Two arrested at farmers protest in The Hague
Dozens of farmers gathered in The Hague with their tractors on Tuesday to protest against the government's nitrogen policy and the Environmental Act. A few dozen parked their tractors on the Malieveld, against the agreement with the municipality, the police said. Two people were arrested at the protest, though what they are suspected of is not yet clear, NU.nl reports.
The municipality of The Hague gave the farmers permission to park their agricultural vehicles on Koekamp, next to the Malieveld and Den Haag Central Station. But not on the Malieveld itself, because it was damaged by two large farmers' protests last year. The local police said on Twitter that Farmers Defense Force (FDF), the action group that organized this protest, will address the farmers on the Malieveld and instruct them to move.
According to NU.nl, FDF is protesting today against the new Environmental Act, even though it was already passed two years ago. With this law, the cabinet wants to merge the current regulations on spatial planning, living environment, construction, nature, environment and water, with the idea that fewer permits will be required. The intention is that the law will take effect in 2022.
FDF fears that farmers' permits will expire in the future due to the Environmental Act. Though this fear is not shared by agricultural organization LTO Nederland, which stated that the existing laws and permits will not change under the Environmental Act and will still apply after it is introduced.
In addition to the Environmental Act, the FDF is also protesting against the government's plans to cut nitrogen emissions, and the government's new purchase scheme.
Unlike with previous farmers' protests, today's stream of tractors towards The Hague did not cause major problems on the highways. There was an incident in which farmers tried to drive past a police blockade, to enter The Hague city center against the agreements with the municipality. The police stopped the farmers at Willem Witsplein and directed them towards Koekamp.
Later on Tuesday, the farmers plan to take a tractor parade past Huis ten Bosch Palace, in an attempt to raise their concerns to the King's attention. According to FDF, they received permission to do so from the municipality and the police. Though the authorities previously denied them permission to protest in front of the palace. After the tractor parade, the activists will go to the central office for food trade CBL in Leidschendam.