Hollywood actor sentenced to jail over 2015 power plant protest


Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell faces jail time after refusing to pay fines stemming from the protest against a local power plant in Wawayanda, New York.

On Dec. 18, 2015, Cromwell and five other protesters were arrested and charged with obstruction of traffic after staging a sit-in at the Competitive Power Ventures’ natural gas-fired power plant.

Cromwell, 77, was reported to have been shouting “Power to the people!” during the protest.

The “Babe” actor and his fellow protesters, who dubbed themselves the “Wawayanda Six,” argued during their April trial that the protest, which caused a traffic jam, was justified because the power plant’s carbon emissions could threaten the local environment and accelerate climate change, according to the Times Herald-Record.

Despite their argument, the protestors were found guilty by Wawayanda Town Justice Timothy McElduff Jr. on June 7 and each fined $250, along with a $125 surcharge.

Three protestors – Terri Klemm of Branchville, N.J., Naomi Miller of Wawayanda and Maureen Murphy-Smolka of Sparta, N.J. – ponied up and paid the fines while Cromwell and two others refused to pay.

McElduff then sentenced Cromwell and two other protestors, Pramilla Malick and Madeline Shaw, to seven days in a county jail.

[McElduff ] gave Cromwell until 3:15 p.m. Friday to change his mind and first ordered him to report to the jail by 5 p.m. Friday. But after Sussman asked for time to appeal for a stay to the jail sentence, he suspended the ruling until 5 p.m on July 14. Shaw and Malick received the same order.

Cromwell has appeared in more than 50 films, including “Babe” and “L.A. Confidential.” He also made appearances on the TV shows “American Horror Story,” “Six Feet Under” and “24.”

The power plant is currently under construction and scheduled to go online in February 2018.

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