Hundreds of climate activists on Saturday blocked one of the main roads into the international criminal court, The Hague, in a show of protests over fossil fuel linked tax breaks before being hauled away.
Activists reportedly blocked the road for an hour before authorities began detaining them and removing them by bus.
The move comes after six Extinction Rebellion activists were detained this week on suspicion of “sedition” over calls to stage the protest.
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Prosecutors faced condemnation for the actions taken against demonstrators despite their right to peacefully protest.
But prosecutors defended their position calling the blockade “dangerous and disruptive” to motorists and protesters alike.
“Calling for a criminal offense — such as blocking a public road — amounts to sedition,” prosecutors said in a statement.
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“Demonstrating is a fundamental right and is facilitated by the municipality of The Hague,” they added. “There are hundreds of demonstrations in The Hague every year that go off without a hitch. But a demonstration is not a license to commit criminal offenses.”
Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Anne Kervers said the turnout Saturday not only showed “what society thinks of fossil fuel subsidies” but also was a response to the “intimidation and criminalization of nonviolent climate activism.”
Activists vowed to continue with their protests to demand an end to government tax breaks for companies affiliated with fossil fuels.
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“It is essential that citizens can demonstrate against this in a place that matters,” Extinction Rebellion said in a statement.
“This includes the A12, between the House of Representatives and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate,” the group added. “Any nuisance for traffic, for example, will have to be tolerated.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.