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A Greenpeace activist dressed in a polar bear suit holds up a sign advocating the Kyoto Protocol near an entrance to the Forbidden City.

Protests and direct actions

Carbon dioxide, the most significant global warming gas, is odourless, invisible, and an easy thing to ignore as our world heats up to dangerous levels. At Greenpeace, it's part of our job to make the invisible impossible to ignore. Often this means going to the source of the problem - hanging a banner on a coal plant's giant smokestack, for example. Other times, it means reminding decision makers they have a higher responsibility than the corporate bottom line.

(See our Take Action page for how you can help.)

Always we are guided by the principles of non-violence, and our activists have the best possible gear and safety training. We also aren't above using a little humour to get our point across. But as you read about our protests and direct actions, keep in mind that they all depended on individuals, usually just regular people, who made a personal choice to help save their world - even if it meant dressing up like a polar bear!

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Blocking outflow pipe from lead & zinc.

Image | 31 July, 1986 at 1:00

Blocking outflow pipe from lead & zinc.

Evacuation of Rongelap Islanders to Mejato

Image | 1 May, 1985 at 0:00

Evacuation of Rongelap Islanders to Mejato by crew of the Rainbow Warrior. Rongelap was contaminated with radioactive fall out from American nuclear tests in the Pacific.

'Test' protest

Image | 23 January, 1981 at 1:00

In response to the arrival of a "test" oil tanker as part of plans to construct an oil terminal, Greenpeace runs a "test" protest. The terminal was subsequently cancelled.

A trail of puppy harp seal blood on the ice

Image | 1 January, 1981 at 1:00

A trail of puppy harp seal blood on the ice.

Nick Hill

Image | 7 July, 1978 at 0:00

Nick Hill, first Captain of the Rainbow Warrior, in 1978

Crew of 1978 Greenpeace voyage to Iceland

Image | 1 April, 1978 at 1:00

Crew of 1978 Greenpeace voyage to Iceland.

Crew of 1978 Greenpeace voyage to Iceland

Image | 1 April, 1978 at 1:00

Crew of 1978 Greenpeace voyage to Iceland.

Crew of Rainbow Warrior on their way to Iceland

Image | 1 April, 1978 at 1:00

Crew of Rainbow Warrior on their way to Iceland in 1978

Sacred Mountains of the Inca civilisation disappearing

Image | 1 April, 1978 at 1:00

The Qori Kalis Glacier is the largest ice outlet from the Quelccaya Ice Cap which tops the Cordillera Vilcanota in southeast corner of Peru. They are the Sacred Mountains of Inca civilisation. The ice cap itself has shrunk by at least 20 percent...

Crewmember Pete Bouquet paints the Rainbow

Image | 1 January, 1978 at 1:00

Crewmember Pete Bouquet paints the Rainbow Warrior, 1978

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