THE HAGUE – The climate action group Extinction Rebellion demonstrates daily in The Hague this week. On Monday at noon, the action group started the first blockades in the vicinity of the House of Representatives and the Koningstunnel. Read all the news about Monday’s demonstrations here.
More than 60 people arrested in demonstrations
On Monday, the police arrested more than sixty people during various demonstrations of Extinction Rebellion in The Hague. The demonstrators were arrested because of ‘immediate traffic danger and nuisance’. Among other things, they blocked an intersection near the temporary House of Representatives. At the beginning of the evening, the police removed the last dozens of Extinction Rebellion activists from the intersection of Bezuidenhoutseweg and Prins Clauslaan.
Reporter Volkskrant released again
The reporter of de Volkskrant who was arrested on Monday at a demonstration by the Extinction Rebellion action group in The Hague, has been released again, de Volkskrant reported Monday evening. The journalist, Mac van Dinther, remains suspected of insulting an officer, according to the newspaper.
Van Dinther told his supervisor Eelco Meuleman that he had been pushed aside by the police during the Extinction Rebellion action and was ordered to distance himself more. ‘He didn’t think that was a good course of action, he wanted to be closer to the group of activists to see what happened’, says Meuleman. The police would then have said that he was hindering the officers, on which Van Dinther labeled this as ‘childish’. “Apparently that was enough to push him into the police van.”
Van Dinther pointed to the fact that he is a journalist on the basis of his police press card that he had hanging around his neck. ‘The officer responded with ‘everyone can say that he is a journalist’. The reporter was incarcerated from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. De Volkskrant had, among other things, hired a lawyer to get Van Dinther released.
Last Extinction Rebellion activists in The Hague removed
On Monday evening, the police removed the last dozen activists of Extinction Rebellion from an intersection near the temporary House of Representatives. Extinction Rebellion campaigned for a large part of the day in various places in The Hague.
Extinction Rebellion has announced that it will be campaigning in The Hague throughout the week. With “mass disruptive action” the climate activists demonstrate against climate policy.
The protest started around noon on Monday with the ‘occupation’ of two intersections. The demonstrators sat on the asphalt for hours, surrounded by police officers. Signs and banners carried texts such as “this road is a dead end” and “procrastination is not an option”. Some had one of their hands glued to the road surface.
Others had chained themselves under a rented truck parked in the roadway. The cargo hold of that truck was a stage where protest leaders addressed the crowd. The truck was towed after police released the protesters.
Last protesters are ordered to leave
The last demonstrators are also ordered to leave by the police and otherwise arrested. Mayor Jan van Zanen left the activists at the intersection of Bezuidenhoutseweg and Prins Clauslaan for some time, but they too must now pack their things. Those who refuse to leave the intersection are arrested by the officers. Several buses are already ready to transport the protesters.
Activists still chained on Bezuidenhoutseweg
The police are still in the process of removing the demonstrators on Bezuidenhoutseweg. Several activists have chained themselves to a truck that they have placed in front of the Malietoren. This truck is being disassembled piece by piece by the agents, so that the activists can be removed and arrested.
Action group Extinction Rebellion blocks roads in The Hague
Meanwhile, some of the approximately two hundred protesters are still on the street, under the watchful eye of the police. They appear to be waiting to arrest these protesters until all protesters have been released. One of the men present has fastened himself with two metal tubes. He has already placed two tourniquets on his arm, in case the officers slip when loosening the metal tube.
Journalist Volkskrant arrested for obstruction and insult
One of the people arrested during the protest is Volkskrant journalist Mac van Dinther. He was present at the protest to report for the newspaper. Van Dinther writes on Twitter that he was ‘forcibly dragged into a police van’ because he was ‘too close’. Meuleman was in contact with Van Dinther all day, but has not been able to reach him since the message on Twitter. He then complained to the police about the arrest of the journalist.
The Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ) also says it will contact the police to request clarification, according to general secretary Thomas Bruning. “Usually it gets resolved quickly.”
According to the police, Van Dinther has been arrested for obstruction and insult and is currently being interrogated.
Police remove activists on Bezuidenhoutseweg
The police have started removing the activists from the Malietoren. The protesters had split into three groups. One of the groups left as soon as the ME started their charges. The second group is taken away by the police, while the third group has glued itself to parked cars.
The latter group is dislodged by the police with great caution. After that, these activists are also arrested and taken away in police vans.
Protesters at Malietoren must be gone in an hour
The police will detain the demonstrators at the Malietoren on the Bezuidenhoutseweg at 4 p.m. The officers present have informed the group of about two hundred demonstrators. The activists are now discussing whether they will heed the call or whether they want to escalate the matter. The various cells present at the Malietoren must inform the organization of these decisions within fifteen minutes.
In the meantime, the police have announced that they will also intervene at Lekstraat, because traffic nuisance and danger has arisen. The demonstrators would have been asked to leave several times, just like on the Bezuidenhoutseweg and at the Koningstunnel. The activists who still remain will be arrested from now on.
Dozens of protesters arrested at Koningstunnel
The police have started clearing the Koningstunnel. The demonstrators of Extinction Rebellion have blocked the entrance to the tunnel in the center of The Hague with a scaffolding. There are also protesters on wooden poles near the tunnel. These people are being removed by the police.
The demonstrators present are all arrested and taken away in vans by the police. According to a reporter from Omroep West, this is happening in a good atmosphere and the protest is pleasant despite the arrests.
Protesters have chained themselves to each other here. For example, two of the activists put their arm in a log to make it difficult for the police. The duo has now been freed and they are also in a police bus.
Blockades of the House of Representatives
Supporters of Extinction Rebellion gathered early in the vicinity of the temporary House of Representatives. Around noon, the activists moved to the Prins Clauslaan next to the building and, armed with banners, blocked the entrance and exit of the Utrechtsebaan. Not much later, a group of activists also blocked an intersection with Bezuidenhoutseweg, a little further on.
The police are present in the area and tried to clear the intersections, after which a group cleared one intersection and joined the activists next to the House of Representatives building. Some of them sat on the road there. Activists have also chained themselves to a truck. A number of officers got this group of activists from under the car.
With the blockades, the action group wants to ‘demand that the government make the Netherlands climate neutral in 2025 in a just manner’. “The crisis is now. The plans speak of 2050, but that takes too long,” Tess Osterhold says in the radio program West Becomes Wakker.
‘This is the most effective way. We tried many times to get attention with petitions, but it turned out that it didn’t work. And also a lawsuit showing that the government wasn’t doing enough didn’t work because we haven’t seen enough change yet,” Osterhold says.
The municipality of The Hague has indicated that it will facilitate the demonstrations as much as possible this week. The municipality also warns that the actions must be carried out in an orderly manner. The demonstrators may not block roads or intersections or daub or climb buildings. If this does happen or if other ‘disorders’ occur, the police will intervene.
Osterhold: ‘We have heard many times before that we are not allowed to block roads. The climate crisis is too bad not to do it. You just have to pay attention. And if this is the only way to get attention, this is the way to do it.’
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Extinction Rebellion claims to be peaceful. But if the police ask to leave, the protesters will not get up and walk away, according to Osterhold. ‘That will not happen. We believe that blocking a road is not violent. We don’t hurt anyone directly by blocking the road. We hope everything will go peacefully. That is our approach.’
During the blockade action, protesters say that the action group “wants to fight for the 2030 climate goals.” To this end, the action group sees ‘a kind of OMT in the field of climate being created. Including experts who can advise the government on how to achieve these objectives.’ To make their demands known and draw attention to the climate problem, the organization will demonstrate for a week.