Women's march, climate protest in Amsterdam this weekend

School kids marching through The Hague for more action against climate change, 7 Feb 2019
School kids marching through The Hague for more action against climate change, 7 Feb 2019Photo: Politie Den Haag / Twitter

This weekend will be a protest-filled one for the Dutch capital. The recurring Women's March will happen in Amsterdam on Saturday, and an even more popular climate protest is schedule to happen on Sunday, AT5 reports.

Around 3,500 people said on Facebook that they will be participating in the Women's March on Saturday. And over 16 thousand said they would be attending the climate protest on Sunday, with thousands more indicating that they are interested. While Facebook figures say little about the actual attendance, it seems that both protests will be well attended.

This is the second edition of the Women's March on Amsterdam. The first march, which was in response to Donald Trump being appointed president, brought thousands of protesters to the streets of the Dutch capital. This year the emphasis of the protest is on inclusiveness, anti-racism and transgender rights.

Sunday's climate march is being organized by environmental organization Milieudefensie, as a signal to the government. Protesters will march between Dam Square and Museumplein, demanding more attention to climate change and environmental pollution in future government plans. Claudia de Breij and Typhoon are among the speakers.

This protest follows several well attended 'truant' protests, in which students and pupils across the country skipped school and classes to demand that more be done against climate change. According to AT5, carpools are being arranged throughout the country to bring people to Sunday's protest.

Climate change was one of the main topics on Thursday during the first television debate for the upcoming Provincial States elections. On March 20th the members of the Provincial States will be elected, who in turn will elect a new Senate in May. The expectation is that the Rutte III coalition will lose its current one-seat majority in the Senate, which means that the government will need opposition support to implement its plans.

During the debate D66 leader Rob Jetten called on GroenLinks to team up with his party after the election, to push the VVD into more ambitious climate measures. GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver said that his party is willing to help the government to a majority on some issues, but only if the government implements a CO2 tax on large companies. Earlier on Thursday 17 large Dutch companies published an open letter in the Volkskrant, calling on the government not to implement a tax on CO2 emissions. According to the companies, this will result in job losses, among other things. 

A recent poll by I&O Research shows that there are more and more climate change skeptics in the Netherlands, particularly among men, the elderly and people with lower levels of education.