Farmers serve brunch on A'dam Dam Square to protest nitrogen measures

Farmers and tractors on Dam Square in Amsterdam, 13 December 2019
Farmers and tractors on Dam Square in Amsterdam, 13 December 2019NL TimesNL Times

Farmers with 28 tractors gathered on Dam Square and Rokin in Amsterdam on Friday to protest against the government's nitrogen policy. They brought food with them for brunch and invited Amsterdam residents to come eat with them, specifically, Dutch-made food "with a low environmental impact."

"Farmer and citizen can talk to each other or enjoy a tasty egg or a hamburger sandwich", action group Argactie said on its website. "We want to use this day to find a connection between farmer and citizen." The protest action will officially last from noon until 4:00 p.m. 

The farmers arrived in the Dutch capital on their tractors at around 6:00 a.m., according to AT5. A total of 28 tractors were parked on Dam Square and Rokin, three more than the 25 agreed with mayor Femke Halsema.

A noisier spectacle was expected at the Farmers Defense Force protest scheduled in Den Bosch on Friday afternoon. Another national protest is expected on December 18.

The farmers feel that they are being hit too hard by new measures to reduce nitrogen emissions. The Dutch government had to scramble to cut nitrogen emissions wherever possible after the Council of State declared the Nitrogen Approach Program invalid earlier this year.

The Nitrogen Approach Program allowed the government to compensate for nitrogen emissions caused by construction projects at a later date. Without the program, nitrogen emissions must first be reduced before new projects can cause more emissions. This ruling brought hundreds of construction projects to a halt. 

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