Greenpeace Members Climb Smokestack In Protest
Protestors Face Trespassing Charges
MASONTOWN, Pa. -- Greenpeace activists climbed a 750-foot smokestack today at a coal plant to protest the Bush administration's energy policy. Police have surrounded the area.
Four Greenpeace activists climbed the smokestack at a coal-fired power plant Wednesday morning to secure a banner in protest of President Bush's energy policy.
The protesters climbed the 750-foot smokestack at the Hatfield's Ferry Power Station and unfurled a 2,500-square-foot banner, said Nancy Hwa, a Greenpeace spokeswoman.
"The Hatfield's Ferry Power Station is a symbol and an example of the Bush administration's dirty energy policy, which consistently favors polluting fossil fuel over clean every sources, such as wind and solar," the group said in a news release. "The Bush administration has systematically weakened clean air laws, placing the health of Americans and of the environment at risk."
The Hatfield's plant, owned by Allegheny Energy, is about 40 miles south of Pittsburgh.
"Our main concern right now is the safety of the people up on the stack. Obviously they are trespassing but we want to get them down safely," said Guy Fletcher, an Allegheny Energy spokesman.
Channel 11 talked with demonstrator Lynn Stone, of Greenpeace, via cell phone while she was on the tower.
She said she is a professionally-trained climber, and despite the risk, the extreme measures her organization took today were worth it.
Channel 11's Alan Jennings asked, "Would you not agree with me that this is an incredibly dangerous demonstration on your part?"
Stone said, "I'm sorry, I can't agree with that because I'm up here. I'm (a) professionally-trained climber and I feel completely safe and I feel that, yes, it is a big message."
Stone said she knows she will be arrested when she comes down. But she accepts that, because the laws she broke did not endanger the lives of anyone else.
Last night on the news, it showed that the FBI was there calling the protesters "terrorists", and even our U.S. Attorney Ashcroft is looking into charging them with Federal charges. Right now they are in jail with 4 charges each, 3 of them felonies. I was afraid they would use the Patriot Act to take away our 1st Amendment rights, and unfortunately, I was correct.