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Australia: It’s #NotOurWar

#WagePeace strongly condemns the strikes in Syria.
wage-peace-sign-upwage-peace-donateBoth the 2003 war in Iraq and US bombing in Syria in 2013 were precipitated by so called chemical attacks.Chemical attacks are frequently discredited after the event. Certainly we know that this happened in 2003 with the ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’.

So-called chemical attacks appear to be used by the CIA propaganda machine to bolster sympathy for new attacks because of their ability to frighten populations. Our friend Simon Moyle in his blog post today wrote:

“Genuinely curious: why are people so much more horrified/outraged by chemical attacks than by bombings or shootings? The Australian military and our ‘allies’ kill people, including children, regularly. All explosives are indiscriminate in who they kill, maim, and terrorise. Why is there more outrage over this attack than the ones that have been happening for decades?”

WE STRONGLY OPPOSE any use of Australian forces in SYRIA including the SAS, training forces or whatever ridiculous excuse we give our involvement in overseas colonial wars.

It is #NotOurWar.

Scott Ludlum reminds us that,

Instead of jostling to be first in line to follow the US into its next deadly mis-calculation, we should be calling for cool heads to prevail. And we must take a look at our closest ally and acknowledge that the alliance is now a real danger to Australia.

Now more than ever we should distance ourselves from the US and say this is #NotOurWar

#NomoreUSwars #ClosePineGap

Yet, of course, the Australian Commonwealth shares our common wealth, largely accumulated by stealing land from Aboriginal people, with one of the largest war-making facilities in the world: the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap.

Yes! the JOINT war-making facility. We do it together the USA with Australia.

For more on that campaign see the Pine Gap 6.

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So Australians ARE already involved at Pine Gap: we collect maps and data about movements on the ground in war [and civilian] zones and contribute to a narrative of revenge, killing and destruction. Australians help identify targets for the killing.

We help to bomb the poor.


You can help our work and we promise to help you find ways to get involved and say #nomoreUSwars

  • Write/Tweet/Facebook: tell politicians it’s #NotOURwar; Don’t follow Trump into war
  • Use Twitter to contact politicians directly:

@marisepayne is the Defence Minister

@Billshorten has already come out to bow before the US president just two days after promising that he would not

@SenatorWong has denied that the Government are escalating involvement in #notourwar. Push her on this.

@SenatorLudlam: thank and retweet

Check out our list of peace movement tweeters for better information

and to get involved with #WagePeace

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Welcome to #WAGEPEACE

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WagePeace has sprung out of the peace and antimilitarism convergences that have occurred over the last 10 to 15 years in Australia.

You are receiving this letter because you have probably at sometime been inspired by or involved with the nonviolent actions, activities and events such as:

  • The Talisman Sabre campaigns through Peace Convergences at Rockhampton
  • The Rocky Tiger Ploughshares action and court case
  • The Pine Gap actions … either in 2007 or 2017!
  • Stop military training of the SAS at Swan Island
  • The Anti Bases Coalition
  • Opposing Raytheon or Lockheed

We have set up WagePeace to support and grow the ‘Peace Movement’, especially thosewage-peace-only-400x400 (1)taking bold action to challenge and oppose the wars and corporations of the US-Australian alliance.

We are trying to be more consistent in support for groups and individuals taking strong action.
And we want to help campaigns be focused and strategic in their choice of tactics. We need to develop the capacity to escalate!

twitter-logo @wagepeaceau 
We’ll have a website soon … right now we are still piggybacking on PeaceConvergence!
And we share a data platform with WACA.
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Peace Pilgrim’s Lament Activists face a year of court cases!

In 2016, six “Peace Pilgrims” were arrested lamenting war and praying for peace on the mountain and in the valley next to the secretive Pine Gap war-making facility near Alice Springs. The charges were thrown out of court and the protesters freed because of what Local Court Judge Daynor Trigg called a “nonsense” piece of legislation. The law required direction from Attorney General George Brandis to arrest and lay charges. The six, have now been charged following explicit signed consent from Mr Brandis.

