Information Warfare: February 4, 2003

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: As part of their anti-war movement, Greenpeace protesters boarded Motor Vessel Lyra off Southampton. The Lyra was waiting for a pilot to take her into Marchwood Military Port, when the protesters got on to the ship and set up a "peace camp" on the vessel's stern. The protesters were hosed with water by the crew of the ship and a police launch was soon at the scene. A Royal Navy spokesman would could not confirm that protesters were onboard the ship but did say that two Greenpeace rigid inflatable boats had attached themselves to the vessel's anchor. The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior was also at the scene. 

The Lyra is carrying military vehicles on its decks for possible deployment to Iraq but Greenpeace said they did not know what was in her hold. Their unnamed spokesman said that "this is part of Greenpeace's global campaign to prevent a military attack on Iraq which will kill thousands of civilians. This war is not justified".  Stephen Tindale, Director of Greenpeace in the UK, did tell the press that "we are determined to stop the headlong rush to a war which places a higher price on oil than on blood. War with Iraq would not make the world a safer place: it would increase support for terrorism and could lead to the use of weapons of mass destruction. The human and environmental impacts would be appalling and no one would benefit other than George Bush and oil companies like Esso." 

A Royal Navy spokesman said 21 police officers from the Hampshire and Ministry of Defense forces boarded the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior at 2200 February 1, from the Admiralty tug Powerful. Intending either to gain control of the ship or attach lines from the tug, they successfully severed the anchor chain and towed the offending vessel "to a place of safety". On 31 January, the government was granted a High Court injunction banning anti-war protesters from boarding any military ships, but the order did not ban the Rainbow Warrior from the area. Greenpeace got off lightly with this stunt, as French Secret Service (DGSE) Agents sunk the original Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand's Auckland Harbor in 1985. Imagine how the French would have handled Greenpeace interfering with their interests during wartime. - Adam Geibel

 


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