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Netherlands protest of farmers and environmentalists. State of emergency in The Hague

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The police stopped dozens of tractors used by farmers protesting against the government’s policy to The Hague. “The mayor introduced a state of emergency due to fears of public order and security disturbances,” the press office of the Hague police told PAP.

The agricultural organizations Farmers Defense Force (FDF) and Samen voor Nederland (SvNL) planned to organize a demonstration in The Hague on Saturday against the government’s policy of reducing nitrogen oxide emissions. Around 7 o’clock, mayor Jan van Zanen issued an order to introduce in the city state of emergency and forbade the entry of tractors used by farmers to enter the city. “Demonstrators and activists who want to enter the city with tractors are being turned back,” the police told PAP. A reinforced police force was deployed in the city, equipped with in water cannons. Military police units are also on standby.

Netherlands. Farmers protest in The HagueANP

It’s not just farmers who are protesting

The inhabitants of The Hague have to prepare themselves not only for the nuisances associated with the agricultural protest. Climate activists from the Extinction Rebellion organization have also planned a demonstration for Saturday, who want to block the A12 motorway in the city centre. According to the statement of the city office, the organizers did not file a protest in advance. NOS Radio 1 reports that permission has been given for activists to protest in another part of The Hague.

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Dutch police accused of collecting too much information

Police constantly ask demonstrators for personal details such as address, BSN number (Dutch equivalent of Social Security number) and date of birth. At the same time, officers often demand the data of parents and children of activists, according to the Investico investigation conducted jointly with the weekly De Groene Amsterdammer and the daily Trouw. Experts say that this is a threat to democracy, and the operation of the officers resembles a police state.

“Peaceful demonstrators who merely express their opinion should never be included in such registers,” Professor Schermer said, quoted by the platform. In his opinion, the right to demonstrate is at stake.

Main photo source: ANP

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