Why Dutch farmers are protesting in the Netherlands: World in Photos

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World in Photos: Why farmers in the Netherlands are trying to shut the country down

The anti-government convoy movement has arrived in the Netherlands, sparked by an ongoing parliamentary debate about reducing nitrogen emissions from the agricultural sector to meet EU guidelines — and, much like previous convoys in Canada and the U.S., it has gradually become a rallying cry for sundry other grievances.

Dutch farmers are key to making their country the largest exporter of meat in the EU, but proposed plans to lessen the volume of production to reduce levels of nitrogen pollution have many of them worried that their way of life is at risk.

Recent protests have aimed to block highways, shut down a major airport and stop distribution of food shipments to supermarkets. Tractors and other farm equipment have been used to create blockades and circumvent attempts at crowd control, with the Dutch government facing questions about an incident of police firing shots at protesters.

In recent days, the cause has been embraced by not only Dutch politician Geert Wilders and his far-right Party for Freedom, but also far-right movements around the globe, and the protests have swelled to include advocates of various anti-government causes, from anti-vaccination to viral conspiracy theories about secret plots for the EU to turn seized Dutch farmland into either automated authoritarian supercities or unlivable ghettos.

Meanwhile, calls for supporters to donate to the movement are directing people to fundraising sites of unknown provenance, similar to those investigated by Grid earlier this year. Perhaps one element of the Dutch protests that makes them distinct is that they are specifically a form of resistance to climate policy, and therefore offer many countries (including Germany and Poland, where this movement is already spreading) a potential glimpse into their own futures as they attempt to prepare for global temperatures to continue rising.

SCHIERMONNIKOOG, NETHERLANDS - JUNE 21:  Farmers protest action against nitrogen policy next to the City Hall on June 21, 2022 in Schiermonnikoog, Netherlands (Photo by Jan Kruijdenberg/Orange Pictures/BSR Agency/Getty Images)
  • Morgan Richardson
    Morgan Richardson

    Assistant Editor

    Morgan Richardson is an assistant editor for Grid working with our editorial, graphics, video and podcast teams.

  • Jake Garcia
    Jake Garcia

    Associate Producer, Multimedia

    Jake Garcia is a documentary filmmaker and multimedia producer for Grid.