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FNV Labor Day demonstration draws criticism from animal lovers


Thousands of activists have gathered in Utrecht for a Labor Day demonstration, led by trade union FNV. The protest has drawn criticism for its choice of a final destination –– a park –– from staff who say the crowd is disruptive to breeding animals.

The event is in support of socio-economic equality and stretches along a route from Utrecht Central Station to Julianapark in Zuilen, according to RTV Utrecht. Demonstrators have joined for myriad reasons, RTV Utrecht reports. Some of them have pensions running dry as daily life becomes more expensive, while others have worked in physically taxing jobs but still not earned enough to save.

Around 2:30 p.m., the procession entered the park, where stalls and portable toilets are set up. Although FNV said it consulted with the municipality about the location, Stichting Dierenweide Julianapark has complained that protesters are disturbing the wildlife in the park and that there are too many people.

“Why not another park or other square?” said Jan Willem van Holland, manager of the animal meadow in Julianapark, to RTV Utrecht. “It’s just super stupid. Normally you are not allowed to cycle, no dogs are allowed. And now so many people are allowed to walk around in the wild.”

Van Holland stressed that the disturbance was even worse because it came during breeding season. Nesting animals in the park have been cordoned off.





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