War Criminals are not welcome in Hong Kong

Press release - 19 March, 2003

Greenpeace activists stage action in front of Hong Kong Legislative Council, calling on the government not to be complicit in the illegal war on Iraq

Greenpeace today demonstrated its support for the motion being tabled in the Legislative Council opposing the waging of war on Iraq. While expressing its support, Greenpeace also urged the Hong Kong government to deny access to US and UK military ships for Hong Kong port calls.

Greenpeace volunteers staged the protest outside the Legislative Council, illustrating their point with a large banner reading War Criminals are not welcome in Hong Kong, and carrying the image of Greenpeace s February 20th action projecting a peace symbol on to the bow of the USS Blue Ridge. In front of the banner one volunteer portraying President Bush extended his bloodied hand, which was not accepted by Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa, portrayed by another volunteer. The protest was designed to illustrate Greenpeace s call for the Hong Kong government not to be complicit in this illegal war. The government has been providing port access and facilities to the US military machine in its build-up to a war, which will kill tens of thousands of innocent people.

On February 20th, Greenpeace volunteers projected a giant peace symbol onto the US warship USS Blue Ridge, the command ship of the US Seventh Fleet in the Western Pacific, in Hong Kong harbour. The US aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, also part of the Seventh Fleet and another carrier, USS Constellation, both re- supplied in Hong Kong last November, en route to the Persian Gulf in preparation for the military attack on Iraq.

"Hong Kong people are against the war. All previous polls have indicated that the majority of people do not support this war. The government should not be complicit with this illegal war by using tax payers money, directly or indirectly, to support the war. It should not make any financial contribution, or continue to allow US and UK military vessels to enter Hong Kong waters,"said Lo Sze Ping, Greenpeace Campaigns Director. "We do not want to see our hands covered with blood. The government should clearly disassociate itself from the US war machine."

Greenpeace has been campaigning globally against the war on Iraq. A unilateral pre-emptive strike on Iraq is an act of aggression violating the UN Charter. Greenpeace urges member states of the UN to convene an emergency meeting of the General Assembly to invoke Resolution 377 Uniting for Peace. Greenpeace also calls on all people and governments of the world to act immediately to stop this illegal war.

VVPR info: Footage & stills available at Greenpeace International: Photo Desk, tel.: +31 20 5249597 Video Desk, tel.: +31 20 5249509/544