The Farmer-citizen movement (BBB) in the Netherlands appeared set to win 15 of the 75 Senate seats in the nation on Wednesday, celebrating a victory over climate activists who are seeking to buy out farms and cut down on livestock numbers of Dutch farmers.
The BBB or BoerBurgerBeweging, as the party is called in Dutch, started in 2019 and won one single Lower House seat in 2021. After the recent election, the BBB is now the third-largest political party in the Netherlands.
“Nobody can ignore us any longer,” BBB leader Caroline van der Plas told broadcaster Radio 1, Reuters reported. “Voters have spoken out very clearly against this government’s policies.”
The movement started after farmers began protesting against the government’s aims to cut nitrogen emissions in half by 2030. Some emissions come from the manure of cows, pigs and chickens.
The government plans to reduce livestock by a third, which forces 11,200 farmers to sell their land to the state and another 17,600 farmers to significantly reduce livestock. After the U.S., the Netherlands is the second-largest exporter of agricultural products in the world, according to Euro News. (RELATED: ‘Woke Nonsense’: Biden Admin To Shell Out Millions In Grants To Recruit ‘Diverse’ Farmers, Ranchers And Forest Land Owners)
Netherlands… Dutch farmer party BBB has become the single largest party. The country has spoken and Mark Rutte must drop the ridiculous nitrogen policy and stand down effective immediately pic.twitter.com/61ShZ8cYPh
— Pelham (@Resist_05) March 16, 2023
The BBB reportedly felt ignored by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who has served four consecutive terms since 2010. The recent election will make it harder for Rutte to pass legislation. “It is not the win we wanted,” Rutte said Wednesday night, according to France 24.
Farmers have held a series of protests over several months, including blocking government buildings with tractors and dumping manure on motorways. Many of the farmers rallied in The Hague on Saturday in the lead-up to the vote.