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Greenpeace Activists Arrested After Climbing Down Pilsen Smokestack

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Coal-Fired Power Plant

A coal-fired power plant. (Credit: Charlie Riedel/AP)

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UPDATED: 5/25/2011 9:20 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Eight protesters who spent more than 24 hours on a perch on a power plant smokestack on the city’s Near West Side were arrested as soon as they came down Wednesday morning in bad weather.

Eight other Greenpeace activists who rappelled under a Southwest Side bridge to prevent a coal barge from passing were arrested and charged late Tuesday.

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Late Tuesday, eight activists — six women and two men — were arrested at the bridge at 3900 S. Pulaski Rd. and charged with reckless conduct, according to police News Affairs Officer Ronald Gaines.

All eight were charged with reckless conduct and performing an aerial exhibition without a net, according to police. The charges are misdemeanors.

Charged are: Jeanne Kirshon, 23, of Rockville, Md.; Kaitlin Finneran, 24, of Norwalk, Conn.; Daniel Strandquist, 28, of New York City; Shea Schachameyer, 27, of Milwaukee; Harmony Lambert, 22, of Shasta, Calif.; Carolyn Auwaerter, 25, of Melbourn, Pa.; Laila Williams, 24, of Rockville, Mass.; and Michael Alilionis, 21, of Floral Park, New York, police said.

Both protests were set to coincide with a U.S. EPA public hearing on increased pollution controls from coal-burning plants.

The other group of Greenpeace activists began climbing a smokestack at the Fisk power plant at 1111 W. Cermak Rd. about dawn on Tuesday, spokeswoman Molly Dorozenski said.

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