The Israeli police, supported by the navy, arrested the captain of the Rainbow Warrior - together with 14 Greenpeace activists, the photographer and the videographer - for passing on the message to “Quit Coal”. Activists had been painting the message, in English and Hebrew, on a ship importing coal to the Ashkelon power plant in Israel. Police boarded the Rainbow Warrior before we had even started the painting.
Israeli Marine forces boarded the Rainbow Warrior at the military restricted area near the Ashkelon coal plant before arresting 14 activists together with the captain who were simply asking Israel to "Quit Coal" and "Save the Climate".
Our Captain, Daniel Rizotti, was arrested by Israeli police. The
officers, arriving on a military ship and carrying machine guns,
came on board and demanded that he sail back to Ashdod, the port we
had left that morning. So, still waiting for the release of our
activists, we sailed back.
The protest marked the launch of our "
Quit Coal: Save the Climate" tour through the Mediterranean and
Europe. Israel is only the beginning of our journey; we're visiting
11 countries en route to Poland, where crucial UN climate
negotiations continue this December.
Why "Quit Coal"?
Because, when it comes to climate change, coal is by far the
worst offender. Yet governments seem to be missing the message,
approving plans for hundreds of new coal-fired plants. If they
don't wake up to the urgent need to stop this, then by 2030 carbon
emissions coming from coal will have increased by some 60 percent.
We're here to sound the alarm.
Our action in Israel was a wake-up call to the government to
abandon its plans for a new coal plant in Ashkelon. Despite
thousands of Israelis voicing their opposition to this unnecessary
and dirty plant, the government has approved plans anyway. But it's
not too late! Greenpeace
is urging all Israelis - whether at home or abroad - to lodge a
Israel is very, very sunny. So it's pretty crazy that Israel is
not embracing this solar potential and instead continues to rely on
imported coal (not to mention the CO2 emissions of shipping the
coal to Israel from Colombia, Indonesia and Australia). Israel is
getting some things right - it has built the world's first solar
thermal plant, and it's selling that technology worldwide.
Something to celebrate indeed. But more is needed for Israel to be
guaranteed a brighter future.
The world must quit its addiction to coal; luckily we have the
Energy [R]evolution scenario shows how renewable energy,
combined with greater energy efficiency, can cut global CO2
emissions by 50%, and deliver half the world's energy needs by
Happily, we now have our captain, activists, media team,
inflatables and cameras back on board. We've been deported from
Israel, but now we're heading for Turkey - and the next stage of
"Quit Coal" tour.
Tell Israel to Quit Coal!
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