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Fact Check-Clip of farmer protestors spraying police with hay dates to 2015 protest in Brussels

Users have shared a clip claiming it shows Dutch farmers spraying hay onto a police line at an August 2022 protest over plans to cut nitrogen emissions. But the video dates back to a 2015 demonstration in Belgium calling for the European Union to provide emergency support measures to the farming sector after a Russian ban on EU food imports.

The video circulating online shows a green tractor, viewable at the right of frame, directing a powerful jet of hay toward a police line, with officers dressed in riot gear. The clip is cut at the 42-second mark, where a view of a fire in front of the European Commission offices can be seen.

One user who shared the clip via Twitter on Aug. 15, 2022, said: “How to deal with Fascism. Thank you Dutch farmers” (here).

Other examples of users sharing the clip in August 2022 with claims that it was filmed in the Netherlands can be viewed (here), (here), (here), (here) and (here).

The clip was not filmed in the Netherlands, nor was it captured in 2022.

The video was filmed outside the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. The geolocation of the footage can be viewed (bit.ly/3C63Jpu).

The clip was filmed on the Schuman roundabout in Brussels, with a view of the European External Action Service (EEAS) office viewable at the 38-second mark, while Le Berlaymont, European Commission headquarters building, viewable at 37-seconds (bit.ly/3C63Jpu), (here).

Reuters could not find the exact video viewable in the social media posts circulating online, though another angle of the same protest was captured and published by the Associated Press in September 2015 (here), (bit.ly/3C9ZNUw).

The green tractor is viewable in both clips, while a stream of hay directed towards the police line can also be seen. Protestors are viewable in both videos holding up bright yellow signs.

In September 2015, nearly 5,000 farmers, with more than 1,000 tractors, marched on European Union buildings in Brussels to demand support for a sector that was hit by a Russian ban on EU food imports (here).

Meanwhile, Dutch farmers took to the streets in July and August 2022 to protest at government plans that would require them to use less fertilizer and reduce livestock. This is due to targets introduced in June to reduce harmful nitrogen compounds by 2030 (here).

Reuters has previously addressed other clips and images that have been miscaptioned by users online who falsely claimed that the content pertained to protests in the Netherlands in 2022 (here), (here), (here).

VERDICT

Miscaptioned. A clip of protestors directing a stream of hay towards a police line was not filmed in the Netherlands in 2022. The clip dates to September 2015 and was filmed in Brussels.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.

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