History of Greenpeace
Greenpeace originated from an assortment of Canadian and American emigrant peace activists who formed the Don’t Make a Wave Committee in Vancouver in 1970. That name was taken from the slogan used during the protest against United States nuclear testing in late 1969. In September 1971, motivated by the vision of a green and peaceful world, the small team of activists set sail from Vancouver, Canada in an old fishing boat.
Greenpeace, founded in Vancouver, Canada in 1971 is an independent campaigning organization which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems and to force solutions for a green and peaceful future ensuring the ability of the earth to nurture life in all its diversity. It has national and regional offices in 41 countries across Europe, Americas, Asia and the Pacific affiliated with the Amsterdam-based Greenpeace International. Its funds come from the contributions of an estimated 2.8 million individual supporters as well as grants from foundations.
These activists, the founders of Greenpeace came together with the mission of bearing witness and stopping the Cannikin-the second underground nuclear testing of the United States military at Amchitka, a tiny island off the West Coast of Alaska which is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone regions and the last refugee for 3, 000 endangered sea otters and home to bald eagles, peregrine falcons and other wildlife. The journey sparked an outbreak of public interest even though , their old boat, skippered by was intercepted by Confidence-the US Coast Guard vessel before it got to Amchitkka. The voice of reason had been heard and US detonated the bomb. Nuclear testing on Amchitka ended the same year and the island was later declared a bird sanctuary.
The environmental group officially changed its name to the Greenpeace Foundation on May 4, 1972 following departure from as chairman of the Don’t Make a Wave Committee. on the other hand, received the credit for combining the words green and peace giving that name to the organization. The newly-formed Greenpeace Foundation put out a call to sympathetic skippers or the group similar to Greenpeace to help them protest against the French Government’s atmospheric nuclear tests at the Pacific atoll of Moruroa in May 1972. a Canadian expatriate and former entrepreneur based in New Zealand responded to this call. He offered his yacht, the Vega and set about assembling the crew.
In 1973, sailed the Vega into the exclusion zone in Moruroa but his vessel was rammed by the French Navy. French sailors boarded the vessel and brutally beat when he repeated the protest the following year. In 1974, Stowe died and a re-chartered steamed from Vancouver to meet the Soviet whaling fleet off the Californian coast in the spring of 1975. On June 26, 1975 the Cormack encountered the whaling fleet consisting of the mother ship, Vostok and twelve 150 foot killer boats.
In 1978, Greenpeace launched the original Rainbow Warrior. First deployed to disrupt the hunt of Icelandic, the Rainbow Warrior quickly became a mainstay of Greenpeace campaigns. In 1979, the original Vancouver-based Greenpeace Foundation had encountered financial difficulties and disputes between offices over fund-raising and organizational direction split the global movement. To accept a new structure which would bring the scattered Greenpeace offices under the auspices of a single global organization, lobbied the Canadian Greenpeace Foundation. Thus, Greenpeace International came into existence on October 14, 1979.
In 1985, the Rainbow Warrior entered into the waters surrounding Moruroa atoll, site of French nuclear testing. The French government secretly bombed the ship in a New Zealand harbor. Moreover, the French Government agreed to pay New Zealand compensation of NZ$13 million and formally apologized for the bombing in 1987. The original Rainbow Warrior, too damaged to repair was cleaned and scuttled in Matauri Bay where it serves as an artificial reef and popular diving destination. In 1989, Greenpeace commissioned a replacement vessel also named the Rainbow Warrior which remains in service today as the flagship of the Greenpeace fleet.
In June 1995, Greenpeace stole stock of a tree from the forests of Metsahallitus in Ilomantsi, Finland. Warriors of Greenpeace moved it to the exhibitions held in Austria and Germany. In 2002, Greenpeace organized a protest against the US importation of over $10 million worth of Brazilian mahogany after the Brazilian government had placed a moratorium on mahogany exports. In the late 2003, Greenpeace launched a campaign claiming the new port sped up deforestation of local rain forest as farmers have cleared land to make way for crops.
In July 2004, a Greenpeace vessel was cited for violating Alaskan state environmental laws when the ship entered Alaskan waters carrying more than 70,000 gallons of fuel without filing an oil spill response plan but later all involved were acquitted. Further, in November 2004, Greenpeace launched a campaign against the Kimberly-Clark Corporation because its tissue products, including the popular Kleenex brand, have been linked to the destruction of ancient boreal forests. In April of 2006, Greenpeace released another report criticizing Cargill for its alleged role in deforestation of the Amazon. Greenpeace activists dressed in giant chicken costumes invaded McDonalds’ restaurants across the United Kingdom to draw attention to the use of chicken feed grown on deforested land in the Amazon region on April 2006.
In May 2006, Greenpeace activists aboard the Arctic Sunrise blockaded Cargill’s port at Santarem and hung a banner from a conveyer belt before 16 were arrested. On the other hand, the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise was banned from attending the 58th International Whaling Commission meeting in St. Kitts by the St. Kitts and Nevis Government citing national security concerns in June 2006. In July 2006, Greenpeace won agreement from McDonalds along with UK retailers-Asda, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer to stop buying meat rise on Amazonian Soya.
In August 2006, Greenpeace released a “Guide to Greener Electronics,” which ranked fourteen consumer electronics vendors in environmental issues. Greenpeace encouraged manufacturers to clean up their products by eliminating hazardous substances and to take back and recycle their products responsibly once they become obsolete. Today, the efforts to preserve the future of our planet are still the organization’s priority. Greenpeace speaks for 2.8 million supporters worldwide and encourages many millions more than that to take action every day.