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What activists INSIDE Greenpeace are Saying: SaveGreenpeace.org

Anonymous Greenpeace Staff and Activists Respond to Greenpeace’s Hiring

Decision:

Work for Greenpeace? Want to share your story? Contact us at

info@savegreenpeace.org. Your anonymity is guaranteed. (the quotations

below are from the front page of the SaveGreenpeace.org website, and

references to other posts are from that same site)


****

I’ve worked for Greenpeace in a variety of capacities over the past 4

years and I have to wholeheartedly agree with #5. There has been a surge

of well-networked people with excellent resumes put into positions of

authority inside Greenpeace who couldn’t seem to care less about the

spirit of activism and non-compromise. To do activism under the Greenpeace

banner is an incredibly difficult and frustrating experience because of

how much these views have changed the internal process of campaigning.

There is a fine line between tactics which are sloppy and unprofessional

and tactics which are so cautious or professional that they become

impossible or completely ineffective. Greenpeace has had an identity

crisis; it decided that it wanted to leave behind it’s hippy roots and

embrace the world of pure professionalism. While a drive to make your work

better is an excellent quality there has been a price to pay for the way

Greenpeace has gone about it. I have seen many people hired who have a

particular skill-set that seems desirable but who have no activist

background or interest. I have worked, and am in fact working now with

people who do not care about the environment but are here for a job. These

people also leave Greenpeace without concern for the timing or the work

that we do and leave departments dysfunctional and broken. But despite the

repeated failures exhibited and the casualties within the Communications

department and Campaigns, specifically the Climate campaign, senior

management continues to decide to bring in cynical professionals who

damage this NGO’s ability to function properly. These bad decisions are

driving out lots of good people and discouraging the best of the new

generation of activists from joining Greenpeace. Greenpeace is losing its

soul to the professional world, and the cost to all of us is huge. It has

the tools and the resources to turn this around, but like so many other

governmental and corporate beasts it can’t seem to see outside of itself

long enough to understand just how far of the path it’s gone. I am still a

part of Greenpeace and I will continue to work in whatever capacity I can

to turn this around but I’m so very frustrated by this terrible

distraction from what huge problems are really looming on the horizon. We

have no time to waste in saving the planet and ourselves but

shortsightedness is endemic these days. If Greenpeace can’t be saved then

I’m ready to keep fighting without it.

Anonymous Greenpeace Activist or Staff #10

****

Hi,

I’m Raluca Dan from Romania. I am former Greenpeace staff member and now

just cyberactivist. I would like to sign the statement against Tzeporah as

I think this decision is completely outrageous. I have faced the corporate

side of Greenpeace in various situations, but this decision will bury the

work of the real activists that stand for the earth’s protection.

All the best,

Raluca Dan

****

Dear Friends

I am a 60 yr old activist and indigenous gay man. If there is one thing I

understand well, it is that the people we associate with in many ways

become indicators of who we are seen as (not necessarily the same as who

we are)

I was forwarded Dru Oja Jay’s article on Greenpeace and Berman. (Which I

think is a brilliant piece of writing)

I come from New Zealand where the French Govt sank the Rainbow Warrior and

was on board the day before it sank. Greenpeace was the first

environmental group I ever joined and the first one I ever worked for.

This whole Berman fiasco makes me incredibly sad beyond belief. It would

appear that there has already been some backing off of Berman by

Greenpeace though. When this was first sent to media attention, Berman was

touted as the new head of climate change, in a recent defence of the

decision to hire her, she is described as the second in charge of climate.

If her appointment goes ahead, I am sure Greenpeace will either lose

members and be forced into accepting corporate funding (maybe disguised)

to survive, or they will literally be placed on public trial by other

environmental movements. Either way, your author is right, this is

indicative of a war to claim back the origins of the environmental

movement, a fact that will not escape public notice.

My organisation, Pacific Indigenous Peoples Environment Coalition has

worked with Greenpeace on Forest issues over the last few years (GP and

PIPEC are the only two NGOs that sit on the Imported Tropical Timber Group

in New Zealand) . PIPEC has never had the facility to attend as much as GP

and their forest campaigner has done some magnificent work in getting

importers organisations here to recognise the folly of importing illegal

timbers into NZ. PIPEC has always supported him whenever a second voice

for the forests was needed. I still believe that he is committed to doing

his very best for the forests but our organisation can not afford to be

associated (no matter how remotely) with the collaboration ethos that

Berman has espoused, and we will formally be withdrawing from membership

of the group.

