Thursday 2 June: The Hague sources confirm to the NRC that the government wants to implement far-reaching nitrogen reductions. In some parts of the country, emissions must be reduced by 70 to 80 percent. The leaked information leads to unrest among farmers, because the reduction of nitrogen cannot be achieved without a contraction of the sector.
Friday June 10: The cabinet confirms the previously leaked plans. That same evening, dozens of farmers from the Voll Gass action group gathered in front of the home of Minister Van der Wal (Nitrogen and Nature). They hand her a self-made resignation letter. Politics The Hague reacts displeased to the actions in the private environment of the minister.
Wednesday 22 June: Tens of thousands of farmers gather in Stroe for the largest farmers’ protest ever. Although tractors are not allowed on the highway, there are still large traffic jams. Due to the large crowds, the municipality calls on you not to come to the site anymore. A number of ministers cannot attend the protest because of threats.
Monday 27 June: Again there are chaotic scenes on the highway. Unannounced, farmers block several roads, with their tractors and straw bales. The farmers’ action group Agractie makes a final appeal to Minister Van der Wal: “Do not let a peaceful action escalate into a farmers’ revolt,” says foreman Bart Kemp in a video.
Tuesday 28 June: Actions by protesting farmers are still taking place, but the protest seems to have hardened. Straw bales are set on fire along the road and in front of town halls. In addition, rioting farmers break through the police blockade in front of the minister’s house. They also vandalize a police car and empty a slurry tank in front of the house.
Wednesday 29 June: The farmers’ protests on the highways continue. An emergency ordinance has been instituted at the minister’s house. In various places, farmers go to the provincial government and ask deputies to sign a statement of support. Police made several arrests throughout the day. The king also responds to the protests: “Violence and intimidation simply cannot be the solution to the problem,” King Willem-Alexander told the press.
Trouw makes a tour of various provinces. This shows that most do not intend to radically change their existing nitrogen approach. In some regions, the response to the government’s goals is even downright disapproving.
Thursday 30 June: There is an emergency debate about the farmers’ protests in the House of Representatives. Late at night, farmers block a distribution center in Raalte for the first time.
Friday July 1: As of today, farmers are required to have a number plate on their tractor. This rule makes it easier for the police to enforce against blockades. Nevertheless, the police emphasize that it is difficult for officers to act against such heavy equipment.
Sunday July 3: This weekend the farmers are announcing a mega-protest. From Monday, ‘all of the Netherlands would be shut down’. Concrete plans are lacking, but organizations and companies are bracing themselves for traffic chaos. Schiphol and KLM advise travelers to come by train.
The cabinet announces Johan Remkes as mediator. That decision led to a lot of criticism in the days that followed. Farmers’ organizations indicate that they do not want to talk to Remkes.
Monday July 4: Farmers block about twenty distribution centers in different parts of the country. The consequences of the blockages are immediately noticeable, in some stores shelves with fresh products remain empty. The Central Food Bureau therefore calls on protesting farmers to stop the blockades immediately. Some municipalities are introducing an emergency ordinance to lift the blockades.
Tuesday 5 July: Farmers in various parts of the country are still blocking distribution centers. In the evening, the police fire a warning shot at a tractor and three suspects are arrested.
Wednesday 6 July: It is now known that 16-year-old Jouke was the driver of the tractor that was shot at by the police. Several demonstrators gather in front of the police station in Leeuwarden to demand his release. The arrest also sparked a stir on social media. At the end of the afternoon, the police announce that Jouke and the two other suspects are no longer being held.
In addition, the ban on demonstrating with tractors applies from today. Yet dozens of angry farmers drove their tractors to Dam Square in Amsterdam and the media park in Hilversum.
Thursday 7 July: The police announced today that the case against Jouke will be completely dropped. Various actions are still taking place throughout the country.
Thursday 14 July: The country has been restless in recent days. This Thursday, a hundred farmers will gather at Ter Apel. The activists feel ‘no longer welcome’ in the Netherlands.
Friday 15 July: The Dutch protests are also attracting international attention. A video appears on social media announcing a worldwide protest on July 23, allegedly to support farmers in the Netherlands.
Saturday July 23: Although it seems to be getting quieter in the Netherlands, about 1000 people demonstrate on Dam Square in Amsterdam on Saturday, among other things to show support for the farmers. However, the action was not initiated by farmers’ organisations. It is the action group Netherlands in Resistance, also known for protests against the corona measures, that organizes the protest.
Sunday 24 July: In a video, former President Donald Trump openly stands up for Dutch farmers. In the video, the president denies climate change and states that Dutch farmers are fighting a government that wants to take half of their livestock.
Wednesday 27 July: On Wednesday there are again actions on the highways. There, farmers dump waste, including materials containing asbestos, causing accidents. They also set fire to straw bales and spread manure on the roads. Prime Minister Rutte finds the highway actions unacceptable. You can read an overview of the most recent events here.
Prime Minister Rutte: highway actions unacceptable; Van der Plas not in the media for a while due to threats
Due to new actions on and around the A7 in Groningen, Friesland and North Holland, several roads were closed on Thursday morning. Prime Minister Mark Rutte has now responded: ‘this is beyond all limits’.