Seven Greenpeace U.S.A. members scaled a crane near the White House early Wednesday morning to protest President Donald Trump’s contentious new policies. Upon reaching the top, they unfurled a 70-by-35-foot-banner emblazoned with a single exhortation: “Resist.” They were taken into custody when they clambered back down close to 10 p.m. and are now facing charges for “second-degree burglary, unlawful entry. and destruction of property,” a District of Columbia police spokeswoman told reporters on Thursday.
Karen Topakian, chairwoman of the Greenpeace Inc. board and one of the climbers, said the protestors were there to “resist Trump’s attacks on environmental, social, economic, and educational justice to contribute to a better America.”
Just days after taking office, the Trump administration has revived the dormant Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects, ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to remove climate change from its website, and suppressed communications between federal scientists and the public.
Although some of these restrictions were loosened following a public backlash, many view these strikes as symptomatic of Trump’s anti-intellectual, anti-science agenda, one that is best encapsulated by the president’s previous insistence that climate change is a “hoax” perpetuated by the Chinese government.
The fact that Trump has tapped Scott Pruitt, a climate-change denier with close ties to the fossil-fuel industry, to lead the EPA, does current optics few favors.
In a meeting with automakers on Tuesday, Trump called himself “to a large extent, an environmentalist” but also said that regulations were “out of control.”
Greenpeace isn’t about to let that behavior slide.
“Greenpeace has been using nonviolence to resist tyrannical bullies since 1971, and we’re not going to stop now,” Topakian wrote in a blog post. “When Trump tries to weaken the Paris Climate Agreement so fossil fuel companies can profit on climate destruction, we will resist. When he tries to fast-track dangerous projects like the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines with no regard for Indigenous sovereignty, we will resist. When he tries to block our communities from building the clean energy future we deserve, we will resist.”
Viva la resistance.
Photos by Greenpeace