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Thousands of climate protesters block highway in the Netherlands over government oil and gas subsidies

Photo by Robin Utrecht / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo by ROBIN UTRECHT/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

Several thousand climate activists from various protest groups blocked a highway in the Netherlands in protest of government subsidies for fossil fuel industries. Thousands were detained and hit with water cannons by responding authorities.

The September 9, 2023, protest blocked a Dutch highway in The Hague and was filled with determined activists from groups like Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace, among others.

The environmentalists were reportedly displeased with an estimated $40.5 billion in approved government subsidies for industries that use oil, coal, and gas, according to Breitbart.

The Hague mayoral spokesman estimated that between 10,000 and 12,000 protesters were present, as many simply sat in the road or employed non-violent resistance when approached by police. Protesters reportedly threatened to remain every day or return if removed, until the subsidies were canceled.

Many attempted to protect themselves from police water cannons with umbrellas or simply tried to embrace the water until it became too much.

Signage included phrases such as “Fossil Fuel Subsidies Are Not Cool,” "Stop fossil subsidies," and "No economy on a dead planet."

"The seas are rising and so are we," the crowd chanted at one point.

“This is much larger than any one of us. This concerns the whole world,” an activist named Yolanda de Jager reportedly said.

"A lot of money is being invested in the wrong place. Those using the most fossil fuels at the moment are the ones getting the most subsidies. This is slowing down the transition (to renewable energy)," said another female protester according to France24.

The woman brought her 13-year-old son to the protest as well. "I can just about accept the water cannon, but I think he's too young to be arrested."

The latest roadblock is part of a series of disruptive protests from Extinction Rebellion. The groupo reportedly blocked the A10 highway the previous night, a road that spans the width of the country and connects to Germany.

Police detained 2,400 protesters over the weekend in total, including minors, a report from Reuters detailed. There were no injuries reported.

Members of the Extinction Rebellion were arrested days earlier after putting a halt to the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York City. Two protesters were charged with a criminal trespass, one of whom caused a 45-minute delay by gluing his feet to the concrete stands.

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