 1 October 2019. (Photo: Rijkswaterstaat Verkeersinformatie/Twitter)

Hundreds of farmers are gathering in The Hague to protest on Tuesday. So far two farmers were arrested. One for driving his tractor through barricades set up by the police. The other for interfering in the first farmer's arrest, the police said on Twitter. The protest starts on the Malieveld at 1:00 p.m.

The municipality of The Hague initially only allowed 75 tractors on the Malieveld. But due to the enormous amount of farmers gathering, and the dangerous situations arising from protesters ignoring the barricades, the municipality thought it a "good idea" to facilitate the protesters as much as possible and guide them to the Malieveld, the municipality said on Twitter. The city therefore expanded the number of vehicles allowed. 

The demonstration is arranged by interest group Agractie. "In recent years, politicians, media and activists have sketched a negative image of farmers. We are not animal traffickers and environmental polluters; we are passionate about or business. The unreliability of the government and authorities is a reason for us to make a counter noise. The problems of the Netherlands do not belong on our plates", the interest group said on its website.

A few dozen farmers also gathered in Hilversum, at the NOS building in Media Park, to protest against the media's role in the negative image they believe surround them, according to NU.nl.

The farmers heading to The Hague on their tractors, combined with rainy weather and a few accidents, caused a record number of traffic jams during morning rush hour. According to travelers' association ANWB, at 8:35 a.m. there were 1,136 kilometers of traffic jams on Dutch roads with delays of 3,142 minutes. That is 647 kilometers of traffic jams more than is usual for a Tuesday morning. The association expects that evening rush hour will also be extremely busy. 

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