Greenpeace activists plead not guilty to Ohio charges from Procter & Gamble protest

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Attorneys have entered not-guilty pleas for nine Greenpeace activists facing felony charges following a protest at Procter & Gamble Co. headquarters in Cincinnati.

They were arrested March 4 after protesting the consumer products company's use of palm oil from a supplier Greenpeace says is tied to tropical forest destruction. Protesters slipped past security and used zip lines to unfurl giant banners from P&G's two towers.

A Hamilton County grand jury indicted them on burglary and vandalism counts carrying possible sentences of nine-plus years in prison and $20,000 in fines with convictions.

Veteran First Amendment attorney Lou Sirkin joined the activists' defense team Friday. All nine live out of state and are free on $50,000 bonds.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Winkler set May 5 for the next court hearing.