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Greenpeace

Greenpeace is an organization founded in Canada in 1971 as an offshoot of the "Don't Make A Wave Committee." In 1970, the Committee was established with the sole objective of stopping a second nuclear bomb test by the United States military in Alaska. The committee's founders and first members included:

Darnell came up with the dynamic combination of words to bound together the group's concern for the planet and opposition to nuclear arms. The committee was renamed "Greenpeace." The group was originally as concerend with pacifism as the environment, but as time progressed found it more effective to focus on the issue of environmental protection.

Activities The organization is currently active in many environmental issues, with primary focus on efforts to stop global warming and preserve the biodiversity of the world's oceans and ancient forests. In addition to the more traditional environmental organization act of starting petitions, Greenpeace's stated methodology is to engage in non-violent direct action.

Greenpeace's tactics involve all kinds of "stunt" protests to attract attention to particular environmental causes, often spectacular raids of organisations of interest such as whaling vessels, nuclear plants, and the like. Such well-organised and often well-funded protests, with the use of one of Greenpeace's ships, fleet of inflatable boats, and the like, and the arrangement of extensive media coverage for the carefully-designed telegenic images that result), have attracted large amounts of attention to Greenpeace's environmental causes. The organisation attempts to harness that attention through on-line actions at its Cybercentre (http://act.greenpeace.org).

Some of Greenpeace's most notable successes include the ending of atmospheric testing of nucelar weapons, a permanent moratorium on international commercial whaling, and the declaration of Antartica to be a global park, no one countries commercial possession.

Some critics note that while engaging in these protests against such activites as oil exploration in the North Sea, Greenpeace has no problem utilizing the products of these industrial ventures. Greepeace responds that it has never opposed the use use oil, or rubber, or chemicals, but that they push only for responsible usage. The major exceptions are targets that they believe to be particularly egregious. These include Nuclear power plants[?], whaling, atomic testing[?] all of which Greenpeace pushes for a complete ban of.

The act.Greenpeace.org service (http://act.greenpeace.org) has so far attracted many participants, mostly to email campaigns[?]. It is arguably one of the most effective online activist networks[?], along with MoveOn.org (http://MoveOn.org); both are almost exclusively open campaigning organizations. Greenpeace defines an "Open Campaign" as an activist effort that is transparent down to the merest tactical details, although there may be some situations where some of these are hidden to provide some advantages prior to the fact. Greenpeace modelled its open campaigns after Winston Churchill's free press based strategy in WWII, which assumed that propaganda techniques (http://disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=propaganda_techniques) not instinctually employed by journalism "on your side" on a more or less voluntary basis (via cultural bias), was ineffective or counter-productive, in that it simply will not be believed. Thus one did not have to tell all uncomfortable truth, merely be a more reliable reporter than the enemy, to be heard out and ultimately trusted by the enemy's agents.

Their anti-nuclear protests in the South Pacific during the 1980s irritated the government of France to the extent that in 1985 it ordered a group of French intelligence officers to destroy the Greenpeace protest-ship, the Rainbow Warrior, which was moored in Auckland, New Zealand. Frogmen[?] placed two bombs which detonated at 11:49 in the evening on July 10 1985, thereby sinking the ship to the bottom of the harbour and killing a crewman, Fernando Pereira. The subsequent revelation of the French government's actions greatly embarrassed that government and had the effect of increasing the effectiveness of Greenpeace's campaign. Some of the individuals were caught by the New Zealand authorities, despite their having carried out their operation on the premise that the New Zealand police would be far too inept to detect them.

Funding Despite its founding in North America Greenpeace has been far more successful in Europe where its membership is larger and it gets most of its money. The vast majority of Greenpeace's donations come from private individual members. It has recieved donations from some prominetn figures, however, such as Ted Turner.

While Greenpeace claims that it does not accept donations from companies, governments or political parties; there has been a noted inverse correlation between their focus of attention and sources of income. The organisation claims this policy permit them the bigger freedom of movement in their action, and the ability to be supported from people from any political background.

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