On Wednesday evening, police officers struck number of Code Rood activists with batons at a NAM facility in Amsweer. The police later stated that using the weapons was a mistake due to a “miscommunication”.
Translation by Traci White
According to Dagblad van het Noorden, a group of 150 Dutch and foreign activists participating in a protest against the fossil fuel industry in the region was walking to Amsweer on Wednesday evening when the police blocked the route.
— Mario Miskovic (@marioomiskovic) August 29, 2018
The police stated that they intervened in the interest of the safety of the protestors. “Entering industrial grounds is dangerous because it is an active work site”, the Groningen police account tweeted on Wednesday night. Code Rood reports that when several activists tried to enter the site, two were injured after being hit by the batons.
Nu is gebleken dat door een communicatiefout in de aansturingslijn politiemensen wapenstokken hebben gebruikt. De politie betreurt dit. 3/3
— Politie Groningen (@polgroningen) August 29, 2018
The police also used batons against protestors at a NAM tank park in Farmsum on Tuesday when a number of activists started pushing and pulling on the fencing. According to the police, that was a violation of the terms of the peaceful right to demonstrate. One woman was reportedly injured but did not require hospitalisation.
The activists had planned to set up a blockade at another NAM location in Farmsum, but they are set to make a definitive decision on Thursday morning: hundreds of people left the protest campsite on Wednesday, leaving only several dozen activists behind. UPDATE: Dagblad van het Noorden reported on Thursday afternoon that the protest camps in Farmsum and Leersum are being broken down and the activists do not have any additional plans to follow through with blocking NAM facilities.
Three activists were taken into police custody on Saturday and released on Sunday due to a lack of evidence of any wrongdoing. In July, 45,000 new, longer expandable batons were distributed to police agents across the Netherlands, including Groningen.
Photo source: Wikipedia
Correction: an earlier version of this story stated that the new batons were only handed out in Groningen. They were distributed to a number of police forces in the Netherlands, including Groningen.