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Why Did the French Bomb the Rainbow Warrior?

Highly opposed by environmental activists, the French nuclear planning was nothing but a fatal threat to the environment and the people. Greenpeace actively campaigned against the nuclear planning, sending out the Rainbow Warrior ship to directly protest it. 

The French Intelligence planned the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior to stop a protest opposing the nuclear testing of the French. They sent out secret agents, and they executed their plan. 

The Rainbow Warrior Bombing

On July 10, 1985, the bombing of Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace ship, took place at the Port of Auckland, New Zealand. The dispatching of the Rainbow Warrior is to demonstrate opposition to a preplanned French nuclear test done in Moruroa Atoll.

Pete Willcox, the ship’s captain, and most crew members were already heavily asleep in the middle of the night. Some inhabitants of the Rainbow Warrior remained awake, socializing with each other. One of the people that remained awake was Fernando Pereira, a Greenpeace photographer. The people that were still chatting at the dead of the night were drinking their last few bottles of beer, and for some time, they thought that everything would be okay.

Without warning, the lights went dead, and the crew suddenly heard the abrupt breaking of the glass. The situation takes a turn for the worse as a sudden surge of water entered. The people thought they’d taken a hit from a tug.

A second explosion then occurred. Crew members swiftly hurried, either towards the ladder or to the quay – anywhere that guaranteed safety, they made their way towards there. As minute by minute passes, the spars of the ship began to tilt.

Although most of the crew survived, one individual, didn’t make it out alive. The fatal event of the bombing of Rainbow Warrior became marked as a terrorist act. Specifically, a state-sanctioned act of terrorism. (Source: Greenpeace Aotearoa

Pereira’s Tragic Passing

Fernando Pereira’s death had happened just after the celebration of his 35th Birthday. Being a Greenpeace photographer, he ambitioned to document the Rainbow Warrior’s members and the occurring nuclear testing to show them to the world. Unfortunately, his ambition was cut short.

I stood there looking at the boat with all of these bubbles coming out of it, that’s when Davey Edwards said Fernando is down there. I remember arguing with him, saying no, Fernando has gone to town, that’s what he always did. No, he said. Fernando is down there.

Pete Willcox

Caused by the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, Pereira wasn’t able to escape the waters that submerged him completely, drowning to his death. (Source: Greenpeace Aotearoa

The Premeditated Plan of the State

The Rainbow Warrior’s bombing was inevitable. The French government initially denied being involved in the operation, but Prime Minister Laurent Fabius exposed the truth to the masses.  

Agents of the French Secret Service or the Directorate-General for External Security wreaked havoc on the Rainbow Warrior as part of their job to follow orders. The reason for that was to eliminate the chances of the execution of the planned protest. (Source: Greenpeace Aotearoa

The New Zealand police caught two French Agents involved in the bombing. The French agents Dominique Prieur and Alain Mafart claimed guilty to manslaughter and willful damage. Consequentially, a 10-year sentence of imprisonment followed. (Source: History

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