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Protestors fail to stop Aussie warship
April 08, 2003 20:15 IST
Anti-war protestors on Tuesday tried to stop an Australian warship from sailing for the Persian Gulf.
They attached themselves to the bow and stern of the HMAS Sydney and circled the vessel, a guided missile frigate, in boats and even surfboards as it tried to leave Sydney harbour.
Two Greenpeace activists attached themselves with ropes from the front and the rear of the vessel, while protestors in other boats cast a mooring rope across the path of the frigate, forcing it to return to its base in the middle of Sydney Harbor.
It was only after the Sydney Water police cut free the Greenpeace protestors, one of whom unfurled a 'No war' banner, and cleared the ship's path that the frigate, flanked by police boats, finally steamed out of port.
According to CNN, a Greenpeace spokesman said they had taken the action to protest Australia's on-going involvement in the conflict in Iraq and also to protest against the conflict itself.
The spokesman said Greenpeace believed the war to be illegal according to United Nations conventions and also immoral in the current context.
Australia has committed around 2,000 troops to the US-led war in Iraq, including navy vessels, and a squadron of fighter jets.