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A peace symbol to commemorate victims of terrorism

20th Anniversary of the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior
Greenpeace creates a symbol of peace in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower to commemorate victims of terrorism

Paris, 10 July 2005—In light of the London bombings, and in memory of the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior by French Government agents on July 10 1985, in Auckland Harbour which killed Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira, 500 Greenpeace activists from 20 countries today created a human Rainbow peace symbol in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

A two-minute silence was held in Paris and New Zealand at 13.48, marking the time that the Rainbow Warrior was bombed.

“We present an image of hope and a call for peace. We stand for all of those around the world who share our vision of a world in which diplomacy and generosity replace fear and bombs. This is the only way to achieve a real, lasting green and peaceful future,” said Yannick Jadot of Greenpeace France.

Global leaders over the past 20 years have failed to meet the challenge of creating a lasting peace. The cold war has ended but oil wars have begun; the threat of nuclear war has been joined by the reality of global warming. While nearly half the world’s population survive on less than two dollars a day, the global nuclear weapons bill is still rising. (1)

“This week’s G8 meeting has failed to deliver what is needed to combat the causes of conflict,” said Mike Townsley of Greenpeace International. “The offer of US$50 billion to alleviate poverty is a small but significant step in the right direction but for all of the seemingly difficult debate; it represents a small percentage of the money that the G8 nations spend on military defence. In failing to tackle climate change, they consign the world to dangerous environmental changes that can only create more insecurity and conflict. Far greater resources need to be diverted to removing the causes of conflict rather than adding to its consequences.

“Bombs are never the answer - not on the Rainbow Warrior, not in the streets of London and Baghdad, and not in the nuclear arsenals of the US, France, the UK and the other nuclear weapon states,” said Townsley.

“By creating our human symbol of peace today in Paris, and commemorating the bombing of our flagship 20 years ago, Greenpeace hopes that millions around the world will draw hope and give life to the vision of a green and peaceful future for us all,” concluded Townsley.

ENDS

(1) For example: since 1945 the US has wasted nearly US$6 trillion on its nuclear weapons programme; this year alone France will spend 3.2 billion euros on nuclear weapons; and each year the UK spends more than 1.5 billion pounds on its Trident nuclear weapons system.

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