Police block Thunberg, marchers in Dutch climate protest

Police block Thunberg, marchers in Dutch climate protest
Police block Thunberg, marchers in Dutch climate protest

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Climate activist Greta Thunberg gestures as she sits in a bus with people detained by police, on the day they try to block the A12 highway to ensure that the Dutch government stops subsidies for fossil fuels, in The Hague April 6, 2024. — Reuters pic

THE HAGUE, April 6 — At least one protester was arrested today after a tense stand-off with police during a climate march against fossil subsidies, which was joined by environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg.

Dozens of police officers, some on horseback, blocked protesters from reaching the A12 arterial highway into the Dutch seaside city, the scene of previous actions organised by the Extinction Rebellion (XR) group.

Carrying XR flags and placards saying “Stop fuel subsidies now!” and “The planet is dying!”, protesters marched from the city centre to a field next to the highway, where they were met by a wall of law enforcement.

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Thunberg, dressed in a grey top, black trousers and blue shoes, joined the group at the start and was chanting songs with the group as they came to an abrupt stop.

“It’s important to demonstrate today because we are living in a state of planetary emergency,” Thunberg told AFP as police blocked marchers.

“We must do everything to avoid that crisis and to save human lives,” she said.

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At least one protester was arrested and dragged away to a waiting police van, an AFP correspondent saw.

Asked whether she was concerned about police action and arrest, Thunberg said: “Why should I be?”

Activists said that despite majority backing by the Dutch parliament as well as broad popular support to slash fossil fuel subsidies, “the plans will not be implemented before 2030, or even 2035”.

“Meanwhile the ecological crisis continues to rage and the country’s outgoing cabinet pretends that we have all the time in the world, while the crisis is now,” XR said in a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter.

The protest, added XR, was part of a plan to pressure the Dutch government ahead of another planned debate about fossil subsidies in June. — AFP

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