Not Chicken at the Prospect of Further Attacks

In what is otherwise a Dutch press mainly preoccupied with the fierce summer heat and the related hazards it brings (forest fires; something called blauwalgen – “blue algae?” – that actually looks like an oil patch on the water and can cause health problems for swimmers; swimmers drowning in those outdoor water-sports areas not actually denied them by the presence of blauwalgen), one subset of Dutch society is busy getting set for more attacks. Indeed, more attacks have been explicitly forecast, resulting in a general alert having been just recently sounded for only the second time this year. (And it looks like it just might be serious this time, folks: apparently no part of recent indications pointing to imminent mayhem originate from British intelligence.)

No, we’re not talking here about the police or other public authorities (nor about those responsible for keeping the few skyscrapers in the Netherlands, most located in Rotterdam, standing); nor is the threat being characterized with the use of the word “terrorist.” Rather, it is usually characterized along the lines of “animal rights activists,” and it is namely those involved in the Dutch meat and poultry sector who are now on alert against new “attacks” and protest actions by these motivated protestors. The Dutch religious newspaper Nederlands Dagblad has the scoop on this dire situation, with its on-line article entitled Vleessector vreest voor aanslagen – or “Meat sector fears attacks.”

It may be vacation season, but nevertheless both the Association of the Dutch Poultry Industry and the Central Organization for the Meat Sector remain ever-vigilant against this threat, and they are the ones that have recently sent out e-mails and letters to their members about the heightened state of alarm. Of course, that’s about all they can do; the individual businesses have to take things from there, which generally means taking whatever extra security measures they deem appropriate and making sure that they have that oh-so-very-Dutch totem to fall back on: namely a good insurance policy.

Some of you particularly skilled in web-text exegesis may detect hints of a mocking tone, but let me assure you that the threat is real. As the ND article is careful to note, there was that incident in 2001 when the entire premises of the Dumeco pig slaughter-house in the southern Dutch town of Boxtel was fire-bombed and completely gutted, an assault for which the “Animal Liberation Front” (that’s right – or else how would you translate Dierenbevrijdingsfront?) claimed credit. Local McDonalds franchises (termed “McMurder” by these activists) also are under threat.

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