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 facts that Australia has ignored the UN Secretary General’s call for a global ceasefire, by announcing an additional $270billion 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!’
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→
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→
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.
On November 11th members of Marrickville Peace Group plan to attend the ‘official’ Remembrance Day ceremony at the War Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney. Whilst there, the group will display the slogan ‘Honour the War Dead by Ending War!’ and have a flyer with a message of peace ready for distribution.
Last year MPG members unfurled a banner with the same slogan at the Cenotaph. It caused some negative responses, so this year we aim to be more discrete. We intend hanging small (A5) placards, with the same slogan, around our necks.
MPG would be delighted if others choose to stand with the group.