a large international pressure group that aims to protect the environment. Its members are well known for taking direct action and putting their own lives in danger in order to stop people from harming the environment. For example, they often go out in small boats to stop people from killing whales or throwing poisonous material into the sea.
See also Rainbow Warrior.

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International environmental organization.

Founded in Canada in 1971 to oppose U.S. nuclear testing in Alaska, it later expanded its goals to include saving endangered species, stopping environmental abuses, and increasing public awareness of environmental problems. It has specialized in "direct, nonviolent action" in protests often designed to garner wide publicity. Its members have frequently steered small inflatable craft between the harpoon guns of whalers and their prey. In 1985 the Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace ship being used to obstruct French nuclear testing in the South Pacific, was sunk by French agents, resulting in the death of a photographer. Greenpeace has offices in some 40 countries.

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 international organization dedicated to preserving endangered species of animals, preventing environmental abuses, and heightening environmental awareness through direct confrontations with polluting corporations and governmental authorities. Greenpeace was founded in 1971 in British Columbia to oppose U.S. nuclear testing at Amchitka Island in Alaska. The loose-knit organization quickly attracted support from ecologically minded individuals and began undertaking campaigns seeking, among other goals, the protection of endangered whales and seals from hunting, the cessation of the dumping of toxic chemical and radioactive wastes at sea, and the end of nuclear-weapons testing. The primary tactic of Greenpeace has been such “direct, nonviolent actions” as steering small inflatable craft between the harpoon guns of whalers and their cetacean prey and the plugging of industrial pipes discharging toxic wastes into the oceans and the atmosphere. Such dangerous and dramatic actions brought Greenpeace wide media exposure and helped mobilize public opinion against environmentally destructive practices. Greenpeace also actively sought favourable rulings from national and international regulatory bodies on the control of environmental abuses, sometimes with considerable success. The organization has a small staff and relies largely on voluntary staffing and funding.

 On July 10, 1985, the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior, which was due to sail to Moruroa Atoll to protest French atmospheric nuclear-weapons tests there, was sunk by two bomb explosions while berthed in Auckland Harbour, N.Z. Subsequent revelations that French intelligence agents had planted the bombs caused a major international scandal and led to the resignation of France's minister of defense and the dismissal of the head of its intelligence service.

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Universalium. 2010.

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