Sydney peace activists will this afternoon picket the Defence Plaza in Pitt Street to express their anger that Australia has joined the US in bombing targets in Syria.
“We are here today because September 21 is International Peace Day,” Denis Doherty from the Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition said.
“Bombing targets within Syria is a major escalation of Australia's military commitment.
“It will undoubtedly add to the chaos and suffering in Syria.
“It will mean the deaths of more civilians and probably increase in the numbers of refugees desperate to leave the region,” he continued.
“Intervention hasn’t worked and isn’t working. It is time for us to admit this and seek new strategies. Why persist in repeating the patterns that we can all see to be failing?
“After more than a decade, it should be clear that military intervention in the Middle East has been an utter failure. It has achieved no worthwhile outcome in Iraq, instead reducing that once prosperous nation to destitution,” Denis Doherty said.
“Many respected observers attribute the growth of fundamentalist militarism to the large scale Western interventions in the Middle East over the past few decades.
“We hope that the new Turnbull Government will realise that increased military activity adds fuel to the fire that is ISIS and worsens the refugee crisis the world is facing.
“Its time to end the government’s policy of engaging in military action whenever it suits the interests of the USA. Military power does not and cannot solve international problems,” Denis Doherty concluded.
270 Pitt Street Sydney
For further comment, please contact Denis Doherty on 0418 290 663
The Abbott Government is rushing to war by assisting in the bombing of Syria. We have sent our appeals to the his government and his National Security Committee. The Opposition Leader and the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs also need some stiffening so please send the same letter to them. Use our letter or parts of the letter to send your plea as well. But above all send a letter! Attend a demo! Click here for letter.
Draft media release July 3, 2015
“Don’t be yanked into war games” is the call of a protest to be held in Sydney’s CBD today to protest against the coming Talisman Sabre war games.
“Talisman Sabre is a joint United States-Australian rehearsal for war that takes place every two years in Australia, primarily on the central coast of Queensland at Shoalwater Bay, north of Rockhampton,” said Nick Deane from Independent and Peaceful Australia (IPAN).
“The 2015 Talisman Sabre war games will involve 22,000 US troops, 12,000 Australians as well as military from New Zealand and Japan engaged in nuclear-weapons-capable land, sea and air warfare practice.
“Held in July, they will be the biggest military exercises ever to take place in Australia – and this in a time of regional peace,” he said.
Peace and environmental activists will gather in Town Hall Square at 12 noon and then walk to the Defence Plaza in Pitt Street where they will sing their protest to the military and Defence Department bureaucrats.
“Our message to the government is simple,” Denis Doherty from the Anti-Bases Campaign coalition (AABCC) said.
“The exercises deepen Australia’s military involvement with the world’s most aggressive nation, the US. Australia can no longer operate independent of the US in military matters.
“They send a clear message to China that if conflict breaks out between the US and China, Australia will take part with the US, Denis Doherty said.
“Activities associated with preparing for war cause extreme damage to the environment. TS2015 is no exception. During the exercises two years ago, unexploded bombs were dropped on the Great Barrier Reef.
“Preparing for war diverts money from alternative, peaceful activities and takes it away from essential social services.
“The Talisman Sabre war games are not in our best interests and should be cancelled,” Denis Doherty concluded.
For more information, contact Denis 0418 290 663 or Nick 0420 526 929
Visit our websites: www.ipan-nsw.org
Media Release July 6 2015
While the USS Antietam and other US Ships are berthing at Garden Island in Sydney Harbour to be part of the hold military exercises in and around the Great Barrier Reef. Talisman Sabre is being held in the southern most part of the Reef around Rockhampton this month. This area is the most damaged part of the reef.
“It is ironic that the day after Australia gets a strong warning to do more to protect the Reef, the Prime Minister is rejoicing in the presence of another country’s navy ships as they prepare to threaten the Reef. This exercise will cost around $100 million and is about the same as the amount spent on protecting the Reef.” Said Denis Doherty of the Anti-Bases Campaign.
“We ask how can exercises of many navy ships and submarines be of benefit to the ecology of the Reef? Does bombing, straffing and transporting of dangerous goods over the reef protect the Reef? A previous exercise dumped ammunition into the sea near the reef during a storm.
