Officials: P&G protesters gained illegal access through a third party

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Security officials say that Tuesday's P&G protesters gained illegal access to the building via a third party who shares the office space.

Officials state that the individual let the Greenpeace activists in through a secured entrance.

"Security cameras indicate that one protestor gained illegal access to office space that P&G leases to a third party," said Lisa Popyk of P&G. "The protestor then improperly let the others in via a secured entrance." 

Several zip-lining protesters were arrested after hanging banners from the Procter & Gamble towers on Tuesday afternoon.

The nine activists from the global environmental organization Greenpeace managed to hang 60-foot banners from the building with the message, "Head & Shoulders, Stop Putting Tiger Survival on the Line" and "Head & Shoulders, Wipes out Dandruff & Rainforests."

Officers said three women and six men were arrested following the stunt. One of the protesters was wearing a tiger suit.

Bill Gallagher, the attorney representing the protesters, identified the arrested as:

  • Jesse Coleman, 28, Washington D.C.
  • Mike Herbert, 30, Chicago
  • Marcella Larges, 28, Baltimore
  • Charles Long, 34, Oakland, Calif.
  • Sean O'Brien, 22, Oakland, Calif.
  • Denise Rodriguez, 20, Corona, N.Y.
  • Tyler Sanville, 28, Santa Cruz, Calif.
  • Nima Shahidi, 29, Fallston, Md.
  • Tyler Wilkerson, 26, San Diego, Calif.

All nine individuals were charged with burglary and vandalism. The activists broke locks and windows, according to police.

The Greenpeace activists were released at around 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday from the Justice Center.

Following their release, one of the activists - Tyler Sanville - made the following statement:

"We were here because we want to get our message out; that Procter & Gamble is buying palm oil linked to rainforest destruction, which is destroying the habitat of endangered species like orangutans and Sumatran tigers."

In a release sent Monday by Greenpeace, the banners were in protest to P&G's link to tropical deforestation. They claim P&G is buying palm oil linked to rainforest destruction to make Head & Shoulders and Oil of Olay products.

"It's a pretty urgent situation. There's less than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the world, and we think it's time for Procter and Gamble to stop buying palm oil leading to rainforest destruction," said Amy Moas, senior forest campaigner for Greenpeace.

A P&G spokesperson, however, maintained in a statement that the company has "already pledged to reach 100 percent sustainable sourcing of palm oil by 2015 and we will continue to drive to that goal with urgency."

"[Tuesday's] protest at our General Offices ended peacefully and our primary concerns were the safety of our employees, the security of our facilities and the safety of the protesters. We agree that deforestation is a significant issue which is why we are committed to the sustainable sourcing of palm oil," said Paul Fox, director of corporate communications for P&G.

With security described as being equivalent to "Fort Knox" by police, it leaves a big unanswered question.

"It's a concern for all of us. This is a pretty locked down facility and it's pretty concerning to all of us," said Johnson.

Aside from broken windows and locks, the protest ended without incident.  However, it's the idea that nine people had the ability to carry out a plan like this that is especially concerning.

"It definitely shouldn't have been allowed to happen especially in this time," said Christopher Russo, who is working in the area. "It's a little unnerving to think that there's open buildings in downtown areas that people can just walk into."

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