Greenpeace condemns the brutal police clampdown on the Gezi Park protest and defends the right to peaceful protest. What started as a peaceful protest against the destruction of an iconic and historic park by Taksim Square has grown into a wider struggle for Turkish democracy and the right to peaceful protest all across the world. Taksim Square is the last remaining green space in Istanbul, and is slated to turn into a shopping mall.
Greenpeace’s Mediterranean office is in the heart of Taksim Square. See more photos of the protests below, and stay tuned for more updates from activists on the scene.
Greenpeace staff and volunteers help some of the many people affected by tear gas.
Our office in Istanbul has been under siege. It is in the heart Taksim, an area in which a brutal police clampdown has been trying to end the peaceful protest over the planned destruction of the small, and historic, Gezi Park by Taksim Square. The protest has grown to involve tens of thousands of people and drawn the support of people from all over the world.
There is a little calm in the storm now as police have withdrawn from Gezi Park and the tear gas is dissipating. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, however, remains bullish about the plans to trash the park. He remains stern in his rejection of the peaceful protests but has conceded that the police may have over reacted. This is far from over.
In the past 24 hours, tear gas canisters have been thrown by police at the entrance of our building and on to our roof. We are not a threat, we are non-violent and we are offering medical assistance to injured peaceful protestors or the heavily armored police should they need it.
People are travelling from all over Turkey to Taksim, people are gathering elsewhere in the country and around the world in solidarity to say “I am in Gezi” and to say “we are watching and we are horrified by the brutality”. Continue reading →
In the havoc and destruction spread by war, damage to the environment is almost always regarded as a necessary price to be paid. But cleaning up the environmental consequences of war is a tough, often impossible, task. Damage to the environment in times of armed conflict can impair ecosystems and natural resources long after the period of conflict, often extending beyond the limits of national territories and the present generation.
Often during conflict, the environment itself has been used as a weapon of war, of mass destruction. Soils have been poisoned, water wells polluted, crops torched, forests cut down, all to achieve political and military goals: subdue resistance, destroy people’s livelihood and drive them away from their homes. Continue reading →
What is peace? In a world at times ravaged by armed conflict, from Africa to Asia, is peace simply an absence of war? Or is there more to it than that?
Today, on the International Day of Peace, it is important to reflect on some of these questions, particularly for an organisation like Greenpeace, whose founding values revolve around the defence of peace and a wide understanding that the issues of ecology and peace are two sides of the same coin. Continue reading →
by Markus Power, Greenpeace Nordic Volunteer Coordinator
Today is the biggest “Day of Action” we have ever done – with 2,000 volunteers taking part in 20 countries from Canada to Switzerland to Chile to Australia!
Starting today, volunteers on the streets of 200 cities will talk to tens (and maybe even hundreds!) of thousands of people. One by one, we’ll invite these people to be part of a growing global movement. Our dream: A global sanctuary in the uninhabited area around the North Pole, and a ban on oil drilling and industrial fishing in Arctic waters. Yes, it’s a big dream, and we’ll need a lot of people to help make it happen. Continue reading →
The Arctic is under threat. As you read this, oil companies and politicians are plotting to carve up the icy north, extending their national territories and searching for drill sites. But with your help, we can draw a line in the ice and put the Arctic out of the polluters’ reach – forever.
This morning at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, we joined forces with Paul McCartney, Penelope Cruz, Robert Redford, the world’s biggest boy band One Direction and dozens of other famous names to demand that the uninhabited area around the North Pole be protected by the UN and made off-limits to polluters.
More than 100 Hollywood actors, musicians, polar explorers and business leaders have added their names to our Arctic Scroll as a symbol of their determination to save the Arctic. Will you join them?
This past Tuesday, May 5th, the Washington Times published an editorial about Greenpeace in their print edition as well as online. The editorial referenced arson and Nazi brownshirts, then tried to assert connections to Greenpeace. It went on to suggest that we had somehow capitalized on the tragic death of one of our photographers — Fernando Pereira, who was murdered when French operatives sunk our ship, the Rainbow Warrior, by bombing it in a New Zealand harbor in 1985.
These are completely baseless and offensive accusations. So I wrote my own editorial, which the Washington Times has published, to set the record straight.