Greenpeace's attack on coal pollution in Chicago turned out to be two-pronged. Hours after eight activists scaled the 450-foot smokestacks of the Fisk coal-fired power plant -- and not long after we spoke with climber Kelly Mitchell in an illuminating live chat -- eight more activists worked to halt the approach of a coal barge at the city's other major power plant. The activists dropped off a bridge near the Crawford coal plant, and unfurled a banner with "We Can Stop Coal" written in both English in Spanish. While the scene was hectic at Fisk -- check out my reportage from earlier today to learn more -- it was nothing compared to the chaos at Crawford:Traffic was backed up for miles. Dozens of police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances lined the street, where ornery officers barked at the press to stay on one side of the street. Meanwhile, the activists dangled below the bridge, preventing a coal barge from passing for hours.
The scene looked something like this:
Leila Williams, one of the activists hanging from the bridge, issued the following statement. "I know that we can stand up to big coal and use our collective power and strength to stop companies like Edison International from poisoning our communities. All around America, people like us can stop coal. We must take a stand for our health, our welfare and our future."
The pair of protests made national news, and provoked stirrings of support from the local community. Stay tuned for a follow-up tomorrow.