MOSCOW, October 26 (RIA Novosti) – A Greenpeace activist staged a protest in support of his colleagues currently jailed in Russia by dangling from the Eiffel Tower in a tent for several hours on Saturday, ending his show of encouragement only when firemen removed him from the site.
After lowering himself from the second floor of the Paris tourist attraction – a height of 378 feet (115 meters) – the activist hung in the tent for about two hours Saturday morning, displaying banners reading “Free the Arctic 30” and “Militants in prison, climate in danger,” in homage to a September 18 Greenpeace stunt at an Arctic oil rig that’s led to Russia’s prosecution of the activists and journalists involved.
“We are here to send a message to the French government to do everything to secure the release of the 28 militants and two journalists,” Cyrille Cormier, a Greenpeace campaigner, told AFP, adding that Greenpeace is asking French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to discuss the case with Russian officials when he visits Moscow next week.
Officials closed the tower to tourists until firefighters removed the activist, French media reported.
Russia sparked an international outcry over its heavy-handed response to Greenpeace's September protest, in which two activists scaled the side of the Prirazlomnoye oil rig to decry oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean. Russian authorities seized the activists’ ship and detained everyone on board. The “Arctic 30,” as Greenpeace has christened the group, is being held in Russia on charges of hooliganism pending a hearing on November 24.
Updated to reflect that the activist did not scale the structure, but lowered himself from the second floor.