With President Obama in L'Aquila, Italy for the G8 Summit, three Greenpeace activists unfurled a banner on Mount Rushmore, next to Abraham Lincoln's likeness. The Washington Post reports, "The banner showed President Obama's face -- Greenpeace said it was an unfinished portrait, implying that Obama's legacy was in question -- and the words 'America honors leaders not politicians: Stop Global Warming.'" And soon after, the three climbers and other Greenepace activists were arrested.
Greenpeace's Carroll Muffet states on the organization's website, "We are at a key moment in history when we must challenge our president to take real leadership. The steps taken so far have been frankly inadequate. If President Obama wants to take his place among the great leaders of history, he must take aggressive measures to combat climate change and prioritize a strong deal in Copenhagen. We're here at Mount Rushmore to inspire Americans to take action, and remind the world that heroism and leadership are part of our nation’s history — and must be a part of our future." Here's video:
The activists were charged with illegal climbing and trespassing, each facing a max of six months in prison and possibly up to $5,000 in fines. According to CNN, "The charged protesters came from eight states, including California and New York. The banner was up for an hour before it was seized." Apparently the National Park Service is holding the 2,275 square foot banner as evidence.