Dutch police twice detained climate activist Greta Thunberg yesterday after a group of marchers blocked a main road in The Hague to protest against fossil fuel subsidies.
Police said more than 400 people were arrested including 12 for incitement. Activists said Thunberg had been freed.
Thunberg, 21, joined hundreds of protesters on a walk from The Hague city centre to the A12 highway that connects the seat of the Dutch government with other cities including Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht.
The march was organised by the Extinction Rebellion (XR) environmental group — who previously swarmed the highway and blocked traffic for hours before being sprayed by police water cannon and taken away.
Yesterday however, dozens of police, some on horseback, stopped the group from accessing the motorway, warning that “violence could be used” should the marchers try to get onto the road. Carrying XR flags and placards saying “Stop fuel subsidies now!” and “The planet is dying!”, chanting protesters were locked in a tense standoff with police. Thunberg chanted 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.
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