In The Hague, the police used the water cannon against demonstrators of Extinction Rebellion, who blocked the A12 motorway this afternoon despite a ban. The municipality had already announced at the end of the afternoon that the police would intervene if the climate activists were not gone by 5 p.m.
At around 5:10 p.m., the police began to break up the demonstration. The so-called ‘fog jet’ of the water cannon was used for this purpose. Some climate activists nevertheless remained on the highway. Many of them wore rain suits or ponchos. According to the police, a number of activists tried to attach themselves to the water cannon, which would have been prevented by officers.
The remaining demonstrators are currently being taken off the highway and put on buses. It is not yet clear how many climate activists have been arrested so far. According to Extinction Rebellion, people are being stopped “on the assembly line” and some demonstrators are grabbed by the head.
The fire brigade has set up a tent near the protest for dry clothing and a medical check. This is a precautionary measure to prevent hypothermia, says the municipality. According to the climate activists, the fire brigade’s tent is inaccessible because the police are blocking access. The police deny that.
The A12 near The Hague was initially completely closed due to the protest, but the road has been partially reopened since 1.45 pm. There may still be traffic in the vicinity of the Malieveld, because there are activists on the road surface.
No permission was given for the protest on the A12. The police and municipality warned this morning that such a highway blockade is prohibited and that climate activists were allowed to demonstrate elsewhere in The Hague, on the Koekamp.
Nevertheless, around noon a large group of protesters with banners walked onto the highway. According to Extinction Rebellion, more than 3,000 protesters were involved in the blockade; the police do not want to give numbers.
The demonstrators were stopped by police and the riot police, whereupon they sat down on the asphalt. So far, one person has been arrested for insulting an official in office. According to the police, the protester also pasted stickers on the water cannon.
At the request of the municipality of The Hague, Rijkswaterstaat sprayed part of the Utrechtsebaan of the A12 this morning with a hot salt liquid. This prevents activists from sticking to the asphalt and ensures that the road surface is not damaged.
XR is demanding that the government stop subsidizing fossil fuel companies. The action group has already organized a blockade on the Utrechtsebaan of the A12 five times. Hundreds of people were arrested at the end of January.
The climate activists gave a protest concert in the middle of the highway this afternoon:
- The Hague is preparing for a busy demonstration day
- Youths Extinction Rebellion take action at Nachtwacht
- Court: three climate activists A12 were unjustly banned from the area