Climate activist and founder of Fridays for Future, Greta Thunberg, is arrested twice by Dutch police as she protests fossil fuels.

She had joined hundreds of protesters on a walk down from The Hague’s city centre, in the Netherlands, to the A12 arterial highway that connects the seat of the Dutch government with other cities including Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht.

Dozens of police officers, including some on horseback, blocked the group from accessing the motorway, warning that ‘violence could be used’ should the marchers try to get onto the road.

They were carrying environmental group flags and placards saying ‘Stop fuel subsidies now!’ and ‘The planet is dying!’. The chanting protesters were then locked in a tense standoff with police who formed a wall of law enforcement.

Thunberg joined in with the chants and slogans during the protest. ‘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. Some activists, however, found another route and blocked a main road close to the highway where they – including Thunberg – sat down on the tarmac.

Asked whether she was concerned about police action and arrest, Thunberg said: ‘Why should I be?’ But shortly afterwards, Thunberg herself was arrested and dragged away by police to a waiting touring bus where she was detained with other activists. She told the ANP national news agency by telephone that her arrest had proceeded ‘calmly’. ‘It’s not about the arrest. I am here for the climate,’ she said.

A spokesman for the Public Prosecutor’s Office later confirmed the protesters were briefly detained before being released at a different location. Shortly afterwards, however, Thunberg and some activists returned and were arrested again, this time for blocking a nearby traffic intersection, and led away to a waiting police van.

Prosecutor spokesman Vincent Veenman told AFP that currently no charges have been laid against the activists. ‘This however may change if people are arrested over and over again for the same offence,’ Veenman said.

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’.

Extinction Rebellion posted on X: ‘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.’

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

A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion said: ‘Greta joined the blockade yesterday as a European campaign to end fossil fuel subsidies was announced during the action. ‘The international coalition United for Climate Justice is organizing actions and blockades throughout Europe in the near future with 30 movements from 15 countries. Yesterday there were actions and blockades on fossil subsidies in 10 countries across Europe and the number of actions will continue to increase. On May 4, we will join the blockade of XR Belgium with a few hundred Dutch rebels and on the same day there will be further actions and blockades throughout Europe. We must show the world that fossil fuel subsidies are at the heart of the global climate crisis, according to the IMF, global fossil fuel subsidies amount to $7 trillion.’

Original source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk

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