Over the weekend in the Netherlands, police arrested thousands of climate activists who had blocked a major highway for two consecutive days.
An estimated 10,000 activists blocked A12 highway leading to The Hague for several hours on Saturday, according to the mayor’s office. Police arrested some 2,400 people at the time.
Hundreds of protesters did so again on Sunday, when police arrested another 500 people.
The Extinction Rebellion activists were protesting the Dutch government’s subsidies for fossil fuel companies, as they have done in recent months.
According to a report published earlier in the week by the Center for Research on Multinational Corporations, these subsidies total around €37.5 billion ($40.2 billion) each year.
“The seas are rising and so are we,” the crowd chanted.
Extinction Rebellion vows to keep protesting
Police fired water cannons at the protesters on Saturday and Sunday as they resisted requests to clear the road.
They also dragged individuals away to clear the highway.
Authorities said the activists had previously been given permission to protest and were asked to hold the demonstration at the nearby central station. The Hague’s Mayor Jan van Zanen approved the clearance of the highway but also said demonstrators were welcome to proceed to authorized protest areas instead.
Extinction Rebellion said it would continue protesting until the Dutch government stops using public money to subsidize the oil and gas industry.
“No matter what The Hague city council makes the police do, we will stay or come back every day,” Extinction Rebellion Netherlands said on its website.
“And that’s until the government meets our demand: an immediate end to all subsidies for fossil fuels.”