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Jim Dowling, Andy Paine, Tim Webb and Franz Dowling of Brisbane, along with Margaret Pestorius and Paul Christie of Cairns, are each charged with ‘Unlawful Entry’ under the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act 1952 (Cth). They face seven years in prison for these acts of faith, prayer and healing.
Join us for more actions in Alice of course!

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Read more



LockoutLockheed#LockoutLockheed!

In partnership with the Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance (WACA), students from the University of Melbourne have begun a campaign to lock out Lockheed Martin from their campus.

The largest arms manufacturer in the world, Lockheed Martin have gone into partnership with Melbourne Uni and RMIT to provide PhD scholarships through their currently-under-construction STELaRLab (Science, Technology, Engineering Leadership & Research Laboratory).

To get involved, like the Facebook page – events will be posted there.

To keep up to date with WACA, or to get involved, check out their FacebookTwitter or website.


Graeme Dunstan Reports from Peace Bus 

AValon Graeme banners

The Jonah Moment at Avalon ARMS FAIR

My approach to #DisarmAvalon2017 action was informed by the calling to ploughshare an F35 and the mystery of how this might be accomplished and when.

#DisarmAvalon2017 was a campaign aimed at disrupting if not preventing the arms fair to be produced in association with the long established and hugely popular Avalon Airshow. Named the Avalon Aerospace and Defence Exposition, it was the second such and it is now the biggest arms fair in the southern hemisphere.

On Saturday 4 Feb, the two Australian owned F35s were billed to do a fly past for the Airshow patrons before they departed for Amberley en route to Guam. Instead the Airshow patrons got an announcement that the flight had been cancelled for fear that lightning storms might upset its dicky systems. The F35s were removed from static display and the Airshow punters saw no fly pasts on either of the public days of the Airshow. The F35s departed for Amberley on the Monday after the Airshow had closed.

We had set out to target and discredit the F35 as a costly folly of unbridled military spending and had been rewarded with a major self inflicted wound by the F35 handlers themselves. So it goes.

Read more


Christians Opposing Militarism in Christianity – Sword to Ploughshare-Hoe

C16196060_10155158050102164_9128641188822143710_natholic Workers removed a sword from a cross at an ANZAC memorial in the Brisbane Toowong cemetery. They wanted to disturb militarism in Christianity and restore its nonviolent tradition.

Employing blacksmith tools and skills they began the conversion of the sword into a garden hoe, enfleshing the prophecy of Isaiah 2 “they shall beat their swords into ploughshares”.

Read more

 


IPAN – Independent Peaceful Australia Network

Keep Australia out of US warsjim
A Public Call for An Independent and Peaceful Australian Foreign Policy

IPAN have initiated a Statement that they wish to be displayed in newspapers. It begins

“We the undersigned are deeply concerned with the growing threat of another major world war. We are alarmed that as a compliant ally of the US, Australia will be dragged into another US provoked war with devastating consequences for people and the environment…..”

Read more…


The latest from Senator Scott Ludlam’s Office

Senator Ludlam holds the Portfolio for Defence and Veterans affairs. Scott Ludlam continues to make erudite and helpful Contributions to the peace movement.

Here is his latest media release on the bombing of Mosul last week.


COMING UP: Get involved …



Canberra marchFrontier Wars ‘Lest We Forget’ Ceremonies, Performances, Marches

With the leadership of Aboriginal elders and communities peace movement people have participated in the “Frontier Wars Lest We Forget” ANZAC eve and ANZAC day memorials.

For info about Anzac Frontier Wars work…contact Bec Horridge in Canberra.

In Cairns FNQ

Gimuy Peace Pilgrims will organise a Frontier Wars ‘Lest We Forget’ ceremony in Gimuy on the 24th April ANZAC Eve. Check out the Facebook event for more info.