“We reject the use of the military for disaster relief and the sinister inclusion of civilian elements of this society in this exercise, it will mean that this society will be becoming more militarised.”
“This exercise is designed to increase tension with China with the inclusion of Japanese forces in the mix.
We call for an immediate cancellation of the exercise for the good of the Reef and this society.
We will hold an anti-Talisman Sabre demonstration outside the Defence Plaza Pitt St on Monday July 6 at 12 noon.
For more information
Contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663
Australian Anti-Bases Coalition & IPAN-NSW Statement August 18, 2014
On 12 August 2014, the Australian Government hosted United States Secretary of State John Kerry and United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in Sydney for the 2014 Australia-United States Ministerial Consultation (AUSMIN). AUSMIN covers military matters, foreign affairs and trade in the region.
Ignoring advice from prominent Australians that we are too ‘close to the US’, the Abbott Government engaged in more abject groveling. Former Prime Ministers Malcolm Fraser and Paul Keating and former Foreign Minister Bob Carr have all said that Australia’s interests are not served by servility to the US super power but require greater independence.
Paul Keating was reported as saying in the Keith Murdoch Oration 2012 that “Australia was over deferential to the US” (Diary of a Foreign Minister by Bob Carr p 217).
The combined weight of the Abbott Government and US officials has squashed any tendency towards a more independent Australia. Instead the path of ‘all the way with the USA’ was reinforced by AUSMIN 2014.
Press Release August 11, 2014
As dedicated watchers of the US-Australia alliance we expect that the Australia Government will agree to pay the entire cost of Marines in Darwin at the 2014 AUSmin talks.
We have been campaigning against the stationing of US Marines in Darwin and have constantly been asking who will pay the bill? Said Denis Doherty of the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition.
The Government has been evasive but mentioned they would be announcing the decision in early August, so we presume the AUSMIN is as good as any place to make the announcement.
The buzz about Iraq will cover this information but as far as Australians are concerned this decision is far more important that a bit of emergency care to Iraq. We are not objecting to the Iraq relief just to the possibility that this issue will obscure the Marines in Darwin.
The decision means that Australia will pay either $1.6 billion in a once up or $1.6 per year we do not have the exact figures yet but the $1.6 bill is being bandied around.
In midst of attacking pensioners, the sick and the jobless on the excuse that the economy is bad, how can they argue to throw around $1.6 bill once or yearly?
For more information contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663
I refer to your letter dated 6 July 2014 to the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, concerning legislative amendments to security intelligence powers. The Attorney-General has asked me to respond on his behalf.
On 16 July, the Attorney-General introduced the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No 1) 2014 in the Senate. The Bill contains a package of targeted reforms to key legislation governing Australia's intelligence agencies, in line with the recommendations of the bipartisan report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) in 2013 on potential reforms to Australia's national security legislation. Continued
A senior strategic analyst has called for the Federal Government to rethink the Pine Gap communications facility, saying some of its work now is "ethically unacceptable".
Australian National University Professor Des Ball previously supported the joint Australia-US communications facility near Alice Springs, but changes to its role since the Al Qaeda attacks in 2001 have changed his mind. Continued
It was announced last year that in 2013 the Government was going to produce a new white paper on Defence (military) without any input from the community! They said they were only interested in hearing from stake holders. This meant that Admirals, Generals and arms corporations and pro war academics were going to be the only ones consulted. A classic case of the fox looking after the hen house!
Undaunted we mounted a postcard campaign urging the Defence Minister to change his mind. Late last year he relented and announced that the Defence White Paper Committee would take submissions by the 28th Feb 2013. The announcement was not very well advertised and not very well communicated the Australian people. The restrictions placed on the submissions were meant to dissuade the community from sending in suggestions to the Committee.
The Anti-Bases Campaign has mounted a drive to get as many people letting the committee know its feeling that there is far too much being spent on the military at the expense of other socially needed objectives.
We have distributed widely a postcard which many have expressed thanks for as well as providing considered views on different aspects of Australia’s military spending. Please click below to view post card and submissions.