The protests comes a day after President Donald Trump's administration moved to delay implementation of at least 30 environmental rules and froze new Environmental Protection Agency contracts and grant awards.
Supporters of Greenpeace climbed the 270 foot crane a few blocks from the White House.
Mr Trump famously believes that climate change is a "hoax".
Protesters climb a crane against Trump
Donald Trump's Action Plan
Thu, January 19, 2017
What follows is Donald Trump's action plan to 'Make America Great Again' within the first 100 days of Presidency.
1 of 10
FIRST: Propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress.
People in this country are ready to resist and rise up in ways they have never done before
Karen Topakian, chairwoman of Greenpeace’s board
The group is protesting Trump’s orders yesterday to revive the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, after former President Obama rejected Keystone and delayed final federal approval for Dakota Access.
Karen Topakian, chairwoman of Greenpeace’s board, said: “People in this country are ready to resist and rise up in ways they have never done before.”
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“While Trump’s disdain and disrespect for our democratic institutions scare me, I am so inspired by the multigenerational movement of progress that is growing in every state. Greenpeace has used nonviolence to resist tyrannical bullies since 1971, and we’re not going to stop now.”
The sign is a few blocks away from the White House
One of the activists, Pearl Robinson, said: “The sun has risen this morning on a new America, but it isn’t Donald Trump’s.”
”I fear not only the policies of the incoming administration, but also the people emboldened by this election to commit acts of violence and hate.
"Now is the time to resist.
Greenpeace protesters prepare to unfurl the banner
"We won’t stand rollbacks on all the progress the people have made on women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, the heightened awareness of state-sanctioned violence on black and brown folks, and the progress we have made on access to clean and renewable energy, an issue I have personally worked on my entire adult life.”
The Metropolitan Police Department tweeted that the protest is “extremely dangerous and unlawful”.
Streets have been closed around the protest.