Anti-Submarine Protesters Can Be Funny
The visit of USS Springfield (SSN 761) to Halifax is causing the ever-vigilant Canadian anti-war protesters to get some press coverage:
"Is this really what we want our harbour to be used for?" Tamara Lorincz of the Halifax Peace Coalition said Tuesday.As the article mentions, U.S. subs visit Halifax and Victoria, B.C., fairly frequently; it's a good way to get a "foreign" port call when you're out doing ops during the Inter-Deployment Training Cycle (or whatever they're calling the time between deployments now). One of the things that make the visits interesting is the presence of the charmingly determined yet completely misinformed Canadian anti-nuclear activists. I never pulled into Halifax, but I did pull into Victoria a couple of times, and we were always met by the Raging Grannies, who sang funny songs. Like most hopelessly earnest protesters, they think they're making a statement, but they don't ever get anything actually changed (except they make life a little more difficult for people providing security at various places). They're kind of like the anti-war people in Congress here in the U.S.
"There’s risks to the citizens of Halifax, there’s risks to the navy personnel and it’s expensive. We shouldn’t be spending our precious tax dollars on welcoming effectively nuclear weapons from other countries into our harbour. We shouldn’t be part of this."...
..."Why are they here?" Ms. Lorincz said. "Are they making their way to the Middle East, to the Gulf? You’re hearing the war drums beating for Iran."...
...Halifax and Esquimalt, B.C., are bound by international agreements to accept nuclear-powered warships belonging to some of Canada’s closest allies, including the United States, Britain and France. Nanoose, B.C., is the only other Canadian port where they can tie up.
Historically, Halifax played host to about six nuclear-powered vessels a year, Sub-Lt. Blondin said Tuesday.
"There’s been quite a reduction over the years," he said.
Speaking of ineffective protesters, check out this anti-submarine protester in Scotland who had to get rescued by the very people he was protesting about:
The man, who was wearing a wetsuit, was one of four Scandinavian activists who tried to swim into the base. Three were stopped before they got inside the boundary.I'm sure he'll try to claim that the warmongers tortured him while he was in custody. Interestingly, the article goes on to say that his compatriots mentioned that he'd gotten a long way into the base; it also said they hadn't spoken to him yet. It doesn't say how they knew how far he'd gotten without having spoken to him.
A further four members of their group tried to enter the base by walking along the shoreline. They were arrested by armed military police as they entered its grounds.
The rescue was only launched after the other activists reported their missing colleague.
A spokesman for the MoD said: "Earlier this morning a group of swimmers were spotted and removed from the water outside Coulport naval base by police launch.
"In a separate incident, a concerned protester phoned into Coulport inquiring as to the whereabouts of another protester who was also believed to be in the water.
"An RAF search and rescue operation was conducted and he was found, removed from the water and taken to hospital for treatment for possible post- immersion shock.
"This individual is now in the custody of police."