Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell is heading to jail after refusing to pay fines related to his arrest at a New York power plant protest.
The 77-year-old American Horror Story star was arrested back in December 2015 for obstruction of traffic during a protest at a power plant being built in Wawayanda, Orange County. The Competitive Power Ventures facility is set to open in February 2018, and environmental activists are concerned that carbon emissions produced by the plant will have a negative affect on the local area.
A Wawayanda judge sentenced Cromwell – and two fellow protestors – to seven days in Orange County Jail after they refused to pay the $250 (plus $125 surcharge) fine. “If we don’t stay together, nothing will change,” Cromwell said told the Times-Herald Record, “Power to the people.”
It’s not the first time The Young Pope star has been arrested for his activism, in 2013, he was held for disorderly behavior during a protest against animal experiments at the University of Wisconsin. That same year he also spoke out against Walmart for what he called their “cruelty” to pigs.
Cromwell, who has starred in over 50 movies, including Babe and The Green Mile, has a long-history of activism dating back to the 1960s. He served as a member of the Committee to Defend the Panthers, a group which supported Black Panthers members who had been charged with conspiracy.
When Cromwell is done fighting justice, he will be taking on dinosaurs, as he is set to appear in next year’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom which is currently filming.
Cromwell has since spoken out on his sentencing, calling the policy “poisonous” and “misguided.”
“A poisonous, misguided engird policy, driven by a rapacious, deceitful industry, and abetted by corrupt, self serving political leadership is condemning all sentient life on this planet to a gruesome extinction,” the actor said in a statement on Saturday.
“To remain silent in the face of such a cataclysm is to be culpable and complicit,” he continued. “The extraction of fossil fuels has become, in this compromised environment, a crime against humanity. Anyone with a sense of outrage is compelled to resist. Any law that facilitates and justifies such a crime by stifling dissent is unjust. History will vindicate out struggle and excoriate the perpetrators. That is, if there is a history.”
Cromwell’s sentence is set to begin July 14.