Greenpeace protesters charged with trespass

  • 25/06/2015

Four Greenpeace protesters have been charged with trespass after scaling up Parliament and spending most of the day on a ledge.

Two men and two women abseiled down from the roof of Parliament House just before 5pm and were arrested by police.

Today, the four protesters flew climate change protest banners and left red faces at security.

They came, they climbed, they unfurled, they conquered and delivered a message and a present for the Prime Minister.

"We've actually delivering solar panels to the Government and they can install them on the roof if they like," says protester Johno Smith.

It's the second time Greenpeace has pulled this off - the first was in 1997.

But there was a side effect to the anti-climate change protest and it overshadowed the protest itself: they were giving the proverbial middle finger to Parliament security.

"At least we've been able to show there is room for improvement in securing these buildings," says Mr Smith.

Security has been beefed up big-time since a shooting at the Canadian Parliament last year. But that didn't stop the four protesters in bright red coveralls, with solar panels and broadcasting gear, from scaling the walls and setting up base.

It is understood a scout scoped out the grounds early this morning. When it was clear, a lock was cut on a fence and replaced with the protesters' own lock, before they climbed the scaffolding covering the rear of the building.

If it weren't embarrassing enough for Parliament - health and safety rules meant police and security guards could do nothing but wait and watch.

Even as the Speaker - Parliament's boss - spoke to media, the protesters abseiled closer.

MPs could only look on and indulge in the moment.

"It doesn't say much for our security. What if they had been terrorists and blew it up? We'd have a whole new Guy Fawkes, that's for sure," says Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox.

There is now a concern copycats will attempts similar stunts.

The protesters knew full well what would happen when they abseiled down, but they cooperated They were taken to Wellington Central Police Station, where they were each charged with one count of trespass, which carries a maximum penalty of three months in prison or $1000 fine.

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source: newshub archive