10,000 demonstrators join the climate march through Rotterdam
Ten thousand climate protesters began a climate march through Rotterdam from the Binnenrotte on Sunday afternoon. After a short podium program on the square in front of the Markthal, the protesters left around 1:45 p.m. for a tour through the center of the Maasstad.
The route will go via the Blaak, the Coolsingel and the Hofplein, to finish at the starting point. There the day will be concluded with a number of speakers and music.
During the climate march in Rotterdam, several demonstrators criticized farmers with their banners and signs. With phrases like "Farmers, there is nothing cool about nitrogen," "Climate Defense Force" and "Fewer mega stables, more biodiversity," the climate protesters made it known that they are against the recent farmers' protests.
"Had I gone with the tractor, I would now have been spoken to," read a large banner of an activist, referring to the farmers' protests against the Cabinet's nitrogen plan. Farmers' action clubs are organizing a nationwide protest day next week.
The farmers are displeased with the nitrogen plan that Minister Christianne van der Wal (Nature and Nitrogen) recently announced. Emissions must be significantly reduced so that nature can recover, which has major consequences for farmers. According to the government's objectives, nitrogen emissions in the Gelderse Vallei, Noord-Brabant and Limburg must be reduced by more than half.
It is a coincidence that the climate march is being held just a few days before the farmers' protest. In a sense, the actions are the opposite of each other: while the farmers believe that the government is going too far with "unrealistic" plans to protect nature, the environmentalists say that the government lacks urgency to combat climate change. For example, they denounced the fact that coal-fired power stations are still open in the Netherlands.
The protesters also opposed aviation. Slogans such as "Boycott Schiphol" and "Less flights, more trains" can often be seen on cardboard signs. "Airplane = 30 euros. Train = 300 euros. How?!" is on the plate of 21-year-old Fenna from Rotterdam. "Going on holiday by train is made unaffordable for students like me. That really needs to change."
The organizations behind the demonstration want "deeds not words" to limit global warming. The Netherlands is at a standstill when it comes to the climate crisis, they think. "Coal-fired power stations remain open and deadlines from the Urgenda climate case are not met, while the climate crisis is the order of the day with floods, forest fires and famines worldwide."
They also link global warming to the war in Ukraine. "Fossil fuels are the driver of the climate crisis, but also of war, conflict and pollution. Due to a broken system, we seem to be stuck with fossil fuels as a society. And in this way we contribute to horrific wars, such as the one in Ukraine," said Faiza Oulahsen of Greenpeace.
According to the organizers, much still needs to be done in Rotterdam in the field of sustainability, especially in the port, where, for example, the import and refining of fossil fuels is a major industry.
The Climate Crisis Coalition that organized the protest includes Greenpeace, Oxfam Novib, trade union FNV, Extinction Rebellion, Milieudefensie and Fridays for Future. About 40,000 people took part in the previous climate march in Amsterdam in November last year.
Reporting by ANP