Extinction Rebellion (XR), a group that uses non-violent action to compel the government to take action on topics such as climate brake down or biodiversity loss, is organising an international protest action: Rebel without Borders. Around 50 WUR students will join the protest in the centre of Amsterdam starting on 7 October.
XR Wageningen during a climate march on 17 May in Wageningen. ©XR Wageningen
The WUR students will join the other protesters, who are expected to be around two to three thousand, on the Museumbrug in front of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. There, they will block the streets by standing and camping on them. The same will happen in other cities around the world like Berlin, London and New York. ‘We want to pressure our government to take the climate crisis seriously’, says Nadine Mingers, from XR Wageningen. They feel that the Dutch government is not doing nearly enough to combat the climate and ecological crisis.
The protest is planned to last one week. Mingers: ’We demand that the government acknowledges the climate crisis and acts accordingly to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses to zero in 2025. We also demand open and honest communication and that the government raises awareness for this crisis. Finally, we want the government to establish a citizen assembly to overview and partake in the decision-making process. We will continue our protest action until these demands are met, or at least until the government agrees to schedule a meeting with our negotiators.’
Are they afraid of consequences and of being arrested? ‘We think that peaceful civil disobedience is an effective way to bring about political and social change. Beforehand, we will organise training sessions during which we will explain to the students how they can participate in non-violent actions. We will tell them what they can expect, including legal consequences or police actions, and the best way to respond to this.’