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Green activists charged with felony counts for defacing US Constitution display

By Mandy Donalds
|
March 2, 2024

Two climate activists have been charged with felonies after vandalizing a display containing the U.S. Constitution.

On Friday, the Department of Justice revealed that two individuals, Donald Zepeda from Maryland and Jackson Green from Utah, are facing serious legal consequences.

They have been formally accused of felony destruction of government property. Their actions involved a protest centered on climate change, during which they dispersed red powder over the protective casing of the U.S. Constitution housed in the National Archives Rotunda, FOX News reports.

Activists make a bold statement at the National Archives

Dr. Colleen Shogan, the archivist of the United States, expressed her deep concern over the incident.

She highlighted the importance of the National Archives Rotunda as a sacred space for America's founding documents.

Shogan emphasized that such acts of vandalism are taken very seriously and that there will be a push for strict legal action against the perpetrators.

The vandalism, which took place on Feb. 14, prompted immediate evacuation procedures of the rotunda area. Footage captured by an onlooker shows Zepeda and Green covered in red powder. This powder was also visible on the Constitution's display case, indicating the extent of their protest.

Zepeda and Green are believed to be part of Declare Emergency, a group advocating for urgent action on climate change.

They demand that President Biden acknowledge a state of climate emergency and use his executive powers to prevent national collapse.

Following the incident, the group defended their actions on social media, describing their protest as an act of love and a call for necessary change.

After the unfortunate incident, the group wrote on social media:

We don't want the end of civilization but that's the path we're currently on. Declare Emergency's nonviolent civil disobedience is love in action everyday, not just on Valentine's Day.

The financial toll of a protest gone too far

The Department of Justice reported that the protest resulted in damages exceeding $50,000.

This significant financial impact underlines the severity of the activists' actions and the cost of repairs and restoration needed for the historical display.

As a consequence of the vandalism, the rotunda was closed to the public for four days.

This disruption not only affected the National Archives but also the broader public, depriving citizens and visitors of the chance to connect with a pivotal piece of American history.

The group behind the protest, Declare Emergency, has made their stance clear.

They argue that their actions, though controversial, stem from a place of desperation and a desire to see meaningful action on the climate crisis. Their message is one of urgent change, hoping to steer the country away from what they see as an impending collapse.

Conclusion

  • Two climate activists face felony charges for defacing the U.S. Constitution's display case.
  • The protest led to significant financial damages and raised questions about the balance between activism and respect for national heritage.
  • The incident has sparked a broader discussion on the methods of climate activism and the protection of historical sites.