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Greenpeace Takes Global Action Against War

Greenpeace Takes Global Action Against War

Auckland, Wednesday, 5th February, 2003: Greenpeace New Zealand has issued an open letter to Prime Minister Helen Clark urging her to take a more pro-active stand against the impending war in Iraq.

“The Prime Minister must voice our county’s opposition to war. Will New Zealand remain silent while the United States pushes the United Nations into a war with Iraq?” said Robbie Kelman, Greenpeace New Zealand spokesperson.

Greenpeace has also taken peaceful direct action in Australia, France and the UK as part of an ongoing campaign against war.

In the UK, Greenpeace volunteers entered Southampton's Marchwood Military Port. Seven were arrested but five managed to climb inside tanks about to be loaded onto supply ships, destined for the Gulf, and secured the hatches behind them. Two more activists chained themselves to the tanks.
Three New Zealand activists were involved.

In Toulouse harbour, France, Greenpeace activists, protested the departure of military aircraft carrier to Turkey and demanded President Chirac explain why he is sending aircraft to Turkey given that he is publicly opposed to military action in Iraq. In Australia, activists inflated a hot air balloon outside
Parliament House in Canberra demanding that the Australian Government stop sending troops to Iraq and to 'give peace a chance'.

Speaking from the Rainbow Warrior, in Southhampton, Kiwi crew member, Phil Lloyd said: "Greenpeace will use every peaceful means available to try and stop an attack on Iraq. An
attack would lead to massive civilian suffering and increase the threat that weapons of mass destruction will be used."

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 basis for controlling them. It would require repeated armed interventions against numerous countries. The five nuclear powers are Britain, the US, China, France and Russia. Other states known to have nuclear weapons include India, Pakistan and Israel. The Bush administration has claimed that at least 13 countries are
pursuing biological weapons research.

Greenpeace believes the solution to the threat 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 USA.

One clear motivation for this war is oil. The same U.S. companies that maintain America's oil addiction and oppose the Kyoto Protocol are also backing the war against Iraq. A wave of protests against war for oil are scheduled to take place in the U.S. later today.

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