Celebrating 30 Years of Courage

"When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear, when that happens, The Warriors of the Rainbow will come to save them." – Chief Seattle

This year is the 30th anniversary of the bombing of the Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland's harbour. The 1985 bombing is now part of New Zealand's and Greenpeace's history.

It united us in standing up against the threat of a nuclear future and inspired us to lead the world as a nuclear-free country.

So, we are marking the anniversary with a celebration of courage – those brave acts, both large and small, that can change the world.

What's on?

Over the weekend of the anniversary Greenpeace New Zealand will be holding special events on the Queen's Wharf on Auckland's waterfront and would love to see you at one of them. All events are completely free and open to everyone. Click here for more details and information.

If you can't make of the events in Auckland, you can still get involved by sharing your acts of courage here: http://courageworks.tumblr.com/

Eyes of Fire, by David Robie
Thirty years ago, the Rainbow Warrior and her crew were invited to help the people of Rongelap Atoll escape from their nuclear contaminated island. The events that followed still haunt the Pacific. The Little Island website looks at the legacy of this vessel, its small crew of resourceful Greenpeace activists and the Pacific Island communities they tried to help.

What happened?

Just before midnight on 10 July, 1985, French agents bombed the Rainbow Warrior.Their aim? To stop Greenpeace disrupting French nuclear testing in the Pacific. Two explosions sank the ship and killed photographer Fernando Pereira. The French government thought that getting rid of the Rainbow Warrior would get rid of opposition to its nuclear testing in the Pacific, but it had the opposite effect. It galvanised people to demand an end to nuclear testing in the Pacific. Read more about the Bombing of the Rainbow Warrior here.

The original Rainbow Warrior never sailed again but a second Warrior was launched and the phrase 'You can't sink a Rainbow' was born. And in the face of worldwide opposition, France finally ended its testing programme in 1996. The second Rainbow Warrior sailed the world's oceans leading Greenpeace campaigns from the front for many years before being retired to make way for the third and current Rainbow Warrior. Read more about the Rainbow Warrior here.

Where are they now?

There were 14 Greenpeace crew aboard the Rainbow Warrior when she arrived in Auckland on her first visit to New Zealand.  30 years later, the 13 remaining crew members are spread around the world. Four still work for Greenpeace, including Bunny McDiarmid who has headed Greenpeace in New Zealand since 2006.

As for the Rainbow Warrior herself, Northland hapu Ngati Kura offered the Rainbow Warrior a final resting place in Matauri Bay where she is now a popular dive spot.

On this interactive website, you can dive the wreck and explore the ship, look back into time and learn about the remains - all without even getting wet.

 

 

 

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