Peaceful warriors

Peaceful warriors

Young Post junior reporters get a close look at Greenpeace's iconic vessel, Rainbow Warrior II, as it docks in Hong Kong


peaceful warrior_L
Photo: Joyee Chan
On February 12, nine Young Post junior reporters toured the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior II before she retires this year.

They met crew member Penny, who told them about the ship's campaigns at sea. Here eight junior reporters recount their experiences.

Tsau Jin Cheng

"We believe in positive change through non-violent action and activism." This is the motto of Greenpeace, an organisation famous for its protests against seal hunting, whaling and nuclear weapons tests.

The group's first Rainbow Warrior was launched in 1978. It was brought down in 1985 by French foreign intelligence services, which attacked the vessel in a New Zealand port for protesting against French nuclear tests. The incident gave Greenpeace international exposure, bringing in more supporters and donors. The group launched its second Rainbow Warrior in 1989.

Greenpeace has embarked on multiple campaigns in Hong Kong, mainly against the territory's growing nuclear power source. They highlighted their cause with both graffiti and giant banners in Central.

Penny is the head of the boat's 16 crew members. They come from different nationalities and religious backgrounds. What unites them is their passion for the environment.

Hong Kong is the mighty Rainbow Warrior II's last port call before she retires. Its adventures have touched many people around the world over the years.

Janet Tam

The boat's name came from a book of Native American myths a member of the original crew had read. In the book, an old Cree Indian woman told her grandson that the natives had to teach people how to love and protect Mother Earth. They had to become " Warriors of the Rainbow".

After telling us the story, Penny told us that we, too, could be "Rainbow Warriors" by spreading the message of conservationism.

Karen Chau

"May you have favourable winds in your sails!" is a popular blessing during the Lunar New Year festival. I wish to extend this blessing to the crew of Rainbow Warrior II.

The earth is ill and we can all feel it. Unlike most of us, the ship's crew members don't just sit idly by but try and heal the planet. Penny, from Britain, has been aboard Rainbow Warrior for 11 years. She urged us to become Rainbow Warriors, too. We can all do something to protect the environment, she told us.

Rainbow Warrior II will be retiring soon, but Greenpeace activists will carry on fighting for Mother Nature. Their mission isn't easy and the winds aren't always in their sails. Godspeed to them!

Balwinder Singh

Penny showed us around Rainbow Warrior II. It has various mementoes on board, including a bell in honour of a crew member who died when the movement's first boat was blown up by French intelligence.

The new boat, Rainbow Warrior III, will be twice as large as the current one. It will have a better engine and more resources.

Gio Raphael Bango Ambrocio

During its 22 years of service, Rainbow Warrior II has campaigned tirelessly for a safe, clean and sustainable environment everywhere it's been. Some of the crew's adventures were dangerous and even life-threatening. Pictures of them fighting against illegal fishing ventures in open seas have touched hearts worldwide.

Dorothy Yim

Crew members suffer hardships, loneliness and danger during their long missions, but they never give up or surrender. They are at the frontlines of environmental protection. I'm grateful to them for their work on behalf of the earth.

Hetty Lee

Greenpeace's Rainbow Warriors often risk arrest during their missions. Penny told us she herself had been arrested a couple of times - once for "trespassing" during a protest against a paper mill in Russia that was dumping chemical waste. They deserve our support.

Bethany Tang

Following its motto of "non-violent direct action", Greenpeace activists aboard the Rainbow Warrior II have blocked illegal fishing, successfully called a halt to nuclear testing in many countries and intercepted ships transporting illegal rainforest timber. Three cheers to them all!

Rainbow Warrior II crew member Penny shows junior reporters the design of the new vessel.
Photo: Gio Raphael Bango Ambrocio

Banners used in Rainbow Warrior II's campaigns at sea.
Photo: Joyee Chan



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