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Fact Check-Photo of vehicles blocking road shows Dutch farmer demonstrations in 2019, not 2022

An aerial image showing hundreds of tractors and other vehicles blocking a road in the Netherlands traces back to farmers’ protests there in 2019, but some users online have used it when discussing protests in the last month.

The image was shared online as Dutch farmers protested in June and July over government plans that may require them to use less fertilizer and reduce livestock, in efforts to curb nitrogen pollution (here) (here). Demonstrations were ongoing as of July 6, as reported by the Washington Post and Politico (here) (here ).

A tweet with the years-old photograph has garnered at least 23,200 retweets (here). Other examples of the miscaptioned image can be found on Facebook (here) (here) (here).

This photograph, however, predates the recent demonstrations.

A reverse image search on search engine TinEye revealed it was posted online as early as Oct. 16, 2019 (here).

The photographer – Jasper Nijland, whose name is included with a white watermark viewable in the left bottom corner of the photograph – shared a post with the image on Oct. 16, 2019 (here ). The post captioned it with the hashtag #Boerenprotest (which translates to "farmers protest”)

Nijland also published other images of the demonstration ( bit.ly/3IlD7BP ).

Contacted by Reuters, Nijland confirmed the photograph is from October 2019 and said farmers are now gathering to protest similarly to three years ago.

Reuters reported on Oct. 16, 2019 that thousands of farmers drove their tractors to The Hague that day (here) to protest what farmers called at the time an effort to blame them for nitrogen pollution after a court ruling found the Netherlands in violation of European emission rules.

Similar scenes of blocked highways have been registered recently in the Netherlands amid farmer demonstrations (here). On July 4, farmers blocked supermarket distribution hubs in several cities (here)

Reuters has addressed other instances of miscaptioned imagery in relation to farmer demonstrations in the Netherlands (here ) (here ).

VERDICT

Miscaptioned. This photograph was not taken during the July 2022 farmers protests in the Netherlands. It traces back to protests in the country in October 2019.

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

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