The lesson from Rutte and Woelders: intimidation pays off – Joop


reading time 4 minutes



Farmers in this country are not the only ones who have access to heavy equipment.

Sjaak van der Tak, chairman of the largest rural association LTO, nevertheless sits down at the table with broker Johan Remkes. There he will also meet Prime Minister Rutte, who promised by phone that there are ‘no taboos’. This can only mean one thing: everything is up for discussion. Also the cabinet’s plans, standards and deadlines regarding the nitrogen problem.

This shows that the dumping of asbestos, the setting of road fires and the occupation of highways produce results. Intimidation pays off.

On Op1, superwout Willem Woelders explained how this came about. How it works: If organizers register a manifestation, agreements can be made in advance. The local authorities also determine the boundaries. In that case, the police will know how many forces are needed to enforce these agreements and, if necessary, call in the riot police. However, the unsporting farmers do not. They consult private Telegram groups where they constantly change channels. As police, you don’t know in advance where they will show up with how many and what will happen. Therefore, they had free rein. But it was actually discovered…

This is an important lesson for other activists in the Netherlands. If you want to be successful, advertise nothing but surprise the police and mayors. Make sure your organizations can never be officially associated with what you do. Tighten things up. Threaten people, agencies, and companies that can undo the consequences of your actions, such as contractors coming to clean up the mess. An unrecognizable SME appeared on television on Thursday night, terrified of what could happen to him after it was revealed he was involved in a motorway clean-up operation. He was seriously threatened by peasants.

How are things going these days? Rijkswaterstaat has cut not only engineers, but also a large number of senior staff. He can no longer clean a road himself. For this, the service engages a contractor, who apparently gets the actual work done by a subcontractor. It was the threatened SME who called himself a ‘one-man’ and emphasized that he had left immediately when he discovered that it was not about the consequences of an accident, but about waste dumped by farmer activists. Such you will then fear. Such You want to score effects if you learn from the farmers and Woelders. A little Camorra play, little de Ndranghetha hang out

Now, dear readers, you naturally think of Extinction Rebellion, Lekker Dier and similar activist organizations in the first instance. But there are much larger sections of the population for whom the teachings of Rutte and Woelder are of the greatest importance. The Cabinet has already announced that it is complicated to tax companies like Shell’s mega-profits extra in the short term because they are not the result of doing business well, but of the circumstances. In the UK they do. It doesn’t work here. Meanwhile, NIBUD has calculated that a third of Dutch households are being pushed against the wall due to the increased energy prices.

Under these circumstances, there is only one remedy: inflation correction, wage increases: not by a few percent, but by ten percent to compensate for the disruptive loss of purchasing power as the government does little or nothing about inflation.

Strikes are probably not enough. Other forms of action will have to be brought up, such as the almost forgotten employment of a company. Many workers have access to rolling stock that competes with tractors, especially in logistics and construction. Angry drivers can very well block the highway with city buses and then have a braai. A series of wrecking balls in front of City Hall produces terrifying images. The truck can be a formidable sight, especially if you armor it a bit with iron plates. Residents often have access to waste that can be thrown away in inconvenient places.

Bottom line: Don’t tie all of this to unions. Prepare behind the scenes for Telegram groups and the Dark Web. You always know where to find strike breakers. They get mail.

You say the tough people must pull the chestnuts out of the fire for the office sharps, the portable goats and those who don’t want to fall into the two categories. It has been the trick of the social struggle for two centuries. You can’t expect me to find a solution to it early in the morning. Just a word of advice: don’t let your opponent tear you apart based on such facts. It’s about staying afloat with your loved ones during this difficult time.

It will not be without sacrifices. Arrests are sure to follow. Fighters enter the cage. It makes you heroes and martyrs.

Before you know it, you’ll be sitting around the table with the Prime Minister himself as the mediator: Full inflation correction, price controls, war profit tax for those who take full advantage of the current emergency.

If farmers can do it, everyone can. Or not? Or not?

Moreover, I am of the opinion that the subsidy scandal should not disappear from the public’s attention, and neither should the natural gas case in Groningen.

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