Greenpeace to hold protest-festival at Schiphol in December

Schiphol Amsterdam
Schiphol Airport. Jul 16, 2015Photo: Boarding2Now/DepositPhotos

Greenpeace is planning a multi-day 'protestival' at Schiphol airport over the weekend of December 14th. The aim of this event is to draw attention to the airport's impact on the environment. "Because when it comes to how we are going to stop the climate crisis, Schiphol remains awfully quiet", campaign leader Dewi Zloch said to Het Parool.

This "non-official action" involves the airport being "transformed into a festival site for at least a weekend", Greenpeace said. "By claiming a central location inside, Schiphol Group literally cannot ignore the action. The visitors to the festival are not planning to check out quickly." 

The environmental organization asked the public to vote on three options for a protest against the pollution caused by the aviation sector. A 'protestival' at Schiphol came out on top after nearly 17 thousand votes. 

Exactly what the protest will look like will be worked out in the coming weeks. Greenpeace does not want to say too much, "so as not to make Schiphol wiser". Protesters will spend the night at the airport. "Our goal is not to hinder travelers, but to address Schiphol on its impact on the environment", Zloch said to the newspaper. "These are not going to be official actions, but all our actions are safe and peaceful. We will always consult with all parties involved."

Greenpeace's goal is to keep the protests as "public-friendly" as possible, but the time for calm actions is over, Zloch said. "In March we already held a climate march in which, despite the pouring rain, many people participated. The climate crisis is a subject that more and more people are concerned about. We want to go one step further. We have been taking action for some time, but these are becoming larger."

The 'protestival' will happen in December, at the same time as political decisions about the future of Dutch aviation, growth at Schiphol, and the opening of Lelystad Airport. "At the beginning of July we presented a report stating that Schiphol annually emits 13.6 megatons of CO2. A few days later, the cabinet decision to let Schiphol grow was made. A lot of people were upset about that."