Climate alarm demonstration: objection against series of restrictions by Municipality of Heerlen

On Sunday 14 March 2021, people took to the streets in more than 40 municipalities as part of the national Climate Alarm. Motivated by their concerns over climate change and the (lack of) policies to combat it.

In Heerlen, too, a local coalition, the Parkstad Climate Coalition, organised a demonstration with speakers, musicians and artists from the region speaking out against the climate crisis. However, the mayor of Heerlen has imposed many regulations and restrictions on this protest. 

No more than 200 people were allowed to attend, the names of the speakers had to be communicated to the municipality in advance, no performances were allowed within the program and people on and off the stage could not make music.

Mayors are allowed to impose restrictions on a protest, but only if those restrictions are based on the law and human rights and if these restrictions are necessary and proportional. 

The PILP-NJCM has filed an objection to the decision of the mayor of Heerlen on behalf of the Climate Coalition Parkstad this week. In the objection, which was also submitted on behalf of a number of national organisations, we describe why the restrictions in Heerlen are in conflict with the right to protest and the freedom of expression, with the law, the Constitution and human rights and why they are not necessary and not proportional.

Read the decision of the mayor here and our objection here. Read more about our case and other cases on the right to protest here.