Ban on climate strike route has no place in the City of Peace and Justice
“It is important that The Hague, as a city that attaches great importance to protecting human rights defenders and their right to speak out, also endorses the importance of this climate strike and makes this strike possible.” – Sebastiaan van der Zwaan, Director of Justice and Peace
The Hague, September 21 – Three Hague-based peace, justice and climate organisations jointly call on Mayor Krikke to not ban the route of the climate strike in The Hague this Friday 27 September. “The International City of Peace and Justice is showing another face, one that doesn’t match it’s own policy or the values of the city” argues Free West Papua Campaign, Justice and Peace Netherlands and Den Haag Fossielvrij. “The Mayor must approve the route through the centre of the city.” Millions of people worldwide strike for the climate in the week of 20 to 27 September.
Mayor Krikke of The Hague wants to impose restrictions on the route of the climate demonstration on Friday 27 September. The three organisations, which stand up for peace, justice and climate, call it the Mayor’s job to protect the right to demonstrate. They point out that there has never been any disturbances during climate demonstrations and that this climate strike has also been well prepared.
Raki Ap of Free West Papua Campaign is a spokesperson for indigenous groups who participate in the climate march: “The Mayor sets wrong priorities. We are all threatened by climate change. Indigenous people are already being hit. But also shoppers will sooner or later have to deal with climate change. The climate strike is also intended to make people think. You reach those people in the centre, not on a country road. “
During the climate strike on Friday 27 September, the indigenous groups around Free West Papua Campaign, the human rights activists of Justice and Peace and the climate activists around Den Haag fossielvrij form one block: the block of peace, justice and climate. Femke Sleegers of Den Haag fossielvrij: “Mayor Krikke chose climate change as the spearhead of her mayorship. She should encourage the climate strikers. The attitude of mayor Krikke contrasts sharply with that of Mayor Khan in London. He has declared his solidarity with the strikers. “
Sebastiaan van der Zwaan, Director of The Hague human rights organisation Justice and Peace speaks on behalf of a worldwide network of international human rights activists. “Human rights activists in many countries around the world risk their lives for this cause. They must fight for their existence. And because climate change makes land, food and water scarce, their struggle will only become more difficult. In that sense, climate activists also stand up for human rights. It is therefore important that The Hague, as a city that attaches great importance to protecting human rights defenders and their right to speak out, also endorses the importance of this climate strike and makes this strike possible. “
Five political parties in The Hague (Party for the Animals, Haagse Stadspartij, GroenLinks, SP and PvdA) have written questions about the route ban.