A dozen students from George Mason University’s Environmental Action Group (EAG) toured the new Rainbow Warrior, Tuesday night to learn more about Greenpeace’s newest flagship and get inspired for their campus campaigns.
After receiving a private tour of the ship’s deck, helipad, and conference room, I met with the students to talk about their visit.
They were thrilled to learn more about Greenpeace’s history. How we got our start on the seas in 1971, protesting nuclear weapons testing off the coast of Alaska.
EAG’s Campaign Coordinator Jason Von Kundra told me he loved the innovation onboard the new ship. He was impressed that Greenpeace found a way to design a helipad on a sailboat, despite initial doubts from engineers. Jason said this was symbolic of how Greenpeace is on a larger scale. Greenpeace uses “innovate ways [with its campaigns] and it works!”
We talked about how Greenpeace uses non-violent direct action to create lasting change for our planet. Six students, including Jason, and a professor from George Mason recently risked arrest at the Tar Sands Action sit-in last August to protest the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The George Mason crew told me students and young people must get involved in the youth climate movement today, and to not be afraid to disobey the law using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience. Students must “use [their] civil rights, or there’s no point in having them. When we’re complacent they [our opposition] win.”
I couldn’t agree more.
If you’re at George Mason, get involved with EAG today.