Minister Christian van der Waal (Nature and Nitrogen) was shocked by the farmers’ protest at her home Friday night, especially as it affects her family. A spokesman for the minister said this Friday evening after “visiting” dozens of farmers. They left later in the evening.
Farmers arrived at the minister’s home with their tractor Friday evening to protest against the nitrogen plans announced by the Cabinet on Friday.
Van der Waal spoke to the farmers, but at one point said she wanted to go back inside. “I greeted you near my own house. I had a very good conversation and I greeted you.” Meanwhile, her children inside were shivering, she says.
When talking to the cultivators present became too threatening for the minister, she indicated that it was “now done.” But the farmer she wants to talk to indicates that the secretary will also come to the yard with her plans. “We also have children, where should they go right away?” He asks her.
The minister’s spokesman said late Friday night that Van der Waal understands the farmers, “because she gave a strong message today. She always wants to talk, but not at her family’s home or near her home. Cross the line, that’s not acceptable.”
According to the spokesperson, the minister will inform the farmers on June 22 if they go Campaign In The Hague, to speak. “This is the place, after all.”
Politicians react with terror
A number of politicians react with horror to the protest of farmers at the minister’s house. Jesse Claver, among others, responds from opposition who has spoken out about intimidation.
Caroline van der Plas (@BoerBurgerBeweging) is making herself heard on Twitter. It not only indicates that you “do not visit people at home” but also states that “the majority of our farmers in the Netherlands are not in favor of it”.
Minister Van der Waal is not the first politician to have to deal with threats to private discourse. Minister Hugo de Jong and Minister Sigrid Kaag, among others, had to deal with this.
So party leader Jean Paterno (D66) thinks a line should be drawn. “Anger is allowed. But that is far beyond the bounds that apply to everyone and these farmers are not above the law. If we don’t draw the flat line now, all ministers will soon be putting the police on their doors,” he said in response to a protest Friday evening.
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