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Greenpeace protesters who closed Houston Ship Channel face local, federal charges

Greenpeace USA activists who rappelled off the Fred Hartman Bridge near Baytown on Thursday, disrupting traffic there and on the Houston Ship Channel, are now facing local and federal charges.

At the district level, 31 activists were each charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass and obstruction of a roadway as well as felony obstruction of critical infrastructure.

Federal authorities said Friday that 22 people each face one count of aiding and abetting obstruction of navigable waters. If convicted of the misdemeanor, each faces up to a year in federal prison and a possible $2,500 fine.

Most of those arrested came from out of state.

The group planned on staying on the bridge until Friday morning, but authorities spent hours rescuing each of the 11 members who were dangling over the side of the bridge.

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