A12 protests continue, 6,500 climate activists arrested so far

Supporters watching from the sidelines. Photo: Owen O’Brien ANP

Hundreds of climate activists blocked the A12 highway into The Hague for the 16th time on Sunday but were cleared from the road by police without the use of water canon.

The road was freed for traffic around one hour after the start of the protest, as police started removing demonstrators within 15 minutes, which is earlier that usual, the AD reported.

On Saturday, Extinction Rebellion claimed the police had turned up the water canon pressure and warned demonstrators to place their bags behind their backs to protect against physical damage.

Sunday was the first time water canon had not been used to break up the demo.

XR has held a protest on the road since September 9, when there were some 2,400 arrests. The demonstrators are calling for an end to tax breaks on the use of fossil fuels, which climate ministry figures suggest could be as much as €46 billion a year.

More than 6,500 demonstrators have been arrested since the protests began. “If the government does not stop subsidising fossil fuels, tens of thousands will follow them,” the campaign group said on social media on Sunday.

The demonstration on the road has been banned by The Hague’s mayor Jan van Zanen, who says he is concerned about the cost of the protests and the impact on policing elsewhere. The demonstrators, he said “are not above the law” and should keep to the rules.

As well as the road protestors, hundreds of supporters turn up to watch from the sidelines on a daily basis.

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