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4 Protesters Accused Of Causing Structural Damage To Trump Tower

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Jul 10, 2017 2:23PM

Twitter / Greenpeace

Four environmental activists have been accused of causing thousands of dollars worth of damage to Trump Tower in River North, after they hung a Greenpeace banner from a Tower terrace Friday afternoon.

The two women and two men were brought to the criminal courthouse Sunday and arraigned on felony charges of criminal damage to property, as well as a misdemeanor reckless conduct charge.

The Greenpeace banner, carried by Jeremy Aplert, 43, of Glencoe, Taylor Blevons, 27, of Deerfield, Wendy Jennings, 38, of Minneapolis, and David Khoury, 47, of Arkansas, said "resist" and "defend," with a picture of Earth. In court, prosecutors said the two of them went to the tower's 16th floor terrace, where they lowered ropes to ground level and the other two, disguised as construction workers, attached the banner to be lifted up to terrace level, according to the Tribune.

Prosecutors said the banner, which was about 100-by-30 feet, acted like a "wind sail" while hanging off the tower and pulled on the terrace's steel railing, thus damaging the structural brackets that held the terrace railing and windows attached to it in place. That structural damage would cost an estimated $15,000 to repair, according to the Tribune.

Two Chicago-based protesters were also arrested, but were charged with only misdemeanor reckless conduct. They are Jessica Bryant, 31 and Shirley Sexton, 54, both from the 4900 block of North Western Avenue in Lincoln Square.

Greenpeace immediately took credit for the banner hanging Friday afternoon around 2 p.m. A statement the organization put out, attributed to Blevons, said:

“This action demonstrates that we will not accept the threats that the Trump administration poses to people here and around the world. Ignoring the science of climate change and removing us from the Paris Climate Agreement is just another indication that the billionaires who have hijacked our democracy are putting the short term profit of corporations over people and the planet.