Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior was going up the Clyde to Glasgow to COP26 whether the authorities were letting it or not. They had young folks on board with a message to share to the well fed and well dressed delegates at the SEC and if whaling harpoons don’t stop them, I don’t think a wee polis launch would’ve either.
The third ship to bear the name, let’s not forget the fate of the first which was mined and sunk in Auckland Harbour with the loss of a life by the French who were annoyed at them interfering with their nuclear bomb tests in the Pacific, it’s an iconic presence that’s very hard to put into words or even explain to younger folks who didn’t see the news footage of the previous ships getting in the line of fire and putting their own lives very much in front of what they were trying to protect.
Rainbow Warrior is a symbol of hope, of defiance, it’s showing that even when the bad guys are winning the good guys haven’t given up. These folks do what so many wish we could but feel powerless to.
It was a joy to see the ship on the Clyde, passing my home. The shores were lined with people waving and cheering and the ship responded in kind until it was out of sight.
It was very emotional, I watched it leave with tears in my eyes. Symbols are very powerful things, a banner, a flag, a name, a place, a ship. It’s a focus, a rallying point, a reminder that maybe you’re not alone or powerless.
Hope is a powerful but fragile thing. Just like the world around us and the people on it.