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A group of activists from "Extinction Rebellion" have blocked a section of a highway in Amsterdam in protest of climate change.
Europe Science & Health

A group of activists from “Extinction Rebellion” have blocked a section of a highway in Amsterdam in protest of climate change.

On Saturday, climate activists obstructed a section of the main highway surrounding Amsterdam, near the previous location of ING bank, in order to demonstrate against the bank’s funding of non-renewable energy sources.

The Amsterdam Municipality announced on X (previously known as Twitter) that a section of the road was shut down by traffic authorities and redirected to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.

Hundreds of activists walked onto the road in the latest road blockade organized by the Dutch branch of Extinction Rebellion. Earlier this year, the activist organization repeatedly blocked a highway leading into The Hague.

On Saturday, a group of protesters marched on the A10 highway, carrying a banner that read “Change or die” while being followed by two police vans.

A person held up a banner with hand-written words that read: “ING, stop supporting oil and gas!” Some individuals also stuck their hands to the pavement.

The police received backlash for the demonstrators’ road block near the VU medical center, a major hospital in Amsterdam.

According to a statement from the Amsterdam police, the blockage is highly unfavorable as it greatly affects traffic in the city. This includes the employees at the nearby VU medical center and those visiting patients.

Despite ING’s announcement earlier this month of accelerating the termination of loans for fossil fuel exploration, the protest still occurred.

One week after the COP28 climate meeting in Dubai, ING declared its plans to transition away from using fossil fuels, following an agreement made by almost 200 countries. However, some critics believe that the document created at the meeting has loopholes that could undermine this goal.

According to Extinction Rebellion representative Let de Jong, the plan to gradually eliminate something is not moving quickly enough.

De Jong stated in a press release prior to the demonstration, “We urge ING to cease all financing of fossil fuels immediately. The climate and ecological emergency is causing loss of life every day globally. This must come to an end.”

At previous demonstrations in The Hague, law enforcement employed a water cannon to disperse protestors and detained hundreds of individuals.