Farmers block A35 highway for barbecue; Pro-farmer MP threatened
Farmers used tractors to block the A35 and A1 highways around the Azelo junction in both directions on Thursday afternoon. The hard shoulder is clear but not used to pass the blockade. The police asked the farmers to let trapped traffic between Rijssen and Azelo pass, and the protesters responded to this. They are barbecuing on the road and say they’ll be relieved by a new crew of protesters around 5:00 p.m. BBB leader Caroline van der Plas announced that she is canceling her media appearances because she is being threatened.
According to the ANWB, delays around the Azelo junction and nearby Buren are increasing. The surrounding roads are also increasingly crowded. According to an ANP photographer at the scene, the police are present but not acting against the protesters for the time being.
A police spokesperson said they are monitoring the situation on the roads. “If necessary, action will be taken in coordination with the municipality.” the spokesperson could not say whether that will happen with the blockade at Almelo.
This is the latest in farmers’ blocking the highways in protest against the government’s nitrogen plans. On Wednesday, protesters dumped waste, soil, and fertilizer on various roads. Some of the waste contained asbestos. Prime Minister Mark Rutte denounced the protests. Security regions, the Rijkswaterstaat, and the police asked farmers to stop the unsafe actions.
Caroline van der Plas will not appear in the media or attend her scheduled working visits in the coming period, she said on Thursday. “I don’t feel safe right now.” She said she receives several threats per week.
“The anti-farmer lobby or the anti-BBB lobby is running at full speed. The hate messages are increasing rapidly, and the threats are now also coming in,” said Van der Plas. “Apparently, BBB is getting too big in the polls, and people think they can pour hate on you.”
Reporting by ANP and NL Times