Fact Check-Video shows protest in Netherlands over gas extraction, not COVID-19 restrictions

Night-time footage showing a torchlight procession in Groningen in the Netherlands has been miscaptioned online, with some users claiming the demonstration was related to COVID-19 rules.

“The Netherlands erupts tonight to stop COVID law,” reads a tweet with the miscaptioned footage that has gained over 2,160 retweets as of the writing of this article ( here ).

Facebook posts sharing the video with similar erroneous descriptions can be seen ( here ), ( here ).

On Jan. 15, Twitter user @pvrieling posted the clip with the caption: “Half an hour later still going strong” (originally in Dutch) ( here ).

Other footage of the protest is viewable ( here ) and ( here ). A live transmission by outlet Dagblad van het Noorden can be found ( here ).

More than 10,000 people marched in the torchlight procession on Jan. 15, in response to a government decision to nearly double gas production in the province ( here ),( here ) .

Local outlet NL Times reported ( here ) that the demonstration was also against “the poor organization of subsidies for homeowners to strengthen their homes and make them more sustainable.”

The Dutch government expects to nearly double production at the Groningen gas field. The Netherlands had been winding down production at Groningen, once Europe's largest gas field, for years due to damage and safety concerns over earthquakes ( here ).

Thousands of protesters packed Amsterdam's streets on Jan. 16 in opposition to the government-imposed COVID-19 measures and vaccination campaign as virus infections hit a new record ( here ).


Miscaptioned. Footage shows a protest in Groningen, Netherlands, over a government decision to increase gas production in the province.

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