Netherlands Climate Protesters Arrested After Blocking A12 Highway, Demanding End to Fossil Fuel Subsidies

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More than 1,500 climate protesters were arrested by Dutch police in The Hague after staging a blockade on the A12 motorway. The demonstration, organized by Extinction Rebellion, aimed to draw attention to the need for an end to fossil fuel subsidies. Activists walked onto the highway, leading to a major disruption in traffic.

In an attempt to disperse the crowds, law enforcement resorted to using water cannons, but the protesters were well-prepared, wearing raincoats and swimsuits. While the majority of those arrested were released, 40 individuals will face prosecution, primarily for offenses such as vandalism and resisting arrest resulting in injury. Among the participants in the protest were several Dutch celebrities, including actress Carice van Houten, renowned for her role as Melisandre in the TV series Game of Thrones. Van Houten was arrested but later allowed to return home, according to Dutch news agency ANP.

Extinction Rebellion accused the police of employing water cannons a mere 15 minutes after the blockade began, while authorities maintained that they had initially requested the activists to leave and only resorted to using water cannons after giving them an opportunity to comply. Although most of the individuals arrested will not face prosecution due to the perceived minor nature of their offense, the primary objective of the arrests was to bring an end to the blockade. Throughout the day, protesters were lifted and carried onto buses for processing. This marked the seventh instance in which Extinction Rebellion protesters had blocked the A12 highway. The mayor had previously implemented rules prohibiting demonstrations on this road.

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