The peace movement and I go back to the 1960s. I came on board by joining mainstream groups against the Vietnam conflict. I stayed with those groups who had a peaceful, non-violent strategy. As far as I know, those groups had not been infiltrated by COINTELPRO (U.S. Counter Intellegence) nor any radical factions that were active in those days. Walking my talk was and remains how I interact with the world.
By the 1970s, my activist interests turned towards environmental causes. Again, I was very careful to weed out any affiliations with groups who may have been infiltrated or were involved with any intrigue associated with agents provocateurs. Or people intent upon discrediting the movement by inciting violence or illegal activity. Just investigating safe affiliations became a fascinating activity in and of itself.
Finally, around 1979, I decided to consolidate my interests in peace and environmental concerns. One group met all of my criteria, Greenpeace. Around the time I joined Greenpeace, the organization had been in the midst of acquiring and outfitting their first ship to use in their famous protests. The ship was named “Rainbow Warrior”. The name was inspired by the environmentalist movement’s belief of fulfilling a Native American prediction that man and nature would again coexist harmoniously.
To get the ship afloat and into action, Greenpeace coordinated fundraising campaigns. Of course, I contributed what I was able to give. I enjoyed following news accounts of the completion of the *Rainbow Warrior*. Later, the activists performed daring, peaceful actions in various parts of the world. They were famous for actions against the Japanese whaling fleets. Hence, the popular slogan, “Save The Whales”. Other species were brought to the public’s attention by Greenpeace like harp seals and endangered fishes.
Then, suddenly, The *Rainbow Warrior* was the subject of world wide news coverage. July 10th, 1985, she was sunk by French government sponsored saboteurs. The French divers attached two Limpet mines to the hull of the ship while the ship was being prepared for a protest voyage in the Aukland, New Zealand harbor. The French mines exploded ten minutes apart, ultimately leading to the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior. Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira was drowned as a result, too.
Later, another former trawler was retrofitted to become the *Rainbow Warrior II* It successfully completed numerous campaigns and research missions.
The latest *Rainbow Warrior* has been launched from its berth in Germany ahead of schedule. The *Rainbow Warrior III* was projected for completion by today, the anniversary of the sinking of the original *Rainbow Warrior* by the French Government. The official, ceremonial launch will take place this October during festivities celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the founding of Greenpeace.
The new ship is 58-metres long (190 feet). It was built from scratch to meet Greenpeace specifications. It is powered by sails and an electric motor. There is a boost engine powered by diesel fuel, too. A maximum crew of 33 people can stay aboard for a month without resupplying. The *Rainbow Warrior III* is also outfitted with a helipad and the latest state of the art electronic research equipment.
The Rainbow Warrior represents more than hopeful, wishful thinking. It is a symbol and a tool for the advancement of peaceful solutions to humanity’s conundrums about world peace and our environment.
The Blue Jay of Happiness would enjoy being a mascot aboard ship…arrr!