Activists scale Trump Tower, raise 'Resist and Defend' banner

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Photo: Greenpeace USA / Flickr

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Six people, including at least four members of the environmental organization Greenpeace, were charged Sunday after unfurling a banner at Trump Tower in protest of the president's policy on global warming.

Taylor Blevons, 27, of north suburban Deerfield; Wendy Jennings, 38, of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Jeremy Alpert, 43, of north suburban Glencoe; and David Khoury, 47, of Leslie, Arkansas, were all charged with one felony count each of criminal damage to property and a misdemeanor count of reckless conduct, according to Chicago Police.

The demonstrators were taken into custody “after causing a disturbance and hanging a banner from the 16th floor causing extensive damage to the building” shortly after 1:30 p.m. Friday in the 400 block of North Wabash, police said.

Activists scaled the south facade of the building where they briefly raised a "Resist and Defend" message in defiance of President Donald Trump's environmental policies. The banner was in place for about five minutes before police made the arrests.

According to a message on the official Greenpeace USA Facebook page, the banner was displayed to "show this administration that the people of Chicago - and people all over the country - will continue to RESIST Trump's attack on our clean air and water, and defend our communities and the planet."

In a statement issued after the arrests, Greenpeace said four of its members raised the 50-by-35-foot banner, “but were detained before they could lock it into place.”

“This action demonstrates that we will not accept the threats that the Trump administration poses to people here and around the world,” Taylor Blevons, one of the activists who raised the banner, said in the statement.

“Ignoring the science of climate change and removing us from the Paris Climate Agreement is just another indication that the billionaires who have hijacked our democracy are putting the short term profit of corporations over people and the planet,” Blevons said.

Jessica Bryant, 31, and 54-year-old Shirley Sexton were also charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct, police said. They both live in the Lincoln Square neighborhood.

They are all expected to be appear in bond court Sunday morning.