When Greenpeace protesters rigged zip lines from the side of Procter & Gamble's world headquarters and unfurled 60-foot-long protest banners, they grabbed attention.
They grabbed the attention of the police and the courts. The nine protesters were arrested and now face felony charges of burglary and vandalism for the stunt carried out on Tuesday, March 4. Municipal Court Judge Brad Greenberg called the actions "reckless" and "ill-advised'' and set a $50,000 cash bond for each.
They grabbed the attention of P&G's public relations team and likely numerous Procter personnel charged with security at the consumer products giant. A P&G spokeswoman said the company immediately improved security following the demonstration. Police and P&G personnel continue to piece together exactly how the protesters gained entry.
They undoubtedly grabbed the attention of other Cincinnati corporations who couldn't help but notice that security at one of the city's biggest Fortune 500 companies was breached. Punctuating that point Cincinnati Police Capt. Paul Broxterman called the protest a "major security breach" that other companies ought to heed and Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell announced plans for a summit on security.
The protesters also grabbed the attention of the media, a goal of the international environmental activist organization. They also focused attention on the Greenpeace claim that P&G's use of palm oil is linked to tropical deforestation. P&G responded noting it's committed to relying on a sustainable source of palm oil by 2015.
The stunt also drew attention to the Greenpeace Nine, as the protesters were quickly dubbed, and to what compelled them to engage in the protest, why they risk jail and how they were trained.
The Greenpeace protest at P&G will continue to draw attention as the criminal cases progress and more is learned about the breach. WCPO.com will continue to report each development.