Protest challenges military alliance with the United States

Citizen Inspection team at the site of US warship Green Bay
The following is from the Peace Convergence, a coalition of 15 organisations opposed to the US commanded war games on Australian soil and nearby seas. The Peace Pilgrims  use a creative means to get across concerns about the foreign military presence in Australia and the need for an independent Australian foreign policy.

US Alliance is the Cause of Deep Malaise inside the ADF, Says Cairns ‘Citizen Inspector’ arrested at U.S. Warship as she fronts Magistrates Court

Cairns Citizens Inspector Margaret Pestorius will appear in Cairns Magistrates Court after she insisted she inspect the USS Green Bay, an operational warship which visited Cairns as part of Talisman Saber joint exercises.

Ms Pestorius said “Gimuy Peace Pilgrims wanted to know what this ship is doing so far from home. Is the Asia Pacific to be the next Middle East?”

“This week we saw in the ‘Afghan Files’, released by the ABC, how war under US command debases the ADF soldiers who were used by the US as spearhead killers. Used as killers, they became rogue, outside of rule of law,” said Ms Pestorius, a long time peace activist, and nonviolence teacher and commentator.  Ms Pestorius, a member of Gimuy Peace Pilgrims is also facing charges in an Alice Springs Court for praying on the mountain next to Pine Gap, a US war-making facility. Peace Pilgrims are a set of spirit-led groups that oppose the militarizing of Australia.

“These dreadful issues outlined in the Afghan Files were the result of the US alliance.  Talisman Saber, the exercises that this vessel was participating in, is the staging ground for this relationship.”

“And yet our leaders in Cairns, and those with blind folds, pretend that it is a fairy tale cruise ship on holidays.”

Former Australian Prime Ministers Malcolm Fraser and Paul Keating have both publicly criticized the lack of an independent foreign policy for Australia and warned that it is not in Australian interests to be beholden to the US. “The US has no regard for the welfare of its allies. Frankly, the only ones to benefit from the US alliance are the US corporations that sell Australia weapons. Australians never benefit; Indigenous people never benefit; the US just re-militarise our land just like the British did during colonization in the Frontier Wars.”

“We are a citizen’s presence to say no to endless war and to question why these ships are in our neighbourhood. If we don’t ask, who will?”

Standing in front of Green Bay


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