Sunday 22 September 2019

Police use batons, pepper spray to break up Groningen anti-gas demo

Demonstrators march from Delfzijl towards the NAM location. Photo: Anjo de Haan, HH

Police used batons and pepper spray to move sitting protestors during a demonstration against gas extraction in Groningen province on Tuesday night.

Groninger Bodem Beweging, the action group set up by locals whose homes have been damaged by gas extraction, had held a protest march to join other demonstrators campaigning against fossil fuels in general, outside a NAM tank storage site near Farmsum.

The organisers of that protest, Code Rood, said five activists had been injured when police moved in. Code Rood campaigns against fossil fuels and says on its website it ‘takes civil disobedience to the next level by making it visible and palpable.’

The demonstrators had moved too close to the fence next to the tanks, forcing police to intervene, a police spokesman said. However, Code Rood spokesman Maarten told local paper Dagblad van het Noorden the police had used unnecessary violence.

Some demonstrators had indeed gone too close to the fence, which broke earlier agreements, he said. ‘They wanted to tie a banner to the fence. We wanted to leave a message on NAM’s doorstep,’ he said.

Several hundred people took part in the demonstration. has been free for 12 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
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