The Hague preparing to receive thousands on Budget Day with protests on the highway
Thousands of people will travel to the center of The Hague on Tuesday to catch a glimpse of Budget Day. King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, the princesses Amalia and Alexia, and others will travel from the Noordeinde Palace to the Royal Theater for the King’s speech and then back the same way. It is one of the busiest days of the year in The Hague. The first people were already lining up at Noordeinde Palace early on Tuesday morning.
The city has taken many precautions because of the dignitaries and spectators. Streets between the palace and the theater are closed. Access roads are cordoned off with concrete blocks. As a precaution this year, there will be double rows of fences between the public and the route taken by the Glass Carriage.
A few hundred meters from the route, supporters of Extinction Rebellion have been blocking the A12 highway every day for a week and a half. They also plan to do it on Tuesday. These blockades follow a more or less fixed pattern: the activists walk onto the highway, traffic stops, the police issue warnings, sometimes they use water canons, and after a while, they start removing the activists. The police take them by bus to the edge of the city, where they are released. After a time, the blockade is over, and traffic can travel on the highway again. Many police officers are deployed there.
No other demonstrations have been registered in the municipality of The Hague. Organizations must formally notify the city of their protest at least 96 hours in advance. If people still come to demonstrate, the municipality could give them space to do so. Five demonstrations were registered for Budget Day last year. Opponents of the monarchy stood at the temporary building of the Tweede Kamer, for example. This year, the Republic Organization (formerly the Republican Society) will not take action on Budget Day. The organization says it has been busy with “other matters” recently.
Reporting by ANP