Greenpeace Holland calls yesterday’s occupation of the platform at Schiphol East a success. According to Faiza Oulahsen, head of climate and energy at Greenpeace, by chaining to around ten private planes and a Canadian air force transport plane, the activists were able to clearly communicate their demands: a smaller Schiphol airport and a ban on private flights. jet plane.. Oulahsen is not worried about any damage to the plane. “Those devices are not sacred,” she says soberly.
Climate activists from Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion succeeded yesterday in overwhelming the Marechaussee and the police in hundreds, storming the Schiphol East platform and chaining themselves in no time to around ten private planes and a military transport plane from Canada. .
Faiza Oulahsen is happy that the activists could make their point, she tells NH Nieuws. In contrast to the protest at Schiphol Plaza, there was no permission from the municipality for an action at Schiphol-East. Mayor Schuurmans of Haarlemmermeer reacted angrily, calling the blockade ‘dangerous and punishable’. The municipality wants to recover all damages from the activists and organizers.
The blockade was ‘civil disobedience’
Schuurmans’ criticism ignores Oulahsen: “We said beforehand that we would protest non-violently and peacefully, but civilly disobey. Everyone has the right to protest.”
Oulahsen emphasizes that she was in contact with the authorities, Schiphol, air traffic control and the municipality throughout the day.
“If the plane was going to take off anyway, we would have been free within a minute”
One million in compensation
Oulahsen is not worried about the possible damages that Greenpeace will have to pay. She refers to 2012, when the environmental organization shut down 72 Shell gas stations. Shell wanted one million euros in compensation, but the judge ruled in favor of Greenpeace.
“According to the judge, Shell could have taken into account blockades and should have accepted these kinds of actions,” says Oulahsen. “Even the planes at Schiphol East are not sacred.”
It was not yet known if there was any damage to the plane, according to a spokesman for the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee. All owners are currently being contacted. As far as we know, no report has been filed yet. There was damage to a fence and the platform was full of rubbish, according to Schiphol.
The campaign focused on private jet flying, which Greenpeace says is the most polluting mode of flying. The planes could not move because of the occupation. As far as Greenpeace is concerned, private jet flights are banned, but a group of activists also chained themselves to a Canadian Air Force Hercules C-130. A C-130 is neither a jet nor a private plane, but a military transport aircraft belonging to a NATO ally.
Oulahsen denies that the blockade of Hercules was a mistake: “We made no difference. If the plane had to leave, we would have been free within a minute.”
According to Greenpeace, the activists would always have made room in the event of an emergency, and this has also been made clear to Schiphol, the municipality and the authorities.
“The unit did not need to go to Ukraine”
“In addition, we must not romanticize military aviation,” says Oulahsen. “It really wasn’t like the transport plane was going to Ukraine. And besides, military planes are also used for security for companies that have interests in oil and gas.”
Hercules traveled to Prestwick in Scotland today.
On the left of the picture are the activists who had attached themselves to the Canadian air force’s Hercules. The article continues below the picture.
Furious over ‘fake news’ medical flight
Oulahsen is outraged by the news that the European Business Aviation Association – an advocacy group for private jet aviation – published that a medical evacuation was unable to land at Schiphol due to the blockade.
According to her, it is deliberately fake news, distributed by EBAA. The flight deviated according to the pilots’ orders, but according to Schiphol the plane could have landed as normal.
Experts in action
Greenpeace thus claims that in an emergency the climate activists could have given free rein to medical, military, police and kiss guard flights. “We are experts in campaigns. We have been in high-risk areas, such as oil platforms and ships, for fifty years,” says Oulahsen. “Tethering to aircraft is not much different than being on an oil rig. Aviation has been out of harm’s way long enough.”