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Hundreds arrested after climate change protest in Schiphol

Dutch border police on Saturday arrested hundreds of climate change activists who climbed fences and gates at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and took over the aprons of private jets.

Protesters rushed onto the tarmac around 1200 GMT before sitting in front of commercial aircraft, including a Royal Canadian Air Force C-130 transport plane parked on the apron.

It wasn’t clear if any of the jets were set to depart, but protesters said they saw at least one pilot leave the plane and return to a nearby hangar.

Activists organized by environmental groups Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion also pushed dozens of bicycles onto the apron.

Screaming slogans like “Down Down Flying” and “Schiphol Polluter”, they cycled around the apron to the cheers of onlookers on the other side of the fence.

“Today’s action means that Schiphol Airport needs to reduce its emissions, which means flying less,” Greenpeace spokeswoman Faiza Oulahsen said.

“I’m starting with flights I don’t absolutely need, like private jets and short-haul flights,” she told AFP.

About three hours later, Dutch border police began arresting the activists. Some of the activists were dragged onto waiting buses after passively resisting arrest.

Border police were also seen removing several activists from their bicycles as they tried to escape their pursuers.

“We are taking this very seriously,” Dutch border police spokesman Major Robert van Kapel told AFP.

“These people are facing charges of being where they shouldn’t be,” he said, adding that prosecutors will now work out the exact charges.

The activists were taken to various border police stations around the airfield where they were processed and identified, Van Capel said.

Van Capel said no commercial flights were affected by the protests.

Greenpeace later said police had “been treating activists on bicycles too harshly”, and at least one person suffered a head injury.

The protests come as the world gears up for the UN climate summit, which begins in Egypt on Sunday, and activists said air travel should also be a focus.

Extinction Rebellion spokesman Tessel Hofstede said: “This is an issue they have to talk about.

“Airplanes are some of the biggest sources of pollution on the planet,” she told AFP.

https://www.expatica.com/nl/general/hundreds-arrested-after-schiphol-climate-protest-388182/ Hundreds arrested after climate change protest in Schiphol

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