This afternoon, Extinction Rebellion succeeded in occupying the International Criminal Court (ICC). During this act of civil disobedience, 22 rebels were arrested for standing up for the rights of human life, animals and all other living beings.
The activists took over the bridge leading to the ICC with their demand that ecocide becomes recognized as the fifth international crime in the Rome Statute.
In the face of a brigade of police, the activists were chanting for climate justice and urgent climate action. Even after the activists were carried to the police vans outside of the Court, the energy level remained high. The arrested activist Johnathan Legget clearly states the need for the action in his instagram live-stream from the police van: ‘There is still no international treaty that would allow responsible individuals to be held accountable for the destruction of ecosystems’. Even though the large-scale destruction of our earth is undermining the existence of present and future life, guilty parties remain unprosecuted.
The Netherlands is one of the countries responsible for this. An earlier proposal to criminalise ecocide was rejected by the Dutch government.
In the face of this injustice, Extinction Rebellion activists showed the ratifying parties their determination to reveal their lack of action. In between the ICC buildings their song echoed for those who rebel in order to solve the climate crisis.
‘People are gonna rise like the water,
We’re gonna face this crisis now
I hear the voice of my great-granddaughter,
We’re singing Climate Justice now!’
The Extinction Rebellion group remained completely non-violent and resisted the ICC security forces and the police with positive energy. Together, the rebels fought for climate justice in a place where those charged with severe global crimes are regularly brought to justice. More and more people are willing to sacrifice their freedom to push their governments to finally speak the truth about the climate breakdown and act accordingly.
This is only the beginning: Extinction Rebellion NL will continue during the upcoming weeks and months. We won’t stop until the ecological crisis is acknowledged and acted upon.