Today marks 25 years since French Secret Service agents, allies of New Zealand, committed the first and only act of terrorism ever in New Zealand’s history when they bombed Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior ship while it was docked in Auckland killing one person; an act of war committed by an ally against a pacifist organisation.
I was born two years after the bombing, however, the bombing not only changed New Zealand history it also had an important role in shaping my political views. When I was at primary school during the 1990s the French resumed nuclear testing at Mururoa and during that time Greenpeace sent their replacement Rainbow Warrior II ship from Auckland to protest the testing. My connection to the two ships comes through primary school friends, the father of one of my friends was onboard the Rainbow Warrior when it was bombed in Auckland harbour in 1985 and parents of other friends were onboard the Rainbow Warrior II and other ships when they were detained by the French in 1995.
So 25 years on where are we? Once France had finished “testing” aka bombing the shit out of an island in the middle of nowhere because apparently no one would care they signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty, since then France has not detonated another Nuclear Weapon. However, Pakistan has, India has, North Korea has. The work of Greenpeace has slowed the Nuclear Winter but I don’t think we are out of the autumn yet.
Today Greenpeace have blogged links to 4 videos on the Rainbow Warrior.
They have also posted a long blog remembering the ship, the life lost, and what the Rainbow Warrior achieved.
There is also the remaking of the song Anchor Me done for the 20th Anniversary
And who can forget French Letter (audio only, can’t find the video):
Finally a year and a half ago I blogged on why it is so important for Kiwis to never forget the Rainbow Warrior.