Word that the Rainbow Warrior would visit Jakarta had spread far and wide. People across Java had responded enthusiastically saying they wanted to tour the famous ship over the weekend and had made plans to bring their families and friends.
Then news came that the Indonesian Government - without stating their grounds - would not allow the Rainbow Warrior into Indonesian waters. The ship remained outside of Indonesia, waiting to be granted permission to enter. Meanwhile House of Representatives deputy speaker Pramono Anung has been reported saying that blocking the Rainbow Warrior's entry to Indonesia was damaging the country’s reputation internationally because the Rainbow Warrior was coming to fight climate change.
Greenpeace staff did all they could do to contact the hundreds of Greenpeace supporters who had planned to visit the historic ship and meet the crew. But there was always the chance people hadn’t heard and would come to the wharf. A venue was set up at the wharf with a view of the empty dock where the Rainbow Warrior should have been.
The room was decorated with beautiful images of Indonesian rainforests and the destruction caused by conversion to palm plantations. And a 2 metre high model of the Rainbow Warrior III was put on display.
Little Warriors Come
A day that could have been sad turned quickly into celebration. The first guests brought an archway of colourful balloons. Parents of a little boy, Dava, who are Greenpeace supporters, had organised his fourth birthday around a tour of the Rainbow Warrior. The room filled with laughing excited children, happy parents and other Greenpeace supporters. A birthday cake in the shape of a tropical island arrived covered with the animal stars from the film Madagascar: a zebra, lion, giraffe, hippopotamus and lots of cheeky penguins.
An internet link beamed crew of the Rainbow Warrior who were floating just outside Indonesian waters onto a screen. The crew had made a banner reading: “Apa Kabar? Semoga kita bertemu segera” [How are you? Hopefully we will meet soon]. The children held up signs to the crew that said “Keep your spirits up” and “We love the Rainbow Warrior”.
After a magic show, live music, and a guest appearance by Spiderman, Greenpeace campaigner Hindun talked to the children about the special animals of Indonesia, orangutan, elephant and Sumatran tiger. “Save the Forests!” the children yelled.
Two women had flown from Surabaya to see the Rainbow Warrior. Their words expressed what we had heard from a variety of people during the week.
“We need change. The Rainbow Warrior has to continue her mission. We need Greenpeace here to make change happen. “
Thank you for all your support and keep believing 'You can’t sink a Rainbow'.