Jan 28, 2023 at 2:24 PMUpdate: 3 minutes ago
The A12 in The Hague is empty again after the highway was blocked for a large part of the afternoon by protesters of the Extinction Rebellion action group. The police report that they have made hundreds of arrests among the demonstrators. The road has now been reopened to traffic.
A group of activists who climbed into poles along the road were the last to survive. They were brought down by the fire brigade.
The activists were warned in advance by the police and mayor Jan van Zanen not to enter the Utrechtsebaan, but did not respond.
The police could not say exactly how many arrests have been made, but it would be at least two hundred. According to Extinction Rebellion, more than five hundred arrests have been made.
The climate activists had not only gathered on the road, but also next to the Utrechtsebaan and on the Malieveld. The demonstrators are protesting because they disagree with the way the government deals with subsidies for fossil energy producers.
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Police used grinders and coke
The police used grinders and cola to get climate activists off the A12. Demonstrators had attached themselves to each other and to the road in various ways.
Both the activists and the officers wore hearing protection against the sound of the grinder. Toolboxes containing hammers were deployed and police tried to dislodge glued demonstrators using coke.
Activists glued themselves together via a tube. There were many spectators along the sides of the road and above the tunnel, cheering the protesters on the road and jeering the police. They did not listen to the police’s call to go to the Malieveld.
Images of a press photographer who was arrested by the police are circulating on social media. Observers from Amnesty International were present at the action to observe how the action unfolded.
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Police arrest and deport protesters
Around noon, hundreds of protesters took to the road. Three quarters of an hour later, the police intervened, but it was not easy to remove the groups of activists from the road. People who were arrested were taken in vans.
In recent days, seven supporters of Extinction Rebellion have been arrested because of the announced protest action. They had called on others to participate in the blockade of the Utrechtsebaan. According to the Public Prosecution Service, they are guilty of sedition.
They are now free again, but they are not allowed on the Utrechtsebaan for the time being. One of them, Lucas Winnips, nevertheless participated in the blockade on the A12 and was arrested. Winnips tried in vain on Friday to get the so-called code of conduct off the table.
Well-known Dutch people present at the action
Actor Sieger Sloot was also present in The Hague despite an area ban. In the end, he did not go to the A12 for the Extinction Rebellion action, but moved to the Malieveld, Sloot wrote on Instagram. Singer MEROL, writer Maartje Wortel and actress Georgina Verbaan were also present at the action in The Hague.
The well-known Dutch people demonstrated with the action group against the billions in tax benefits that directly or indirectly encourage the use of fossil fuels (including natural gas and oil). The use of these fuels releases CO2, which contributes to harmful global warming.
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