About an hour after the blockade started, officers started arresting demonstrators who refused to go away the highway.
Earlier this week, six Extinction Rise up activists have been detained by authorities on suspicion of sedition linked to calls to stage the protest. A choose on Friday upheld an order banning one other activist from the world for 90 days.
The arrests and exclusion order sparked unrest amongst activists who argue it infringes their proper to peaceable protest.
Extinction Rise up spokesperson Anne Kervers stated the massive variety of contributors “reveals what society thinks of fossil gasoline subsidies and of the intimidation and criminalization of nonviolent local weather activism.”
Prosecutors defended their motion, saying the suspects have been calling for supporters to participate within the “harmful and disruptive blockade” of the highway.
“Calling for a prison offense — resembling blocking a public highway — quantities to sedition,” prosecutors stated in an announcement.
They stated that the blockade of the busy highway main into The Hague was a hazard to motorists and protesters.
“Demonstrating is a basic proper and is facilitated by the municipality of The Hague,” prosecutors stated. “There are a whole bunch of demonstrations in The Hague yearly that go off and not using a hitch. However an illustration will not be a license to commit prison offenses.”
Extinction Rise up activists, nevertheless, vowed to proceed with their protests, through which they demand an finish to authorities tax breaks for firms linked to fossil fuels.
“It’s important that residents can display towards this in a spot that issues. For Extinction Rise up, this consists of the A12, between the Home of Representatives and the Ministry of Financial Affairs and Local weather,” the group stated in an announcement. “Any nuisance for site visitors, for instance, should be tolerated.”
Different activists joined the protest out of solidarity.
“We’re very involved that the appropriate to protest is being more and more restricted within the Netherlands. We stand firmly behind peaceable activists who train their proper to protest,” Andy Palmen of the Dutch arm of Greenpeace stated in an announcement forward of the demonstration.