Greenpeace Protesters Who Climbed Crane Charged

Seven Greenpeace protesters are facing charges after climbing a 270-foot tall construction crane blocks from the White House and unfurling a massive orange and yellow banner with the word, "RESIST.'' 

The protesters, who began their climb early Wednesday, came down after 10 p.m. and were taken into custody. They are charged with unlawful demonstrating, unlawful entry and destruction of property, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. The charges are misdemeanors.

The protesters are:

  • Karen Topakian, 62, of San Francisco, California.
  • Zakaria Kronemer, 23, of Silver Spring, Maryland.
  • Brittany Robinson, 26, of Oakland, California.
  • Zeph Fishlyn, 50, of Oakland, California.
  • Nancy Hernandez, 36, of San Francisco, California.
  • Joshua Ingram, 35, of Santa Cruz, California.
  • Zachary Riddle, 34, of Bethesda, Maryland.

"MPD respects everyone’s right to protest, however, today’s actions are extremely dangerous and unlawful," police said in a statement. 

The banner encouraging opposition to President Donald Trump's agenda was clearly visible from the grounds of the White House for several hours on Wednesday. Protesters hoped it would get under his skin. 

“I came here to show the world and deliver a message of hope that we at Greenpeace are here to resist,” protester Karen Topakian said.

While six other protesters were hanging the banner, she was trying to get their message out on social media.

“I'm here to resist what he talks about in terms of setting up a registry for people based on their religion,” she said. “These things are fundamentally undemocratic.”

While the protesters were trying to send a message to Trump, others were a little annoyed the protesters’ choice to climb a crane affected their morning commute.

Others said they just don't agree with their message.

“They're certainly getting everybody's attention and causing a lot of people to be late for work, and I'm sure that they think that's OK given their cause,” commuter Kenneth Schmidt said.

Greenpeace spokeswoman Cassady Craighill said they planned the protest for weeks.

“This really has been in the planning for a long time since Trump was elected in the sense that people were ready to take bold action,” she said.

Their goal is to encourage more protests around the country, hoping a louder message will be sent in the voting booth during the midterm elections in two years, Topakian said.

The protests came a day after the Trump administration moved to delay implementation of at least 30 environmental rules and froze new Environmental Protection Agency contracts and grant awards.

Unlawful entry and destruction of property each carry maximum penalties of 180 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. Unlawful demonstrating carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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