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could you give me a summery

Posted by: shaun ( lily, australia ) on February 12, 1999 at 11:58:52:

In Reply to: not even a company like mcdonalds can buy out anyone! posted by shaun on February 11, 1999 at 11:06:49:

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: McSpotlight: Helen and David actually belong to London Greenpeace not Greenpeace International; the two groups are not connected...

re mcpotlight-thank you for clearing that little glich, i was not aware
that the two are not conected, in australia we dont hear of london green peace only green peace int. could you give me a summery of what london green peace is.



McSpotlight: To answer that question, you have to go back in history to the beginning of the 1970's; at the tail end of the 1960s a lot of radical (and not-so-radical) environmental and social reform groups were set up; anarchists (in the positive sense), hippies and peaceful reformers. The words "green peace" (for a pacifist environmentalist agenda) became attached to a number of groups around the world; their common symbol was a circle with a horizontal line through the middle; rather like a flattened Greek capital theta.

London Greenpeace (properly known as Greenpeace (London)) was the first of these groups in the UK, and one of the first in the world, set up in 1971. What most people think of as "Greenpeace" started off as Vancouver Greenpeace around the same time. London Greenpeace stayed much the same size and stuck to their original statement of intent fairly thoroughly. Vancouver Greenpeace expanded through the use of publicity and politics. In 1977, Vancouver Greenpeace arrived in Britain on a mission to try and unite all of the world's Greenpeace groups under one banner; that of Greenpeace International. The delegation was led by Dave Watson, later of Sea Shepherd fame.

London Greenpeace were sceptical of Vancouver Greenpeace's intentions; they seemed to be advocating one monolithic organization with Vancouver Greenpeace in charge; this was felt to be inconsistent with the original ethos of "green peace". In addition, they felt that Vancouver Greenpeace was straying too much towards the mainstream and losing its radical message in an attempt to be acceptable to the public. Dave Watson, the original negotiator, made assurances to London Greenpeace that this was not the case; that Greenpeace International would retain a radical edge.

(Shortly after this, he was expelled from his post for being too radical to be acceptable to the (then) heads of Greenpeace International. His place on the negotiations was taken by someone more in tune with the "official" line.)

This was not a reassuring sign to London Greenpeace, so they voted to stay outside the main Greenpeace group, unlike the other UK Greenpeace groups, who all joined Greenpeace International. That's how Greenpeace (London) and Greenpeace International came to be different.

Now, some 22 years later, Greenpeace International is a massive multinational campaign, while Greenpeace (London) remains a small radical anarchist group.

(Interesting footnote: The original usage of the concept of "green peace" was in an article published in the newspaper Peace News in the 1960s; some of the staff were also involved in the formation of Greenpeace (London). So the word "Greenpeace" can truly be said to have been born in London.)

That's rather a long summary (as it was told to me by one of the London Greenpeace activists); I hope it helps.

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