Archive for February, 2011

Short Parliamentary Program

February 16th, 2011

Right now in Canberra the House Standing Committee on Economics is conducting an inquiry into the Flood Levy Bills, from the Prime Minister,  seeking to raise $1.8 Billion towards a $5.6 Billion Commonwealth expense for infrastructure reconstruction.

The independents and Greens have used their numbers in the House, voting with the Liberal National Party, to force the Flood Levy Bills to an inquiry.  The prevailing sentiment among them is that reconstruction can be funded through savings found in the budget.

The independent MP from NSW, Rob Oakeshot specifically raised Defence Spending as an alternative to welfare cuts and a new tax.  He is reported as having said “if we got one less JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) – that’s $110 million right there,”

Several groups within the Australian Peace Movement have responded to this opportunity – to support disarmament and peace conversion – and are thinking about how to do this effectively.  While tying it in to the other initiatives we have under way.

The Australian Anti Bases Campaign Coalition are using the inquiry to call for the cancellation of exercise TS11.

You can read the submission I made at the page to your right.

Arms and/or the Flood Levy

TS11 National Action Map

February 8th, 2011

Each icon represents an opportunity for action to hinder, obstruct, or publicise the TS11 imperial war games.

Click on the image to go to the Google Map itself for more detail.

Visit the Peace Convergence Website for some ideas about actions and coordination.

Our plan is to encourage a mixture of autonomous small group action, medium scale support action across the country, and one or two “mass” actions close to Shoalwater Bay.

We also encourage the range of social and cultural activities that work towards a peaceful world.

The Peace Convergence site is one organising tool, and is meant to provide information and the basis for coordination between groups across the spectrum – and to provide leadership for the convergence.

We call for all actions to be nonviolent and respectful.  Every activist and contributer is encouraged to take responsibility for their own actions.

ANZAC Eve at Cairns Cenotaph

February 5th, 2011

RESTORE TRUE MEANING TO ANZAC DAY

As a people we commemorate the courage and sacrifice of our soldiers in WW1.  Those soldiers who returned spoke movingly about the horror and futility of war.  Against the hopes and dreams of the ANZAC veterans, Australia is now in a state of perpetual war.

The war in Afghanistan is against tribal peoples on the other side of the Earth.  We have never been attacked or hurt by these people, yet we are using all our technology and skills to bomb and kill them.  Why?

We are at war because of our military alliance with the USA.  We hope this alliance will protect us from “enemies” who might emerge and threaten us in future.  No other nation on the planet threatens us now.  Are we cowards?

There can be no military victory over terrorism.  Indeed war inflicts terror, and escalates a political problem into crisis.  Terrorism is criminal behaviour, and the best response is effective policing.  Indonesian and Australian police brought justice to the Bali bombers.  Military action in Afghanistan has only made matters worse.  2011 will see the 10th anniversary of this futile, brutal war.

Our politicians use occasions like ANZAC Day to hide behind the valour of our soldiers.  Those who speechify from the podium talk about the sacrifice of soldiers without ever explaining why we’re at war, why it’s failing, or how we’re going to end it.  Politicians do not go to war.  They send others.

Jesus commanded us to “love one another”, to love our enemies, and to sacrifice ourselves rather than to kill.  Christ died for us in the most painful and humiliating way so that we might be forgiven our sins and go on to the Kingdom of God.

The RSL (a political organisation) has perverted the message of Christ, and misused John 15:13 to suggest that any soldier who dies in war is following the commandment of Jesus.

Would Jesus bomb the children of Afghanistan or Pakistan?

Would Jesus take up arms against anyone?

Or would Jesus manifest the love of God for all people through a nonviolent struggle for peace and justice?