Peace Pilgrims in Cairns have made a video about how smaller regional communities might develop a Frontier Wars ceremony in their towns.

VIDEO THUMBNAILGimuy Peace Pilgrims want to support regional towns and communities to consider organising a similar event. We can transform the meaning of ANZAC to make it  relevant and REAL; to include all battles and all
affected by war and militarism.

We see these wars as part of Australia’s story. Without facing up to this history, we do not resolve the injustices of Australia. And we may not be able to move people to oppose and think clearly about other wars.

‘Lest we forget’ ceremony at Gimuy 2016


Peace Convergence: TS17
Every two years, Australia hosts some of the world’s largest military operations, Exercise Talisman Saber, a joint US-AUS combined force training which sees thousands of personnel engaging in land, sea air manoeuvres: live firing, bombing practice, the use of sonar, on shore landings – and nuclear powered and nuclear-weapons-capable vessels.

With support locations in cities around the country, the majority of the action takes place in Queensland, on and around the Great Barrier Reef, in the Northern Territory and in the Coral, Arafura and Timor Seas. Talisman Saber 2017, set to involved 33,000 personnel, will commence in June with its major live component taking place July 8-25.

Read more

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Peace Witness in a Time of Endless War
Retreat and Workshop with nonviolent action at HQJOC
HQ Joint Operations Command : down the road at Bungendore

Sun, Apr 23, 2017 4:00pm
Fri, Apr 28, 2017 2:00pm

quaker-granniesThe third Quaker-led gathering/workshop for Putting and End to War (PEtW). We aim to draw forth skilled occupation of public places and embolden public imagination to further peace and disarmament. Together, we will affirm the elders of this peace work, draw strength from Quaker testimony, familiarise ourselves with contemporary peace activism, and skill up in the use of digital media to get our witness noticed.
Read more


So very much to be involved in. We look forward to hearing from you! Share any or all these links on Facebook! Send the email to a friend who may not know so many hopeful things are happening in Australia.

Donate through our Chuffed account or contact us at margaret@cairnspeacebypeace.org for a regular direct debit.

With thanks to our friends at WACA for the use of their Nationbuilder data platform!

Yours in peace, for the team at Wage Peace,

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Tell Kevin Andrews: #dontbombSyria

More war cries from a dying government. Say no!

WedonotsupportbombingSyria vers2hashtagsTell Kevin Andrews: don’t bomb Syrians.

As we watch heart breaking stories of Syrian refugees walking to Macedonia, our Prime Minister is gunning to spend more of our tax dollars to bomb Syria. And it won’t stop IS.

Bombing means more civilians die, less of our tax spent on Australians and a step backwards for a peaceful and secure world, all to save Abbott’s sinking ship of a government. What a deadly, self-serving tactic!

We tried calling Kevin Andrews in Canberra on (02) 6277 7800 and at his
electoral office in Doncaster, Melbourne on (03) 9848 9900 but got a Ministerial snub – they hung up on us.

So let’s all email bomb his office to show we won’t be silenced. You can still call, but be prepared not to be listened to!

Some tips on what to write:

Your name and state where you live.

Feel free to politely and courteously state your mind yet also send a consistent message by including the following points.

You are against Australia bombing Syria because:

-We don’t have the consent of the Syrian government for air strikes therefore any bombing will be aggressive acts that will escalate conflict in the region.

-Australian bombs may hit some IS positions but will kill Syrian civilians already facing a terrible humanitarian crisis.

-You are against the Abbott government spending your tax dollars on self-serving scare mongering.

-You’d rather the $500 million a year currently spent on bombing Islamic State spent in Australia on education and job creation for young people here who might be at risk of being radicalised. The best way to keep Australia safe!

Thank you for taking action for a peaceful, just and safe Australia and world.

Together we are powerful!! warnotending

More information on why more bombs won’t work.

