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James Cromwell sentenced to seven days in jail for 2015 protest

(Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times)

Actor James Cromwell has been sentenced to a week in a New York jail in lieu of a fine for obstructing traffic during a 2015 sit-in protesting construction of a natural gas-fired power plant in New York state.

The “Babe” and “L.A. Confidential” star, a longtime activist, was arrested in Wawayanda, N.Y., on Dec. 18, 2015, with five others who dubbed themselves the “Wawayanda Six,” according to the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, N.Y.

After being found guilty of disorderly conduct earlier this year and each being fined $250 plus a $125 surcharge, half the members of the group paid up before the Thursday deadline while the other three — including Cromwell — refused, the Times Herald-Record reported.

On Thursday, the three who didn’t pay got seven days in jail, though their attorney requested time to appeal, and the judge suspended the sentences until July 15, the paper said.

The 77-year-old “Young Pope” actor made up his mind a while ago not to pay, telling the paper on June 7, “I will not pay this fine. I will go to jail, and I will appeal.”

The six were part of a larger group protesting the CPV power plant, which they believe will be harmful to the environment; CPV disagrees with those assertions.

“I’m not a scientist, I’m merely a concerned citizen,” Cromwell told People about two weeks before his arrest, after being ejected from a celebration of local businesses in upstate New York, which he interrupted when he reportedly stood up and spoke out loudly against the plant.

“I’m concerned about this community and concerned about maintaining the quality of life for everyone here and not just for those people who make a profit out of ripping things out of the ground,” he continued.

Construction has proceeded, and the plant is scheduled to go online in February 2018.

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