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6 Arrested As Protesters Raise 'Resist' Banner On Trump Tower

By David Matthews | July 7, 2017 2:28pm | Updated on July 8, 2017 11:24am
 Friday's Greenpeace protest at Trump Tower. 
Greenpeace protest at Trump Tower
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DOWNTOWN — Six environmental activists were arrested at Chicago's Trump Tower on Friday afternoon after raising a banner decrying the U.S. government's rejection of the Paris accord on carbon emissions.

The 50-foot-by-35-foot Greenpeace banner included the word "resist" with an arrow that was designed to point to the large Trump sign affixed to the skyscraper. Greenpeace activists along the Chicago River and at the tower's 16th floor terrace bar had attempted to hoist the banner so that it lined up with the Trump sign, but were arrested before they could, a Greenpeace spokesman said. 

Police said six people had been arrested: four women and two men. Charges are pending, but will likely be for reckless conduct, a commander said at the scene. A spokesman for Trump Tower declined to comment.

Jason Schwartz, a New York-based spokesman for Greenpeace, said that the activist organization will be "relentless" in its demonstrations against the Trump administration as it makes environmental policy "expendable."

"This is a message agreed upon by many Americans," Schwartz said.

Greenpeace USA began tweeting images of the banner raising shortly after 2 p.m. The banner was taken down within the hour.

Tourists, news crews and others stopped near President Donald Trump's namesake tower on the Chicago River at 401 N. Wabash Ave. to gawk at the short spectacle. 

The protest drew a pronounced police presence that included a police van, police boat and a slew of high-ranking police officers in white shirts. 

In a statement broadcast on Facebook Live, Kelly Mitchell, climate and energy campaign director for Greenpeace, said, "We are here to call for an end to Trump's disastrous policies that are hurting people and our planet."

"In the last couple of months the Trump administration has moved forward a couple of disastrous policies," Mitchell said. "He's pulled the U.S out of Paris climate agreement, abdicating U.S. leadership on perhaps the most important issue of our time. These activists are part of the wave of resistance that's happening across the country challenging those decisions from Trump."

"We are going to defend earth and build a better country in the process," Mitchell said. "This is a very important time. We all need to step up our game right now and figure out how we can resist the Trump administration."

In June, Trump announced he was pulling out of the multi-national accord because he felt the United States was treated unfairly under the agreement to the advantage of other nations.

"We want fair treatment," he said in a Rose Garden announcement. "We don't want other countries and other leaders to laugh at us anymore."

The Chicago action comes after Greenpeace, an international organization founded in 1971, greeted Trump in Warsaw, Poland on Wednesday by shining the message "No Trump, Yes Paris" on Poland's tallest building, the Palace of Culture and Science.

In a translated statement on Facebook, Greenpeace said, "Welcome President Trump to Poland! On the occasion of his arrival we prepared a special screening at the Palace of Culture :) This is how we protest against the anti-climate policy of the president of the United States and the announcement of the U.S. withdrawal from The Paris Accords."