• Share
  • Read Later
South Pacific nations andeco-protestersin several countries denounced the storming of Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior II by French commandos on Sunday, but France stood firm in its controversial plan to renewnuclear testingin September. The 15-nation South Pacific Forum said the action, in which 150 commandoes used tear gas to stop the ship before it reached French waters off the Mururoa atoll where eight tests are planned, was "totally over the top." To make matters worse, the incident fell on the 10th anniversary of the bombing of the first Rainbow Warrior by French agents in New Zealand. Protesters in London, Bonn, Hong Kong and other cities carried effigies of French President Jacques Chirac, chained themselves to the gates of French diplomatic compounds or held angry rallies. French Prime Minister Alain Juppe, unmoved, said the tests were in the national interest. "The French have no pangs of conscience about that," says TIME Paris reporter Bruce Crumley. "And in France today, Greenpeace has absolutely no power."