Forty years ago today, Greenpeace was founded in Vancouver by a group of 17 activists who joined together to protest off-shore nuclear testing in Alaska. To recognize the accomplishments of the group the mayor has declared September 15 as Greenpeace Day.
The internationally renowned environmental organisation which focuses on ecological issues will begin its birthday celebration at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, where Mayor Gregor Robertson will proclaim "Greenpeace Day" in the city, according to the Vancouver Sun.
The festivities to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of Greenpeace will begin with a tree-planting ceremony attended by several of the founding members of the 'Don’t Make A Wave Committee,' which later formed Greenpeace.
The choice to celebrate the beginning of Greenpeace in its birthplace was a natural one, according to Greenpeace B.C. acting director Jessica Wilson. "Vancouver and Greenpeace will always go hand-in-hand," Wilson said. "Vancouverites have a very special relationship with their natural environment. We have a natural inclination to want to protect it. Greenpeace couldn't have happened anywhere else but Vancouver."
Greenpeace had evolved from their seventeen member beginning in Vancouver to an organization that now boasts 2.9 million members in forty-one countries, who "constantly strive for their vision of a society which recognises the Earth as an essential life support system whose resources are not infinite and must be protected and cared for. Their campaigns range from raising awareness of the receding ice of the Arctic to protecting the oceans and rainforests to working towards nuclear disarmament," according to a statement from Greenpeace.
Vancouver's Greenpeace Day celebration will continue on Saturday Sept 17, with the "Rainbow Warrior Festival," which runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Jericho Park.
Festival-goers can participate in banner-making, civil-disobedience workshops, climb training and zodiac rides at this family-friendly event. There will be storytelling, face painting, colouring, a silk-screening station and information tents available where people can sign up to volunteer with Greenpeace or become financial supporters.
Greenpeace promises an opportunity for the whole family to join the member-funded activist organization for a special day outdoors at the Vancouver park to learn about environmental activism and to be inspired by the history of Greenpeace and its humble roots.
The Greenpeace blog says: "Let Greenpeace Day act as a reminder that as the anthropologist Margaret Mead once put it: ‘Never doubt that a … group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has’."