Greta Thunberg Detained By Dutch Cops During Protest Against Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Renowned climate activist Greta Thunberg found herself detained by Dutch police on April 6, 2024, as she and a cohort of protesters obstructed a major thoroughfare in The Hague, rallying against fossil fuel subsidies.

Tanya Savkoor
New Update

Photo Credit: AFP

Renowned climate activist Greta Thunberg found herself detained by Dutch police on April 6, 2024, as she and a cohort of protesters obstructed a major thoroughfare in The Hague, rallying against fossil fuel subsidies. Thunberg, a popular activist in the global climate movement, was among hundreds of demonstrators who embarked on a march from the heart of The Hague to an area adjacent to the A12 highway. The intent was clear: to voice opposition to the continued subsidization of fossil fuels, a practice deemed detrimental to environmental sustainability.


Greta Thunberg's Arrest Sparks Global Conversation

The protest began when Thunberg, dressed in a simple grey top and black pants, joined hundreds of passionate demonstrators in marching from the city center of Amsterdam to the outskirts. Their goal was to strongly oppose the government's practice of funding fossil fuels, which they believe harms the environment.

When the protesters reached a field near the A12 highway, the main focus of their protest, tensions rose. Police quickly stepped in to stop the demonstrators from accessing the highway. Despite the tense atmosphere, protesters held up banners with messages like "Stop giving money to fossil fuels!" and "Our planet is in danger!" in order to highlight how governments aren't doing enough to tackle the growing environmental problems.  Despite widespread acknowledgement of the need to curtail fossil fuel subsidies, they claim nothing concrete is being done, and the plans to make changes are taking too long to happen.

Speaking briefly with AFP, Thunberg emphasised the significance of their protest, stressing the urgent need to confront the ongoing global environmental crisis. "It's important to demonstrate today because we are living in a state of planetary emergency. We must do everything to avoid that crisis and to save human lives," she stated.

Greta Thunberg Pleads Not Guilty In Protest Arrest Case

In another previous instance, climate activist Greta Thunberg entered a not guilty plea for a public order offense charge following her arrest in October during an environmental protest in London. Thunberg, along with other demonstrators, was detained by police on October 17 for obstructing entrances to a hotel hosting an oil and gas conference.


The 20-year-old confirmed her name and birth date in London's Westminster Magistrates Court, where the trial date was set for February 1. The charge relates to her alleged failure to comply with police-imposed conditions aimed at preventing "serious disruption to the community, hotel, and guests."

London police charged her on October 18, and she was released on bail. If found guilty, Thunberg could face a maximum fine of £2,500 ($3,069). This arrest in Britain follows earlier detentions or removals from protests in Sweden, Norway, and Germany this year.

Thunberg, renowned as the face of climate activism since her weekly protests in Sweden in 2018, travels globally to address crowds at marches and protests.

Protest Interrupted Several Times

Recently, climate activist Greta Thunberg's speech was interrupted by a man during a climate protest in Amsterdam when she brought Palestinian and Afghan women on stage. 20-year-old Thunberg was addressing a gathering of thousands and said that there can be no climate justice without international solidarity when the man snatched the mic from her hand as she invited the Palestinian women to speak.

The Palestinian activist allegedly chanted "From the river to the sea," when Thunberg handed her the mic, and her speech was cut short by organisers. Thunberg said, “As a climate justice movement, we have to listen to the voices of those who are being oppressed and those who are fighting for freedom and for justice. Otherwise, there can be no climate justice without international solidarity." Thunberg was wearing a traditional Palestinian scarf known as Keffiyeh.


The man snatched the mic from Greta Thunberg's hand and said, "Came here for a climate demonstration, not a political view," before he was taken off stage. Thunberg was unbothered and chanted, "No climate justice on occupied land," repeatedly after the interrupter was taken away. The man, whose identity was not immediately clear, was wearing a jacket with the name of a group called Water Natuurlijk, which is a Dutch political party that focuses mainly on the water boards of the Netherlands.

Even before Thunberg took the stage, the event was briefly interrupted as a small group of activists at the front of the crowd waved Palestinian flags and chanted, "Palestine will be free." Thunberg's earlier "Stand with Gaza" social media post had stirred debate and even invited a response from Israel's Education Ministry, saying that it will be removing any references to Thunberg in school curricula.

Amsterdam Climate Protest

About 70,000  protestors had gathered in Amsterdam demanding immediate action against climate change. The Netherlands is expected to hold elections on November 22. Apart from Thunberg, Former EU climate chief Frans Timmermans was also present in the rally. Timmermans will lead the combined Labour and Green parties at the upcoming election. Organisers said the turnout was the largest ever at a climate protest in the Netherlands.

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