Nuclear-Free and Peace Highlights at Students of Sustainability Conference
At Musgrave Park and surrounds…
See website for tickets. Purchasing tickets keeps this national event going and is requested/suggested – though not required.
Friday –July 8
2:30- South Australia too good to waste: resisting proposed waste dumps Regina Mackenzie
South Australia is being targeted for both national and international radioactive waste facilities. Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners are strongly opposed to the national dump in the Flinders Ranges and people across the state have united against the recent Royal Commission findings that high-level nuclear waste be imported and buried. Regina McKenzie is an Adnyamathanha Traditional Owner and neighbour to the proposed national waste site and will explain the cultural significance of the nominated area. Karina Lester, Chairperson, Yankunytjatjara Native Title Aboriginal Corporation will talk about the history of nuclear testing in SA and the newly launched No Dump Alliance, that unites affected communities, trade unions, health professionals and the broader public to say that SA is too good to waste.
2:30- How to Organise a Direct Action – Jim Kremar, Phil Evans, Iain Pritchard
4:15- Food, industry and politics: why so many NGOs are fed up with Food Standards Australia New Zealand Jeremy Tager & Robin Taubenfeld
7pm- Peace/Demilitarise Films & Panel : Direct action for peace: Challenging US militarism and Australia’s support of it through create acts of resistance and transformation. Featuring two films by twice Academy Award nominated Australian documentary maker, David Bradbury. These films cover two creative actions aimed at hindering the Talisman Saber military excercises, combined US-AUS war games that take place every two years in central Queensland. Films & Q & A with filmmaker and activists.
Films: War on Trial (60min) and Quaker Grannies for Peace (20min)
Q & A with David Bradbury (filmmaker), Graeme Dunstan (Tiger Ploughshares activist) and Dawn Joyce (Quaker Granny)
WAR ON TRIAL: Film synopsis
“The mattock smote the side of the Tiger attack helicopter. Thud! After pedalling across the airport tarmac on a red tricycle, Bryan Law in his signature ten gallon hat and business suit had executed his mission. Seconds later, he was surrounded by military troops and security guards.
This was not the action of a crazed man, but of an educated, middle-aged teacher. Since the eighties there have been scores of disarmament actions in the Ploughshare tradition: In the words of the Old Testament prophets Isaiah and Micah, we are called to be peacemakers to … beat swords into ploughshares and spears into pruninghooks.
The Rocky Tiger Ploughshares action had been planned and announced in the Rockhampton Bulletin, but its execution still took the Australian Army by surprise.
A Tiger Attack helicopter was the focus of this audacious act, following the revelations of the Collateral Murder video showing innocent journalists and children being targeted in Iraq by US military gunners.
A seasoned peace activist, Bryan was well prepared for the trial, but fate intervened and he died on Easter Monday 2013 from a heart attack. However the story did not end there. Graeme Dunstan, a greying Buddhist peace pensioner, had accompanied Bryan to the action and he now faced the charges alone.
The stakes were high. Willful damage carries a penalty of up to ten years in prison. The repair bill was estimated at $162 000.
Encouraged by supporters gathered at Rockhampton for the trial, socially networked friends around the globe and a ‘Mackenzie friend’ in court, Graeme took up the challenge and together they put the government and the helicopter on trial.
The Ploughshares documentary shares this remarkable story of peacemaking in an era of perpetual war in the belief that … Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
QUAKER GRANNIES FOR PEACE: film synopsis
The Quaker Grannies for Peace is a documentary by twice Academy award nominated filmmaker David Bradbury. It is based on the action of three women who challenged the combined might of the Australian and US military over a cup of tea and lamingtons at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area during the Talisman Sabre exercise.
Talisman Sabre 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 Sabre exercises are some of the world’s largest military operations. Talisman Sabre 2015 involved 34,000 US and Australian personnel (22,000 US and 12,000 Aussie) engaged in nuclear-weapons-capable land, sea and air warfare practice.
As with the ‘knitting nannas’ there is a respect by fellow activists and even the authorities for community elders engaging in civil disobedience or as Jo Vallentine (a Quaker Granny) calls it ‘holy obedience’ — following a higher order when the law of the day does not do us justice.
The film shares this Quaker Grannies’ action – a faithful and heroic step for peace.
Sunday July 10
12:20- Consensus Decision Making and Working without Hierachies- Adrian Whitehead & Phil Evans
4:15- Walking Away From Uranium: campaigns to keep the poison in the ground Nat Wasley & others
Australia has around 30% of the world’s uranium resources and has been exploiting this since the 1950s, contaminating land and displacing communities both here and overseas. Uranium mine sites have ongoing tailings management issues and uranium from Australia was confirmed to be in the Fukushima Dai-Ichi reactors that experienced meltdown in 2011. Traditional Owners from areas in WA targeted for exploration will talk about proposals on their country and the staunch community campaign against them that includes regular nuclear free walks like the Walkatjurra Walkabout. The session will also include updates on the operating uranium mines in SA, with a reportback from the recent Lizard Bites Back ‘protestival’ at Olympic Dam mine.
7pm – National nuclear free strategy session Atomic Cinema/ Radioactive Reels
Wanting to get active in the nuclear free movement? This session will discuss upcoming events and brainstorm initiatives to grow the campaigns in campuses and throughout the broader community. Join Traditional Owners on the front line of resisting nuclear projects and campaigners from environment collectives, state and national environment groups to share ideas and scheme. All welcome who want to be active rather than radioactive!
Atomic Cinema / Radioactive Reels
Settle back for a deadly array of nuclear free films covering national and international issues. Short films include Walking for Country (WA), Yappala (showing the Indigenous Protected Area next door to the nuclear waste site) and footage from The Lizard Bites Back ‘protestival’.
Monday July 11
2:20 – Is Australia the 51st state? Challenging the US nuclear/military umbrella
Workshop with Australia based anti-military/peace activists. Facilitated by Robin Taubenfeld – Friends of the Earth Brisbane.
Every two years, Queensland hosts some of the world’s largest military exercises – Talisman Saber. The Talisman Saber war games see approximately 30,000 US & Aussie troops engage in joint land, sea and air nuclear-weapons capable military training. Along with Pine Gap, US troops stationed in Darwin, and numerous US military support facilities around Australia, Talisman Saber acts as a launch pad for US military aggression overseas and the face of US military might in our region. While Australian’s are largely unaware of the extent of Australian entanglement in US military politics, our neighbours in the region are paying attention. With its continued push to export uranium and support US military action, Australia is contributing to an ongoing nuclear arms race – and global instability. Explore your role in: stopping the exercises, closes the bases – and ending the wars!
4:15-Close Pine Gap: Uncle – Chris Tomlin
Find out more and Get INVOLVED in the campaign to US satellite spy base, Pine Gap, and end the U.S. military alliance.Alice Springs, 26th September – 3rd October 2016.