#9  Nick Deane on how Australia goes to war – Radio Skid Row: ‘Close to Home’ with Colin Hesse – Feb 25, 2016

Radio Skid RowIn this interview with Colin Hesse, Nick Deane notes that the Australian constitution in effect bestow unilateral ‘war powers’ on the Prime Minister. It is argued that in a representative democracy, such a critical power should be vested in the Parliament rather than the Prime Minister or executive authority.1

In addition, the changing role of the US controlled spy base at Pine Gap in Central Australia is also discussed. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Pine Gap Treaty. Protests against Pine Gap are planned for late September and early October this year.2

Listen to the interview here.

1. Download a copy of the free booklet How Australia Goes to War? published by Australians for War Powers Reform here.
2. Read more about the changing role of Pine Gap here.

#8  Prof Richard Tanter on Pine Gap – 3CR Melbourne 855AM: Radioactive Show – Feb 13, 2016

pine gap nautilus instituteThis program explores the operations and history of the top secret Pine Gap Joint Defence Facility, located 16 kilometres southwest of Alice Springs on Arrernte land.

This episode is part 1 of 2 and features a conversation with Prof Richard Tanter, an academic and activist, who has studied, taught and authored many pieces about Pine Gap and Australia’s defence policy over the decades.


Pine Gap has been described as “perhaps the most important United States intelligence facility outside that country, playing a vital role in the collection of a very wide range of signals intelligence, providing early warning ballistic missile launches, targetting of nuclear weapons, providing battlefield intelligence data for United States armed forces operating in Afghanistan and elsewhere … critically supporting United States and Japanese missile defence, supporting arms control verification, and contributing targetting data to United States drone attacks.”1

The Independent Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) will be holding a Public Forum on Friday September 30 and National Conference on Saturday October 1, 2016 in Alice Springs. These events will form part of the mass convergence focusing on Pine Gap from September 25 to mark the 50th anniversary of the original signing of the Pine Gap Treaty.

1. Richard Tanter, ‘Joint Australian-US Defence Facility – Pine Gap’, Nautilus Institute, accessed Feb 25, 2016.

#7  Vince Emanuele on the documentary We Are Many – 612 ABC Brisbane: ‘Mornings’ with Steve Austin – Nov 2, 2015

No War Sydney Opera House 18Mar2003February 15, 2003 marked a day of co-ordinated protests around the world in which over 15 million people in more than 600 cities expressed opposition to the imminent Iraq War. Social movement researchers have described this global event as “the largest protest event in human history.”

It is estimated that that around one million Australians took part in theses protests against the war. In Sydney the slogan “No War” was painted on one of the Sydney Opera House’s sails by anti-war activists Will Saunders and David Burgess.

A new documentary We Are Many comprises archival clips and contemporary interviews with the organisers and sympathisers of these protests, especially in Britain. It also reveals how, after 9/11, Britain’s political rulers helped spread the lie about Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction” and eventually gained parliamentary backing to join the US-led invasion of Iraq.

ABC ‘Mornings’ presenter, Steve Austin, interviewed Vince Emanuele who is an Iraq veteran and peace activist from the US and who is featured in the film.

Listen to the interview here.

#6  Nick Deane on cutting military ties with Israel – Radio 2SER: ‘Radio Atticus’ – Aug 6, 2015

After circulating a media release on August 4 in which MPG called for the ending of military ties with Israel, Nick Deane, a spokesperson for the group, was interviewed by ‘Radio Atticus’ presenter Annamarie Reyes.

MPG has long campaigned for the cutting of military ties with States that have records of egregious and systematic violations of human rights.

MPG’s media release emphasised that illegal settlements in the West Bank are “approved and built with impunity while Palestinian villages like Susiya are refused planning permission to build houses and put in water supplies. Daily life for Palestinians is constrained by the endless surveillance, movement controls and harassment of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) but deaths of Palestinians are seldom reported in the press here”.

The media release also welcomed the decision of the NSW Greens for Palestine to launch a campaign to cut Australian military ties with Israel. More information on this initiative can be found here.

MPG’s media release can be read here. The full interview with Nick Deane can be heard here – first segment of August 6 program – duration 6:50 mins.

#5  Judith Peppard’s documentary ‘No Turning Back’ – Radio Adelaide: ‘Story Chaser’ – Mar 31, 2015

In this celebration of women’s daring and defiance, Judith Peppard’s radio documentary recounts the story and experiences of six women – the Sand Dragons – who ventured to Alice Springs in 1987 to protest at the highly secretive joint communications facility at Pine Gap.

Here’s a couple of excerpts from the program:

“You see in some ways, actions (like the Pine Gap protest) are as much about empowering individuals as making a protest because I think that this whole secrecy of governments and surveillance is such that it’s very easy as a citizen to feel disempowered.” (Rosemary Taylor)

“I’m also a mother and I have worked for many years with youth and I felt compelled to protest about the lack of a future for our planet due the presence of this spy base. I’ve got no previous convictions and I feel regret that this is the only way that … I could be heard by the Australian community.” (Liz Veseley)

Listen to the inspiring story of the Sand Dragons here. Also click the ‘Read More’ button to hear Nikki Marcel’s interview with Judith Peppard about the making of the documentary.

#4  Eric Schlosser on nuclear weapons and the illusion of safety – ABC RN: ‘Big Ideas’ – Feb 26, 2015

In this lecture, US author and journalist, Eric Schlosser, warns against complacency and reminds us why nuclear weapons remain the greatest threat ever to humanity and life on earth. This address is based upon his latest book, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, Penguin Books, August 2014.

#3  Prof Richard Tanter on US military bases in Australia – ABC RN: ‘Late Night Live’ – Jan 27, 2015

In 1980 ANU security expert Des Ball published A Suitable Piece of Real Estate, American Installations in Australia. These military and intelligence bases are the cornerstone of the Australian/US defence relationship.

Over 30 years later, there are new calls for a renewed debate on the role of these highly secret joint installations and their contribution or otherwise to Australia’s security and sovereignty.

#2  Nick Deane on becoming a peace activist – Community Radio 3CR: ‘Tuesday Hometime’ – Oct 2014

Nick Deane, member of the Marrickville Peace Group (MPG), spoke with 3CR’s presenter Jan Bartlett on family relations, why he resigned from Southhampton University’s Air Squadron in the UK, the influence of Peter Watkins’ drama-documentary The War Game, his arrival in Australia in 1970, his participation in the Vietnam Moratorium marches, and much more …

#1  Vincent Emmanuele – critic of U.S. military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan – ABC RN: ‘Late Night Live’ – May 5, 2014

Vincent Emanuele returned from two tours of Iraq suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has since become an outspoken critic of the U.S. missions to Iraq and Afghanistan, and the treatment of veterans by his government.