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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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  • Commitment to a sustainable peace

    Blogpost by Kumi Naidoo - September 24, 2012 at 8:33

    Demonstration against Iraq War in Germany

    What is peace? In a world at times ravaged by armed conflict, from Africa to Asia, is peace simply an absence of war? Or is there more to it than that?

    Today, on the International Day of Peace, it is important to reflect on some of these questions, particularly for an organisation like Greenpeace, whose founding values revolve around the defence of peace and a wide understanding that the issues of ecology and peace are two sides of the same coin.

    Greenpeace is joining hands today with members of the global NGO coalition ‘Peace One Day’s Global Truce 2012’, in the simple objective of calling for and working towards a global day of ceasefire and non-violence.

    Thousands of people across the world are dying as a result of senseless armed conflict. Many more also are dying in equally... Read more >

  • A letter to President Putin

    Blogpost by Kumi Naidoo - August 31, 2012 at 8:42

    Dear Mr. President,

    I write these lines to you on board the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise, as we leave the Russian economic zone waters north of the Kola Peninsula. You may be aware that for the last 5 days people from our ship were engaging in a peaceful protest against the planned start up of
    drilling for oil on the Russian Arctic shelf by Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya platform. I want to personally assure you that these protests were in no way directed against the interests of Russia, of people working on the platform, or even against the company of Gazprom. These protests are
    part of a global campaign that we have been carrying out for a number of years, protesting against oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean, from Greenland to Alaska.

    Mr. President. It is my deeply held con...

    Read more >
  • 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 >

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