Bombing IS in Iraq and possibly expanding our campaign into Syria is a bad idea for (4) reasons.

  1. It increases the terrorist threat in Australia. Innocent civilians are being killed already in US led bombings of Syria and Iraq. This not only radicalises people in the region who might otherwise be our allies, it gives Islamic State propaganda to recruit disenfranchised youth in Australia and elsewhere. An expansion into Syria will only give IS more footage and propaganda. 
  1. It’s ineffective. The US has been bombing IS for nearly 12 months in Iraq and Syria. No territory has been lost by IS, and because of the politics of the region, it serves only to secure Islamic State more support from weighty Sunni supporters in the region who fear an Iranian backed Shi’ite dominance of the region. Wealthy Saudi supporters may not like Islamic State, but they seem as a crucial counter weight in the region. By bombing the Islamic State, we are giving enormous weight to the Shi’ite push to dominate the region, and again this scares would be allies of ours into supporting, financially, the Islamic State. 
  1. It does not serve Australian interests. The US has been pushing for more States to bomb IS in Syria. If Australia goes ahead, along with Canada, we will be the only Western nation to be bombing both sides of the border. This gives the USA legitimacy in its bombing of Syria. China, Australia’s largest trading partner, has spoken against any intervention in Syria. If we follow the US into this war on Syria, we are saying to our neighbours and trading partners “whatever the US does, we will do.” This could have very serious political and economic costs to Australia in the near future.
  1. It’s expensive. Aside from killing people just trying to live in the area, its costing Australian taxpayers half a billion dollars a year to bomb the Middle East. That’s money that could be spent on education and employment programs for young people in Australia- eroding the risk of home grown terrorist threat.

_______________________________________________________

Our colleagues at Independent Peaceful Australia (IPAN) have issued the following Media Release:

 

August 21, 2015

Peace activists across the nation are united in their anger at the announcement

that Australia will now join the US in bombing targets in Syria. The Independent

Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) is a network of peace groups with affiliates in

every State and Territory. It has consistently opposed the use of military power

to solve international problems and believes that Australia has lost its

independence through too close an alliance with the USA.

 

Nick Deane, spokesman for IPAN says

“After more than a decade, it should be clear that military intervention in the

Middle East has been an utter failure. It has achieved no worthwhile outcome in

Iraq, instead reducing that once prosperous nation to destitution. Many

respected observers attribute the growth of fundamentalist militarism to the

large scale Western interventions in the Middle East over the past few decades.

Intervention hasn’t worked and it isn’t working. It is time for us to admit this and

seek new strategies. Why persist in repeating the patterns that we can all see to

be failing?

 

Significantly, once again, our nation’s military commitment has been ramped up

without any debate in our Parliament. One back-bencher (Dan Tehan) floats the

idea, and the next week the government follows his suggestion.

Increasing our military activity in this way, which will undoubtedly mean the

deaths of more civilians as a result of our government’s actions, is not in

Australia’s best interests. Besides, this is blatant ‘mission creep’, whatever its

proponents might say.

 

It is time for the Defence Establishment to wake up to the realization that

increased military activity does nothing more than add fuel to the fire that is ISIS.

If we genuinely want to live in a peaceful and independent Australia, we must

end our proclivity for engaging in military action whenever it suits the interests

of the USA.”

 

Nick Deane

0420 526 929

17 Riverside Crescent

Marrickville 2204

#DontbombSyria !!!

WedonotsupportbombingSyria vers2hashtags

Dear peace lovers,

The USA has asked Australia to expand its operation to bomb Islamic State positions in Iraq into Syria.

International relations experts like Michael Cornish are saying bombing Syria would be highly risky, impractical and immoral for Australia 

Our reckless government will decide next week on Syrian air strikes and deepen our involvement in war.

We have four working days to tell Defence Minister Kevin Andrews #dontbombSyria!

Call and email him today. 

