Nearly 3,000 participants were temporarily detained in two protests demanding greater climate protection in The Hague over the weekend. They closed the A12 highway near the Dutch parliament and government area on Saturday and Sunday. On both days, police used water cannons against Extinction Rebellion (XR). According to a statement, emergency services arrested more than 500 participants on Sunday, compared to about 2,400 the previous day.
According to city administration estimates, about 1,000 people participated in the blockade on Sunday, and the day before, about 9,000 followed phone calls from XR. According to XR and other organizations, several thousand people demonstrated over the weekend outside the highway area, where businesses are mostly permitted. According to media reports, many of these demonstrators expressed their solidarity with the siege.
The mayor of The Hague, Jan van Zanen, approved the forced evacuation of part of the highway after demonstrators there resisted calls to clear the road. They were offered to organize a demonstration against the government’s energy policy not far from The Hague Central Station, where it was legal to do so.
As happened on Saturday, the detainees were transported by bus to the ADO football club stadium in The Hague on Sunday. After a short time, most of them were released again. According to the police, criminal action has been taken against only a few of them.
According to its own information, XR wants to close the A12 every day until all government subsidies for fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas are canceled in the Netherlands. The group accuses the government of failing to fulfill its promise to eliminate tax breaks and other forms of support for aviation, shipping, fossil fuel power generation and oil production.
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