De heftige jaren

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De heftige jaren or the troublesome years in English refers to a period from 1976 up until 1984 which saw social, economic upheaval with a number of violent protests and resistance against a rapidly changing Netherlands after the east indies crisis. In total during the period there would be 67 violent actions, 8 sieges, 10 terrorist attacks, and hundreds of protests. Eventually, it was resolved not necessarily by peace but by exhaustion of the protestors and the turning of public favor. While in the provinces of Holland & Zeeland it is often seen as a civil disturbance, some scholars and historians from the east call it “De beleging van Holland” or the siege of Holland, they call it that due to the fact that for the first time in nearly 230 years Holland her dominance in the Netherlands was questioned.

While the exact date of its start is still disputed, with some saying it was on June the 1st 1976 during the first anti immigrant farmer march, while others claim it is on the 3rd of December when in Malacca a Dutch diplomat was killed, yet all agree that it started in 1976. Increasing tensions in regards to the influx of 2 million new immigrants, social and economic issues, the dominance of Holland, and the ownership of land. Let to a period of protests, terrorist actions, sieges and riots that marked the period, these mainly took place in the eastern provinces with a major reason being what they perceived as unfair treatment and dominance from Holland. It would see the deployment of not just local police but also military forces against what came to be known as the Farmer liberation front.

The farmer march