104 XR climate activists arrested at Eindhoven Airport; All detained XR protesters free again
The last arrested XR activist was released Saturday evening, the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee reported.
The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee arrested 104 climate activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR) at Eindhoven Airport on Saturday, a spokesperson said. The XR activists were arrested for trespassing. However, only one activist still remains in custody; the remaining 103 XR activists who were arrested at Eindhoven airport have been released, according to a spokesperson for the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee.
@POL_Eindhoven is begonnen met het arresteren van onze vreedzame rebellen voor het overtreden van de wet. Maar voor het overtreden van de wet als het gaat om de natuurvergunning of het maximum aantal vluchten is nog niemand gearresteerd. pic.twitter.com/LnwgcpLMK9— Extinction Rebellion Nederland (@NLRebellion) March 25, 2023
The identity of the only person still arrested has not yet been determined. The prosecutor's office will take care of possible criminal prosecution of the activists, a spokesperson said.
The Extinction Rebellion action began around 12 p.m. in front of the airport entrance, where several dozen people had gathered. Another group gathered near the parking lot on the Castendijkweg to walk from there to the Luchthavenweg.
Onze blokkade bij de privé terminal van Eindhoven airport is begonnen!@NLRebellion pic.twitter.com/YrdUCytO79— Doorbraak Eu (@Doorbraakeu) March 25, 2023
Several hundred climate activists managed to cut a hole in the fence and enter the area where private jets are parked. However, the group was stopped by the Marechaussee and police to prevent them from entering the runway. XR itself had previously stated that they did not intend to enter the runway "so as not to disrupt other flights to and from the airport."
The activists were detained and surrounded by the Marechaussee for some time as they sought ways to enter the airport grounds. Starting at 2 p.m., the group was asked to leave the premises voluntarily. Many complied with this request, but at least 100 climate activists refused to leave the premises. They sat on the ground after being asked to leave and interlocked their arms and legs.
Shortly after 3 p.m., the Marechaussee and police began evacuating the demonstrators. This happened in vans of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee and several tour buses. According to a spokesperson for the Marechaussee, two activists had glued themselves together through a fence. All detained activists have been transferred to locations of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee for further investigation, the Marechaussee reported on Twitter.
De actievoerders zijn bijna allemaal weggehaald van het luchthaventerrein. Ze worden overgebracht naar locaties van de Marechaussee voor verder onderzoek zoals registratie en identificatie #demonstratiexr— Koninklijke Marechaussee (@Marechaussee) March 25, 2023
XR entered the site because the action group believes Eindhoven Airport causes air pollution, noise pollution and damage to health. Among other things, the climate activists are demanding that the airport stop polluting, comply with climate regulations and reduce the number of flights from the airport.
“Eindhoven Airport has once again grown in flight movements and is almost back to pre-pandemic levels. That cannot be explained in any way. Aviation must shrink,” XR co-organiser Alicha van der Aa said in a press release. Therefore, the climate action group demands fewer flights, more trains and a ban on short flights as well as private jets.
A group of 20 scientists and academics from climate group Scientist Rebellion (SR) also campaigned. On Saturday, they temporarily blocked the entrance to the terminal for private jets at Eindhoven Airport with bicycles. Scientist Rebellion is an international movement of scientists concerned about the climate.
It is not known exactly how many people demonstrated near and at the airport. According to the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, it is likely to be in the hundreds.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times