Day 13 of the A12 Roadblocks Fossil Fuels Can Be Stopped, the Rebels in the Netherlands Cannot
It is now the 13th day of the A12 blockades in the Netherlands to end 40-46 billion dollars in annual fossil fuel subsidies. Water cannons have been deployed nearly every day - and every day they’ve been there, arrests seem to pile up. We see photos of people getting into buses, and being carried away on gurneys. The numbers themselves are huge, well past 5000, possibly nearing 6000 arrests over the last few weeks. Official numbers aren’t really what’s making headlines. It’s the emotion of the images. The hundreds of rebels huddled together in ponchos. The Extinction Rebellions flags, waving in the wind and torrents of water. The non-violent resistance of protesters who are not willing to give up.
This is modern momentum based organizing. It started in Summer of 2022, with 50 or so rebels taking to the road at a time, once per month.
Then in November of 2022, 150 arrests were made on the A12, but still only taking to the road for a day at a time.
500 Arrests came when they blockaded the A12 again on January 28th.
But on March 11, 20023, their numbers were bigger - 700 arrests on that single day. By this time, the government had already begun to make serious threats against organizers and supporters. 6 arrests were made of people in their homes. XR Rebels were told that they were banned from the A12 freeway. Nevertheless, an even bigger demonstration was planned.
1500+ arrests in a single day came on May 27th. This time, water cannons were deployed.
May 27th, 2023, the orchestra is now a highlight of the protest as well as the water cannons.
The next date was set 4 months in advance, September 9th, 2023 - as all big days have been, a Saturday. To prepare, they invited in Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil co-founder, Roger Hallam. First Roger congratulated them on a job well done - but then he broke the news. It could not be too easy for this next action - they must raise the stakes and come back each day to the road and block again. The idea is simple, and well known. The longer a protest goes on, the more vigilant and disruptive, the more it costs the state. The price goes up exponentially, and so does the pressure on the elites, and governments. That's brought us back to today, September 21st, 2023, day 13 of the protest and no end in sight.
How is XR Netherlands doing this? They continue to amount massive turnout, each day, 100s of people, and keep coming back. It's more or less a statistical certainty they will pass 6000 arrests in this wave of protests, and probably 10,000 for the campaign total. Soon they’ll be even larger - as this Saturday is promising another big turnout. Fridays have also been good, so it’s expected their capacity will grow again over the weekend.
The key to momentum based organizing is that people who are passively supportive have a chance to step into the zone of active resistance by joining in the streets. You don't have to have a doctorate in sociology to understand this concept, as it's intuitive, but you can read more about the research in this field here. Each day it goes on, it becomes more likely that people who’ve never joined before will re-think their life choices and join up. It may be we are seeing something historic. They have one demand, end the 40-46 billion euros in fossil fuel subsidies. One thing is for sure, these rebels are intending to be on the right side of history.
Join DE This Sunday for a talk about how you can join this exciting group - and start making headlines of your own! Or at least help others do the same.
“What are our responsibilities at this time? Because of the fossil fuel industry, we are facing horrors of a magnitude never before experienced in our existence. Our government continues to lead us to the edge of no return. We must stand up and defend ourselves. No one else is going to do it. It must be us, if we want to live.
Our methods must be disruptive, and they must be nonviolent. Our actions are evidence-based, credible, and we have a plan. The only thing missing at this point in time is YOU!”
Register now at declareemergency.org/events
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