Kumi Naidoo - the international head of Greenpeace - is currently in a Greenlandic jail following his stand against Cairn Energy's reckless oil drilling here in the Arctic. And so on Father's Day yesterday, his daughter Naomi sent him this heartwarming letter in jail - which he replied to:
As my friends and flatmates go to visit their fathers on Father's Day, I am both proud and saddened to know that you are being held in custody in Greenland after standing up against the madness of Arctic oil drilling. Watching the videos of you braving the freezing water cannons to scale that massive Arctic oil rig, I can truthfully say that I will spend this father's day being proud to be your daughter.
There are many reasons why I am glad you are my father. First, you made sure that as a child I became aware of issues of social, economic, gender and environmental justice. It has never been more to clear to me that the Earth is a fragile place that needs protection, and, if it continues to be exploited in ways such as is currently being done in the Arctic, it will not be long before there is nothing left.
It seems completely crazy that the melting ice may spur a whole new oil rush there in the Arctic. It is clear to me, and all the many Greenpeace supporters across the world who are behind you, that brave and direct action like yours is the only hope we have that sanity may prevail over madness.
You are always in my thoughts and the thoughts of the rest of our family who are contacting me constantly incase of any news or updates. Most are asking whether you had time to pack the right clothes and dress up warm, worried that the Arctic is not quite ideal weather conditions for an African man. Others are worried about how you are coping on prison food. I have assured them not to worry and that you are hopefully catching up on your lack of sleep a little whilst there - I guess this is one positive outcome of you being in jail.
Please look after yourself as best as you can. I hope we can get in contact soon, or, even better, we won't need to because we will be able to see each other. If you are still speaking to me that is, as I hope you are not sitting in that cell blaming me... I know that my encouraging you to take the Greenpeace job was one of your major motivations.
Lots of love,
My Dearest Darling Naomi,
I hope this letter finds you well. I am so sorry not to be with you or even able to call you on Father's day. I just wanted you to know that I am fine , I miss you stacks, and as always I love you with all my heart.
The prison staff here in Greenland are kind and are treating us well. We get three decent meals a day (though I miss spicy food!) and we get two 30 min walks in the fresh air each day.
While this struggle to prevent the destruction of the Arctic might appear remote, it is fundamental for all of humanity. It is global warming that has threatened the livelihoods of millions and the melting of the Arctic ice cap leads to sea level rise around the world. Therefore it is important that we get our leaders to stop recklessly chasing the last drops of oil that exist at the expense of pursuing better alternatives.
And there is there is the threat of war and conflict as different nations fight over who should control the Arctic resources. So this is also about peace.
I look forward to seeing you soon and don't want you to worry about me. Take care babes. Love you lots, Daddy.