Hundreds of climate activists have been staging a blockade of a major motorway in the Netherlands for the past several days. In response, the Dutch police arrested over 3,000 climate demonstrators during the protests against government subsidies given to planet-heating fossil fuels.
The protests, led by activists from Extinction Rebellion, Greenpeace and other organizations, are directed against the allocation of billions of euros in government subsidies to industries reliant on oil, coal, and gas. Local police said activists marched onto the A12 highway in the Hague and blocked all incoming traffic to the city.
Law enforcement authorities said they warned protesters to stay off the road and detained people who ignored orders to leave. The police also deployed water cannons to disperse the protestors.
Extinction Rebellion had declared their intention to obstruct the A12 highway in the Hague on a daily basis until all governmental subsidies for fossil fuels were entirely eradicated. A report by the Center for Research on Multinational Corporations unveiled staggering figures of €37.5 billion in such subsidies in the Netherlands, with a particular focus on the shipping sector. This revelation has sparked urgent calls for an immediate cessation of these practices.
Netherlands is regarded as a leader in renewable energy and progressive climate policies, with Minister for Climate and Energy Rob Jetten acknowledging that the country has to end the subsidies, but has offered no timeline. Previous such demonstrations have led to mass arrests.
Some photographs from the ongoing climate protests in the Hague, Netherlands.