Remember US Defence Department Assistant Secretary David Shear’s testimony before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in May last year? During this hearing Assistant Secretary Shear said that the Pentagon would be “placing additional air force assets in Australia” including “B-1 bombers and surveillance aircraft”. Continue reading B-1 bombers would undermine Australia’s security
On Thursday, February 18, Nick Deane (MPG) gave a talk to the Quakers’ Peace and Justice group on the topic of how Australia goes to war. He based his talk on the publication How Does Australia Go To War? produced by Australians for War Powers Reform. The talk lasted for about 20 minutes and a lively discussion followed. The full text of Nick’s address can be read here. The booklet can be viewed on-line here. Refer also to the Radio Skid Row interview relating to the same topic that was broadcast on February 25, 2016.
Within the Federal parliament, Andrew Wilkie MP (Independent member for Denison in Tasmania) has been a consistent and vocal opponent of Australia’s ongoing military invention in the Middle East. On January 14, he was interviewed by ABC RN Breakfast reporter, Alison Carabine, on the Turnbull government’s decision to decline a US request for more military assistance in Iraq and Syria.*
The request was originally sent to about 40 countries by US Defence Secretary Ash Carter in early December last year. The Turnbull government informed the US of its decision later that month. Continue reading Andrew Wilkie on Australia’s decision to reject US request for military support
On Sunday November 22, a public forum on ‘WW1, the Case of Fr Jerger and Civil Liberties’ was held in Marrickville.
In the context of the divisive WW1 conscription debates in Australia, Janice Garaty discussed how Fr Jerger was accused of allegedly expressing “disloyal sentiments” designed to discourage recruitment to the First Australian Imperial Force (AIF) during a sermon in Marrickville on September 26, 1916. Despite the lack of evidence for such a claim, Fr Jerger was eventually interned in February 1918 at the Holsworthy Military Camp and later deported in July 1920. Continue reading War as the pasture of bigots, and the solvent of principle
The official launch of ‘Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace Park’ took place on Sunday November 8. The event attracted around 80 people.
Organised by the Gallipoli Centenary Peace Campaign (GCPC*), speakers included John Butcher (GCPC Convenor), Allan Barnes (Marrickville Aboriginal Consultative Committee) who presented the ‘Welcome to Country’, Clr Sam Iskandar (Mayor, Marrickville Council), Clr Sylvie Ellsmore (Marrickville Council), Linda Burney MP (Member for Canterbury) and Jo Haylen MP (Member for Summer Hill). As well, Sydney’s Solidarity Choir performed at the launch.
One of the most evocative parts of the event was the reading of Denise Levertov’s poem ‘Talk in the Dark’. Continue reading Official launch of Marrickville Peace Park
A public forum on the bombing of Syria was hosted by the Independent Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) in Sydney on October 20.
Entitled ‘Is Bombing Syria the Right Strategy?’ the forum attracted over 50 people. Chaired by Denis Doherty (IPAN and Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition), the forum was addressed by two speakers: Nick Deane (IPAN and Marrickville Peace Group) and special guest, Vincent Emanuele, a former US Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq. He refused to do a third military tour and is now an anti-war veteran and peace activist.
Marty Morrison, who attended the forum, noted that Nick Deane outlined three main concerns about the bombing in Syria: (a) Of all the nations involved, Australia is perhaps the most secretive about its military operations and impact on civilians (b) Far from ‘degrading’ ISIS, the US-led bombing campaign is more likely to add to the suffering of Syrians in ISIS controlled areas and (c) The campaign risks being counter-productive in the sense that every misdirected bomb is a ‘recruitment poster’ for those at war with the US and its allies. Continue reading Is Bombing Syria the Right Strategy?