On Wednesday, seven activists affiliated with the environmental organization Greenpeace climbed a construction crane overlooking the White House to protest Donald Trump’s presidency. They unfurled a sign reading “RESIST” in bold letters.
The activists came from across the country and displayed a 70-foot by 30-foot banner on the crane, which could be seen from the Ellipse and the White House South Lawn, CNN reported.
— Greenpeace USA (@greenpeaceusa) January 25, 2017
The activists came down early Wednesday afternoon.
The protesters were “calling for those who want to resist Trump’s attacks on environmental, social, economic and educational justice to contribute to a better America,” according to a statement from Greenpeace. The statement disagreed with CNN’s report, saying the sign was 70 feet by 35 feet.
“People in this country are ready to resist and rise up in ways they have never done before,” Greenpeace Board Chair Karen Topakian said in the statement. “While Trump’s disdain and disrespect for our democratic institutions scare me, I am so inspired by the multigenerational movement of progress that is growing in every state. Greenpeace has used nonviolence to resist tyrannical bullies since 1971, and we’re not going to stop now.”
While Greenpeace is an environmental organization, one of the activists involved, Pearl Robinson, wrote in the release that she intended to oppose many different issues allegedly pushed by the president. “We won’t stand rollbacks on all the progress the people have made on women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, the heightened awareness of state-sanctioned violence on black and brown folks, and the progress we have made on access to clean and renewable energy, an issue I have personally worked on my entire adult life.”
Greenpeace spokeswoman Cassady Craighill told CNN that this vandalism is meant to inspire people who “are feeling discouraged this week after we’ve seen Donald Trump take steps to advance the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines, issuing gag orders on the press and the EPA and the department of agriculture.”
President Trump signed orders easing the process of permits for both pipelines on Tuesday, and has reportedly ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remove the climate change page on the organization’s website. This does not erase the data collected over the years, but makes it less directly accessible, until such a time as the new EPA can put forth its understanding on the politicized issue.
The DC Police Department responded to the protest, referring to it as “dangerous behavior” which causes harm in the city. “While we respect everyone’s right to protest, today’s actions are extremely dangerous and unlawful,” the statement read. “Multiple government resources are being tied up, and unfortunately streets are blocked while first responders try to safely address this matter.”
Statement regarding the ongoing incident at 15th & L Street NW pic.twitter.com/BqjzBALh4Y
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) January 25, 2017
After all, this is a case of dangerous trespassing and vandalism of private property. However you want to make a statement, it isn’t smart to break the law doing it.
While Greenpeace and other news reports have connected this vandalism to the Women’s March on Washington last weekend, it seems more fitting to compare it to the vandal who changed the “Hollywood” sign to read “Hollyweed” on January 1. Like that effort, this one seems bound for obscurity — and likely to only further delegitimize the Left’s protests against America’s new president.
Here’s a video of the protesters putting up the sign.
— WUSA9 (@wusa9) January 25, 2017