Greta Thunberg among the arrested at fossil fuel subsidy protest

Photo by Ramon Von Flymen/Getty: Greta Thunberg being arrested in the Hague

Contributed by Jim Hayes

Climate activist Greta Thunberg was arrested twice on 6 April at the Hague in the Netherlands, because of participating with Extinction Rebellion activists in blocking a highway known as A12. This was part of a campaign directed against the failure by government to take sufficient action to stop the threat of catastrophic climate change.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg detained in Hague protest

Video from The Times and The Sunday Times

Grata first came to world attention as the 15 year-old schoolgirl who waged an ongoing protest outside the Swedish parliament, and then for her famous “how dare you’ speech at the United Nations.

At the Hague, at least 100 were arrested along with Thunberg, in what was the now commonplace practice of removing protestors from politically sensitive areas. The difference this time was that instead of releasing them away from the centre of this city, all the detainees were charged.

‘Betrayal beyond words’: Greta Thunberg says of Europe court’s climate ruling

“It’s a betrayal beyond words, and today’s rulings make very clear that the European states have a legal responsibility to take real time action and to protect people, to protect its citizens. And it cannot be a political choice whether to respect human rights or not. “

Video from Leading News Live

The highway blocking was part of an ongoing campaign to pressure the Dutch government to stop subsidising the fossil fuel industry, which has involved numerous highway blockings among other actions. These subsidies provide cheap furl to major corporations. A poll in November showed that most people want them abolished.

She and 25 others have been charged with a public order offence, that is, causing “serious disruption to the community, hotel and guests.”  Greta Thunberg’s case is scheduled for 15 November.

Before being detained, Thunberg said: “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.”

The Hague is the headquarters of the European Union, housing its government and courts, and now the scene of three court cases claiming the lack of government action on climate is a denial of human right. That on behalf of older women in Switzerland won a victory in the court. Those of a group of young people from Switzerland and a French Mayor were not heard.

Swiss climate change Inaction violated Human rights, court rules In landmark win for Elderly Women

Video from CRUX

These are part of arise in the volume of similar court cases around the world arising out of growing dismay at the lack of action despite the promises. Meanwhile the world is becoming a hotter place and approaching a minimum of a two degrees centigrade rise. This is enough to create significant species extinction and serious economic, social, and health consequences for humanity.

If the world continues its present course, the impact will rise to catastrophic. The science tells us this, and ongoing research is showing that the situation is even worse than it was thought only a year or two ago.

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