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Let the Games be Green : Rainbow Warrior Arrives

Let the Games be Green : Rainbow Warrior Arrives In Sydney

In a festive welcome, Greenpeace’s best known ship, the SV Rainbow Warrior II, sails into Sydney Harbour at lunchtime today, with a message to carry the Green Games torch beyond Sydney 2000.

Greenpeace zodiacs will meet the Rainbow Warrior at the entrance to Sydney Harbour. A firetug, solar powered sailing vessel, yachts and spectators along the foreshore will be celebrating its passage through the Harbour and past Sydney's Opera House. Aboriginal elder, Aly Golding, will be present to welcome the Rainbow Warrior on behalf of Australia's traditional owners at an arrival ceremony at Circular Quay.

On arrival the Rainbow Warrior will be hoisting a 17 x 3 metre banner reading "Give the Planet a Sporting Chance". Greenpeace is calling on governments, industry, Olympic organisers and individuals to implement the environmental solutions showcased at Sydney’s 2000 Green Games.

"The Green Games show that environmentally damaging habits can be broken if there is creativity and commitment," said Greenpeace Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Peter Mullins. "We have seen green solutions working in Sydney. They should no longer be considered alternatives, but cost- effective, mainstream practices."

The Rainbow Warrior is coming to Sydney as part of Greenpeace's Olympics campaign. Greenpeace conceived of the Green Games concept in 1992 and has worked independently since then to ensure Sydney 2000 delivered on its environmental commitments. Renewable energy, the clean-up of toxic waste, sustainable timber, recycled water, a recycling and composting waste system, 'Greenfreeze' refrigeration units - all of these elements show that alternatives to environmentally damaging practices do exist for use now.

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Australian triple gold medallist Shirley Strickland will be amongst those welcoming the Rainbow Warrior. She will be speaking of her belief that the international Olympic spirit of friendly competition and cooperation is the perfect platform for global environmental solutions.

“All the nations of the world are becoming aware of the need for environmental protection,” Strickland said. “I hope they take home some of the messages about environmental protection that we're showcasing in Sydney."

Australian Environment Minister Senator Robert Hill also plans to attend the welcome event.

The Rainbow Warrior arrives in Sydney from the northern Pacific, where Greenpeace exposed the toxic legacy of US military bases and the health effects on Pacific Islanders. It had previously campaigned successfully against illegal logging in Russia, Japan and at the G8 Summit in Okinawa, where Greenpeace activists were arrested and the vessel raided by Japanese police.

July 10 2000 marked the 15th anniversary of the sinking of the original Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour. That Rainbow Warrior was preparing to lead a flotilla of boats in a peaceful protest against French nuclear testing in Moruroa when it was bombed by French Government agents.

The SV Rainbow Warrior II was launched in 1989, adopting her predecessor's mandate. In 1995, she also faced similar violence when she peacefully protested French nuclear testing at Moruroa Atoll. French agents stormed aboard, setting off tear gas canisters and impounding the vessel for five months. _________________________________

• Interviews are available with Greenpeace on its Olympics
campaign in Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Italian,
French, Spanish, German, Dutch and Danish.

• Video and still images of the arrival from the dock,
alongside the ship as it enters Sydney Harbour and aerials
will be available soon after the arrival event.

• Video footage of the environmental successes and failures
of the Sydney 2000 Olympics is available on request.

• Still images of the Olympics campaign are available from
Greenpeace Australia's FTP website at:
http://dynamic.greenpeace.org/~gpau, or for international
photo enquiries contact John Novis, Greenpeace
International, on +31 20 52 49 580 or go to:

• Greenpeace Olympics campaign documents (media
releases, history, fact sheets, reports) can be accessed at:

Australian media contact Lynne Minion on +61 (0)2
9263 0314 or
(mobile) +61 408 268 024.

International media contact Luisa Colasimone on +61
(0)2 9263 0341 or
(mobile) +31 6 2129 6920.

© Scoop Media

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