What’s up with all those tractors?
If you’ve been in the city this week, you’ve probably seen them: rows of tractors blocking the streets and riding through the city accompanied by police cars. However, not all of them are as innocent, with some violently riding over fences and breaking into municipality buildings. These tractors are part of a national ‘peaceful’ protest started by farmers from all over The Netherlands. But why are the farmers protesting?
Currently, The Netherlands emits too much nitrogen, mainly through agriculture. So last month, a politician suggested halving the Dutch livestock to reduce the nitrogen emission of livestock. This plan did not fall well with the Dutch farmers, however.
They are angry. Most of them do not want the government to buy their livestock or their farms, as they have invested all of their savings in them. If they were to sell their property, they would either have to find another job or retire. Most of them do not have the money for that. They are also fed up with their image of being the “bad guys” in this environmental crisis, despite doing their best to become more sustainable. Therefore, they would like some understanding and appreciation of others.
It's unlikely the suggested policy will change. It remains to be seen if that will keep the farmers from waking us up and hindering our commutes.
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