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 reached the test zone but the contagious nature of their act of courage and their savvy and novel use of media to tell the story of peace and ecology and to confront power sparked a movement.
The US ended nuclear testing at Amchitka the next year and Greenpeace grew into an organisation that is part of a global movement. Today, Greenpeace has a presence in over 55 countries, made possible by tens of millions of volunteers, donors, and supporters.
For 50 years Greenpeace has fought 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 between whales and the whalers’ harpoons, and 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 works to preserve our natural environment, to reduce our global emissions in order to prevent the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, to transform systems that affect our food production, to protect 30% of global oceans by 2030, to restore ancient forests that are key to biodiversity, and to seek climate justice on behalf of vulnerable communities already impacted by the ongoing climate emergency.
Greenpeace International Executive Director, Jennifer Morgan said:
“As we mark 50 years since the first Greenpeace voyage, biodiversity loss is accelerating, the climate emergency is deepening and inequality is growing.
“Over the last five decades there have been many campaigns and victories to demand a green, peaceful, and just future. Greenpeace continues to work as part of a global movement for system change to ensure that people and planet are put before profit and pollution.
“Greenpeace’s story is one of hope in action. It’s a story of people power, of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It’s a 50 year story that demonstrates that together we can force radical change, we can do what at first might seem impossible.
“Now, more than ever, we need to stand together in defence of nature, which nurtures and sustains us. We need to stand for equity, on which we build a lasting peace. We need to take back our shared future. The millions must become billions before it’s too late.”
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|Fact sheets and audiovisual collections|
Follow this link to the Greenpeace 50th anniversary fact sheet. Follow the below links to find:
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