Police arrest Extinction Rebellion protesters in Amsterdam
Eighteen to 20 people were arrested during a demonstration by Extinction Rebellion in Amsterdam on Saturday, a police spokesperson confirmed after reporting by Het Parool. The group formed a blockade on the Blauwbrug to draw attention to the climate crisis ahead of next week’s municipal elections.
Because Amsterdam is 1.20 meters below sea level, it can flood in the future without attention to the climate, according to the group’s event page. "We sat in the heart of the city, near the town hall, to draw attention from the parties and voters and to keep the climate crisis in mind,” said a spokesperson for the group.
Traffic was disrupted by the blockade. "That's annoying, but it makes people think about the climate,” the spokesperson said.
According to Extinction Rebellion, around 18 activists were arrested and detained for four hours, a spokesperson said on Saturday evening. All were released on Saturday evening, according to the spokesperson.
A police spokesperson could not specify what the activists were arrested for. However, the event page for the demonstration warned participants that the protest would be a disruptive one, running the risk of arrest.
Other climate activists across the Netherlands also took to the streets on Saturday to draw attention to environmental causes prior to next week’s municipal elections. About 15 events were held in various places in the country, including a sustainable fashion show, debates with local politicians and a demonstration in Maastricht where students demanded free public transportation.
The events all support “climate-just policy,” said Faiza Oulahsen on behalf of the Climate Crisis Coalition, which consists of 11 different climate organizations including Extinction Rebellion. The Netherlands must "get rid of fossil fuels as quickly as possible, because they fuel conflicts, wars and the climate crisis. The coming term of office is crucial for this,” Oulahsen said.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times