The Abbott government is gunning for bombing more baddies for their own desperate reasons, as this Labor MP recently warned.

However, unlike in Iraq, the U.S. does not have the consent of the Syrian government to bomb IS. Air strikes would be an open act of aggression in the political interest  of the U.S., the military industrial complex and not our national security.

Australian bombs might hit some Islamic State targets. But our tax dollars will certainly  kill and displace civilians already experiencing the biggest humanitarian crisis of current years, and arguably fuel more terror in the world.

Conservative media and Abbott are toting the assumption that Australians unanimously support bombing Syria. It’s our responsibility to say NO!

Send a strong message that there are Australians who want no part in the ‘death cult’ of USA’s wars.

Can you take five minutes to call and email Kevin Andrews? Here’s how. 

Together we can push for a peaceful Australia and the safety of millions of Syrians.

Lets get our community on the phone to Kevin Andrews! Call, email, share this message and create a storm on Twitter and Facebook with us!

Go go go!

Yours for peace,

Greg and the Peace Convergence team.

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4 Reasons Why We Shouldn’t Bomb Syria

Currently, the Australian government is considering expanding its bombing campaign against the Islamic State from Iraq into Syria. The popular notion seems to be that the Islamic State are bad and something needs to be done.

Bombing them in Iraq and possibly expanding our campaign into Syria is a bad idea for (4) reasons.

  1. It increases the terrorist threat in Australia. Innocent civilians are being killed already in US led bombings of Syria and Iraq. This not only radicalises people in the region who might otherwise be our allies, it gives Islamic State propaganda to recruit disenfranchised youth in Australia and elsewhere. An expansion into Syria will only give IS more footage and propaganda.

 

  1. It’s ineffective. The US has been bombing IS for nearly 12 months in Iraq and Syria. No territory has been lost by IS, and because of the politics of the region, it serves only to secure Islamic State more support from weighty Sunni supporters in the region who fear an Iranian backed Shi’ite dominance of the region. Wealthy Saudi supporters may not like Islamic State, but they seem as a crucial counter weight in the region. By bombing the Islamic State, we are giving enormous weight to the Shi’ite push to dominate the region, and again this scares would be allies of ours into supporting, financially, the Islamic State.

 

  1. It does not serve Australian interests. The US has been pushing for more States to bomb IS in Syria. If Australia goes ahead, along with Canada, we will be the only Western nation to be bombing both sides of the border. This gives the USA legitimacy in its bombing of Syria. China, Australia’s largest trading partner, has spoken against any intervention in Syria. If we follow the US into this war on Syria, we are saying to our neighbours and trading partners “whatever the US does, we will do.” This could have very serious political and economic costs to Australia in the near future.

 

  1. It’s expensive. Aside from killing people just trying to live in the area, its costing Australian taxpayers half a billion dollars a year to bomb the Middle East. That’s money that could be spent on education and employment programs for young people in Australia- eroding the risk of home grown terrorist threat.

 

The Australian government is bombing Syria, only to distract from its domestic failures. If enough of us ring the Defence Minister and voice our disapproval, we might make it look like its not such an easy win for the government and they might move on to something else.

Balloons 4 Peace

Dear friends,

A balloon is a toy – a tank is a killing machine. War is not a game. 

Tomorrow, Talisman Sabre war ‘games’ comes to the Rockhampton community in a family open day. Children and parents will wander around weapons and war displays, as if this is entertainment!  

 
This is more than macabre. Its the military hiding its horror and selling itself to children.
 
At Peace Convergence, we feel it is vital to send a clear message that weapons are not family entertainment. 
 
So we give out peace balloons every ‘open day’ to families to remind them that war is not entertainment. 

Imagine the rumble of tanks rolling through your town, helicopters buzzing your neighbourhood, the roar of fighter jets over head.  Today,  help us spread the message that weapons and war displays are not the place for the families and children of Rockhampton.

