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Friday, September 5, 2014

The terrorist photographer and the Greenpeace calendar

Featured large in the DominionPost today is a Greenpeace blunder.

It might have happened 29 years ago, but the bombing of the protest vessel Rainbow Warrior on July 10, 1985, is still fresh in the memories of New Zealanders.  It was the first act of terrorism on New Zealand soil, resulting in the death of Fernando Pereira, who was a Greenpeace photographer.

Which is ironic, because one of the men who killed him (Alain Mafart, who was found guilty of manslaughter) has a photo in the 2015 Greenpeace calendar, having metamorphosed in the meantime from spy to photographer.

The Kiwi deckhand who lost a comrade in the bombing is aghast that one of the French agents responsible for the act has had a wildlife photograph published in an international Greenpeace calendar.
"You couldn't make it up," said Bunny McDiarmid. "And he's got a different name now. Who thinks about what spies do in their second life?"

Mafart, after capture
In a statement posted on its website, Greenpeace USA said that during the production of its 2015 calendar, the calendar's publisher, Workman Publishing, sourced an image from a nature photographer, Alain Mafart-Renodier.
"It was later discovered that Mafart-Renodier is also Alain Mafart, one of the French military operatives who was involved in the bombing of the Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior, in New Zealand in 1985."
Greenpeace USA said it "deeply regretted" the error, and had ordered the recycling of the 14,000 calendars in its possession.

Workman Publishing is not being as cooperative about the 19,000 calendars it has distributed to retailers. They refuse to request a recall unless Greenpeace trumps up with a quarter of a million dollars "for costs and lost profits."

Not a good look.  As Greenpeace regretfully says, they can't pay that, as it is not the best use of donor money.

The organization confirmed that it had returned all royalty payments and ended its relationship with Workman.

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