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Greta Thunberg released after Dutch climate protest arrest, rejoins protest and is arrested again | CBC News



Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was detained twice by Dutch police at a demonstration in the Netherlands for several hours on Saturday.

Thunberg was initially detained and held for a short time by local police, along with other protesters who tried to block a major highway into The Hague.

After she was released, Thunberg quickly rejoined a small group of protesters who were blocking a different road leading to the railway station. There, she was detained a second time and driven off in a police van.

After being held for several hours, she was released again in the evening, a spokesperson for protest organizer Extinction Rebellion told Reuters.

Before she was detained, Thunberg told journalists she was protesting because the world is facing an existential crisis.

Climate activists march to block the A12 highway in The Hague on Saturday. (Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters)

“We are in a planetary emergency, and we are not going to stand by and let people lose their lives and livelihood and be forced to become climate refugees when we can do something,” she said.

The Extinction Rebellion campaign group said before the demonstration that the activists would block a main highway into The Hague but heavy police presence, including officers on horseback, initially prevented demonstrators from getting onto the road.

The A12 highway has been blocked for several hours dozens of times in recent months by activists demanding an end to all subsidies for the use of fossil fuels.

A small group of people managed to sit down on another road and were detained after ignoring police orders to leave.

Protesters sitting on the road block vehicles as police officers gather around them.
Protesters sit to block a road near the Dutch parliament in The Hague on Saturday. (Peter Dejong/The Associated Press)

Extinction Rebellion activists have blocked the highway that runs past the temporary home of the Dutch parliament more than 30 times to protest the subsidies.

The demonstrators waved flags and chanted: “We are unstoppable, another world is possible.” One held a banner reading: “This is a Dead End Street.”

Local police would not comment on individual cases but said everyone who tried to block roads was detained. On social media site X, formerly Twitter, police posted that 412 protesters had been detained, mostly for participating at a banned protest.

Police officers detain a protesters on the ground.
Police officers detain a climate protester in The Hague on Saturday. (Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters)

In February, Thunberg, 21, was acquitted by a court in London of refusing to follow a police order to leave a protest blocking the entrance to a major oil and gas industry conference last year.

Her activism has inspired a global youth movement demanding stronger efforts to fight climate change since she began staging weekly protests outside the Swedish parliament starting in 2018.

Thunberg has repeatedly been fined in Sweden and the U.K. for civil disobedience in connection with protests.

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