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Bay Area Greenpeace activists charged with unfurling ‘Resist’ banner near White House

White House ‘Resist’ banner
Greenpeace protesters unfurled a banner that read “Resist” at the construction site of the former Washington Post building, near the White House, on Wednesday.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

Several Bay Area activists were among a group of Greenpeace protesters who scaled a 270-foot crane near the White House to unfurl a huge banner bearing the word “Resist” this week and are now facing misdemeanor charges, authorities said.

At least four of the seven people who hung the 70-by-35-foot yellow banner on Wednesday were from the Bay Area, Cassady Craighill, a spokeswoman for Greenpeace, told the San Francisco Chronicle. 

The protesters were charged Thursday with second-degree burglary, unlawful entry and destruction of property less than $1,000, according to online records from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. They were released from custody after a court appearance, according to the Chronicle.

The activists included San Francisco resident Karen Topakian, the board chairperson for Greenpeace. Topakian hosted a Facebook Live session from the top of the crane.

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“It was a little chilly this morning when we arrived at the crane site, but it was a lot chillier in the Oval Office when President Trump decided to sign those executive orders reinstating the Keystone Pipeline,” she said in the video.

The protesters also included Pearl Robinson, a national organizer for the Rainforest Action Network in San Francisco, and Nancy Pili Hernandez, a Bay Area muralist who wore a San Francisco Giants stocking cap under a hard hat atop the crane. 

She said in a Facebook Live video during the protest that other crane operators were waving and giving thumbs up to the protesters.

Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department closed streets in the area Wednesday as two protesters dangled from the crane alongside the banner.

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The crane is being used in the construction of the new headquarters of Fannie Mae on the site of the former Washington Post building. 

The massive banner could be seen hovering over the White House a half-mile away. 

hailey.branson@latimes.com

Twitter: @haileybranson

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