Cultural centre debate on morality of violent climate activism cancelled

Demonstrators at at an anti-climate change march. Photo:
Demonstrators at at an anti-climate change march in October. Photo:

A public debate to discuss the morality of using violence in climate protests has been scrapped after two high profile speakers withdrew.

Environment law specialist Bénédicte Ficq and GroenLinks MP Suzanne Krôger pulled out of the meeting, which should have taken place at the Zwijger debating centre in Amsterdam next month, after questions were raised about the subject matter on social media.

Publicity for the debate said the discussion would ‘reflect on whether we should use violence to force action on climate change’. It also asked if people were prepared to be jailed for three to 15 years because of their climate activism.

Both Ficq and Kroger said they had decided to withdraw because the subject matter had not been made properly clear to them at the time.

The Zwijger debating centre said on Sunday that it was not responsible for the meeting, which had been organised by the Progressive Café. The Progressive Cafe, in turn, issued a statement saying that the text had been badly formulated and that it distanced itself from any suggestion that it approved of violence.

‘We should have asked “what price are you prepared to pay to stop climate disruption”,’ the statement said.

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