Media contacts for the Convergence:
Jon Osborne: 0401 387 479
Rev. Simon Moyle: 0402 857 915
During the Convergence we will post media releases on this page
Press Release. Breaking news: 40 Activists block the military base using their bodies. 07:40 am, 25 September 2012.
At 5:15 am today 40 people covered the road in front of the military base at Swan Island with 200 candles in jars. Following this they grouped in front of the gate to the military base, locking arms to provide a blockade to traffic on the island.
Five cars turned around as a result of the base being inaccessible. By 6:15 am ten cars were waiting, during which time the Rev. Simon Moyle gave an address about the forgiveness of two afghan children who had chosen to forgive the troops who had killed their father.
At 6:15 am, as a group of 20 police sought to allow cars through, 25 activists were dragged off with no arrests. Repeated attempts were made to re-establish the blockade.
Following this, a further seven cars were required to wait before the blockade was broken again.
At the time of writing, protestors remain at the gate, with cars waiting and a small police presence.
Photos to follow shortly.
Press Release: Golf Course Closure . 24 September 2012.
We understand that the golf course’s landlords have decided to close the golf course for four days.
While we sympathise with inconvenience caused to the golf club and its patrons, we are protesting a deeply unpopular war that has cost 38 Australian and 40,000 Afghan lives.
Swan Island is a significant part of an 11 year war that has increased terrorism in Afghanistan and around the world.
72% of Australians want the troops to leave Afghanistan immediately. We represent the majority of Australians that don’t want any more troops to be killed or injured.
Swan Island Peace Convergence
Peace Activists to Blockade Swan Island Military Base:
A Stand Against Australia’s Continued Military Involvement
The Swan Island Military Base in Queenscliff will be targeted for a week of blockades and disruptive action as part of the annual Swan Island Peace Convergence. The act of resistance will be held September 23rd – 27th, and aims to hinder Australia’s continued military involvement in Afghanistan, demanding all troops to come home.
Around eighty (twice as many as last year) are expected to attend, with children and adults young and old traveling from Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, and Cairns. Among those registering their dissatisfaction with Australia’s foreign military involvement are Christian ministers, social workers, nurses, a Franciscan monk, and a member of Australian veteran soldier group StandFast.
Activists will take up residence in Queenscliff for the week, staying in local accommodation and working to raise local awareness of the situation in Afghanistan. A team of cooks will provide for the team, using food obtained locally.
Last year’s protest resulted in ten arrests, with more expected this year due to increased attendance.
The Swan Island Military Base is home to the secretive SAS unit SAS 4 as well as the ASIS (Australian Secret Intelligence Service).
Reverend Simon Moyle has led peace movements for seven years, and was part of a group of four activists who made an incursion to the Swan Island military base in March 2010, shutting it down for one day. He continues to organise the event, explaining the reasons for the convergence by saying:
“The Australian Government wants the public to think that our involvement in Afghanistan ends with the withdrawal of Australian troops by 2014. This is not true. Gillard has said that Australian Special Forces will continue their deadly occupation of Afghanistan until the end of the decade at least. We’re saying that if they want to do that, they’ll have to go through us.”
“Australia’s alliance with the U.S. has dragged us into two disastrous wars in the last decade and is fuelling rising tension in the Asia Pacific. Australia needs to end the ANZUS alliance and develop cooperative relationships in our region.”
“We believe that all troops, including the SAS troops trained here in Swan Island, need to come home now and allow Afghans to start rebuilding their own country.”
“Our hope is that this event opens up people’s imaginations to non-violently resist the war”
0401 387 479Simon Moyle
0402 857 915
Available on request.