It’s not often that the President of Brazil, the Vice President of Iran, the Chancellor of Germany, the Argentinian Senate, the EU parliament, Burma’s opposition leader, 13 Nobel Peace Prize winners, and hundreds of parliamentarians all over the world agree on anything.
But that they all agree with Greenpeace? That’s truly humbling, and — as far as I know — unprecedented. I have been doing work with politicians all over the world for many years. But I have never seen such a truly global outpouring of support. For which we say: Thank you.
Let me take you on a small world tour, which illustrates the depth and breadth of the support we have received. Especially when you remember, that this is just a small selection, a snapshot.
Dr. Massoumeh Ebtekar, Iran’s Vice President and Head of their Department of the Environment, has described the peaceful actions taken by the Arctic 30 as “an act of compassion” as it was aimed at keeping Arctic oil in the ground. Burma’s opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ang San Suu Kyi has applauded the peacefulness of our activists, while Indian politician Manekah Gandhi has been calling on governments to support those defending the earth, not her destroyers.
In Brazil, every political leader has been supporting the call to free Ana Paula — at 31, one of the youngest of the Arctic 30. President Dilma Rousseff, the Foreign Minister, Mr. Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, the President of the Brazilian Congress, Senator Renan Calheiros, the governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Mr. Tarso Genro, and many Members of Congress all have stated their support. In Argentina, meanwhile, the Senate has expressed concern about the Arctic 30 arrest just as much as the City Councils of Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata, and 28 Members of Parliament have signed letters of support. The Mayor of Bogota, Colombia, as well as no fewer than 45 local councillors, have also called publicly to #FreeTheArctic30.
In Mexico, Senators such as Angélica de la Peña, Alejandro Encina or Gerardo Flores have supported us as well as Deputies Gloria Bautista, Aleida Alavez or Ricardo Mejía, who wrote letters of support, and the President of the PRD (the Party of the Democratic Revolution), Jesús Zambrano Grijalba. And while we wish that the Canadian government would act more decisively to free their citizens, Paul and Alexandra, in Canada, too, we have had outspoken support, for example, from MP Elizabeth May.
In Europe, meanwhile, we are grateful for the explicit support by Germany’s Chancellor Merkel, UK Prime Minister Cameron as well as France’s Prime Minster Ayrault and hundreds of Members of Parliaments — over 100 each in Italy, the UK or Spain for example. The list of Members of the European Parliament who are raising their voice also continues to grow (have a look here). The recent debate at the European Parliament is well worth listening to. In it, EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik reminded the world that “Greenpeace had a message for all of us”: we need to act urgently on climate change, if we want to protect the Arctic.
I could go on for a lot longer listing support — from the Mayor of Naples to some 50 MPs in Turkey and over 60 in Sweden or the beautiful support from Desmond Tutu. In some ways I should, as everyone who has supported us deserves a loud shout out, including the more than two million of you who have sent a letter to a Russian embassy (if you have not, please do so now).
If every politician who is supporting the efforts to free the Artic 30 acted decisively on climate change, we woul have a good chance of protecting the Arctic from the destruction my colleagues were peacefully protesting against. Only when we have as broad a coalition of support to implement the energy revolution we need, deliver zero deforestation, protect the High Seas, or produce food ecologically, will the world be the better place that the Arctic 30 were calling for.
I suspect that I — indeed we all— still have numerous heated discussions with many politicians ahead of us, before we reach that goal. There will be a time for that. For now, though, I am just grateful that the Arctic 30 do have so many good friends in high places. And your support!
Obrigado. Gracias. Merci. Danke. Thank you. Please do not waver in your determination and support until the Arctic 30 are back where they belong: with their families.
Daniel Mittler is the head of Political and Business unit for Greenpeace International.
via Greenpeace news http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/Arctic-30-receive-political-support/blog/47282/