Amsterdam: Activists from the “Extinction Rebellion” climate change action group block the Blauwbrug bridge on Saturday.—AFP
Amsterdam: Activists from the “Extinction Rebellion” climate change action group block the Blauwbrug bridge on Saturday.—AFP

THE HAGUE: Dutch police on Saturday arrested 130 climate change protesters who blocked a main bridge in central Amsterdam as Extinction Rebellion activists disrupted traffic in front of the French parliament in Paris.

The group, created in Britain last year, has carried out a wave of demonstrations around the world since Monday, primarily attempting to blockade city centre streets.

“The police has for the moment carried out 130 arrests at the Blauwbrug bridge” in the heart of the Dutch capital, the police said on Twitter.

Dozens of activists gathered at the bridge at around 9am, local media said.

The historic bridge connects several districts in central Amsterdam and dates back to the 17th century.

Some of the protesters slumped on hammocks hung from pillars supporting the bridge to prevent boats from passing underneath.

Protesters have multiplied in the city since Monday, when some 80 people were arrested outside the celebrated Rijksmuseum, one of Amsterdam’s top tourist draws.

In France, a few hundred activists blocked a key route to the National Assembly for a few hours but were dispersed by police in the afternoon.

“The police is not our enemy. it’s the big industrialists who exploit the living and the states who let them do it,” one demonstrator said.

Extinction Rebellion members occupied Paris’s central Chatelet area for five days until Friday evening.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2019