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Steve Abel

Steve Abel is a musician and long-time environmental activist and has worked on various campaigns in Greenpeace including oceans, climate change, GE free food and the campaign to stop deep sea oil drilling.

  • The power of protest is at the heart of democracy

    Blogpost by Steve Abel - April 23, 2013 at 13:38

    When the Government rammed through legislation on 16 April that criminalises key aspects of peaceful protest at sea, many New Zealanders were angered. Angered by the affront to democracy and to our longheld tradition and right to peaceful protest.

    As Peter Williams QC said, “The power of protest is at the heart of democracy”. Peter is himself a veteran of the 1995 flotilla protest to Moruroa against French testing. 

    So we felt it was time to recall just how we have all benefited from that right and asked Peter to voice this TV clip depicting iconic moments of the sorts of protest at sea that would no longer be possible under the Government's draconian new legislation (now known as the Anadarko Amendment) if a 500 meter distance from vessels had to be obeyed.

     

    The first footag... Read more >

  • An Indivisible Link

    Blogpost by Steve Abel - January 24, 2013 at 8:42

    In Auckland we had thousands of people visit the new Rainbow Warrior and, as they waited to get on the ship, we talked to them about why the Rainbow Warrior is in New Zealand and what we hope to achieve while she’s here and beyond. It went something like this:

    We feel there is an indivisible link with this ship the Rainbow Warrior and a particular moment in New Zealand history when we stood for an ideal that went on to define us in the eyes of the world and also to ourselves.

    At that time we stood against French nuclear testing in the South Pacific and fought to make New Zealand a nuclear free state, tensions were high because we were standing up to old allies France and the USA.  At the height of that, at Marsden Wharf in downtown Auckland only a few hundred meters from where we are now,... Read more >

  • On news of the baffling Cabinet decision last week to snub our “best friend” the USA over Antarctic ocean protection a couple of old maxims came to mind: Cicero’s saying that, “An enemy at the gates is less formidable than the traitor within” and Oscar Wilde’s description of a cynic as “A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    But I wonder even if Cabinet ministers Brownlee, Joyce and Carter do know the price of anything if their purported reason for scuppering an alliance with the US on Antarctic Ocean protection were, as the NZ Herald reports, “on the grounds that it was not consistent with the Government’s economic growth objectives.”

    Remembering that our pro-environment reputation is an asset on which our export industries capitialise in hard dollars... Read more >

  • Enthusiasm for oil requires cognitive shut-down

    Blogpost by Steve Abel - January 24, 2012 at 12:20

    Recently some commentators have revealed something about the way their brain functions in singing the praises of new fossil fuels.

    We shouldn’t be surprised that oil companies are excited about oil, though the Sunday Star Times seems to think it warrants front page coverage.  I wonder if "tennis players say tennis is great!” would make similar headlines? 

    Lately the head of the Government’s “green taskforce” Phil O’Reilly managed to write an article all about how fab oil, gas, coal and Norway are and not mention even once a little problem called climate change.  Labour’s Shane Jones seems to be singing from a similarly oily song-sheet as the National Government when he says his iwi cousins on the East Cape are naïve for opposing deep sea oil drilling in their ancestral waters. Ngati Poro... Read more >

  • Rena 'ghost birds' appear in Auckland

    Blogpost by Steve Abel - December 12, 2011 at 9:07

    This morning 150 original ‘oil prints’ made with a little blue penguin killed by the Rena disaster appeared along Auckland’s Khyber Pass Road.

    The prints are accompanied by the message ‘Rena did this. Deep sea oil drilling could be a thousand times worse.

    The little blue penguin was found dead and covered in oil on Matakana Island by Greenpeace volunteers when they were helping the local iwi, Nga Hapu o te Moutere o Matakana, clean oil off their beaches following the Rena spill.

     

    An art collective made up of Auckland creatives and Greenpeace volunteers came up with the concept of making ‘oil prints’ with the birds and donated their time to create hundreds of prints.

    It’s a memorial to the 20,000 birds killed by the Rena disaster and also a stark reminder of the dangers of ... Read more >

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