Report by Pacific Media Centre
David Robie, Pacific Media Centre
Publication date: Friday, July 10, 2015
Publisher: Little Island Press in association with the Pacific Media Centre
Author: David Robie
On 10 July 1985, French secret agents bombed the Greenpeace campaign flagship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour, New Zealand. Portuguese-born photographer Fernando Pereira died in the sabotage outrage that shook the world. The bombed ship was scuttled off a New Zealand bay in 1987 to form a living reef and Rainbow Warrior II was commissioned.
Eyes Of Fire tells this story, but it also tells the story of nuclear testing in the Pacific. In 1954 the United States government tested a nuclear weapon in the Marshall Islands that posioned Rongelap Atoll. Thirty years later the people of Rongelap, who were still suffering from radiation poisoning, asked the crew of the Rainbow Warriror to move them to Mejato, 180 kilometres away. This was the Warrior’s last and most dramatic mission, before it sailed to Auckland to meet its fate.
The 30th anniversary edition has a Little Island microsite with plenty of Rainbow Warrior resources. Little Island Press has created this site in partnership with the Pacific Media Centre and AUT journalism and television students in the lead-up to the 30th anniversary of the bombing to provide context and capture interviews with the Warrior’s crew members.
Thirty Years Later: The bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, by Ed Rampell in the Earth Island Journal
An intimate sense of the Rainbow Warrior and her crew that rings true, by Steve Sawyer in Greenpeace US