Eight peace activists will face Geelong Magistrates Court today for Trespass on Commonwealth Land after entering the top secret Swan Island military base in October 2014. They were there to nonviolently disrupt preparations for the imminent war in Iraq.
Four of the group were detained and assaulted by SAS troops on the Island. Their treatment has sparked an internal ADF inquiry, questions in the Federal Senate and potential legal action (see ABC 7.30 report investigation).
“Our court appearance today will coincide with another 330 Australians being deployed as soldiers in Iraq” said Jasmine Pilbrow, one of the arrestees “With our Prime Minister indicating their mission is for two years, our worst fears of another endless war seems to be being fulfilled. ISIS are a horrendous movement, which is only fuelled by western military intervention” she continued.
The activists were participants in the annual Swan Island Peace Convergence in 2014. The Peace Convergence was successful in blockading the front entrance throughout the week.
The Peace Convergence deliberately disrupts activities at Swan Island because of the key role the military base plays in Australia’s ongoing participation in US led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, through the SAS and other secret squadrons. 200 SAS troops were deployed to Iraq in September last year.
The group acted peacefully and nonviolently as they entered the highly secure military facility.
Supporters from Geelong, Melbourne and around the country are joining the group.
The activists facing court include parents, students, teachers, ministers, and social workers.
9.00am Peace Vigil at Johnston Park
9.30am Appearance at Geelong Magistrates Court
Photos and footage available on request
For further information and comment contact:
Jasmine Pilbrow on 0409 097 272 or Jessica on 0431 519 577.