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The Belgian activists who glued themselves to the glass shield in front of Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring in The Hague last Thursday and the photographer, have been sentenced with two months in jail, of which one on probation. This is a disproportionate sentence for this action which caused no harm to the painting, particularly in view of the lack of accountability for the real eco-criminals. The sentence is intended to silence all of us: this is unfair and counter-productive. As climate justice movement we are more determined than ever to act for systemic change.

Therefore, we propose a wave of decentralized actions to show our solidarity with the activists and oppose the harsh punishment imposed on them. In this action, we don't only think of the three people detained in The Hague, but also of the many thousands of activists who face repression, harassment, torture and even murder across the globe, every day. Our actions will be non-violent and will not cause damage to any artworks, but stress the absurdity of the punishment and lack of accountability for real crime against people and planet.

Write our friends

  • Email them on: [email protected]. We will print the letters and they will be brought to them once a week.
  • Write them a physical letter or postcard (are read by the detention centre). For the postal address, send an e-mail to: [email protected]

Social media action

  • Personalize the following illustration, or use it as it is;
  • Share on your personal social media channels;
  • Make sure to use the # and @ below​​.

Physical action (possible to do a combination)

  • Hold banners in front of artworks. This can be statues on public squares.Going into museums might generate additional risk.
  • Cray paint spray a message on a public square with an artwork, or in front of a museum.
  • Pour something (soup, fake oil,…) onto a plant / small globe / tree / aquarium / something representing the planet.
  • Film &/or photograph your action.
  • Share your footage on social media and make sure to use the #below.
  • Email your footage, mentioning date and place: [email protected]
  • We will make sure to make a beautiful compilation for the press.

(Hash)tags on social media


Please tag XR so they can share:

Facebook @extinctionrebellionbe

Some proposed messages

  • We love our earth and the art she inspires. We need to protect people and planet like we protect our artworks. That means stopping the fossil fuel era now.
  • Interestingly, the fossil fuel industry and financial institutions love art too, and have invested millions into arts and museums in part as a greenwashing effort. Millions which we somehow struggle to raise for investing in climate justice.
  • While the activists and photographer are being punished extremely harsh, the real eco-criminals roam free with no punishment for harming the earth.
  • We stand with the activists and photographer who rang the alarm bell in The Hague last week. We oppose their harsh punishment and the infringement on our right to protest and speak truth to power.

Banner proposals

  • The Global South isn’t protected by glass / The Global South doesn’t wear safety glass
  • We stand with repressed activists
  • No art on a dead planet
  • Restore the climate too
  • Punish climate criminals, not climate activists
  • Our solidarity sticks like super glue
  • Love Vermeer/Art/Paintings, Hate Climate Injustice​​​​​​


Non-violence: don’t inflict physical harm on artworks or living beings
Low-risk: while we may want to think of bigger actions in solidarity, this takes more time and planning. At this stage it may be most wise to conduct actions with little or no legal risks
Visible: make good footage of your action and share it on social media and with [email protected]
Multitude of actions of solidarity: it will be strongest if these happen everywhere, many times. So small groups, quick decision-making, and many different targets.