TORONTO – Greenpeace is turning 50 today. Fifty years ago, September 15th, 1971, a ship named the Greenpeace set out to confront and stop US nuclear weapons testing at Amchitka, one of Aleutian Islands in southwest Alaska.
The crew of twelve never made it, but their contagious act of courage, savvy and novel use of media to tell the story of peace and ecology, and confrontation of power sparked a movement.
A movement that compelled the US to end nuclear testing at Amchitka the next year. An organisation that has grown into part of a global movement. With a presence in over 55 countries, made possible by tens of millions of volunteers, donors, and supporters.
For 50 years Greenpeace has led countless campaigns alongside our movement allies, blockading and ending nuclear testing and the dumping of toxic waste at sea, establishing a base in Antarctica and pushing for protection for the continent for 50 years, investigating big polluting corporations, standing beside communities, Indigenous people, unions, and allies around the world in the fight to ensure a just, green and peaceful future.
Still, there’s more to be done. That same erosion and destruction of nature, which sparked the very first Greenpeace action, continues to worsen and we now find ourselves at a tipping point.
Greenpeace Canada Executive Director, Christy Ferguson said:
“We mark 50 years since the first Greenpeace voyage during a time of challenge and transformation. Biodiversity loss is accelerating, the climate emergency is deepening, and inequality is growing. At the same time, movements for environmental protection and social justice are flourishing all around the world.
Over the last five decades, Greenpeace has campaigned to protect forests, oceans, the climate and biodiversity in all its richness. Together with our supporters and alongside communities, we have achieved lasting protections and shifted entire systems. But there is so much more to do.
Today we remain hopeful, determined, and fixed on the future. The urgency of the moment in which we find ourselves inspires us to continue to live the values upon which Greenpeace was founded: peace, justice, independence -— with an understanding that racial, gender, and economic justice, and decolonization must be at the heart of everything we do. It inspires us to manifest the hope and vision of the early days -— while digging deep to learn and reflect, with humility. And it calls us to collaborate with others around the world in the incredible people-powered movements that are changing the world for the better.”
Fact sheets and audiovisual collections:
- Follow this link to the Greenpeace 50th anniversary fact sheet
- Iconic videos separated by decade
- A collection of the most memorable Greenpeace photographs
- A thirty minute video showcasing 18 iconic moments from the last 50 years of Greenpeace
- The timeline of our victories
To request interviews, quotes, or more information please contact:
Dina Ni, Communications officer, Greenpeace Canada+1 (416) 820-2148, [email protected]