A video showing protesters spraying hay on to a police line dates back to a 2015 demonstration in Belgium, but the footage has been recently miscaptioned in posts claiming it depicts a Dutch farmers protest in March 2023.
Examples are viewable on Twitter (here) and Facebook (here ), with one popular tweet reading, “The Netherlands is seizing privately owned farm land. In protest, Dutch farmers are spraying government buildings and riot police with MANURE! We could learn from the Dutch.”
The video does not show a recent protest in the Netherlands, however, nor does it depict protesters throwing manure on police.
It is not the first time this clip has been miscaptioned to say it shows farmers protesting in the Netherlands (here)
Reuters could not find the exact video viewable in the social media posts, but it shows the same scene as seen in other footage of a Sept 7, 2015 protest filmed by the Associated Press (here), (www.bit.ly/3C9ZNUw).
The video was shot on the Schuman roundabout in Brussels, Belgium, near the European Commission headquarters known as the Berlaymont building and European Council building (goo.gl/maps/kEH7cBMt8D6j8mFN8)
Reuters images of demonstrators at the same location that day captured police officers being sprayed by hay, not manure as is claimed online (here), (here).
Another video by outlet New Europe, seemingly depicting the same scene as the clip shared online (youtu.be/14vowMfvrIs?t=26 ), also shows the tractor throwing hay at police officers.
On Sept. 7, 2015, Reuters reported that nearly 5,000 European farmers from multiple countries, including the Netherlands, marched on European Union buildings in Brussels to demand support for a sector that was hit by a Russian ban on EU food imports, including dairy products (here).
Outlets including Al Jazeera (here) and The Guardian (here) also reported at the time that farmers were protesting over low dairy and meat prices.
Since at least July 2022, Dutch farmers have protested against government plans to limit nitrogen emissions by 2030, a policy they say will spell the end of many farms and hit food production (here) (here).
Miscaptioned. This video showing protesters spraying hay on to a police line was filmed in Belgium in 2015.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here.
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