NETHERLANDS (dw.com report) – Dutch farmers caused hundreds of miles of traffic jams with their tractors as they protested restrictions aimed at reducing emissions from farms.
Thousands of farmers in the Netherlands staged a national protest on Tuesday, in support of their industry.
At least two thousand farmers took to Dutch highways and roads on their tractors, in a slow procession toward the country’s capital, The Hague. Some drove their tractors along the North Sea beaches that lead to the city.
The demonstration caused major traffic chaos.
The Dutch motorists association ANWB said the tractors, along with bad weather and accidents, made Tuesday the busiest ever morning on the nation’s roads, resulting in more than 620 miles of traffic jams.
The Hague police said two farmers were detained, one who drove over a fence with his tractor and another who tried to stop police from detaining the first offender.
Farmers say their industry is being unfairly singled out for nitrogen emissions that pollute the environment.
They also sought to counter the “negative image” farming and farmers have in the Netherlands.
“We are not animal abusers and environment polluters. We have a heart for our businesses,” organizers wrote on one of the protests’ websites.
The role of farming and sustainability has recently become a hot topic in Dutch politics.
“This is about our families, our future, the future of our children. It’s about our way of life,” sheep farmer and one of the protest’s organizers Bart Kemp told the crowd gathered in The Hague.
Kemp said lawmakers lacked “the common sense — farmer’s sense — that nature and animals teach us” and called for a “new era in which the food producers of the Netherlands are listened to” by politicians.
Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten said she supported farmers and pledged to listen to their concerns.
“We are working for a strong agricultural sector with an eye on a healthy environment,” Schouten told the farmers.
According to LTO, the Dutch farmers’ organization, the Netherlands has nearly 54,000 farms. Agriculture exports were worth some 90.3 billion euros ($98.3 billion) last year.
Note: While Climate Change hysteria may make fun dinner conversation, once you take the next steps, cross the line and go after people’s livelihoods, things will start to get real.