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Video of firetrucks shows fundraising event in Poland, not Dutch protest

August 25, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: Video shows Dutch firefighters standing on their trucks as the lights flash and sirens blare, displaying solidarity with farmers who are protesting new environmental regulations in the country.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video shows a convoy of firetrucks in Poland at an annual charity event to raise funds for medical treatments. It was filmed in the county of Krosno on May 21, 2022.

THE FACTS: As farmers in the Netherlands protested this month against a government proposal to slash emissions of pollutants, Twitter users in recent days have shared an unrelated video from TikTok, falsely claiming it is part of the Dutch demonstrations.

The video shows a convoy of parked firetrucks, while firefighters in uniform and other people stand on top of the vehicles.

“Firefighters in the Netherlands show off their great solidarity with farmers,” claims a tweet of the video that was posted this week.

But the video was filmed in Poland and was taken months earlier, on May 21, in a parking lot in Jedlicze, a town in Krosno county. The TikTok user who shared the video the next day, and whose username appears on the clip posted to Twitter, wrote in the caption in Polish: “Night Ride of Rescuers for Maja.”

The night is an annual charity fundraiser, and this year’s event raised money for a little girl with cerebral palsy named Maja, according to a Facebook event page from organizer Krosno112.pl, a local website. The official website for Jedlicze also wrote about the event.

Video of the event posted on Facebook by Krosno112.pl matches the TikTok clip. For instance, a woman wearing a beige cardigan and blue jeans standing on top of a firetruck bearing the number “347-24” can be seen in both videos.

The Associated Press has debunked multiple images that were misrepresented as recent photos of the Dutch farmers’ protest. In recent weeks, farmers in the Netherlands have taken their tractors to the streets to protest against planned emissions cuts.

The government’s plan is to reduce emissions of pollutants like nitrogen oxide and ammonia, which livestock produce in their waste, by 50% by 2030. The changes are expected to include reducing livestock and buying up farms whose animals produce large amounts of ammonia.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.