The Dutch farmers have created their own political party, and it’s doing well in the polls. They are winning their battle against the government that threatened to destroy their way of life.
The story of the Dutch farmers’ protest is an inspiration to us all. It is a tale of success and of the rise of common-sense community politics to the national level, and one in which strong social bonds are winning against the forces of an inhuman bureaucracy.
In October 2021, Dutch farmers began protesting against their government. The reason was the government’s environmental policy. In its aim of reducing nitrogen emissions, it announced its intention to forcibly close 3000 farms and halve meat production by 2030.
The Netherlands is Europe’s largest exporter of meat and the second largest food exporter in the world. Such a move would have ramifications for the cost and availability of food worldwide. It was one which was met with determined resistance by the farmers, in a campaign of civil disobedience which saw shots fired by police and the army on the streets. The farmers have shut down motorways with tractor convoys, sprayed the police with manure, and camped outside a minister’s house. The attempts to preserve their livelihood, which provides much of the world’s food amid a global crisis in food supply, have been characterized as terrorism.
Yet the farmers are winning. They have won concessions from the government, regionally and nationally. The agriculture minister has resigned as a result. Now they have created a political party, which now looks likely to shape or even lead the next government. (…)
The Dutch farm intensively, being the second largest exporter of food worldwide (after the USA). Yet their agribusiness is not owned solely by big business. In the USA, four companies dominate the meat industry. In 2022, by contrast, most Dutch meat companies had one employee, 60 had two, and only 35 have more than 100. Dutch farming is not in the hands of massive corporations but still owned and operated by small scale local farmers who rely on each other.