Last Wednesday seven Greenpeace activists unfurled a 70-by-35-foot-banner on top of a crane nearby the White House with the word “Resist” emblazoned on it, protesting U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.
The protesters were arrested and charged with second-degree burglary, unlawful entry and destruction of property, UPI reports, citing a police statement.
Police officials have called the protest “extremely dangerous and unlawful.” But for Nancy Pili Hernandez, one of the activists who dropped the banner, it was a message of solidarity worth sending to those who she says are under attack by Trump’s administration.
“Those of us who climbed that crane had to face a lot of our own fears,” Hernandez told teleSUR in an interview.
“That idea of facing our fears and the effort we made to stand up sends a message to young people and families in our community who are being threatened with deportations and anti-immigrant sentiment."
Hernandez, a San Francisco-based Greenpeace activist who mentors Latina/o youth for work, says she felt “honored” to participate in the action. She says the banner drop was a way to connect the immigrant and environmental justice movements amidst Trump’s recent executive orders.
Last Tuesday, Trump signed two executive orders allowing private developers to move forward with construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. Throughout the week, he signed executive orders banning all refugees from entering the U.S. while issuing mass deportations for undocumented immigrants.
Opposition to these policies, Hernandez says, are uniting the immigrant, environmental and Indigenous communities. She believes the future of their survival depends on their collective defense against Trump’s administration.
“We are all tied together. The climbers were diverse: women, men, lesbians, Muslims, Latinas — all of our lives were tied together. Our safety was interdependent and that is the message we were trying to send,” Hernandez told teleSUR.
“The divisiveness this administration is using...we're calling it out. Unity is resistance to that divide and conquer mentality.”
Hernandez is 36 years old.