Convicted of climbing Mount Rushmore

by Mike Gaworecki

January 4, 2010

The eleven climate activists who made history when they pulled off a banner hang at Mount Rushmore last July appeared in court today for sentencing. They all pled guilty to the charge of "Climbing Mount Rushmore" and received a fine of $460 each. They will also perform 50-100 hours of community service in the National Park system depending on their individual sentences. The judge requested that some or all of that service be performed at Mt. Rushmore.

There had been three additional charges originally brought against the activists – Basil Tsimoyianis, Brian Jenkins, Cy Wagoner, Hope Kaye, Jessica Miller, Joe Smyth, Madelaine Gardner, Mary Sweeters, Matt Leonard, Noah Mace, and Simran McKenna – but those were all dismissed. The charges against Greenpeace were also dropped.

One of the activists, Matt Leonard, was sentenced to 2 days of jail time because he has a history of standing up for what he believes in through civil disobedience. It’s disappointing that he’ll be going to jail for standing up for the climate, but all the more reason not to let the message the Rushmore Eleven were trying to send to President Obama get lost in the noise. I’ll let Matt tell it as he told Democracy Now! right after the event:

Matt Leonard on Democracy Now

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