Greenpeace activists suspend themselves from Houston bridge to protest fossil fuels

Katelyn Meza, News Editor

On Thursday, September 12, eleven Greenpeace activists suspended themselves from the Fred Hartman Bridge in Houston, Texas in a demonstration to protest the burning of fossil fuels and rise in climate change. Armed with bungee cords, food, water, and colored flags, the activists hung from the bridge to block the Houston Ship Channel from exporting oil.

Greenpeace USA tweeted, “We’re in Houston shutting down the largest oil export channel in the country to resist Trump & the oil industry for fueling this #ClimateCrisis. It’s time to end the age of oil. #PeopleVsOil.” They then challenged the Democratic presidential primary candidates to take action towards climate change prior to the third Democratic debate held in Houston.

The activists had intended on completing the demonstration for 24 hours, but the plan was cut short as Houston authorities spent hours retrieving each activist from the bridge. The retrieved activists were placed in jail and released on Saturday to attend federal court.

Now, according to the Houston Chronicle, all activists and their spotters face federal charges of aiding and abetting obstruction of navigable waters. They pleaded not guilty to the charged crimes and justified the act as a peaceful protest to gain attention for a noble cause. If convicted, they risk a year in jail or paying a $2,500 fine.

The Greenpeace demonstration was intended to confront the oil industry and pressure the Trump administration to address climate change. The protest has gained significant attention and is currently viewed by many as a bold and public call for change. Now the protesters must wait to see if the charges will be convicted.