Seven activists were arrested for incitement before that demonstration. The first arrest was last week, the rest followed early this morning.
‘Dangerous and disruptive’
The Public Prosecution Service calls the proposed blockade ‘dangerous and disruptive’. The XR activists disagree. They point out that they have contacted Rijkswaterstaat, the road manager, in advance.
“The directors consider it important to support the action, because the right to protest in the form of civil disobedience is under pressure,” Greenpeace said in a statement that was also issued on behalf of other organizations. Directors of Urgenda, Milieudefensie, FNV, De Goede Zaak, Both ENDS, Fossielvrij NL, the Young Climate Movement and Oxfam Novib also plan to go.
Greenpeace director Andy Palmen says that climate activists are dealt with more harshly than other demonstrators. “The right to demonstrate applies to everyone, but not all demonstrators are treated equally,” he says.
It is often heard among climate activists that, for example, demonstrating farmers who block highways are given more space for this than they do.
Right to protest
According to the organizations, the fact that a call to demonstrate has been labeled as sedition is ‘not only unjustified, it is also an attempt to negatively influence and criminalize the social debate about peaceful action’.
Director of Oxfam Novib Michiel Servaes says in the same statement: “We disapprove of this intimidation and find it unacceptable.” He goes to the demonstration to make it clear that the right to protest is ‘essential for a healthy democracy’.
Amnesty International, which is not on the list of participating organizations, wants to monitor the demonstration, according to the statement. “Amnesty does this to gain insight into how the authorities guarantee the right to demonstrate.”
Leave a Reply