A fleet of 200 small craft manned by anti-nuclear protestors greeted the United States nuclear powered missile cruiser Long Beach when the vessel arrived off Auckland, New Zealand on Friday (1 October).
AV U.S. Nuclear warship "Long Beach" with small craft at bows
GV Small craft moving by warship with police launch trying to clear them
GV Demonstrators in rowing boat
SV Man in water clutching surf board
LV Men on surf boards in path of warship (2 shots)
GV Policeman gives warning from launch
LV Policemen board small craft carrying protestors
LV Former New Zealand (Labour) Cabinet Minister, Mr. Phillip Amos arrested by police onboard protestors' launch
GV PAN Police launch towing away protestors' vessel
SV PAN Protestors in small craft carrying anti-nuclear banner
AV U.S. "Long Beach" underway with small craft alongside
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Background: A fleet of 200 small craft manned by anti-nuclear protestors greeted the United States nuclear powered missile cruiser Long Beach when the vessel arrived off Auckland, New Zealand on Friday (1 October). The warship eventually entered port -- but not before a protracted demonstration against the visit.
SYNOPSIS: A wide variety of boats flew the flag of the Peace Squadron which aims to prevent nuclear vessels like the Long Beach entering New Zealand waters and enforce the concept of a nuclear free zone in the South Pacific.
Some demonstrators even jumped off their boats with surf boards and allowed the 17,000 tonne cruiser to bear down on them. At least once the Long Beach veered violently to avoid them. Miraculously no-one was hurt. The demonstrators brought the ship to a standstill for a time then police moved in to deal with the protestors.
Those arrested included the former Labour Government Cabinet Minister Mr. Phillip Amos. He placed his boat under the bows of the warship. It was his government that sent a frigate to protest against the French nuclear test programme in the South Pacific.
This was only the fourth visit by a nuclear ship to New Zealand. The Long Beach first visited the country 12 years ago -- then there wasn't ripple of protest.