Greenpeace activists have unfurled a 70-foot, hand-painted banner declaring “RESIST” from atop a 270-foot construction crane facing the White House, demonstrating to President Donald Trump that his anti-environment, anti-women, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-immigrant policies are going to be met with a sustained popular resistance.
The action involved seven people—including the chair of Greenpeace’s board of directors—and was also meant as a call to arms, explained San Francisco community organizer Nancy Pili Hernandez, who helped unfurl the banner.
In a livestream from atop the crane, Hernandez said, “We’re asking everybody to pledge to join the resistance.”
“I hope that everyone can find ways to resist in our own lives. To stop the pipelines from being built, to protect the water, to protect the land, to protect a woman’s right to choose, to protect gay marriage, to protect our brothers and sisters who are being threatened by deportations,” Hernandez went on.
Watch the video here:
“The sun has risen this morning on a new America, but it isn’t Donald Trump’s,” said Pearl Robinson, another activist involved in the banner drop, in a statement. “I fear not only the policies of the incoming administration, but also the people emboldened by this election to commit acts of violence and hate.”
“Now is the time to resist. We won’t stand rollbacks on all the progress the people have made on women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, the heightened awareness of state-sanctioned violence on black and brown folks, and the progress we have made on access to clean and renewable energy, an issue I have personally worked on my entire adult life,” Robinson said.
“There’s a lot that we’re up against,” Hernandez admitted during her livestream. “But I feel like I just learned how to fly. It’s using carabiners and ropes, but it’s a super power. Whatever super power you have I hope that you can harness it, and use it to be part of the resistance and use it to fight back and use it to demand better than what we’re being offered right now.”
The activists are urging spectators to join Greenpeace as it pushes against Trump’s repressive agenda.
“People in this country are ready to resist and rise up in ways they have never done before,” commented Karen Topakian, chair of Greenpeace’s board, who also climbed the crane to help unfurl the banner. “While Trump’s disdain and disrespect for our democratic institutions scare me, I am so inspired by the multigenerational movement of progress that is growing in every state.”
The banner went up around noon local time and hung for several hours, before the activists began the process of taking it down and descending the crane at around 2:15pm. Watch the moment of its unfurling—put to the accompaniment of choral music—here, courtesy of National Nurses United’s RoseAnn DeMoro.