Who does what on a Greenpeace protest?

There are dozens of roles that combine to make each Greenpeace action a success. Here are some of the things you can do as an activist.


Greenpeace activists peacefully expose, confront or disrupt environmental injustice. They often directly target the companies or government bodies responsible for the damage, using creative tactics to disrupt their operations and draw public attention to what they’re doing. These kinds of protests are known as non-violent direct actions (or just ‘actions’).

Every Greenpeace action is different, but there’s one thing they all have in common: dozens of people work together to make them a success, combining their skills in a wide range of different roles.

If you’re thinking of becoming an activist, have a look through the different roles below. Which one would you most like to do?



Low risk • Not too physical
Communicators talk to passers-by as the action unfolds, answering questions and building support for the campaign. You might be handing out flyers, asking people to sign a petition, or just having conversations.


High risk • Quite physical
Lock-ons attach themselves to something, allowing them to occupy a space for a long time. Lock-ons can always self-release, but will often stay put until the police cut them free.

Welfare and legal support

Low risk • Not too physical
People in welfare and legal support roles work behind the scenes to provide immediate legal support and care to activists. That could include helping them reflect on the action, making sure they have enough to eat, or linking them up with solicitors.


Low risk • Not too physical
Almost every action needs a driver, helping us bring people and props to the scene of the action. Drivers don’t use their own personal vehicles, and will be buddied up to help with navigation.


High risk • Not too physical
Blockers stop people from interrupting an action while it’s getting underway. They might stand in a doorway or at the bottom of a ladder, making sure other activists have time to do their job safely.


Medium risk • Not too physical
Whilst it's everyone's responsibility to practise non-violence and keep things calm, peacekeepers are there to diffuse tense situations with staff, security guards or police who are unhappy with our decision to protest.


High risk • Very physical
Greenpeace climbers enable us to take action high above ground. They’ll access hard-to-reach spaces to draw public attention, or block a destructive activity.

Boat crew

Medium risk • Quite physical
Boat crews allow us to take action on water, using our fleet of small motor vessels. It’s less physical than climbing, but you need to be ok with getting cold and wet!

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