Greenpeace activists use life rafts and canoes to build a floating peace camp along the quayside in the Belgium port of Antwerp. Military water cannon visible in background.
The Rainbow Warrior, which was last seen blocking movements of
military hardware out of Southampton in the UK, today made a
surprise appearance in the Belgian port of Antwerp, where US
military materials, including helicopters, tanks, trucks and other
vehicles are being loaded onto transport ships.
Activists from the Warrior and a second Greenpeace ship, the
Argus, are using life rafts and canoes to build a floating peace
camp along the quayside.
American soldiers are using fire hoses on the activists to try
to and stop the protest, which was directed at two transport
vessels, Catherine and Republica di Roma.
In contrast, when Belgian police divers inspecting the ships for
bombs encountered Greenpeace protestors painting "No War" on the
bow of the "Catherine," they politely asked them to stop so they
could carry on their work. The activists were asked to come back
later, so the incomplete message "No" remains on the ship at the
moment, awaiting completion with "War." Belgium has been an
outspoken critic of the war effort.
Activists from Hungary, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands,
Turkey, Germany, France, New Zealand, Slovakia, United Kingdom,
Russia, Mexico, Denmark, Czech Republic, Finland and Italy are on
the scene now and continuing to oppose the movement of military
machinery in preparation for war.
"This proposed war is illegal, ill conceived and illegitimate,"
said Jan Vande Putte, of Greenpeace, speaking in Antwerp on site of
the protest. "It is illegal under the United Nations Charter to
launch a pre-emptive war. If this war does go ahead, it would be
disastrous for the people of Iraq, for the environment and for
international security. And it is not only morally wrong, but will
not solve the problem of weapons of mass destruction."
"Whatever conclusion Blix comes to today, the key issue is not
how we're going to get of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction but
how we're going rid the world of all weapons of mass destruction,"