Swan Island Peace Convergence 2013

Swan Island Peace Convergence 2013

Bring all the troops home. End the U.S. Alliance

from Jasmine Pilbrow

It has been an incredible, indescribable few days. I have learnt so much from inspirational and dedicated people. Peacemakers who have been doing this kind of work for years and those who are new to this, like I am.

I have always had a strong stance against war, and an even stronger stance for non-violence. I have never been afraid to voice it. But to act on it is another thing. I have participated in small protest at Pine Gap, but this was something different. I never imagined myself to be a part of a blockade and to feel completely comfortable and confident.

One of the things I learnt is that age does not matter. As it was getting closer to the Peace Convergence I was getting quite nervous. I thought that I would be too young and maybe even naïve; too small to be able to make a difference. I haven’t been to University, I haven’t been to a war-torn country and I haven’t had the experience of blockading. But there were people of all ages and we all had our part to play. I learnt that age, gender and size do not matter.

I learnt so much about working together; that together we can change the world, one small step at a time. Whether we changed the hearts of a few locals. Whether we made some of the military workers question what they are doing, even if only for one moment. Maybe some of the golfers who we let through, started to think about what really goes on at Swan Island. We will never know the real effect we had.

Being surrounded by like-minded people, I felt a sense of courage. We were able to give our all to the cause, through the encouragement and trust of fellow companions. We successfully blockaded Swan Island through non-violent actions. This is such a great achievement.

Before the protest I thought I’d be scared. But it was not scary at all. Knowing that what we were doing was helping to prevent the training of Military personnel; knowing that we were disrupting it for a day, and helping to bring peace. This made me so sure that what we were doing was right, and that nothing could stop us.