Dutch farmers have had enough of government overreach. And they’re taking to the streets as only farmers can.

The government of the Netherlands, in order to fight climate change, recently proposed a 50 percent cut in ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions by 2030 — which will disproportionately impact the agricultural industry. Small farms are thus faced with two choices: shutter entirely or face poverty after culling their livestock.

The Dutch government is not sympathetic to these concerns. In their words, “The honest message...is that not all farmers can continue their business.”

Though outsiders like to broad-brush them as...

Dutch farmers have had enough of government overreach. And they’re taking to the streets as only farmers can.

The government of the Netherlands, in order to fight climate change, recently proposed a 50 percent cut in ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions by 2030 — which will disproportionately impact the agricultural industry. Small farms are thus faced with two choices: shutter entirely or face poverty after culling their livestock.

The Dutch government is not sympathetic to these concerns. In their words, “The honest message…is that not all farmers can continue their business.”

Though outsiders like to broad-brush them as potheads who love bicycles and windmills, the Dutch people are now showing their true colors, that revolutionary spirit that guided them through their War of Independence.

The Dutch learned a lesson from the Canadian Freedom Convoy earlier this year. At the outset of their protest, 40,000 farmers, many in tractors, crowded the streets to slow traffic to a standstill. As the government stood its ground, the farmers lit hay bales on fire along the sides of highways and moved their tractors into city centers.

Everything changed tone when the government reacted.

As Dutch farmers used their tractors to surround supermarket distribution centers, riot police came with teargas and dogs to break up the peaceful protest. At another demonstration, police shot at a tractor as it resisted instructions.

Some farmers have been so bold to say, “We don’t want war, but if we have to, we’ll go. Civil war.” Others have outfitted their tractors for protection against government bullets.

While this sounds radical, let me remind you of that Dutch spirit of independence. The Dutch are standing with the farmers in droves. Civilians are joining the blockades. Crowds at concerts are cheering the protest. The previously minor farmers’ interest political party, BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB), has never been more popularPolishGerman, and Italian farmers have demonstrated in solidarity, threatening to drive to their own nations’ capitals to put pressure on the European Union.

The farmers have thus forced Europe to recognize an oft-forgotten reality: no farmers, no food. If they don’t stand with the farmers now, already high food prices will increase exponentially.

Yet the government has stood its ground despite mass support for the farmers. Schoonhoven, a protest leader, told a press conference that their demonstrations “always happened within the limits of the law. But the result is that we are laughed at by politicians. That is why we continue to campaign, but in a way that the Netherlands has never seen before.”

The only concession the government has made is the appointment of a mediator, Johan Remkes. However, farmers see this pick as indicative of the root problem: Remkes was involved in the guidance document used to justify clamping down on farmers.

The farmers still show no sign of backing down. In fact, their protests are gaining ferocity. Recently, they issued plans to occupy many of their nation’s metropolitan areas. They’ve already arrived at many locations, including outside the Senate building at The Hague.

Yet Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister and leader of the ironically named People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, isn’t learning his lesson. The same nation that revolted against the Spanish yoke and ushered in the Dutch Golden Age is now rediscovering that revolutionary spirit. As for Rutte, he’s only asking for ruin.