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Kumi Naidoo

Passionately involved in liberation struggles from a young age, he continues to speak truth to power across the range of Greenpeace campaign activities around the globe. He is dedicated to engagement, dialogue and change and seeks a green and peaceful planet for all the world’s inhabitants.

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  • Cold hands, determined hearts

    Blogpost by Kumi Naidoo - August 29, 2012 at 8:24

    When I spoke to my friends and family this weekend I was unanimously scolded. After Friday’s 15-hour occupation of Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya oil platform in the Pechora Sea, they all said “you’re getting too old for this!” With blue hands and feet from the cold, and in the midst of being treated by our ship doctor Marcelo for hypothermia, for a moment I thought they could be right.

    But then I returned to the spirit on board our ship the Arctic Sunrise; the eager faces of my fellow activists Sini, Jens, Lars, Basil and Terry, the determination of our Captain Vlad, and the rest of the committed crew who were standing up for what they believed was right. Coming back to this I knew that the risks had been worth it.

    For me, an action like the one we’ve just completed in the Arctic is G... Read more >

  • Open letter to the people of Russia

    Blogpost by Kumi Naidoo - August 25, 2012 at 7:56

    Dear Russian friends,

    You may be aware that this morning at approximately 4am, five activists and I scaled the Prirazlomnaya oil platform to take peaceful action against Gazprom’s work in the Arctic, to highlight the dangers of its plans to drill here in the Pechora Sea.

    The amount of oil that is lost every year in spills throughout Russia is roughly equivalent to the amount that Prirazlomnaya would produce annually. It would be far less expensive for the oil companies, the government, the people of Russia, and certainly the Indigenous Peoples who depend on this environment, to simply recover and use the oil lost in spills, than it would be to exploit the pristine Arctic shelf. In short, drilling in the Arctic will not benefit the average Russian citizen. 

    Gazprom is set to begi...

    Read more >
  • Today marks my third visit to Russia, the last being in 2006 when I had the privilege of meeting President Putin to talk about the freedoms with which NGOs can operate in this country. In a curious turn of events, and some six years later, both Putin and freedoms are still very much in the news.

    A Greenpeace activist dressed as polar bear on Moscow's Red Square demands immediate global action to protect the Arctic. The activity is part of the 'Arctic Rising' actions which follow the rising sun across the globe on the longest day, June 21st. Greenpeace is campaigning for a global sanctuary around the north pole, and a ban on oil drilling and unsustainable fishing in the wider Arctic.

    You can take your pick from any number of scandals currently making headlines in Russia: planned legislation aimed at hampering NGO activity and the right to protest, draconian laws aimed at internet censorship – even the fallout from the recent performance by punk group Pussy Riot, which has garnered international attention.

    What is different, between my last visit and now, however, is the scale and unbridled nature of the public’s response. Russians have taken to the streets en masse to pr... Read more >

  • Living for a cause

    Blogpost by Kumi Naidoo - August 8, 2012 at 12:33

    This November marks three years since I was appointed Executive Director of Greenpeace International. Coming to Greenpeace represented an opportunity for me to actually be part of an organisation that has taken, and continues to take a leadership role in warning about the dangers of environmental destruction and climate change.

    Greenpeace is a movement that has consistently campaigned through non-violent direct actions; and, at a time when civil disobedience appears to be the only way we can actually push our governments, Greenpeace’s way of working offers us the most promise.

    We remain an evolving organisation, however, and as I reflect on almost three years in office, I would like to share with you some insights into what I think Greenpeace means today.

    I'd like you to consider a d... Read more >

  • Yesterday in Amsterdam, I was served with an urgent fax from Shell, the world’s wealthiest oil company, whom in the past weeks Greenpeace offices have been vigorously and prominently campaigning against in the Save The Arctic drive. The notice was a stern message from Shell lawyers, who are very worried that Greenpeace actions around the world this week “have posed a real risk to Shell retailers... and the general public.” The letter concludes with a warning about commencing “proceedings” against us, at 'any' time in the future.

    I don't know about you, but to me there is an incredible irony in being accused of posing risk to the public that seems to have escaped Shell and its lawyers. After all, Shell is a company that itself, in the last week, completely lost control of a mass...

    Read more >

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