Courage of Greenpeace

by Guest Blogger

April 15, 2015

Guest post by Pushpinder Singh, Greenpeace India

As I write this, Ministry of Home Affairs have blocked the funds from international supporters for Greenpeace India. But I think now is the time to talk about courage and Greenpeace India.

People in Greenpeace take extraordinary risks day in and day out. In the recent past you may have seen some of their stories. Some of them are living in Mahan where they are fighting oppression and threats everyday. Others some plan and execute dramatic protests like the one on Essar and face arrests and intimidation.

At this point, some are hanging off an oil rig in the Pacific that belongs to Shell. The one thing that binds us all and has kept us going is Courage. Courage was what made people sail into a nuclear bomb 15 years before I was born, and that lead to birth of Greenpeace. Recently, activists spent three months in a Russian prison after protesting against drilling in the Arctic; this is nothing but only courage, again.

And courage in Greenpeace is not only with people who are taking these extraordinarily risks. Courage is also when I come to the Greenpeace office in Bangalore everyday. I make a very conscious choice, a courageous one, of not backing down. All hell has broken loose on Greenpeace in India in recent times, by the mighty and the powerful, but we are still doing what we do best: campaigning day in and day out.

Courage in Greenpeace lies with people who deal with our social media channels, dealing with trolls and abuse all day, but still win the day. Courage lies with our fundraisers, who go to ordinary citizens on the streets of India and raise funds in challenging situations. Courage lies with our people who manage our accounts books, when they face MHA, Income Tax harassment day in and out and still believe in what they are doing.

Most of all, courage lies with our volunteers, who continue to make a conscious choice and turn up at meetings and protests, and take personal risks with us. Courage also lies with the lakhs of our supporters, who, despite the onslaught, continue to support us with their time, money, and moral support. They make a conscious choice to allow Greenpeace to debit their bank accounts month after month with small donations so this organization and movement can continue to do what it does best: ‘Campaign’ with ‘Independence’.

I must say a source of our courage is not mere victory, though we have celebrated each time. We won a court case and recently, when Mahan was put off the auction list, we celebrated again. But as a colleague said, We are not here to win or lose, we are here to fight. It’s a mere coincidence that we have been winning lately.

The source of our courage is ‘Hope’ that another world is possible, another world where the air is pure, food is healthy, forests are lush, and people are happy. Some might think this is foolish, but hey, this is Greenpeace! From the atolls of Mururoa to the forests of Mahan and all the way to the Arctic, these foolish people will always stand in the way of the greed that wants to plunder our planet. As far as I am concerned, I would rather be foolishat least that gives me courage! And courage is for free. Join us, support us, if you also live with this hope, if you also do something courageous in life, if you also believe that change is possible, while we intensify our battles.

I’ll see you there!

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