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Greenpeace Activists Sentenced In Court

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

National Park News

On July 8, 2009, 11 people were arrested after gaining access to a closed area of the park and climbing to and on a closed area on the face of the memorial. Several of them hung a banner stating “America Honors Leaders Not Politicians Stop Global Warming Greenpeace to the right side of Lincoln’s face, while several others chained themselves together in areas which impeded the ranger’s response to the top of the memorial. At the same time that the individuals were climbing and setting up the protest banner, live video was being streamed through the website  This video was being recorded by an unknown person who had parked in the Mount Rushmore parking garage.  During the live video stream, Kert Davies, research director for Greenpeace, was narrating the activities and making statements about global warming and its harm to the environment. Soon after the banner was cut down, the narration and live video stream ended. On July 21st, the eleven were indicted for trespassing in a national park, climbing Mount Rushmore as prohibited by law, interfering with a government official, and aiding and abetting others in those offenses. Greenpeace, Inc., was also charged with aiding and abetting eleven individuals trespassing in a national park by entering an area not open to the public without permission, aiding and abetting nine individuals with climbing Mount Rushmore as prohibited by law, and aiding and abetting six individuals with intentionally interfering with a government employee or officer engaged in an official duty. This was one of the first times that the corporation Greenpeace had been indicted for the actions of its activists. This month, Greenpeace agreed to a civil settlement of $30,000. Of that sum, $25,000 is to go to Mount Rushmore to promote conservation activities within the memorial. The remaining money is to go to the cooperating agencies that responded during the incident.  On January 4th, the eleven people involved in the demonstration pled guilty to one count each of climbing Mount Rushmore. Each was given a $450 fine. Five who had prior misdemeanor arrests were each sentenced to 100 hours community service to be served at Mount Rushmore or another NPS unit; one who had an extensive criminal history was sentenced to two days in jail and 100 hours community service in a park unit; the remaining five were each sentenced to 50 hours community service at a park unit. All climbing and recording equipment seized during the arrests were forfeited over to the government.


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