Police start removing climate activists from A12 in The Hague, over 10,000 protesters
The first people blocking the A12 highway in The Hague are being removed by the police. They had been asked to leave the highway and go to the support demonstration at the station Den Haag Centraal. When they did not comply with this request, the arrests started.
Thousands of people sat and stood on the highway. In previous protests, they were put on buses one by one. This took hours. The buses then took them to the outskirts of the city where they could leave without being charged or reported. Some of the climate activists then returned to the A12 to continue demonstrating.
Among the demonstrators taken away on Saturday was a child around 10 years old.
Earlier on Saturday, the police used water cannons to get the demonstrators off the A12, but as with previous blockades, this had no effect.
Overall, more than 10,000 people are participating in the climate protests on Saturday in The Hague. The municipality estimates that there are "a maximum of 9,000" people on or next to the A12 highway. Furthermore, the Hague authorities believe that approximately 1,500 people will attend a support demonstration near The Hague Central station. In total, this amounts to "between 10,000 and a maximum of 12,000 people", according to the municipality.
The organizers, however, have a slightly higher estimate. They think there are about 16,000 people on the A12, twice as many as during the previous highway blockade. Furthermore, they estimate that there are approximately 4,000 people at the support demonstration. That would amount to about 20,000 people, and according to Milieudefensie, it could be 25,000.
Reporting by ANP