Protesters draped a 50-foot banner on the Chicago Board of Trade building on Wednesday, accusing agribusiness giants ADM, Bunge and Cargill of destroying rainforests to produce renewable fuels.
Chicago police arrested four men and a woman on charges of reckless conduct, criminal trespass and criminal damage to property after four of the activists scaled the outside of CBOT building to the 23rd floor to hang the banner, while the fifth person coordinated the effort from the ground.
The protest came one day after an activist group ran a full-page advertisement in the Chicago Tribune calling the companies the "ABCs of rainforest destruction" for their role in expanding soy and palm oil plantations by clear-cutting rainforests.
A Bunge Ltd spokesman said he was aware of the accusations, but stressed the company's environmental and social record. An Archer-Daniels-Midland Co spokesman declined comment.
Cargill spokesman Bill Brady said: "We take our environmental footprint in the rainforest geographies very seriously. Cargill is committed to responsible economic development around the world."
Streets around the landmark building were gridlocked as morning rush hour traffic was diverted, while curious pedestrians gawked at the banner, which eventually became tangled in the wind before authorities removed it....MORE