reading time 4 minutes
Milieudefensie, GroenLinks, Party for the Animals and several resident organizations demonstrate at Schiphol Airport. They demand, among other things, a reduction in aviation, expansion of train traffic and affordable public transport. The action, authorized by the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, consists of a protest march with hundreds of participants to a construction site where Schiphol is building a new terminal.
Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion take a different approach and take action with the intention of disrupting the ins and outs of the airport. They use methods of civil disobedience. A live stream shows the Marechaussee taking action against the activists.
Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion issue the following statement:
More than 500 activists from Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace Holland have closed air traffic by private plane to and from Schiphol since 12.40 p.m. Activists cycle in the terrain where private jets are parked and block the planes. These are people who are concerned about the climate crisis and local residents who live in the noise of Schiphol.
‘It is not without reason that we have been fighting for years to stop the enormous pollution of Schiphol. Schiphol should actually shrink, but they are still building a new terminal and the rich are increasingly taking a private jet here: the most polluting way to fly. This is typical of aviation, which does not seem to see that it is putting people at risk by fueling the climate crisis. It has to stop. We want fewer flights, more trains and a ban on unnecessary short flights and private jets,’ says Dewi Zloch from Greenpeace Holland.
Private planes fly to and from Schiphol from their own runway and special General Aviation Terminal at Schiphol East. The activists gathered this morning in the adjacent Amsterdamse Bos with banners and flags with texts such as ‘SOS for the climate’ and ‘Flying is no longer possible’. Another group arrived at the airport at the same time from the other side on bicycles. The activists plan to block air traffic at the private jet terminal for as long as possible.
Tessel Hofstede from Extinction Rebellion says: ‘The exemptions for Schiphol and for private flights show exactly what the problem is with tackling the climate crisis. Schiphol is one of the biggest polluters in the Netherlands, while almost half of the Dutch never fly. The rich ‘jet set’ ensures the most flights and the most CO2 emissions, without getting in the way. They can just continue to cause huge emissions while those with little money suffer the biggest consequences of the climate crisis. It is unfair and unacceptable. Aviation must also comply with the Paris climate agreements.’
The cabinet has decided that Schiphol must shrink to a maximum of 440,000 flights per year, but private aircraft are not included in this. Recent research from CE Delft showed that more private flights were made to and from Schiphol this year than in 2019. “Meanwhile, it is becoming increasingly clear that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced much faster, the UN also says. is not at all in line with this, a strong contraction of aviation is inevitable. If the government and Schiphol do not take responsibility, then we ourselves must take steps to stop the pollution,” said Zloch and Hofstede.
The action takes place on the weekend before the international climate summit (COP27) which takes place in Egypt over the next two weeks. World leaders are talking about tackling the climate crisis there, but pollution from aviation is not even on the agenda there. Greenpeace Holland and Extinction Rebellion want that to change.
This morning there was also a demonstration at Schiphol Plaza, organized by Operation Aviation and supported by dozens of organizations that also called for a reduction in aviation.
The authorities have carried out mass arrests. AD writes:
Royal Netherlands Marechaussee arrests climate activists at Schiphol for blocking private jets. A special unit has been deployed to clear the area of the airport. More than a hundred climate activists had already been arrested around 15:45 this afternoon. The arrested activists from Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace are transferred to detention areas at Schiphol itself. According to Greenpeace, at least 350 people are still at the site.
A spokesman for EBAA, the European trade association for the commercial aviation sector, is furious with the climate activists. The organization claims that a medical flight had to be diverted to another airport because of the blockade action, NOS reports.
Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion question the spokesman’s claim, which they believe is wrong. “We are only blocking the stationary private jets on the apron, arriving planes are not hindered by this action. According to the authorities, the Oostbaan has been available all day. We have been in close contact with the authorities during this day so that we can make room for necessary flights. We regret that this flight has been diverted. It was not necessary due to our action. We have contacted the aviation body EBAA. EBAA states that the flight was indeed able to land but decided to divert anyway.”