Can you help us promote peace and an alternative to the violence that comes from war making?

Our Peace Convergence social media campaign is going really well so far. Could you help spread Peace Balloons online? Share this graphic on your social media with the following post:

War is not family entertainment! Peace convergence is reminding people that weapons are not fun for children! Peace Balloons are floating around the Talisman Sabre military exercises’family open day’ in Rockhampton QLD. #warcosts #nomoreUSwars #pc15

which_way_do_i_point
Thank you for your ongoing participation in Peace Convergence.

Together we stand strong for peace.
Yours.
Robin and the #pc15 team.

Peace Convergence



Stop the War Rehearsals! July 4-18 2015
T: @peaceconvergenc

4 July – Independence from the USA Day

Media Release 28 June 2015
140701FourthJulyMural25
Fourth of July will be celebrated in Rockhampton as Independence from the USA Day with a public SpeakOut
11 am Saturday 4 July 2015
at the gates of Western Street Barracks
Western Street, Rockhampton.

“Consider it a pre-emptive strike for peace,” said SpeakOut host, veteran peace activist Graeme Dunstan of Peacebus.com.

“With an open mike, the event will be an opportunity for all those concerned about the endless wars into which the US military alliance has led us to speak up and speak out.”

“Far from bringing Australia security, the US alliance threatens our security by making enemies out of trading partners and engaging us in foreign wars in which no national interest is at stake.

“US Asian Pivot for example, which has stationed US Marines in Darwin and maybe a USAF B2 bomber base too, is aimed at “containing” China, our largest trading partner,” he said.

“More than ever we need an independent voice. Yet our politicians aren’t listening. Time for the voices of the people to be heard.”

The SpeakOut will mark the official start of the Shoalwater Peace Convergence, with people coming from all over Australia to Rockhampton to protest and non-violently disrupt the Talisman Sabre military exercises.

“Instead of spending $50 million on Talisman Sabre to train for future US wars of aggression, we need to step out from US patronage and make our own path, one in which we build a peaceful future with our neighbours and address our greatest security threat, climate change.”

Further information

http://peaceconvergence.org 
Graeme Dunstan  0407 951 688

Balloons 4 Peace

The story of the project

Balloons 4 Peace is a humble project to promote a message of peace to the people of Rockhampton during the biennial Talisman Saber military exercise.

Talisman Saber is a joint US-AUS military exercise that takes place every two years in Australia, primarily on the central coast of Queensland at Shoalwater Bay, north of Rockhampton. The Talisman Saber exercises are some of the world’s largest military operations. Talisman Sabre 2015 is expected to involve 34,000 US and Australian personnel (22,000 US and 12,000 Aussie) engaged in nuclear-weapons-capable land, sea and air warfare practice. Talisman Sabre 2015 is scheduled to take place from 7-18 July.

Every two years, as the war games are about to start, the military and the Rockhampton City Council host an Open Day to show off Aussie and US weaponry and the latest in warfare and surveillance technology. Children are invited to climb on armed vehicles, play with guns and pose as military personnel with a backdrop of the pomp and parade of military bands and other entertainment. Promoted as “family friendly”, the Open Day is a military PR exercise which invites children to feel comfortable around weapons of destruction, while failing to explain the real purpose of the machinery and the real costs of war.

Every two years, people from around Australia make the journey up to the Shoalwater region to join local community members concerned about the environmental, social and political impacts of nuclear-powered “Saber Rattling” in our region. We are a mixed group of teachers, social workers, filmmakers…people from all walks of life who believe that war is not the answer and that Australia should not be aligning itself with the US militarily. We believe in peaceful means for resolving conflict.

Since 2005, we have had the practice of using balloons as a symbol of peace and as part of our creative actions in the Rockhampton region.

Since, 2009 we have been attending the Talisman Saber Open Day and distributing Peace Balloons at the gates. We are heartened that many people accept them, carrying the peace message with them inside the expo and then back home – juxtaposing the messaging of military mite with a simple childish joy of colour and hope.

