Farmers' protests: Some 15 arrested at distribution blockades, 200 fined on highways
The police arrested six people in Zwolle when ending a protest blockade at an Albert Heijn distribution center. Another seven people were arrested at distribution center blockades in Friesland. Cops also handed out about 200 fines at farmers’ protests across the country on Monday, mainly to people driving their tractors on the highway, said police commander Wilem Woelders on Op1.
According to Woelders, protesting farmers blocked access to about 15 distribution centers of supermarkets and several highways across the country. The police chief said there were no significant problems. “There have been no major disturbances,” he said in a separate statement. “It did get restless in some places.”
In Zwolle, the riot police took action when the about 200 people at the distribution center on Galvainweg ignored multiple requests to leave. Protesters threw bottles and officers and damaged a police shovel. The municipality had imposed an emergency ordinance for the area late on Monday evening.
In addition to farmers, fishers and truck drivers also took part in the actions, said Woelders. According to him, this mainly concerned quick actions and blockades of distribution centers. Some blockades went on through the night, including in Raalte, Nijkerk, and Deventer. Riot police broke up blockades in Heerenveen and Sneek. They arrested four people in Sneek and three in Heerenveen.
On the highways, farmers created blockades on or near the A1, A73, A67, A6, and A28, causing traffic delays. In some cases, the road was closed completely. Farmers on tractors also went to the Media Park in Hilversum and a waste company in Hengelo. They also caused traffic on provincial roads. The police fined 20 people on the N640 near Etten-Leur for driving agricultural vehicles against the rules. In Harlingen, IJmuiden, Den Helder, and Lauwersoog, fishers blocked the harbors for some time.
Verkeer op de #A67 blijft last houden van de actievoerders. Bij Helden zijn de toeritten nog afgesloten. Bij Venlo moeten weggebruikers richting de grens over de vluchtstrook. Ook de #A1 richting Duitsland is bij Hengelo dicht. https://t.co/kylIa92To1 pic.twitter.com/jHmUM53U5o— Rijkswaterstaat Verkeersinformatie (@RWSverkeersinfo) July 4, 2022
The police also intervened in blockades in Woerden, Nieuwegein, and Almere, among others, “because of the risks to public order and road safety.” In Utrecht, dozens of farmers gathered at a distribution center that supplies care institutions. The activist complied with the police urging them to leave.
According to Woelders, the police quickly arrived at the blockades. “The national association of distribution centers gave the impression that the police would not act. But that’s not the case. The local authorities direct us, and that happened here and there.” In most places, “reasonable communication” was possible with the activists,” the police chief said.
More farmers’ protests may happen on Tuesday. “As a crisis organization, we remain ready,” said Woelders. “The units make their own picture of the coming days based on the available information. To respond quickly to actions if necessary. We will continue to monitor this at a national level.”
Reporting by ANP and NL Times