Greenpeace hang giant 'Resist' banner next to White House

Ben Nuckols
Thursday 26 January 2017 08:27
Comments
Protesters unfurl a banner atop a crane at the construction site of the former Washington Post office building
Protesters unfurl a banner atop a crane at the construction site of the former Washington Post office building

The morning after President Donald Trump issued orders to delay environmental rules and restart pipeline projects, seven Greenpeace protesters climbed a 270-foot tall construction crane blocks from the White House and unfurled a massive orange and yellow banner with the word, "RESIST."

The banner encouraging opposition to Trump's agenda was clearly visible from the grounds of the White House for several hours on Wednesday, and from some angles it appeared to hover over the building. Protesters hoped it would get under his skin.

"There's nothing that irritates him more than to know he's not popular and we don't like him," one of the protesters, Karen Topakian, told The Associated Press in an interview conducted via FaceTime from high up on the crane.

District of Columbia police took a hands-off approach while the protesters suspended themselves from harnesses and ropes below the crane's huge arm. Police closed three city blocks to traffic and appeared content to wait until they climbed down to be arrested.

The protesters scaled the crane before dawn at a sprawling construction site that was previously home to The Washington Post. They revealed the banner after 9 a.m. and remained atop the crane into the afternoon before beginning a slow descent.

John Evans, 46, a carpenter who works on the site, said the protesters were clearly experienced climbers, noting that they were moving their legs and shifting positions to maintain their blood circulation.

"Look how organized they are. They have the same equipment that I use every day," he said. "They're professionals. Amateurs couldn't stay up there that long."

The protest comes a day after Trump signed orders intended to restart construction of two oil pipelines, the Dakota Access and the Keystone XL. Former president Barack Obama halted the Keystone XL pipeline in 2015 and the Army Corps of Engineers blocked the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline in December after months of protests led by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which gets drinking water from a reservoir in the pipeline's path.

Also on Tuesday, Trump's administration moved to delay implementation of at least 30 environmental rules and froze new Environmental Protection Agency contracts and grant awards.

Topakian said the action was intended to protest "all the things he's promised to do to push our country backwards."

A few dozen people standing in the streets below took photos, but many just paused briefly before moving on.

David Presgraves, 27, and Victoria Oms, 26, who work nearby in nonprofit communications, said they agreed with the message. Both participated in the Women's March on Washington on Saturday.

"The pipelines have got to stop," Presgraves said. "There's no respect for the native people, no respect for the environment."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in