For the fourth year in a row, members of Marrickville Peace Group have made their own, special contribution to the official Armistice Day event. This year, six stood in solemn vigil outside the cordon surrounding the service at the Cenotaph in Martin Place. Each displayed the Quaker slogan “HONOUR THE WAR DEAD BY ENDING WAR!”.
A controversial Bill entitled the Defence Legislation Amendment (Enhancement of Defence Force Response to Emergencies) Bill 2020, is to be debated in the Senate.
According to lawyer Kelly Tranter, if the legislation is enacted it would authorise the use of foreign military and police forces and would give them the same immunity from legal liabilities as Australian forces. Tranter writes: “The use of a foreign army or militarised police force should not be allowed at all, and certainly not without the safeguard of citizens’ rights of access to courts.”1
The group rehearsed beforehand (using ‘Zoom’) and gathered at Addison Road Community Centre, at the Good Ship (Hut 9) for filming. The result can be seen here:-
That is the question MPG has put to the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds, in a letter.
MPG’s letter points to the fact that Australia has ignored the UN Secretary General’s call for a global ceasefire, by announcing an additional $270 billion expenditure on defence. Meanwhile it also ignores the risk of Covid-19 infection by hosting US marines in Darwin and by joining the RIMPAC naval exercises off the coast of Hawaii.
All of these points support the contention that the Australian government is more intent on preparing for war, than it is on maintaining peace. It is a sorry state of affairs. The full text of the letter can be read here.
As in past years, MPG will be active again on Remembrance Day – Monday, November 11. The group aims to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in Martin Place, Sydney. The wreath will have white and yellow flowers (white for peace and yellow in recognition of service personnel who have taken their own lives). It will bear the slogan used in previous actions – ‘Honour the War Dead by Ending War!’
Read the media release here.
A wreath, procured by Antoinette Riley, was laid at the Cenotaph. Peter Griffin (in the photo) and Nick Deane represented MPG.
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