Swan Island Peace Convergence 2015

Swan Island Peace Convergence 2015

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

Messages of support and solidarity

Here are some messages of support and solidarity from some prominent antiwar activists from around the world:

When we hear of your stand for peace and against militarism, we feel grateful that there are people who care ; because you care for ‘others’ who are dying, you are’ blocking’, ‘picketing’ and ‘risking arrest’. One person at a time, such love in action like yours is placed as an alternative way of living, for us in Afghanistan and elsewhere to emulate, and to catch courage from. A better world is possible! We love you, and thank you!

– Hakim and the Afghan Peace Volunteers

 

Dear Friends of Peace,

Thank you so much for taking this strong public stand against warmaking and for peace, here at Swan Island!
This is the greatest thing we can do with our lives at this moment—to stand up publicly and say a loud NO to the ongoing insanity of war and preparations for war, and a loving YES to the coming of a new nonviolent world of peace. Thank you for your witness, for your stand, for your voice, and for your prayer for peace.
May the God of peace bless you abundantly!

I think the whole world is facing a terrible turning point, when our global addiction to violence could lead to the death of the planet.

As people of faith and conscience and peace and hope, all we can do is to stand up for peace, and say no to war, and be part of the growing new global movement for peace.

So don’t be discouraged, and don’t be afraid, and don’t think you are not making a difference. Every peaceful public act for peace bears good fruit for peace.
Being peacemakers is the greatest of all callings, and you are fulfilling your vocation as public peacemakers.

I urge you to keep practicing and pursuing nonviolence in every area of life—in your hearts, in your families, in your local communities, and in the movement, and to do what you can to herald the coming of a new nonviolent Australia, where you do not support warmaking and instead support all international movements for peace, and indeed, the work of the God of peace.

So I send you every blessing of peace, and every good wish from those of us in the US working in solidarity with you for the abolition of war itself.

May our witness for peace bear good fruit, and may the day come when swords are beaten into plowshares and we never prepare for war again.

All the best, cheers,
Fr. John Dear, peace activist and author

 

Dear brothers and sisters,

I wished to raise my voice together with you against war-mongering and for peace. The black clouds of war are overshadowing our earth. The US, depending upon the dirtiest fundamentalists forces such as Al-Qaeda and its likes have pushed Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan into disaster and deviated the uprisings against fundamentalism and dictatorship by handing the leadership to their fundamentalist lackeys; and are now in the process of destroying Syria too. On these bases, struggling against US interference in other countries for whatever excuses, is an indispensable duty of every justice-seeking and freedom-loving individual because with US meddling, the people confront two enemies: the killing machine of the US and its fundamentalist allies, two full catastrophes.

US makes false claims of withdrawing by 2014 but their military and intelligence bases will remain so they can suppress every freedom-loving and independent-seeking movement and I believe that no country is independent with US bases on their grounds.

Reviewing the history of just a decade of the US shows that they paid no heed to the millions of US people’s voices against war despite their disgusting banners of freedom and democracy. But neither the US nor any of its allies can continue overlooking people’s anti-war movements. The hatred and anger of people of the world against US aggressive policies and terrorism of the fundamentalists will reach its climax one day. One of the tactics of the US is to ignore anti-war cries so people lose hope in their futile efforts but freedom-loving people should persist on struggle to turn into a power similar to Vietnam War that US cannot ignore.

These anti-war protests in the US and other Western countries is very heart-warming for independent-seeking and anti-fundamentalist forces in Afghanistan, Iran, Syria and other countries facing these demonic powers. A day when these fists will truly unite they can contain every war-mongering force including the US and strongly and unwaveringly declare enough is enough!

My Australian brothers and sisters, please do not forget that all your anti-war efforts is highly valuable for enslaved Afghans and Iranians. In the end, allow me to raise the slogan: Long live the solidarity of people all over the world against US war-mongers and its fundamentalist accomplices!

Wish you success

Malalai Joya

 

Dear friends,

Thanks for standing up and speaking truth to power at Swan Island!

At a time when war and violence is ravaging so many communities around the world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with sadness. I’ve recently seen first-hand the result of our wars: the grief, the chaos, the loss of so much innocent life and the contamination of environments that has screwed up the cycle of life so badly in places like Fallujah in Iraq that little babies are dying from wounds of a war they never saw.

Sometimes it feels so dark, but that’s when it’s even more important to take a deep breath, remember who we are, all fully human, light a candle and be the light in the darkness…

During the Vietnam War A.J. Muste stood in front of the White House night after night with a candle. One rainy night a reporter asked him, “Mr Muste, do you really think you are going to change the policies of this country by standing out here alone at night with a candle?”

Muste replied:” I don’t do it to change the country. I do it so the country won’t change me.”

So be encouraged by each other, stay human, be vigilant – and disturb the powerful with your truths.
May you be channels of peace and of disturbance – Here’s the Prayer of Disturbance to inspire you:

A Prayer of Disturbance

Lord, make me a channel of disturbance
where there is apathy, let me provoke.
Where there is compliance, let me bring questioning.
Where there is silence, may I be a voice.
Where there is too much comfort and too little action,
grant disruption.
Where there are doors closed and hearts locked,
grant the willingness to listen.
When laws dictate and pain is overlooked,
grant that I may rather seek to DO justice than to
Talk about it,
to be With as well as For the poor,
to love the Unlovable as well as the Lovely,
Lord make me a channel of Disturbance.

