IPAN’s Fifth National Conference

Peace activists outside Robertson Barracks, Darwin. Click to enlarge photo.

The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) held its fifth national conference in Darwin over the weekend of August 2-4, 2019. Darwin was the chosen location because it has, since 2012, played host to a US Marine Air-Ground Task Force. The MAGTF reached its full compliment of 2,500 personnel in July.

The conference began with a public meeting at the Charles Darwin University’s (CDU’s) Waterfront Campus. The meeting was attended by about 90 people – most of these were interstate conference attendees, but a good proportion were local. Continue reading IPAN’s Fifth National Conference

Sexual slavery victims to be remembered

Statue honouring ‘comfort women’, Uniting Church in Ashfield

The 7th International Memorial Day for Japanese Military Sexual Slavery Victims will be commemorated on Wednesday August 14th. The event will also coincide with the 1400th time that regular Wednesday rallies have been held in Seoul that have called for a resolution of the Japanese military sexual slavery issue.

It is estimated that 200,000 girls and young women were forced into sexual slavery in colonial times and during WW2 by the Imperial Japanese Army. Countries where this systematic sexual abuse took place included Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaya, Manchukuo, Taiwan (then a Japanese dependency), the Dutch East Indies, Portuguese Timor, New Guinea and other Japanese-occupied territories. Continue reading Sexual slavery victims to be remembered

Ridding the world of nuclear weapons

The date July 7 marks two years since the historic adoption of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW or the treaty). To celebrate the occasion, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has launched a new resource entitled Campaigner’s Guide to Signature and Ratification of the TPNW.

ICAN was a major influence behind the negotiation of the TPNW and was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its endeavours. The treaty is wide ranging and aims to prohibit the use or the threat of use of nuclear weapons along with their development; production and testing; acquisition, possession and stockpiling; transfer; and stationing and deployment. Continue reading Ridding the world of nuclear weapons

War’s toll on children

Armed conflicts around the world are inflicting a devastating toll on children. Save the Children’s report Blast Injuries: The impact of explosive weapons on children in conflict states: “In 2017 nearly a fifth of all children were living close to conflict – with 142 million children living near areas of intense fighting. These children are more at risk of harm than any generation since the end of the Cold War. The number of verified incidents of all six grave violations against children in war – as  identified by the United Nations – continues to increase, with the reported number tripling since 2010.” Continue reading War’s toll on children

Screening of ‘The Coming War On China’ by John Pilger

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On Thursday April 4, 2019 the Marrickville Peace Group hosted a presentation of John Pilger’s 60th documentary ‘The Coming War on China’. The event was held in the Stirrup Gallery at the Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville.

In John Pilger’s words: “The aim of this film is to break a silence. The United  States and China may well be on a path to war. And a nuclear war is no longer unthinkable … This film is about shifting power and great danger. It is also a film about the human and the rise of an extraordinary resistance among people on the front line of a coming war, where the words “never again” have an urgent meaning for all of us.” Continue reading Screening of ‘The Coming War On China’ by John Pilger

Thoughts on climate change strike by school students

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On March 15, 2019 thousands of school students took part in rallies in Sydney and across the country to protest government inaction on climate change. While applauding these rallies, Nick Deane writes that concerns about climate change and the environment cannot be separated from concerns about militarism and war. Read the article here.