Again, on a personal level, this saddens me immensely. Greenpeace New

Zealand has always been at the forefront of environmental protection in

our region and has many wonderful and incredible staff members, but the

future of the planet and our children is of much greater importance that

any individual or individual organisation, and very small organisations

like PIPEC must ensure that our ability to articulate our concerns for our

region and our peoples is not compromised by association with larger

organisations where we might not be in agreement.

Sandy Gauntlett, the chairperson of PIPEC – Pacific Indigenous Peoples

Environment Coalition

****

I’ve been involved in Greenpeace for five years. I’ve always looked up to

Greenpeace. I felt that it was a BC heritage item, and I always wanted to

have a lot to do with that. It’s disappointing. I’m only partly surprised.

Moves like that with GPI, they’re just milestones in a trajectory that’s

disappointing in the way that Greenpeace has evolved in the last 10 years.

It’s part of a trend to managerialize the movement, where these corporate

figures are sought after because they’re seen as more efficient.

Hiring Tzeporah is more than counterproductive, it’s an abomination in

terms of where Greenpeace is coming from. It’s a slap in the face to some

of the founding members. I’ve actually been in touch with a couple of the

original founding members, and they’re just apalled. Tzeporah Berman is

the Patrick Moore of today.

It makes me feel bad that I haven’t taken better care of Greenpeace over

the years, but one of the reasons that someone like Tzeporah Berman could

make it into this position is that in Greenpeace Canada, we’re completely

disenfranchised from any consultation into decisions made by Greenpeace

international. There is no transparency, and we don’t feel like we can do

anything.

Anonymous Greenpeace Activist or Staff #1

****

I’m incredibly disappointed in Greenpeace. Greenpeace International is

autonomous from Greenpeace Canada, but there was no consultation with

activists and organizers in Canada. This is not only an insult to the

original founders of Greenpeace and their vision, but an insult to the

environmental movement as a whole. Right now, there is a huge struggle at

Greenpeace. There lots of people within Greenpeace who are fighting this,

but the senior management of Greenpeace Canada hasn’t been willing to push

the issue. The fact that they would just swallow this pill really makes me

question my ability to work with this organization. Even if we have great

staff and good campaigns, if decisions are being made higher up that are

screwing over our work, the whole thing is pointless.

Anonymous Greenpeace Activist or Staff #2

****

It was greatly disappointing. I’m not willing to work for an organization

that is willing to employ her, so I’m looking for alternatives. I was

suprised that they would risk their integrity and values to hire someone

like Berman. They didn’t look into her history as much as they should

have; not enough thought was put into it. There has been a huge blowup

within Greenpeace Canada over this.

Greenpeace actually started the Kyoto Plus campaign to battle Power Up,

the organization the Tzeporah started. And now they’re hiring her. The

hypocrisy blows my mind. It’s astonishing. It’s like they just hired the

devil. No one will take us seriously if they’re not thinking about hiring

decisions like this. The tar sands campaign could very well be fucked

over. I really hope that her hire is revoked.

There has been quite a bit of backlash to the decision already. 15 people

I know have cancelled their memberships. A number of people have decided

to leave, employment-wise, or are members who have left based on her hire.

Some people want to leave because of this decision, but are not because

they don’t have other options.

Anonymous Greenpeace Activist or Staff #3

****

I’m concerned with the lack of consultation from GPI, and what this means

about where the organization is going. It brings up a lot of concerning

questions.

My concern is for potential allies and past allies, and how this reflects

on Greenpeace Canada within the environmental movement, and beyond that,

to where the… allies that are more passive allies now, like climate

justice and social justice activists — I’m worried that Tzeporah’s hire

would hinder their involvement with Greenpeace.

