Police in The Hague have confiscated four tractors from farmers who wanted to take part in a protest to coincide with the state opening of parliament.
Mayor Jan van Zanen issued an emergency order on Monday night after farmers were seen heading towards the city centre.
Four vehicles were seized at the Schenkviaduct, near Holland Spoor station, while others were turned away in the Koningstunnel, Benoordenhoutseweg and in Leidschendam.
Van Zanen said protests were permitted on Prinsjesdag, but tractors were explicitly banned for the sake of public order.
‘Everyone is welcome but not if they bring heavy equipment,’ he told NOS. ‘We have to keep the route safe and make sure it doesn’t disturb the general public.’
Wij hebben zojuist in #DenHaag bij het #Schenkviaduct een aantal trekkers in beslaggenomen wegens het overtreden van het #noodbevel. Boeren probeerden met hun trekkers naar het centrum te rijden en volgden onze aanwijzingen niet op. Er is een noodbevel van kracht. #Prinsjesdag pic.twitter.com/zqHmtnD1o8
— Politie Eenheid Den Haag (@POL_DenHaag) September 20, 2022
Justice minister Dilan Yesilgöz also warned farmers who wanted to protest to leave their tractors at home.
‘Tractors will be confiscated by police,’ she said on Twitter. ‘Think about the safety of everyone who is coming for Prinsjesdag.’
Aan de boeren die onderweg zijn naar Den Haag; laat de trekker thuis!! Demonstreren mag, maar niet met grote voertuigen. Trekkers worden in beslag genomen door de politie. Denk aan de veiligheid van alle mensen die vandaag naar Prinsjesdag komen. https://t.co/YKH7AL3Jrm
— Dilan Yesilgöz – Zegerius (@DilanYesilgoz) September 20, 2022
The farmers’ protests began three years ago when hundreds of tractors were driven to The Hague and parked on the Malieveld to demonstrate against plans to cut the agriculture sector.
The measures were announced in the wake of a ruling by the Council of State that required the government to protect nature conservation areas by drastically reducing nitrogen compound emissions.
The livestock farming sector, which is responsible for 41% of emissions according to the public health agency RIVM, will bear the brunt of the cuts.
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