Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was arrested on Saturday April 6 in The Hague, Netherlands, while participating in a demonstration organized by the environmental group Extinction Rebellion (XR) against fossil fuel subsidies. The activist and other demonstrators waited on a bus, while the police continued to make arrests, noted an Agence France-Presse (AFP) correspondent.

Greta Thunberg joined several hundred demonstrators who left from downtown The Hague towards a field near the A12 motorway, linking The Hague to Utrecht. This axis, one of the main arteries of the city, has already been the scene of several actions organized by XR. The activists blocked traffic there on several occasions before being dislodged by water cannons.

On Saturday, however, dozens of police officers blocked protesters from accessing the motorway, warning that “violence could be used” if activists tried to reach the A12. Carrying flags marked XR and signs reading “Stop Fuel Subsidies Now!” » and “The planet is dying! “, the demonstrators were then blocked in a tense face-to-face with the police who had set up a roadblock.

“We live in a state of planetary emergency”

Some protesters, including Greta Thunberg, found another route and managed to block a main road near the highway. The Swedish activist had joined the group at the start of the demonstration and was chanting when demonstrators were stopped from advancing by police.

“It’s important to demonstrate today because we live in a state of planetary emergency,” she told AFP, before her arrest, while the police blocked the demonstrators. “We must do everything to avert the crisis and save human lives,” she said. Asked if she was worried about police action and a possible arrest, she replied: “Why should I? »

The protest was part of Extinction Rebellion’s actions to put pressure on the government ahead of a planned debate on fossil fuel subsidies in June, the organization said. Although benefiting from majority support in Parliament and broad approval among public opinion, plans to reduce fossil fuel subsidies “will not be put in place before 2030 or even 2035,” regrets XR. “The outgoing government acts as if we have all the time in the world, even though the crisis is here,” the group wrote in a message published on X.