Farmers want to talk to mayor Zwolle about an emergency order

NOS Newstoday, 12:24Amended today, 4:20 pm

The tractors of the farmers’ protest in Zwolle have driven away from the province of Overijssel. The farmers, who have been protesting since this morning, wanted to go to the town hall, but the police have closed bridges to the center. There is a traffic jam of tractors around the center of Zwolle.

Nevertheless, dozens of farmers have reached the town hall without their tractor, reports RTV Oost. They want to talk to the mayor about the emergency order he issued earlier.

Mayor Peter Snijders (VVD) also wants to talk to the farmers, but first wants to know who is in charge of the demonstration and what the wishes are.

Arrests earlier in the day

Earlier today, the farmers blocked a part of the road between the provincial house and the opposite court in Zwolle. The police and the Mobile Unit (ME) were present with several vehicles. The police intervened with a shovel. Three people were arrested. Two for obstruction of office and failure to follow instructions and the third for insult.

Tractors parked on the roadway were moved elsewhere by order of the police. There were no officials present in the provincial house. They had already left their workplace this morning as a precaution.

In the meantime, the mayor of Zwolle issued an emergency order, which stated, among other things, that farmers were not allowed to bring manure spreaders or slurry tanks. That emergency order applies until 02:00 on Friday.

Shovel deployed

Footage from this morning shows an officer in a shovel forcing farmers to remove their tractors. One of the farmers had jammed a police vehicle with his tractor, the police reported. The driver of the tractor is one of those arrested.

The police used the shovel at least two tractors. Images show how the first tractor was lifted a bit off the ground by the shovel, after which a person present jumped on the tire of the tractor and tried to stop the shovel. Then this tractor drove away.

The same man then tried to stop the shovel again, but was stopped by the police. The shovel then collided with a second tractor.

That can be seen in this video:

Two weeks ago, farmers also went to the provincial government. They then issued the ultimatum that Overijssel would stop imposing penalty payments on PAS reporters by today at the latest, that are farmers who did not need a permit for their
nitrogen precipitation, but since 2019 it has.

They also demanded that external netting be possible again: that is the use of nitrogen space of colleagues who are retiring, for example, in order to give PAS reporters the opportunity to continue working legally.

It remained unclear for a long time whether that ‘deadline’ would be considered today. This morning it became clear that groups of hikers were moving to Zwolle.

According to RTV Oost, the farmers who have moved to the provincial capital come from Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe and Overijssel:

Farmers protest at the provincial house in Zwolle: ‘We will not accept this’

The Overijssel deputy Tijs de Bree (PvdA) said two weeks ago that he cannot refrain from enforcement, because there is a court ruling that forces the province to do so.

External netting is also not easy to arrange, said fellow deputy Gert Harm ten Bolscher (SGP). “Last year a ruling was made saying that you must first check whether you are allowed to use that permit, and that you must first use the permit space to ensure that less nitrogen ends up in nature.”

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Farmers talk mayor Zwolle emergency order