Excerpt from Presentation by Lewis Randa
“Over the years, the Courage of Conscience Award has been presented by the Peace Abbey in front of the bronze statue of Gandhi where it permanently stands in the middle of the Pacifist Memorial in Sherborn, MA. We have brought the replica of the statue, the one used during last November’s Anti-Greed demonstration that blocked the entrance to the Goldman Sachs offices in Boston as we acknowledge the extraordinary mission, the extraordinary “Gandhian” mission, of Greenpeace.No other peace or environmental organization has taken the peaceful, direct action, nonviolent strategy that Gandhi used to free India, and so creatively applied it to expose global environmental abuses, anti-nuclear issues, deforestation, overfishing, global warming, coal pollution, the killing of whales and baby seals and all the horrific activities conducted under the banner of free enterprise and capitalism as has Greenpeace.What we are now accustomed to seeing in the news from activist organization that are working to make the world less harsh for its inhabitants, was, in a real sense, the offspring of Greenpeace — Greenpeace paved the way for other organizations to follow, and we are here today to express our gratitude for setting in motion the power of nonviolent resistance in a style and manner that both addresses social issues while elevating altruism to a new level.With the simple act of making salt, Gandhi lead one of the most successful acts of civil disobedience in History – the Salt march. In the spirit of Gandhi, Greenpeace has since its founding in 1971, taught the world how to say no to injustice, cruelty, pollution, greed, hatred and war. Greenpeace took Gandhi’s teachings and, in the spirit of the sixties, moved forward to take risks to get the message of sanity heard through public campaigns that employed creative messages that caught the attention of the media and governments, and, most importantly, the youth of the world. It is a profound honor for me to be making this presentation, for I stand before you today, after some 40 years of peace work to acknowledge that it was my involvement with Greenpeace, decades ago, that opened the flood gates of my own rebellious activism.”Also see Emma Cassidy’s blog about this event.