Full Text


Terry Simmons

Subject History » Environmental History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place World

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics non-violence

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405197953.2009.00658.x


Greenpeace is a household name associated with dramatic efforts to save whales and harp seals from commercial exploitation and to stop nuclear testing in Alaska and French Polynesia. Known around the world for its aggressive environmental advocacy, non-violent direct action, and clever, media-savvy events, Greenpeace International has organizations in 42 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific. Headquartered in Amsterdam, it has about 2.8 million supporters worldwide, and describes its actions as “bearing witness in a non-violent manner.” In short, Greenpeace is the manifestation of the common elements and concerns of the environmental movement and the peace movement. The group's activism began in 1971, when protesters and journalists sailed to confront US underground nuclear testing at Amchitka Island in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. Despite humble beginnings, Greenpeace established fundamental, innovative attributes that transformed and expanded the way Greenpeace International and the environmental movement operates today. The origins, values, and tactics of Greenpeace were shaped in the formative years of 1969–74. Greenpeace began as both an organization and a concept in 1969 with a small group of a few dozen single-purpose, ad hoc volunteers in Vancouver, British Columbia. Greenpeace's original goal was to stop or at least protest the US Atomic Energy Commission's ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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