Army supporting Den Haag against tractor invasion

Heavy vehicles used to secure intersections leading to The Hague city center and Binnenhof during a farmers protest on 1 October 2019
Heavy vehicles used to secure intersections leading to The Hague city center and Binnenhof during a farmers protest on 1 October 2019. (Photo: NL Times)

The Ministry of Defense is supporting the police and the municipality of The Hague on Wednesday in cordoning off the city center, including the Binnenhof, to large vehicles. Hundreds of farmers are expected to go to the city today to protest against nitrogen measures. 

The farmers wanted to protest on the Binnenhof, but protests are never allowed on the square that contains the government buildings and parliament. The organizers agreed to move their protest to Koekamp, next to the Malieveld and close to Den Haag Central Station, according to NOS. But whether they will stick to this agreement, remains to be seen.

On Wednesday morning, the police in The Hague already pulled over 15 farmers who threatened to drive their tractors onto the Binnenhof, the police said on Twitter. "The farmers pulled over on Utrechtsebaan have responded to the orders of the police and are being led to the gathering locations for the farmers protest", the police said.

At important points in the city, the Armed Forces placed heavy vehicles to block access to the city center to large vehicles. The city asked Defense for aid because private parties were unable to provide the municipality with trucks on time, a spokesperson for the municipality said to NOS. 

Like on October 1st, when the farmers held their first national protest in The Hague, Wednesday's protest is already causing major traffic problems, especially in the Utrecht region. The farmers protest is starting in De Bilt, against public health and environment institute RIVM. The farmers do not trust the institute's measurements methods used to determine nitrogen levels in the Netherlands. They planned to protest at the RIVM head office, but the protest was moved to a sports park in De Bilt for safety reasons.

The bulk of the protesting farmers are expected to move towards The Hague around midday, according to NU.nl.

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