Stopping the war machine in Spain

Feature story - 14 March, 2003
It could be just days before the US goes to war in Iraq and still supplies for the war machine are on route. The Rainbow Warrior blocked the US and Spanish military port of Rota in the south of Spain, trying to stop the US military cargo ship Cape Horn from leaving port for the Gulf. The ship was boarded and several crew members were arrested.

The Rainbow Warrior captain Daniel Rizzoti was arrested among others by the Spanish Guardia Civil. The Rainbow Warrior was boarded last night while protesting in front of Rota Naval Base.

Before we even finished our coffee this morning we were surrounded by police boats and a helicopter was on the scene. At around 8:30 we heard radio transmission that the Cape Horn, a massive military cargo ship headed for the Gulf was preparing to leave. It wasn't long after that we saw military tug boats heading into the port to help maneuver the large vessel out of the port.

But within half an hour we had four inflatable boats in the water with activists, the Rainbow Warrior had started engines and we were raising the anchor. By this time there were another three military ships around us. To our surprise and delight they started to head out to sea, where did they think we were going?

Along with the inflatables we headed towards the entrance of the port, a narrow passage we can block and prevent the war machine from leaving.

The small police boats and helicopter quickly caught up with our activists while the military ships were already too far out to stop us. We are going to stop this military cargo from supplying this illegal and immoral war against Iraq.

By 9:30 the Rainbow Warrior was in position in front of the port entrance and we dropped our anchor.

Already two activists, an American man and Spanish woman, have been arrested as they attempted to chain themselves to buoys on the gate to the port. The police have also seized one of our inflatables but the boat crew were able to avoid arrest.

We are going to stay and stop this military cargo ship. The Spanish government is supporting a war on Iraq both politically at the UN and on the ground here in Rota, but the Spanish people are against this war. We are here stopping this shipment on behalf of the 90 percent of Spanish people who oppose the war with or without a UN resolution.

You can take action and show your opposition to the war by writing to the members of the UN Security Council and ask them to say no to war.