Dutch Police Arrest 19 at Farmers’ Blockade

Dutch Police arrested 19 protesters who refused to leave a distribution center after blocking it for the past three days near Rotterdam, the second-largest city and municipality in the Netherlands. 

A spokesperson for Rotterdam police said they made the arrests at 5 am local time Thursday after ignoring orders to leave the warehouse used by Aldi, Jumbo, and Hoogvliet. 

According to reports, nine of those arrested and detained were under 18. 

The spokesperson also said that police had removed 12 tractors from the scene, but owners could collect them later. 

On Wednesday, farmers set hay bales on fire to protest the detention of a 16-year-old boy whose tractor was shot at during a police blockade. 

Activists from Farmers Defense Force also drove in a convoy of tractors to Leeuwarden police station to demand the release of the boy who was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after police claimed he and two other adults ‘tried to drive at officers and police vehicles.’ 

Reports said authorities released the boy on Wednesday after the withdrawal of the accusation. 

“There are no grounds for the continued detention of the suspects on suspicion of attempted murder … The three men remain suspects. The public prosecutor has not yet decided if they will be charged,” the prosecution service said. 

Meanwhile, farmers also held demonstrations on Dam Square in Amsterdam to continue protesting the government’s plans to reduce nitrogen compound emissions. 

Earlier, Nature Minister Christianne van der Wal gave the provinces a year to draw up plans to decrease emissions of ammonia and nitrogen oxide by 2030. 

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