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This is a response to the disproportionate action of the Public Prosecution Service against Extinction Rebellion activists.

Directors of civil society organizations are present during Extinction Rebellion protest on A12 to defend the right of demonstration. “To avoid any misunderstandings: as organizations we will not stand on the A12, but along the route,” says van Garderen. Directors will support Extinction Rebellion (XR). This is in response to the disproportionate action of the Public Prosecutor's Office against XR activists.

The blockade of the A12 near The Hague will start on Saturday at noon. This location is symbolic because the road lies between the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate and the temporary location of the House of Representatives. It will be the fifth time that Extinction Rebellion organizes the blockade at this place to stop fossil subsidies. Amnesty International plans to monitor the demonstration(s) around the A12 in The Hague on Saturday. Amnesty does this to gain insight into how the authorities guarantee the right to demonstrate.

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Nice relaxed atmosphere at Extinction Rebellion (XR) on the A12 in The Hague.

"I have decided to join this as director of the cyclists' union."

Despite members of the cyclists' union asking themselves whether they have joined a climate club, van Garderen participates, together with more than 40 other organizations, to stand up for the right to demonstrate. The directors of civil society organizations think it is important to support the action, because the right to protest in the form of civil disobedience is under pressure. While the action tries in a peaceful way to bring about change in the public interest. 

Read also  Extinction Rebellion will take action at Eindhoven Airport on March 25
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Police are busy removing the demonstrators from the A12.

“The police are cracking down on these peaceful protests and harsh sentences are imposed. Last week, a father was already arrested for sedition after taking his youngest child to school, just because he had called to participate in this action.”

Organizing and participating in acts of civil disobedience falls under the right to manifest. Calling a call to participate in this “incitement” is not only unjustified, it is also an attempt to negatively influence and criminalize the social debate about peaceful campaigning.

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Esther van Garderen
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