Lots of of climate activists breached a runway Saturday at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport to attempt to stop private jets from taking off, within the latest demonstration by protesters geared toward drawing attention to the climate crisis.
Greenpeace Netherlands said “greater than 500” Greenpeace and Extinction Insurrection activists were on the airport, one among Europe’s largest, on Saturday afternoon, in a press release. A spokesperson for the Schiphol security forces couldn’t confirm that figure.
There have been about “greater than 300” activists, the spokesperson of The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, the military force guarding the airport, told CNN.
Robert Kapel, acknowledged it was a “big scale” demonstration but said air traffic was unaffected because the runway was exclusively used for personal jets and no flights are scheduled until late Saturday night.
“This morning activists gathered within the forest nearby, carrying flags and banners with slogans similar to ‘SOS for the climate’ and ‘Fly no more.’ At the identical time one other group reached the airport from the wrong way with bicycles,” Greenpeace said.
Images from Greenpeace show groups of dozens of demonstrators sitting down on the tarmac by multiple planes on the runway. Further images show demonstrations contained in the terminal.
Greater than 100 arrests “and counting” have been made thus far, Kapel said. He added that he thinks all arrests could have been made by 10 p.m. (local time), which is when he said the primary flight is scheduled to take off. Security forces have blocked off the world and made it inaccessible from other parts of the airport, he commented.
Protesters “plan to maintain air traffic from the private jet terminal grounded for so long as possible,” Dewi Zloch, spokesperson of Greenpeace Netherlands, said in a press release.
She continued: “The airport ought to be reducing its flight movements, but as a substitute it’s constructing a brand-new terminal. The rich elite is using more private jets than ever, which is probably the most polluting approach to fly. That is typical of the aviation industry, which doesn’t appear to see that it’s putting people in danger by aggravating the climate crisis. This has to stop. We would like fewer flights, more trains, and a ban on unnecessary short-haul flights and personal jets.”
Greenpeace warned authorities there could be some form of motion at Schiphol weeks upfront, Zloch, who was on the scene, told CNN. They didn’t disclose the precise location, she added.
Schiphol Airport CEO Ruud Sondag said activists should “feel welcome, but let’s keep things civil.”
He was responding to a previous letter from Greenpeace and stated his objective was to attain “emissions-free airports by 2030 and net climate-neutral aviation by 2050”.
“Nevertheless, this is just possible if all of us work together”, Sondag said in a press release published Friday.
“Coming together for the environment, the federal government, and for society, clear laws, regulations, and proper permits are a necessity. We want clarity on that soon,” he added.
Elsewhere in Europe, two climate activists were arrested in Madrid in Spain after they each glued one among their hands to the frames of two Goya paintings within the Prado Museum on Saturday.
There was no apparent damage to the paintings, however the suspects are being charged with public disorder and damages, the Spanish National Police press office for Madrid told CNN.
The suspects, two Spanish women, wrote “+1,5C” on the wall between the artworks, which were Goya’s masterpieces “Las Majas,” in line with the police.
Futuro Vegetal, a Spanish activist group, tweeted a video on the museum protest. The group is taking responsibility for the incident.
They described themselves as a “collective of civil disobedience and direct motion within the fight against the Climate Crisis through the adoption of a food growing system based on plants.”
“Last week the UN recognized the impossibility of keeping ourselves below the limit of the rise, of the Paris Accord, of 1.5 degrees (C) temperature, with respect to pre-industrial levels,” Futuro Vegetal wrote in its tweet.
Security guards on the Prado quickly alerted the National Police, which has a unit dedicated to protecting the perimeter of the famed museum, and officers made the arrests in only minutes, the Police press office said.
The Paris Agreement, which was adopted by 196 parties on the United Nations’ COP 21 in December 2015, aimed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The protest comes only a day before the COP27 climate conference is as a consequence of start in Egypt.