Thread about the recent farmer protests in the NL

Twitter thread by Detgrim
@detgrim
via @threadreaderapp

Oct 17th 2019, 40 tweets, 14 min read Bookmark Save as PDF My Authors Thread about the recent farmer protests in the NL

>Parliament flooded with tractors
>Doors rammed
>Army deployed
>Angry politicians

This has had little to no traction outside the Dutch sphere, so Ive decided to make an English thread detailing the events on the 3 major protests

DAY 1 – OCTOBER 1

This day had been in the books of farmers for a while, but little attention was paid to it by the media. Most normies, including me, didn’t know a large scale protest was coming until a morning traffic record was already broken.

Tractors on all highways.
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DAY 1

People woke up greeted with over 1200km of traffic
The average amount is 6km.

Note they weren’t blocking the highways, they were just on their way to parliament, on their tractors.

Despite initial confusion, I met nobody that day that was particularly mad at the farmers

DAY 1

Not much was told about their motivation in the media.

The farmers gave harsh climate change and environmental protection laws as their primary goal, also complaining about being treated as lower class scum by media elites.

The media ran with the latter.
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DAY 1

The goal was the Malieveld, a field near parliament. The government originally said only a few tractors were allowed on the field, which was later changed to 75.

They had fences and security in place to regulate this.

DAY 1

The deal with local law enforcement was that the farmers would park their tractors away from the city centre and be taken with busses to the field.

Already a compromise, but the deal wasn’t even met. Understandably angry, they decided to not honour their part either.

DAY 1

So some of the farmers found a breach in the back and rammed through two lines of fences to get on the field anyways.
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DAY 1

Others decided to go for a ride on the beach, as that was apparently near the spot they were supposed to gather for the busses.
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DAY 1

A little more than just the 75 ‘allowed’ tractors ended up on the Malieveld.

DAY 1

Several politicians ended up visiting to hold speeches about their opinions. Some of these planned and on a stage, some of them among the farmers

DAY 1

The pretty-much-but-unofficial-immigrants-party leader came around and got bood and heckled until he left.

DAY 1

Not much was agreed upon. Most leftists stuck to their policies. Most centrist and ‘right wing’ parties released statements supporting the farmers, but they were loose words and the strict environmental laws weren’t changed.

A new protest on the 16th was already planned.

DAY 2 – 14 october (~2 weeks later)

Inbetween the first day and 14 october various smaller scale protests happened, but on the 14th the farmers again went out in larger numbers.

This time the goal was occupying the provincial houses, in an attempt to repeal the laws.

DAY 2

Soon after the farmers arrived, the provincial house of Friesland announced they would repeal the controversial nitrogen agreements. That’s 1 province down.

DAY 2

The other provinces didn’t budge as quickly, and it often was a hassle arriving to the provincial houses. Even with all the commotion, nothing really violent was happening.

DAY 2

Several of the less urban provinces quickly budged and repealed the environmental laws. The very diverse and urbanite provinces refused co-operation altogether.

One of the most farmer-rich provinces was keeping out however. Groningen (top right) would not give a response.

DAY 2

The farmers made a quick ultimatum. Let us in the provincial house to discuss this, or we’re going in ourselves.

They went in themselves.
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DAY 2

That didn’t last long. They had police set up in there.
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DAY 2

Groningen kept the nitrogen measures and didn’t discuss anything. In the end half the provinces did repeal the laws, so it could be called a succesful day for the farmers.

DAY 3 – 16 october

Yesterday there was another large scale protest near parliament. This one was announced well in advance and most people knew about it.

Farmers from the islands left before midnight already.
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DAY 3

Once again, once morning came, the entire grid was clogged with tractors. Despite it likely attracting more protestors than the last, the grid handled it better. People were expecting it

DAY 3

In fact, people around the country came to watch the farmers drive by and cheered them on.

DAY 3

Construction workers saluted them with their cranes, commuters honked their horns on their way to work, they have an approval rating above 80%.

Compare this to non-grassroots Extinction Rebellion, which gets broken up by the public if they block a road for half a minute. DAY 3

The state deployed the police and the army to block off major roads leading into the Hague.
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DAY 3

Important parts of the city
Like fast food chains, apparently

DAY 3

One major connection was blocked off, leading to a flooding of the road with tractors.
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DAY 3

The excessive reaction of the police and government was out of place. Nothing really violent had happened aside from various fences being run over.

Here’s a farmer spraying cops and journalists.
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DAY 3

Truckers helped block the roads for the farmers so they could get where they wanted to go.
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DAY 3

The message this day was the same. Repeal the strict laws against farmers, and respect the farmer. A very apolitical message it would seem.

Still, the divide was clear. Left wing politicians like Green Party leader Jesse Klaver were not liked.

DAY 3

Meanwhile the ‘right wing’ politicians were quite popular

DAY 3

Once again the farmers rammed on the Malieveld. It was clear that the people were behind them except left wing urbanites. No real change was made that day, but a lot of sympathy was shown and gained.

Here’s the farmer youth force on patrol
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CONCLUSION

While the protests themselves were quite meaningless in their origin, nitrogen pollution laws, the catalyst here is the big divide between the more urban and more rural parts of the Netherlands.

They are two completely different ways of life, it seems. Even I, who grew up in a decently sized town (10k>) was completely culture shocked once I started interacting with Randstad urbanites. The ways I communicated at home are vastly different to what urbanites are used to. Much more American and ‘proper’. Keep in mind the Netherlands is basically one giant city. I lived 2.5 hours by car from Amsterdam. Americans probably wonder if that isn’t just still Amsterdam. In my town and region it was normal to openly mention race, and a lot of jokes were based on it. In general it was pretty clear what the consensus was on race, homosexuality, and Americanisation. It was assumed you agreed with the rest. In the cities, this is completely the other way around. It’s common to hear native Dutch girls throw English sentences into their conversation, or even converse in mostly English. Their politics are as Americanised as they are.

I can’t communicate with a lot of urban youth. I can only imagine the situation in other European countries. I’ve heard in Germany and Austria the taboos reach even into the countryside, but I wouldn’t be surprised of similar situations in Scandinavia. This feeds into the popularity of the protests.

The nitrogen laws were actually brutally strict once you do look into them, but that’s not why people were cheering farmers on, at all.

“Respect for farmers” is maybe a part of it, but I doubt it’s much of it. I interpret the popularity of the farmers protest as essentially the vast majority of the Netherlands cheering on the ‘rural’ way of life.

An outlook on life that isn’t straight from a California campus. I definitely notice the type of people excited about the protests are the type of people I could talk to without having to watch my words. Wether they’re urban or not.

On the side of the people cheering, this was much more cultural than it was about nitrogen.

via Watts Up With That?

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October 20, 2019 at 08:26PM

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