The three-hour ordeal drew attention from a news-starved White House Press
Corps as the three members of Greenpeace displayed the yellow-and-black
banner, urging Bush not to "mess with the earth." The protest was aimed at
drawing attention to Bush's environmental policies.
Crawford Mayor Robert Campbell yelled up to the trio, Melissa Riber, 28,
and Rani Riber, 24, both of Washington, and Kelly Osborn, 31, of Flower
Mound, Texas, telling them they were trespassing on city property. Later,
local police, U.S. Secret Service and a hook-and-ladder truck from nearby
Waco were called to assist.
"This is to draw attention to the president's policies on the
environment," said Andrea Durbin, a spokesman for Greenpeace. Durbin said
Bush is expected to acknowledge Earth Day with a series of environmental
announcements, but that the organization wanted the public to know he was no
friend of the environment.
Bush has drawn sharp criticism from environmentalists for reversing his
campaign pledge on carbon dioxide limits on power plant emissions, delaying
the implementation of arsenic level standards for water and scaling back
U.S. commitment to a global climate change treaty.
And environmental groups are still smarting over the Bush administration
budget proposal that slashes funding for the Environmental Protection Agency
and the Department of the Interior, curtailing enforcement duties of both
Amused onlookers, both from the media and neighboring homes, watched as
Crawford police and Texas State troopers ordered the trio down from the
tower and camera crews caught the arrests on tape shortly after 1:30 p.m.
The protest was staged steps away from the Crawford Elementary School
where the White House Press Corps was ensconced for the weekend after
traveling to the area with Bush who arrived Thursday afternoon for the
Although the incident drew little conversation about the environment among
the crowd of about 100 people, some Crawford adults in the crowd recalled
their own adventures climbing the same tower in their youth - seen as
almost an adolescent rite of passage in the small town - joked that they
never drew this type of attention.
Police officials said the trio would be charged with trespassing.
Copyright 2001 by United Press International.
All rights reserved.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.