March 20th, 2021, is the 18th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. That invasion was unnecessary, illegal and contrary to the UN Charter – yet Australia joined it. The outcome was the destabilisation of the Middle East that continues to this day.
Marrickville Peace Group has called a rally to demonstrate the fact that it has not forgotten (and will not forget) what was a shameful day.
Join the rally from 2.00pm, Saturday March 20, 2021 in Town Hall Square, Sydney.
The Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force on January 22, 2021. Antoinette Riley (pictured holding the Nobel Peace Prize medal awarded to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) in 2017) was amongst members of MPG who attended an event to celebrate the occasion in Martin Place (Sydney). They heard Gem Romuld (Director of ICAN Australia) who explained that the event in Sydney was just one of more than 150 similar events taking place around the globe.
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!”
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
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.