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Netherlands

Extinction Rebellion activist arrested at home for planning to block A12 motorway

Police arrested six environmentalists at their homes on Thursday morning as they planned to block the A12 motorway on Saturday. “Calling for criminal acts such as blocking public roads constitutes incitement.” public prosecutor’s office (OM) said.

According to the climate action group Extinction Rebellion (XR), at least two of the arrested non-violent climate activists were part of the group, and the arrests are part of efforts to suppress peaceful lockdowns. “XR condemns the criminalization of nonviolent climate activists,” he said. “The right to peaceful protest is being trampled on by the Dutch government.”

The Extinction Rebellion plans to block the A12 motorway next to the Houses of Parliament and the Ministry of Economy and Climate Policy in The Hague on Saturday to non-violently demand an immediate end to the government’s annual fossil subsidies. ing. More than 1,000 people have signed up to protest, according to XR.

According to OM, concerns about global warming “are no excuse for closing critical public roads.” previous blockade, On November 26th last year, “leading to a dangerous traffic situation in The Hague,” said OM. Police therefore arrested six activists for questioning.

“Demonstrations are a basic right and are promoted by The Hague municipality,” OM said. “But demonstrations do not authorize criminal activity.” According to OM, when the safety of others is in danger, authorities have no choice but to act.

The XR said their lawyers informed OM that all OM activists were willing to cooperate with the interrogation demands, making arrests unnecessary. Attorney Willem Jevink called OM’s decision to arrest activists despite their willingness to cooperate with authorities “disappointing.”

“These arrests are disproportionate,” the attorney said. “Last year, the Amsterdam Court of Appeals made a clear ruling that it is not a crime to seek a blockade, as the intention is not to commit a criminal act but to seek peaceful protest.”

As a result of the arrests, nine civil society organizations pledged to join climate change protests at A12 on Saturday, according to newswire ANP. The Board believes it is important to support this action,” Greenpeace said in a statement issued on its behalf, Urgenda, Milieudefensie, FNV, De Goede Zaak, Both ENDS. , Fossielvrij NL, Jonge Klimaatbeweging, Oxfam Novib.

According to the organization, Dutch authorities’ deeming the call for demonstrations to be an act of sedition “is not only unfair, it is also an attempt to undermine and criminalize public discourse on peaceful action.”

Michel Serváez, director of Oxfam Novib, said in the same statement: “We do not acknowledge and consider this threat unacceptable.

https://nltimes.nl/2023/01/26/extinction-rebellion-activists-arrested-home-plans-block-a12-highway Extinction Rebellion activist arrested at home for planning to block A12 motorway

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