It is with great joy that we share the news from last month of the Pine Gap 4 acquittal. A true victory amongst our many glorious defeats! If you haven’t read or heard the news visit http://www.peaceconvergence.com/news/50
This is a significant win as it sets a precedent for how the act under which they were charged (Defence Special Undertakings Act) can be applied, effectively preventing its use against those who participate in peaceful nonviolent direct action at Pine Gap. Our congratulations to Donna, Adele, Jim and Brian.
The Pine Gap 4 are now inviting others to join them for further resistance at Pine Gap this April on ANZAC day. Visit http://www.cairnspeacebypeace.org for more details.
Shoalwater arrestees go to court this month. Court cases are scheduled for 20th and 27th March. Send messages of solidarity and support to firstname.lastname@example.org (we will pass them on). Read press release below.
This is an important time to be challenging our relationship with the United States having just marked the fifth year of war in Iraq. Recently President Bush vetoed legislation that would ban the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods such as waterboarding (a method that simulates drowning) to break suspected terrorists. The Chamorro people hold concerns that the US military buildup will accelerate the destruction of their culture – 17,000 US marines will be moving to Guam beginning in 2012. http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&refer=home&sid=adsKeN_fGEt0
An aerial view of the Futenma U.S. Marine Base in Futenma City, Okinawa prefecture, Japan, taken on July 27, 2006. The Marines plan to move 17,000 personnel and dependents to Guam from Okinawa beginning in 2012, boosting the island’s population by 10 percent. House prices have risen 70 percent since 2003 on expectations of increased demand.
The Peace Convergence Team
What YOU can do!
Read Press Release:
SUPPORT FOR SHOALWATER BAY ARESTEES IN COURT PROCEEDINGS 2008
21 people were arrested during the Peace Convergence at Shoalwater Bay in June 2007. These people were arrested for peaceful acts of civil disobedience against the Talisman Sabre war games held at Shaolwater Bay. A number of them will be appearing in the Yeppoon and Rockhampton Courts in the next two months. People will be travelling from as far as Melbourne to attend court.
These Court proceedings can be an opportunity to bring attention to the use of Shoalwater Bay for the Talisman Sabre war games.
It is also an opportunity for locals and those appearing in court to catch up and make contact for the Peace Convergence at Shoalwater Bay in 2009.
If you can attend any of the following court proceedings that would be great. If you can arrive a half hour before court to hold banners, leaflet, run a stall etc…it would be much appreciated.
March 20 – 10 am Court 1 Yeppoon Magistrates Court
Emma Brindal and Paul Hood from Brisbane
Commonwealth Trespass charge – Charged with entering the Shoalwater Bay Training Area at the Byfield gate. The prosecution states that they sat down and refused to move from the area.
Contact: Emma Brindal 0411 084 727
MARCH 27 – 9:30 am Court 1 Yeppoon Magistrates Court
June Norman from Brisbane, Rod Castle, Wayne Reed and Neels Jack from Malany in Queensland and Kerry Priest and Kirsty from Melbourne.
Commonwealth Trespass – The prosecution states that the above people entered the Shoalwater Bay Training Area and camped out inside the area for four days during the Talisman Sabre war games.
Contact: June Norman 33140306 / 0438 169 414
For the remaining court appearences a reminder will be sent out in April with court times and further details.
APRIL 24 – Yeppoon Magistrates Court
The Samuel Hill 5, Sarah Williams, Simon Reeves, Krystal Spencer and Simon Moyle from Melbourne.
Commonwealth Trespass – The prosecution states that the group entered the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area, and walked openly down the middle of the Samuel Hill Airstrip inside the base.
Write to the US ambassador in Australia regarding the approval of the waterboarding technique. See sample letter below:
Yarralumla, ACT 2600
Dear Ambassador McCallum,
On March 8, 2008 President Bush became the first US president to use the veto power to preserve the right to torture. We would be grateful if you could forward us details and specifications of the waterboarding torture technique so that we may offer the Australian public and media the opportunity to experience this first hand and to decide whether or not this contravenes the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
As allies of the US we have a right to be guaranteed by the US government that no suspected or actual enemy combatant or suspected or actual terrorist faces “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” when captured by Australian military forces and delivered directly to US military custody or to US military custody via NATO forces. We are acutely aware of what happened at Abu Ghraib and the role that Fort Huachuca, Arizona, for example, plays in teaching degradation and torture techniques ( an excellent reference is: McCoy, Alfred W. A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation From the Cold War to the War on Terror , Metropolitan Books, New York, 2006).
- Shoalwater Arrestees in court April 24.
- Hiroshima Day August 6 & Nagasaki Day August 9.
- International Day of Peace September 21.
- Asia Pacific Defence Security Exhibition in Adelaide this November 11-13.
- Talisman Sabre July 6-26 2009