Picture of tractors in the Netherlands has nothing to do with Canada ‘freedom convoy’

11 February 2022
What was claimed

A picture of tractors blocking a motorway in Holland was taken yesterday and is part of a global protest movement.

Our verdict

This is not true. The picture is from 2019, and the protest shown was against climate change policies in the Netherlands.

A number of posts on Facebook shared earlier this month falsely claim to show a major road in the Netherlands clogged with tractors “yesterday”.

Some of the pictures include references to the current road blockades caused by “freedom convoy” protesters in Canada, who are taking action against Covid-19 vaccine mandates and other Covid-related policies. One version of the widely-circulated photo states: “When a country comes together like Canada has, it inspires others to do the same. The entire world is watching you [Canadian Prime Minister Justin] #Trudeau”. 

But the picture posted to Facebook pre-dates the pandemic. As AFP Fact Check recently reported, the picture can be traced back to a now-deleted article (archive version here) published in December 2019 by German newspaper Ruhr Nachrichten.

The protest pictured has nothing to do with vaccine mandates or Covid-19. In fact, it shows protestors from the group Land schafft Verbindung, which is largely made up of farmers and rural residents, who campaign for a greater say in government legislation impacting farmers.   

The “freedom convoy” movement against vaccine mandates has spread from Canada to some other countries around the world such as New Zealand, France and Belgium. At the time of writing there have only been reports of small-scale protests mirroring the freedom convoy in the Netherlands, although the country has previously experienced anti-lockdown protests.

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