Anonymous Greenpeace Activist or Staff #4

****

I worked for Greenpeace the past several years, and recently left the

organization over concerns of bad decisions and poor management,

specifically in regards to climate and energy campaigning. These decisions

are not simply decisions that I didn’t like – they are major missteps

organizationally and strategically that have been continually raised by

staff across departments – but that senior management continues to push

forward on. There are some incredibly talented and dedicated people

working across the organization, but much of their energy is spent

frustrated by poor management and senior-level decisions being made that

undermine their work, weaken their relationships with communities and

grassroots movements, and ignore their campaign insight. Much of senior

management has become too concerned with brand image and a conservative

and cautious mindset (not necessarily politically – but strategically and

tactically). Greenpeace members and supporters are constantly shown the

images of Greenpeace past – of confrontational direct actions, of

no-compromise campaign wins, of speaking truth to power. But this is not

the Greenpeace of today – the organization is moving closer to being yet

another “Big Green” that sells short it’s mission and it’s supporters. The

hiring of senior staff who know and care little about grassroots social

movements is a major problem. GP is increasingly taking poorly thought out

positions on emissions trading and REDD, and waging climate campaigns that

are more concerned with getting a “seat at the table” with mainstream

NGO’s and politicians (even if it’s the wrong table) than actually waging

strategic campaigns that take cues from the organizations successful,

direct-action and grassroots-supported past victories.

Anonymous Greenpeace Activist or Staff #5

****

As a founding member of Greenpeace in Europe in the 1970’s, the

organisation which went on to become Greenpeace International in 1979, and

as the person who signed the cheque for, and gave the name to, the

flagship of the organisation – the m/v “Rainbow Warrior”, I feel I must

express my deepest sadness at what is currently happening within the

organisation, and with other ENGOs, who now seem to be in coalition with

everyone from Coca Cola through to the nuclear industry.

A mark of integrity is the blunt refusal to be compromised. The movement

we started, based on principles of non-violent direct action, all those

years ago, has now been sold out and I insist that you immediately remove

the image of the original “Rainbow Warrior” – our ship – from your

organisation’s website banner until such day as you earn the moral right

to use it. Those of us who chipped the old Scottish trawler by hand from

bow to stern, who held the vision for a better world based on caring for

our Mother Earth, who have never compromised, will now reclaim our mother

ship before it is too late.

Anonymous Greenpeace Activist or Staff #6

****

i too was shocked or maybe better said confused when i heard that Tzeporah

was hired on to GPI as the Climate Change Campaign Director. why? Mainly

because her of PowerUP Canada and promoting private ‘run-of-river’ power

generation on mainly public land and public resource for private monetary

gains with an explicit energy export plan in mind. In addition, her

working with the BC (neo-)Liberals and receiving phony awards for phony

climate change mitigation policies is my second concern. These 2 things

alone should be enough to NOT hire her for this position. While Tzeporah

is a very good spokesperson, good organizer and mobilizer, i too believe

she has ‘made a deal with the devil’ … why? i tried to understand her

change but gave up – maybe its the mortgage? having to buy organics for

the children? Given the urgency global warming and subsequent climate

change demand, she is not the right person to stand up to short-sighted

power (and money) hungry politicians. But hey, thus said, GPI definitely

has more people like her on staff. I wonder whether GP can be saved???

Anonymous Greenpeace Activist or Staff #7

****

I am a former staff member at Greenpeace Canada, and continue as an

activist with the organization. Senior Management at Greenpeace, both in

Canada and Internationally, speak of the importance of connecting

environmental and social justice. One of the first principles of the

ecology movement is that everything is connected. Tzeporah’s willingness

to compromise is an anathema to this principle. We cannot stand on the

side of GE or Victoria’s Secret one day as they decide introduce recycled

paper or put up a solar panel, and then retain credibility as they

continue to exploit women and profit from war. Tzeporah has tried too long

to straddle this contradiction in the name of achieving “wins”. One can

hope that Greenpeace is able to reform her, and make use of her excellent

organizing and communication skills. I worry however that her hiring

represents a continuation of a trend within the Greenpeace International

Climate campaign to ignore ecology and instead focus on implementing a

narrow vision that can not quite decide if it is really a (r)evolution.

Anonymous Greenpeace Activist or Staff #8

****

We are in total agreement with entry #6. How dare Greenpeace use an image

of the Rainbow Warrior to solicit funds from the public and give the

organisation an activist veneer in order to pay themselves huge salaries

and burn fossil fuels flying around the world to talk about climate

change! Meanwhile grassroot activists in communities around the world are

affecting real change, without media fanfare and the trite photo ops that

Greenpeace uses to further advance its ‘spin’ of ‘direct confrontation’.

Anonymous Greenpeace Activist or Staff #9

www.savegreenpeace.org