Over the past few weeks, Dutch farmers in the Netherlands have engaged in a nationwide protest against their government’s arbitrary new climate policies, which protesters say will hamper their ability to earn a living.
On Monday, dozens of farmers in trucks and tractors parked outside major supermarket distribution centers in cities across the country. The blockade follows a convoy protest by around 40,000 farmers in “the agricultural heartland of central Holland” last week which clogged local roads and brought traffic to a standstill.
As Reuters reported, the protests came in response to “targets introduced last month” by the Dutch government “to reduce harmful nitrogen compounds by 2030”, which authorities say “are needed in emissions nitrogen oxides from farm animal manure and the use of ammonia in fertilizers.
If successfully implemented, the state’s “go green” initiative will almost certainly cripple the country’s private agricultural industry, as regulations are expected to “include the reduction of livestock and the purchase of certain farms whose animals produce large quantities of ammonia”.
“The honest message… is that not all farmers can continue their business,” the government admitted in a statement last month.
However, the agricultural sector is not alone in expressing its dissatisfaction with the government’s actions. In solidarity with their compatriots, Dutch fishermen also joined farmers’ protests and began using their vessels to block ports Across the country.
“In Harlingen they blocked the port with trawlers, which meant that ferries to the islands of Terschelling and Vlieland could not leave for hours,” Euro News reported.
Farmer protests against excessive environmental regulations are nothing new in the Netherlands. In 2019, the country saw similar protests by tractor convoys against the state’s attempt to cut nitrogen emissions through heavy-handed regulations, with farmers accusing the government of targeting their industry.
The government is suppressing
Despite their large numbers and their commitment to freedom, Dutch farmers began to feel the wrath of their government. On Monday, police deployed tear gas and dogs to break up protests in towns such as Heerenveen, where farmers reportedly used tractors to blockade a Lidl distribution centre.
In addition to reports police reportedly fired on protesters, law enforcement also issued over 200 fines and made several arrests for “open violence” and blocking roads.
The Dutch government’s increasingly heavy-handed response is beginning to resemble that of the Canadian federal government, which used totalitarian tactics to suppress citizens protesting mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations earlier this year. In addition to falsely labeling the protesters as racists, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used the country’s Emergencies Act to mobilize the Canadian military and intelligence agencies to evict the protesters occupying Parliament Hill in the capital. National, Ottawa.
As if allowing local police to use tear gas on peaceful protesters wasn’t bad enough, Trudeau also expanded his government’s terrorism financing rules to go after crowdfunding sites used by the convoy, such as as the new GiveSendGo, and has actively supported GoFundMe’s efforts to deplatform fundraising. efforts for protesters.
Elitism knows no borders
Whether in the Netherlands or Canada, the story is the same all over the world. In recent years, elitists in positions of power in government have grown accustomed to imposing their will on ordinary citizens.
It doesn’t matter that they flagrantly violate the social contract established by their own people. For the elitists, the only item on the agenda is the maintenance of power and dominance over the population, whom they see as nothing more than subjects expected to obey their dictates without question.
However, avoiding such power grabs requires vigilant citizenship, whose attachment to freedom must be stronger and more widespread than the elitists’ attachment to tyranny. As evidenced by the Covid regime, respect for the state gives rise to more draconian edicts, which only continue to erode the line between democracy and oligarchy.
Make no mistake, if the Dutch peasant protesters back off for a second, the state will not hesitate to ram their alarmist degrowth policies down the throats of the people without remorse. Any form of surrender is likely to continue to allow for more ambitious policies, which will undoubtedly undermine the daily lives of Dutch people.
Shawn Fleetwood is an intern at The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He is also a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous media including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood