Contributed by Joe Montero
Not many Australians were aware that Saturday 21 September was the United Nations International Day of Peace. It had been completely blocked off the radar. This is the political climate we’re now in
Despite the challenge, the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) held a small rally in Melbourne’s Federation Square.
Representatives from a range of peace and community organisations spoke about the threat of war and outlined what they were doing, through activity in communities, unions. among university students, and as doctors working in the health field.
Speakers talked about the plight those under the weight of military military occupation in in West Papua, and the increasingly brutal Duterte regime in the the Philippines. They outlined how Australia helps in the attacks on theses human rights violations and killings.
A connection was made by another speaker, between the imprisonment of Melbournian Julian Assange, the effort to extradite him to the United States, and the drive towards war was made.
WikiLeaks has exposed a mass of documents that provide details of military actions, the deception used by leaders and crimes against humanity.
Powerful interests are intent on shutting down this voice and making Julian Assange an example, to intimidate and silence other journalists and whistleblowers.
There was mention of the vilification method used, spreading rumours innuendo and outright lies to blacken the name of the target, and mislead people about what is really going on.
The world is facing rising militarism together with the dismantling of basic human rights, as the powerful seek to maintain their privileges in a less predictable world.
The world needs a united movement against this, such as the one that existed against the threat of fascism more than 70 years ago.
A call was made for Australia to adopt a peaceful and independent foreign policy, which respects other nations and protects Australia’s sovereignty.