1,500+ Extinction Rebellion activists protesting in The Hague arrested
This comes as 7,000 people gathered to join the protests held against Dutch fossil fuel subsidies.
Around 1,500 individuals were detained on Saturday during a protest by the Extinction Rebellion climate organization in The Hague, according to Dutch police.
During the afternoon, activists blocked a section of a highway during a protest against Dutch fossil fuel subsidies.
Police said they used water cannons to disperse demonstrators who were blocking a key route in the city and detained "a total of 1,579 people... 40 of whom will be prosecuted" for damage and other crimes.
Among the demonstrators were many Dutch celebrities, notably Carice van Houten, widely known for her role as Melisandre in the blockbuster TV series Game of Thrones. Van Houten shared a video on Instagram of herself getting soaked by a water cannon while wearing a red poncho.
Houten was reportedly arrested and later released, as per ANP. The news agency did not specify if she was among those who would face charges.
7,000 individuals attended the protest, as per Extinction Rebellion.
We wont stop fighting for climate justice 💪💪 pic.twitter.com/3OImzB1hUv— Extinction Rebellion Den Haag (@XRTheHague) May 27, 2023
Anticipating the water cannon, some activists wore swimsuits or carried umbrellas as they sat in protest across the A12 motorway, holding banners and signs.
This is the third demonstration organized by Extinction Rebellion on the same section of the highway in the Hague, near the parliament and main government buildings.
The protest witnessed the largest number of people arrested at such a rally, according to the Dutch news agency ANP.
“We’re going to stay here until they drag us away,” said postgraduate student Anne Kerevers, 31. Climate change is an unfolding crisis and we know the cause and it’s still being subsidized by our government and it needs to stop,” she said as quoted by AFP.
Police claimed they consistently “given activists the opportunity to end their action and leave” prior to utilizing the water cannon and arresting activists.
“We’ve been coming back every month, or every two months, and every time the number (of protesters) has doubled,” said Aaron Pereira, a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion.
“There is broad popular support for real climate action and people are waking up to the fact that the government is actively going against this by subsidizing the fossil fuel industry," Pereira added.
The environmental movement organization XR has gained fame for its direct action protests against the climate crisis. However, in January, the organization stated that it will abandon disruptive methods, and instead, it plans to mobilize massive numbers in response to what it regards as government inaction on global warming.