Greenpeace names names

You’ll recall that a while back, Greenpeace activists entered a restricted zone in Peru, where the Nasca Lines are preserved, and messed with that important archaeological site. I wrote about it here.

At the time, the individuals who had carried out this unthinkable act managed to drift off into obscurity, and Greenpeace seemed unwilling to provide Peruvian authorities with their names.

Now, they have done so. Partially.

From Bloomberg Businessweek:

Greenpeace has provided Peruvian authorities with the identities of the four foreign activists principally responsible for vandalizing the Nazca Lines heritage site during last month’s international climate negotiations in Lima, Bloomberg Businessweek has learned. …

“Lawyers representing Greenpeace are driving from Lima to Nazca now to deliver our report to the Peruvian prosecutor,” Mike Townsley, the chief spokesman for Greenpeace International, said on Monday evening. “We have said from the start that this action was wrong, it was crass, it was insensitive, it shouldn’t have happened, and we would cooperate with Peruvian authorities to set things right.”

The mastermind of the Nazca Lines action was Wolfgang Sadik, a veteran campaigner with Greenpeace Germany, the Greenpeace report reveals. Two of the other three activists named in the report also work for Greenpeace Germany: Martin Kaiser, who was responsible for all of Greenpeace’s actions at the Lima summit, and Isis Wiedemann, Greenpeace’s chief communications officer at the summit. The fourth individual is Mauro Fernandez, a staffer with Greenpeace Argentina who served as an interpreter during the Nazca action. Fernandez told Peruvian television on Sunday night that Sadik had not “fully informed” him regarding the sensitivity of the Nazca site or the illegality of Sadik’s proposed action.

Greenpeace—whose global budget of €300 million and offices in 45 countries have long made it a force that governments and corporations must reckon with—has suffered heavy blows to its reputation, external support, and staff morale. Donors have withdrawn grants, supporters have canceled memberships, and street canvassers have been harassed, Greenpeace USA executive director Annie Leonard wrote in an e-mail earlier this month.

Sadik and his team went ahead with the action even as others in Greenpeace strongly advised him against it, Townsley confirmed. “The decisions were taken by those responsible while they were in Peru. At that point, there was no recourse back to Greenpeace International in Amsterdam or Greenpeace Germany in Hamburg. … Certainly there are many people [within Greenpeace] who think that our internal processes weren’t followed properly and if they had been, this activity would have been caught and stopped.”

Neither Kaiser, Wiedemann nor Fernandez were involved in “the design or the delivery of the Nazca Lines action,” Townsley said, adding that Sadik was “the principal architect and coordinator, and he himself has volunteered that information to the prosecutor.”

The report apparently does not name roughly 20 additional activists from seven countries who helped Sadik and his team place their message…

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7 thoughts on “Greenpeace names names

  1. Politicians & CEOs used to be forced to resign if they publicly embarrassed their own governments or organisations by doing something extraordinarily stupid.

    That happens less often these days, and it is a pity to see Greenpeace following the new ways of doing things.

    Closing ranks to protect the guilty, while publicly committing to bring wrongdoers to justice … worked well for the Catholic Church, didn’t it?

    Greenpeace should be seen to be purging its own organisation.

  2. toby52: Used to be? My impression is that they still are in many cultures, but not this one. I’m willing to have that impression corrected.

    I’m not sure how I feel about that strategy. Mixed feelings, anyway.

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