In solidarity, Donna Mulhearn (author and peace activist)

 

The U.S./NATO empire is global and so must the response be. It is very encouraging to us in the United States to see resistance growing in Australia, just as we are encouraged when Ecuador and Latin America throw our bases out, when Uzbekistan and Central Asia throw our bases out, when Puerto Rico or the Philippines tell our military to impose its humanitarianism somewhere else — or, better, nowhere. And just as we are thrilled to see the coalition growing on Jeju Island between peace and environmental movements in resistance to a proposed navy base. There is absolutely no reason that Australians should be occupied by U.S. troops, and absolutely no reason that Australians should be occupying Afghanistan to further the mad goals of Pentagon philosophers who fear rivalry on the stage of world militarism from Russia, China, or Iran. If Australians can say NO, we in the U.S. can echo that message and amplify it. Alone we are far weaker, and we must contend with the pretense that our troops are in Afghanistan and Australia because the people of those nations want them there. Australia is a place that most Americans imagine as inhabited by full human beings. If we see Australians forming friendships with Afghans, perhaps we will be encouraged to do so ourselves. If we can form friendships that unite multiple nations, there’s no telling what unimagined powers we will develop. Peace. Solidarity.

– David Swanson, WarIsACrime.org

 

September 16th, 2012.

To activists building nonviolent resistance to war:

Thank you for your witness and work as you prepare to blockade the Australian military base at Swan Island.

Today we learned about a U.S.-led NATO airborne attack which killed eight Afghan women. At least eight other women and girls were wounded.  A spokesman from their village said that the victims had been collecting wood on the mountainside so that they could supply fuel for their families.

Thinking of arms outstretched to embrace loved ones who will never return, and of lives forever altered by the cruel insanity of war, we feel humbled and hopeful in the light of your loving action.

Sincerely,

Kathy Kelly
on behalf of Voices for Creative Nonviolence in Chicago

 

Congratulations to all the peace warriors there for taking your courage in both hands and being an example to the rest of us. I’m impressed by your holding the base gates closed with bodies and willpower. No that’s people power! In our technological age we can forget how important it is to create the basic narrative: humans standing up for ourselves and each other. The Global Nonviolent Action Database we’ve been building includes campaigns going all the way back to twelfth century B.C. Egypt, and the successful campaigns carry the day because the potential allies of the activists glimpse our commitment, our heart. And that isn’t measured by equipment, or duration of impeding this or that physical object. It results from dramatizing how much we care.

I’m moved by your determination. Thank you.

George Lakey

 

Dear Friends,

Solidarity from the daily vigil we maintain with Julian Assange outside the siege of the Ecuadoran Embassy in London. The embassy is surrounded by approx 25 officers from the London Met, armed Diplomatic Squad with involvement of the counter-terrorist squad.

It is great that Alan and Ross have travelled from here and can be with you there at the Swan Island gathering. Melbournians based in London Roland and Sue and British S.A.S. veteran/ founder of “Veterans for Peace UK” Ben Griffin also send solidarity from here to there.

We vigil – try to stay awake – as the powers that be attempt to present constant war as normalcy and bury alive Julian Assange and Bradley Manning for exposing the nature of their 20 year war on the people of Iraq and their decades long warfare in Afghanistan.

I can remember clearly, being arrested blockading the military recruitment centre in Edward St./ Brisbane as the first U.S. bombardments began falling on Afghanistan in the October of 2001. Along with other good folks, I was arrested with my brother Sean O’Reilly and Jim Dowling who I assume are with you today at Swan Island. It has been a very long war and many having grown weary of resisting it or even discussing it. That is why it is so essential to gather in community as you are doing over these days … to celebrate, to accompany and to nonviolently resist. As many of us have learnt over the decades, it is community and solidarity that sustains nonviolent resistance over the long haul.

Over the decades I have been with many of you today gathered at Swan Island at many Australian points on the imperial assembly line of death…. Gallipoli Barracks, Talisman Sabre exercises, Cunnungra, Cabarlah, Amberley, Roxby, Ranger, Watsonia, Pine Gap, Nurrungar and nuclear ship warports. What we have said nonviolently at these places of death.. with our bodies, our lives and our liberty… is that our security lies in something other than the imperial war machine that wreaks death on children where ever it goes.

Australian troops, once more accurately known as the “Australian Imperial Force”, marched off to serve British and U.S. imperial ambitions in Aotearoa repression, Sudan, Boer War, WW1, WW2, Malaya, Vietnam and more recently in Afghanistan and Iraq under the covering rhetoric of “defense” and “security”.

The Australian government finds its security in serving empire. We find security in a nonviolent God and realising the peace and justice embodied in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.. To those in power, all are expendable from the Reuters journalists and unarmed Iraqis cut down in the following footage to Bradley Manning accused or releasing this footage and WikiLeaks Julian Assange who distributed it.

Many thanks for gathering at Swan Island in nonviolent resistance to the Australian role in the war on Afghanistan.

Yours in nonviolent resistance and solidarity
from London’s Ecuadoran Embassy to Swan Island military base (Victoria, Australia)

Ciaron O’Reilly, Catholic Worker, Ploughshares activist

 

Friends, Being part of the International Nonviolent Movement means having frequent bright spots popping up in the otherwise bleak news of wars, death and injustice. We do what we do because we believe in the power of love – Agape – operating in human hearts. Because we love life, we resist the evil that threatens all creation. Thank you for your witness and for your strength in speaking truth, living lives nonviolently, and in speading the light of peace with justice.

In solidarity, Lynne Greenwald (Disarm Now Plowshares, Tacoma Catholic Worker)

One Response to Messages of support and solidarity

  1. This is very important for peace

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