More than 2,400 demonstrators were arrested at the A12 blockade in The Hague. The police announced this a few hours after the activists were removed from the highway. Dozens of minors are among those arrested.
In a statement, the police said that the demonstrators were taken by buses to the ADO stadium, on the edge of the highway. From there, the vast majority were allowed to go home.
Most arrests were related to violations of the Public Manifestations Act, which sets out rules that demonstrators must adhere to. The activists who were taken away by bus will not be prosecuted, police say.
Activists were also arrested for assault and vandalism. They are still stuck. It is unclear how many detainees are involved.
The blockade of the A12/Utrechtsebaan was prohibited in advance by the municipality. The police spent several hours this afternoon arresting climate activists there. The police arrested the first demonstrators around 2:30 p.m. and they were all removed from the highway by around 6:30 p.m. Water cannons were used before the police action, but this hardly deterred the demonstrators.
The activists blocked the A12 tunnel in protest against subsidies on fossil energy. According to the police, “some force” was used by officers during the arrests.
Activists were reportedly summoned several times to leave, but did not respond to the call. According to the police, they also obstructed the road when officers tried to make room for their vehicles. Demonstrators were then beaten with batons.
According to police chief Karin Krukkert, a number of demonstrators “were deliberately stopped”. According to Krukkert, some returned to the A12 after being taken to the ADO stadium.
A little further on, on the Avenue of Reagan and Gorbachev, a so-called support demonstration took place. That demonstration was allowed by the municipality. Dozens of other organizations, including Greenpeace and Milieudefensie, were present.
According to organizer Extinction Rebellion, around 25,000 people attended both protests. The police are not commenting further on this.
New demonstration tomorrow
In a written response, Mayor Jan van Zanen speaks of “a disruptive blocking action”. He emphasizes that the A12 blockade was prohibited in advance by the municipality. According to Van Zanen, there was a “huge police deployment” around the A12 to put an end to the blockade.
Tomorrow at 12 noon, another demonstration by Extinction Rebellion is planned at the ‘box’ of the A12. The action group threatens to repeat these actions for the time being if the demonstrators are removed by the police.
The police used water cannon against the activists:
- Police: 2,400 people arrested at climate demonstrations near A12