Peace activists have been arrested on the third consecutive day of the blockade of the Swan Island military base. A small but determined group of protesters was met by a large police presence, and two were arrested as the group attempted to keep the base closed.
The convergence has been continuing all week as a protest against the unnecessary and ineffective war in Afghanistan, and to draw attention to the role that the top-secret Swan Island base plays in the war. The war is now into its tenth year – as long than Australia’s involvement in Vietnam.
While the group protesting has been small, they are aware that they have the support of most Australians;
‘Poll after poll has indicated that the public do not support Australian lives being put on the line, with over 60% of Australians wanting troops to come home,’
said co-organiser Jess Morrison. Ms Morrison also stated that,
‘Having been in Afghanistan, I have seen the devastating results of this conflict and I know personally the cost in innocent lives for the Afghan people, as well as the cost to Australian soldiers. This war has never made sense, and it is now time for the Australian government to listen to the people.’
The two protesters arrested this morning were Olivia Ball, a PhD student and parent of two from Clifton Hill, and Jessica Morrison, a university lecturer from Fitzroy. Both were charged and then bailed to appear in the Geelong court later this month.
Other protesters remained, and continuing with singing, meditations and reading names of some who have died in this war, both Australians and Afghans.
The Swan Island Peace Convergence will continue until Friday and plan to continue to blockade the base each day. More arrests are expected.
Photos of arrests and blockade available on request.
For further comment call Jessica Morrison on 0431 519 577 or Simon Moyle 0402 857 915.