Vigil Sat 18th July

Solidarity vigil Sat 18th July

A Statement from the Martin Luther House of Christian Nonviolence

to Senator John Falkner Minister of Defence

on his visit to Talisman Sabre Military Exercises

July 18th 2009


For more information call: Sean O’Reilly 0423749946,  Margaret Pestorius 0403214422

Australian Defence Minister, John Faulkner will today visit the US-Australian war games in the Shoalwater Bay Military Training area.

7 activists remain in the Shoalwater Bay area. These people represent the civilians who are endangered in every war and who are being killed in bombing raids in Pakistan and Afghanistan during the current escalation of war there by the Australians and the US. The overwhelming numbers of those killed in these wars are innocent civilians and children.

We particularly oppose the concept of training Australian forces to participate and engage with US forces in the simulated invasion of another country. Australia has no right to train for such behaviour.

We understand that the model city in the war games has a mosque. Australia has no right to practise violence against such sacred places.

Senator Faulkner has been appointed by Rudd government to the defence portfolio significantly because of his reputation in regard to taking control of obstructive government officials and monitoring expenditure carefully.

We ask Senator John Falkner to stop the exercises, to stop the wars, to reduce military spending and redirect that money to making the transition to a sustainable future.

Australia is set to spend a further $100billion over the next 10 years on top of current military spending. Many Australians oppose an escalation in spending on military hardware and assisting America’s wars overseas.

Spokesperson Sean O’Reilly said:

“Our security will not be guaranteed by expensive weapons systems. Moreover the recent defence review confirmed that Australia has no immediate, medium or long term threat.”

“Australia’s external security will only be ensured if Australia is an active participant in peace and justice in the region and globally. We cannot address terrorist violence by trying to kill more and more people, most of whom will be innocent bystanders.

“Australia’s internal security requires we address the causes of homelessness, of social violence, of changing our wasteful culture. These changes will require financial and human resouces which are presently being wasted in War.”

Eight people have been arrested over the past 2 weeks while opposing the wars and the exercises.

Balloons will be released today with messages to John Faulkner since we have been unable to communicate dirtectly with him despite several attempts. A vigil will be held mid-afternoon at Yeppoon where statements by the seven activists will be read aloud.


Prayer and balloons

Prayer and balloons

Ciaron solidarity vigil yeppoon sat18th [med] 


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  • The Af/Pak War and the USA & Australia Militaries

      While Australia services the escalting U.S. Af/Pak War in northern Pakistan and southern Afghanistan, a training exercise is taking place in July in central Queensland/Australia between the two militaries.

      Australia has a long history servicing U.S. aggression in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The Catholic Worker has a long history in nonviolently resisting such wars and preparations for war. Catholic Workers are heading to the Talisman Sabre exercises to 'fight fire with water' and nonviolently bring and end to Talsiman Sabre and the Af/Pak War.

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