Just two months ago we were part of the Arctic Sunrise Tour for the protection of Blue Fin Tuna and the creation of Marine Reserves in Greenpeace Med. Now we are part of the Rainbow Warrior Tour for the Quit Coal campaign. When we get to host a Greenpeace ship its always great excitement. It is also a lot of work for the team, but they don't feel it because of their enthusiasm. The same enthusiasm is also shared by our supporters. The Rainbow Warrior is such a strong Greenpeace icon that I must say I was very excited.
During my trip form Istanbul to Tel Aviv, my mind was with the team and how the preparations were going. When I met the team I was sure that everything was in order. In the morning we took the shuttle to the Haifa Harbour. When we arrived there were also lines of people infront of the gate. Squezzing through the lines to the gate I felt like the priviledged crews who always get to jump lines... a little embarrassed by that too. Then came the waiting to get our passports cleared and the visitors were able to get before us on board. We had to watch a little jelous this time. The team had prepared an exhibition to talk about the climate impacts of climate change. The music was playing, children were dancing with their mothers, some were jumping rope,.. rope pulling. Walking the patway down was the bridge up to the Rainbow Warrior. Again there was a croud waiting for guides and their turn to get on the ship. We were counting on a couple of hundred visitors, but this was beyond our expectations. That day we had more than 1200 visitors come to the ship. People got off with a big smile, having experienced a ship that symbolizes the struggle for a society in harmony with the planet. The ship had witnessed many environmental crimes and stood in resistance to those who do not care for the planet, blinded enough to comit crimes against nature and humanity. People on board gave the hope that there will be a future for all.
After we said goodbye to everyone, the ship started sailing to the Port of Ashdod. Sleeping in the upper bunk of our rather basic but comfortable cabin in the ship, I went a sleep thinking what a good day we had with our supporters. Tomorrow we will have a sailing with our institutional supporters, members of parliament, government officials, journalists, and fellow environmental NGOs. They are supporting us in the 'Quit Coal' campaign. No campaign can be a real success without the support of all stakeholders. And these are the people from Israel we believe we will work together to prevent the building of a new coal fired coal plant in Askhelon. The stuggle will continue until no new plants are built anywhere in the world.
Dr. Uygar Ozesmi - Greenpeace Mediterranean
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