Authorities Use Water Cannons On Eco-Activists, Detain Nearly 2,400 

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Authorities in the Netherlands used water cannons to clear thousands of climate protesters blocking a highway in a Saturday act of protest, Reuters reported.

Eco-activists affiliated with Extinction Rebellion’s Netherlands arm, Greenpeace and other organizations took over a highway near The Hague to protest the Dutch government’s subsidies for the oil and gas industries, according to Reuters. In addition to using the water cannons to disperse the protesters, authorities detained around 2,400 protesters.

Minors were among those detained, and no injuries have been reported, according to Reuters. A report surfaced earlier in the week that outlined about $40.5 billion in oil- and gas-related subsidies provided by the Dutch government, particularly related to shipping, according to ABC. 

Over 10,000 activists marched on the A12 highway in protest, according to Reuters. The protesters ignored warnings from authorities instructing them not to do so, and the disruption garnered a considerable police response.

Extinction Rebellion, the organization principally responsible for orchestrating the protest, has stated that it will continue to organize protests until the Dutch government eliminates public funding for the oil and gas industries, according to Reuters.

The activists further threatened that they would come back every day until the subsidies are eliminated, even if the police remove them each time, according to ABC. A follow-up protest is planned for Sunday.

Rob Jetten, the country’s minister for climate and energy, acknowledged that his country should terminate the subsidies, but he has not proposed a timeline for doing so, according to The Associated Press.

“This is much larger than any one of us. This concerns the whole world,” climate activist Yolanda de Jager said, according to ABC.

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