A12 highway closed as carnival trucks try to reach The Hague to protest
Droves of carnival vehicles heading towards The Hague to protest caused a number of problems around the political capital of the Netherlands on Thursday. The police closed down part of the A12 highway to prevent any more carnival trucks entering the city at about 10:45 a.m. Tactical police units were on hand to intervene if necessary, AD reports.
Carnival operators are protesting for the carnival season to be saved. The coronavirus crisis, and related ban on events and crowds, left many businesses in the carnival sector in trouble. Taking inspiration from previous protests by farmers and construction workers, they decided to drive their trucks onto the Malieveld in The Hague for their protest.
The municipality of The Hague initially only wanted to allow 10 carnival vehicles on the Malieveld, but relented and allowed more during the course of Thursday afternoon, according to the newspaper. The vehicles first had to report to the ADO Den Haag stadium, from where the police guided them to a spot on the Malieveld. But when the police said on Twitter that the Malieveld, and the route towards it, was completely full, carnival operators kept coming.
The police therefore closed down the A12 exit towards Malieveld. Demonstrators stuck there left their vehicles and gathered on the highway. "A number of carnival operators refused to keep to the agreements made," the police said. "Our colleagues made several requests for them to leave, which were not heeded." The riot police were therefore called in to escort them off the highway.
The situation on the A12 caused traffic problems in both directions of the highway, according to travel association ANWB. The highway lanes were reopened at about 2:30 p.m.
Kermis voertuigen omzomen het Malieveld. Meer dan de 10 die burgemeester Remkes toe staat maar de sfeer is rustig, ingrijpen lijkt niet nodig. Wel zou de N44 helemaal vast staan met voertuigen die nog naar Den Haag willen. #kermis pic.twitter.com/sHnytIV12E— Maaike Kraaijeveld (@KraaijeveldM) June 11, 2020