Fourteen of Greenpeace volunteers entered Southampton's Marchwood Military Port and occupied tanks and jeeps queued up to be loaded on the roll-on/roll-off ferry Stena Shipper bound for the Gulf.
At 08:00 am this morning, 14 of our volunteers entered
Southampton's Marchwood Military Port and occupied tanks and jeeps
queued up to be loaded on the roll-on/roll-off ferry Stena Shipper
bound for the Gulf. Four of our volunteers, all women, evaded
Ministry of Defence speedboats to reach the tanks via the quayside,
while ten others cut a hole in the perimeter fence and reached the
vehicles from the land.
Some activists are chained to the exterior of the vehicles,
while others have climbed into tanks and secured the hatches behind
them. We've also started to paint the 'No War' message down the
sides of the military vehicles. Seven activists have already been
arrested, four are still locked inside the tanks and two others are
chained to them. Police are on the scene.
An American activist, Ashby 24, who climbed inside one of the tanks
and secured the hatch says "It's great to be able to do something
directly against the war, something I've been waiting to do since I
first heard about it."
Speaking from the Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace campaigner Blake
Lee Harwood said, "We will use every peaceful means available to
try and stop an attack on Iraq. The government has already ordered
the cutting of our anchor chain and attempted to have the Rainbow
Warrior thrown out of Southampton but we will continue to find ways
to oppose this war which will have disastrous consequences. An
attack on Iraq would lead to massive civilian suffering and
increase the chances that weapons of mass destruction will be
Protests against the war with Iraq were also held in Australia
and France today. Greenpeace volunteers in Toulouse, France are in
the water trying to stop the impending departure of the Charles de
Gaulle aircraft carrier that's scheduled to go to Turkey for an
unknown purpose. The activists are asking President Chirac "If
you're not supporting the war on Iraq, why are you sending this
carrier to Turkey?" In Australia activists inflated a hot air
balloon outside Parliament House in Canberra with a message
demanding that the Australian government stop sending troops to
Iraq and to 'give peace a chance'.
We are opposed to war in Iraq, whether or not an attack is
sanctioned by the United Nations, because it would have devastating
human and environmental consequences. According to military and
health experts a conventional war could kill many thousands of
people mainly civilians and many more could die from famine and
Bush and Blair have cited Saddam Hussein's desire to acquire
weapons of mass destruction as justification for an invasion.
However, pre-emptive military strikes against states possessing or
suspected of possessing chemical, biological or nuclear weapons do
not provide a stable basis for controlling them.
We believe the solution to weapons of mass destruction is
collective international arms control and disarmament. The
framework already exists, in the form of the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Biological Weapons Convention
and the Chemical Weapons Convention. But rather than being
strengthened, these global treaties are being undermined,
especially by the US.
The war is also clearly motivated by oil. The same forces that
are backing the war are also supporting the US's refusal to sign
the Kyoto Protocol, which would begin to combat climate change. The
same US companies that maintain America's oil addiction and oppose
the Kyoto Protocol are also backing the war against Iraq. The
British government has recently announced that one of the top five
priorities for foreign policy is securing access to energy
supplies. Yet Blair still denies that an attack on Iraq has
anything to do with oil.
What you can do
If you believe that George Bush's war stance is based on
hypocritical arms policies and sticky oil connections, make your
the UN ambassadors that sit on the Security Council and ask them to
uphold international law and refuse to approve a war in
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and ask him to oppose war in Iraq and
to refuse to allow UK troops to be used in such a war.
If you live in the US, consider calling on your city council to
pass a resolution against a war with Iraq. Twenty cities across the
US have already passed similar resolutions and efforts are underway
in dozens more communities. For more information, visit, www.citiesforpeace.org.
Join our campaign against ExxonMobil/ Esso, the world's biggest
oil company. For more information, visit www.stopesso.org.
Get more ideas for getting involved from www.moveon.org , www.protest.net and www.targetoil.com.