Expatica news

Caravan park protestors block motorway

14 April 2004

AMSTERDAM — Between 80 and 100 peaople from the Vinkenslag caravan park blockaded the A2 motorway in Maastricht on Wednesday in protest at an ongoing crackdown against the camp.

Witnesses said the motorway at the MVV football stadium Geusselt looked like a small rubbish dump as household garbage, tree branches and tyres were dumped across the road, leading to long traffic delays in the morning rush hour.

The protest ended at 10.30am — shortly before riot police were to be deployed — and protestors departed in cars loudly tooting their horns.

But the clean-up operation continued for some time and police re-opened the motorway at about midday. Maastricht Council has since warned it will bill the protestors for the clean-up operation.

City Mayor Leers said the protestors might also be billed for the economic consequences incurred by motorists and truck drivers and urged road users to join the council’s civil action.

“We must now make clear that these sorts of actions cannot go unpunished,” he said.

Maastricht Council has been conducting for some time a large scale operation to curtail illegal activities in the trailer camp park. But residents feel that they are being “treated and oppressed like beasts”.

Camp residents are also threatening protest actions right across the country. A spokeswoman said the residents were in contact with other camps and authorities could soon expect large scale actions in other regions.

But in defending its stance against the caravan park, the council said it was only carrying out actions that had been agreed on between the municipality and camp residents.

The Vinkenslag has featured in the news of late due to the fact a lower taxation rate applied to camp residents and a massive police raid was conducted there against the cultivation of cannabis on camp grounds.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news