Greenpeace Activists Face 9 1/2 Years for Epic Anti-Palm Oil Banner Drop


from WLWT

The nine protesters who staged an elaborate high-wire protest at the Procter and Gamble towers were released from the Hamilton County Justice Center Wednesday.

The $450,000 bond for all of them was posted Wednesday afternoon.

The six men and three women ranging from Washington D.C. to California appeared in court for arraignment Wednesday, charged with vandalism and burglary for walking into a multinational corporation then staging an elaborate protest.

Hamilton County Judge Brad Greenberg had stern words for the protesters.

“This was a reckless and ill-advised stunt,” Greenberg said. “The helicopter involved, that was alarming.”

The protesters rappelled off P&G’s towers, hanging 60-foot banners.

Police said the group used sleds to haul the banners and equipment on to the 12th floor.

The group said they even had a crew hire a helicopter to take pictures for social media.

“You put people in danger,” Greenberg said. “You take what they might consider this selfless cause and turn it into a selfish act when you’re putting people in danger.”

The group was protesting P&G’s use of palm oil from companies that Greenpeace said damages the environment.

“They are all very passionate about the environment, protecting it and think that the atrocities that are happening in Indonesia on the ground right now just for palm oil that are being put into shampoos and cosmetics is just really unacceptable,” said Amy Moas, spokeswoman for Greenpeace.

Prosecutors said the damage to P&G’s building was $10,000.

“The activists took this stand but again it was non-violent peaceful protest and we believe that the charges are incredibly inappropriate given what happened,” Moas said.

The protesters made a brief statement Wednesday.

“We are here because Procter and Gamble are sourcing their palm oil that is linked to rain forest destruction and we wanted to share that information.”

The case will be heard by a grand jury on March 14 and if indicted the group could face up to 9 1/2 years in prison.

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