Dramatic stunts that changed the world as Greenpeace celebrates its 50th anniversary

Greenpeace has performed dramatic stunts since its inception 50 years ago that resulted in the ban on commercial whaling and the blocking of toxic liquids from a Spanish pipe

For half a century, Greenpeace activists have been protesting at sea, on land – and in the air.

What began in 1971 with barely 10 activists sailing into a nuclear test zone is now a global institution.

Stunts were daring – and some reckless too – as they tried to defend nature and promote peace.

You’ve paved the way for activists for decades, be it anti-nuclear war, global warming, or marine conservation. And the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November testifies to their efforts.

Extinction Rebellion may be the new eco-kids on the block, but Greenpeace led the way.

Her stunts are typical in these dramatic shots – like the dinghy that is attached to a Japanese whaling boat when a haunted creature lands.

Greenpeace rejected commercial whaling and was banned in 1982. Another picture shows a mighty sunfish that has been freed from Japanese fishing nets.

The fighting kept going. In 2016, a pianist was playing in the middle of the ice as Greenpeace fought to stop drilling for oil in the Arctic. Bloodbath

An activist is seen spraying a seal cub to render its fur worthless in 1982, highlighting the carnage when thousands were slaughtered for the fur trade.

Toxic splashes of liquid before an overflow pipe – used to pump waste from a Spanish lead and zinc mine – is blocked in 1986.

A hot air balloon flies in front of the Taj Mahal in June 1998 with a message against India’s nuclear tests.

Islanders from Rongelap are dragged aboard the Rainbow Warrior in 1985 as part of an evacuation from health concerns following nuclear tests. And in 1999, an activist was arrested for exposing genetically modified corn in Lyng, Norfolk.

The crusade began 50 years ago this Wednesday when a lean crew on a battered ship stopped the detonation of nuclear weapons in Alaska.

Greenpeace now has offices in 40 countries and sales in the UK alone are £ 25 million – mostly from donations.

Executive Director John Sauven, 67, of Ealing, West London, says, “Our strategy was to go where the problem was, document it and show it to the world.

“We always take responsibility for what we do. Of course, technically we are breaking the law by doing these things.

“My most memorable stunt was locking myself under a Range Rover and stopping production in Solihull. We worked to stop diesel pollution.

“We finally made it.

“The UK has agreed to phase out the internal combustion engine by 2030.”

Your next battle is to ban trawlers that destroy marine life. Don’t bet they’ll win.


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