A balloon is a toy – a tank is a killing machine. War is not a game.

This year, we will again be handing out Peace Balloons at:

a.  the gates of the Talisman Saber Open Day in Rockhampton July 5
b.  NAIDOC Day in Rockhampton July 10
c.  Peace Parade in Yeppoon July 12

The balloons represent our desire to see a society where war making is not considered “family fun” or important for “economic development” of a region.

Handing out Peace Balloons is a simple act of promoting peace and an alternative to the violence that comes from war making…

We hope to see you outside the gates of the Talisman Saber Open Day in Rockhampton on July 5 – or that you will join us there in spirit!

We act as part of a larger network called the Peace Convergence. To see what other events are taking place or to learn more: www.peaceconvergence.org

How the funds will be used

We are raising money for balloons (of course!), balloon ties and helium.

We want to buy a thousand balloons @ $250 (this will have the peace design on it – see below).
One thousand balloons need a thousand ties @ $110
A large helium canister (this is the big cost) @ $536.42
And a regulator which is the little nozzle thingy for the helium tank @ $36.

Some of my other work

Here is a little video from 2013 when we handed out balloons outside the gates of the Rockhampton Showgrounds where the Open Day takes place. We have been engaging in peacemaking activities in the Rockhampton/Shoalwater Bay region since 2005!

B4P MB

Sydney Solidarity Action

Dear Sydney Peace Friends,

In two weeks’ time, some of the world’s largest military exercises will be taking place in central Qld from July 4-18. Talisman Sabre is a joint US-AUS rehearsal for war that takes place every two years in Australia, primarily on the central coast of Queensland at Shoalwater Bay, north of Rockhampton. Talisman Sabre 2015 is expected to involve 34,000 US and Australian personnel (22,000 US and 12,000 Aussie) engaged in nuclear-weapons-capable land, sea and air warfare practice. We need your help to organise meaningful creative resistance to Talisman Saber 2015!

Can’t make it to Rocky?  You can help with our our solidarity action in Sydney:

SOLIDARITY ACTION

END THE TALISMAN SABRE WAR GAMES

Action to support protests in Queensland

 

Monday 6 July @ 12 noon

Assemble Sydney Town Hall Square

Walk together to the Defence Plaza in Pitt Street

info 0418 668 098

WE WILL BE SINGING

If you would like to join our impromptu choir
singing outside the Defence Plaza,
please contact Cath on crytmeister@bigpond.com

__._,_.___

Concerns over reporting of South China Sea

I have been concerned with the recent increase in news coverage of China building up it’s military presence in the South China Sea. China, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam need to work out their issues non-violently, and there are serious issues around maritime borders.
Not helping this situation however, is the United States. It has drastically increased it’s military presence in Japan, Australia, Philippines and South Korea. Media reports are covering the Chinese build up without focusing at all on the US one. I am worried that the propaganda campaign to support a military campaign against China has already begun.
By allowing US troops to be stationed in Australia, effectively, we have not only chosen the US over China, but we have chosen military might as the solution to this diplomatic problem.
China is Australia’s largest trading partner. Our relationship with the US is strongest relationship Australia has with any other State. We got to this point out of fear. But what we do with it is up to us.
Australia is in a unique position to build relationships between the world’s two largest military powers. Unfortunately, we are overwhelmed with military spending, and lobbyists in Australia who push for military solutions. As any primary school kid will tell you, violence never solves issues, they only make them worse. Have a look at Iraq and Syria as an example.
As peace pilgrims, we can demonstrate how non-violence and hard work can solve problems where both sides will feel a sense of justice has prevailed- the opposite of the injustice of war.
By slowing down US/ Australian War Rehearsals, we will be highlighting the injustice of violence, and showing our political leaders that there are those of us who believe that these large, geopolitical problems can be worked out humanely