Early morning on Good Friday, the 19th of April, around 50 rebels from Extinction Rebellion Netherlands blocked the entrance to the International headquarters of oil and gas multinational Shell in the Hague. Some were glued to the glass, others poured fake blood from the stairs or sprayed their message across the building. Shell is one of the actors in society most responsible for the ecological crises. Extinction Rebellion demands the Dutch government to cut ties with Shell and hold Shell accountable for their actions against the safety of current and future generations.
We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction and the government is failing to act appropriately. Dutch citizens, as other living beings, are in serious danger. This is one of the last moments that we can still turn the tide. The government must tell the truth about the ecological crisis and act accordingly. This would include shutting down the fossil fuel industry, which is responsible for a major part of the CO2 in our atmosphere. Kate Mitchell, Extinction Rebellion activist, says: “Shell is one of the biggest polluters on earth and is threatening the survival of millions of species. Everyone must step up and show that we are no longer tolerating this.” On Tuesday, Extinction Rebellion NL occupied the International Criminal Court, demanding making ecocide an international crime.
Shell is in the top 10 of companies with the largest share in global emissions, according to the Carbon Majors report. Although Shell has known about the destructive and life-threatening consequences of oil and gas drilling for decades, it continues to emit CO2 into the atmosphere up to this day. Every year, Shell emits twice as much as the Netherlands. On top of that, Shell is still actively and consciously destroying Nigerian ecosystems and lives of the indigenous people. This must stop now.
The Rebellion has only just started. There are many more non-violent civil disobedience actions planned for the future, and will not stop until the climate crisis is acted upon. Tomorrow there will be a funeral procession in Rotterdam and next Friday there will be swarming in Amsterdam. The movement is rapidly spreading worldwide, with actions happening in London, South Africa, Ghana and many other countries. The four demands of Extinction Rebellion NL as well as future actions can be found on the website www.extinctionrebellion.nl.