Minister gets rude awakening in noise protest
9 November 2005, AMSTERDAM — Activists with the GroenFront! environmentalist group used the recording of a AWACS military plane taking off to give Minister Sybilla Dekker an unwelcome 5am alarm call on Wednesday.
9 November 2005
AMSTERDAM — Activists with the GroenFront! environmentalist group used the recording of a AWACS military plane taking off to give Minister Sybilla Dekker an unwelcome 5am alarm call on Wednesday.
The AWACS early warning planes are converted Boeing jets. Some are stationed at the Nato base in Geilenkirchen, Germany. Environmental activists complain the planes create an unbearable noise over Schinveld in the Dutch Province of Limburg.
Minister Dekker agreed about the deafening noise following the Wednesday morning protest. But she was far from pleased with the manner in which this had been brought home to her — at her home in Wassenaar.
"An enormous racket. It shocks you because you don't know what it is," she said hours after being awoken by the recording of the AWACS. The protest lasted 30 minutes.
Dekker called in the police to end the demonstration and one person was arrested for refusing to show identification.
GroenFront! said the protest was held deliberately on the public roadway and was designed to give Dekker "a taste of her own medicine".
If she thinks that the noise was too much she should also do something about the noise in Schinveld and not cooperate with the felling of trees in the wood," a spokesperson for the environmental organisation said.
Nato officials have asked that trees in Schinveld be cut down to ensure the safe passage of AWACS planes to and from the Nato base. Dekker has granted permission for this.
She further angered environmentalists by allegedly claiming residents who complained about the noise made by the planes were "too sensitive". The minister's spokesperson claimed Dekker never said this.
The protest took place hours before parliament debated the noise pollution caused by the AWACS planes.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news