Shoalwater Bay D-day is looming! In less than a month, we will be cocooned
at the Yeppoon caravan park with our warm and friendly community of fellow
Peace Convergence activists. People of all ages and backgrounds who have
come together to oppose the biggest wargames this country has ever seen –
Talisman Sabre 2007.
And we’ve just been told by the Australian Defence Forces that the
Americans are now arriving in greater numbers than they first told us.
By June l8, 20,000 American soldiers and sailors will all be in place to
commence bombing and blowing the living daylights out of our beautiful and
sacred land of Australia.
Personally, writing this now, knowing firsthand the beauty and quiet
sanctity of Shoalwater Bay which I’ve sailed into twice, the amazing
biodiversity that it encompasses makes me want to cry as I think what this
country means to me, what this country has given to me over the years and
that there are so few of our fellow Australians who know or seem to care
that this is happening.
Twenty thousand US soldiers and sailors in nuclear powered aircraft
carriers, destroyers and submarines coming from active duty in the Gulf,
leave off killing innocent Iraqis (‘collateral damage’) and other parts of
the world to train with our decent young men and women in the ADF to
refine how to be more effective killers. On Australian soil.
Live aerial bombings, ship to shore naval bombardments, land based
artillery firings, Abrams tanks, landmines, amphibious landings,
underwater depth charges let off where the largest colony of dugongs on
the east coast feed and the endangered Loggerhead and Green turtles breed
in the mouth of Shoalwater Bay.
Nuclear subs sliding inside the Great Barrier Reef (when we’re told that
the Reef is dying) where there are 26 species of whales and dolphins. The
subs will be using frequency sonar at levels millions of times greater
than would burst the human eardrum. Old American warships scuttled in the
waters around the Reef straffed by US Airforce jets hammering them with
rockets and bombs to show their “good Aussie mates” how effective are
their latest laser guided missiles.
B52 bombers, Stealth bombers and B1 bombers flying non-stop from Guam to
drop their massive tonnage of bombs from five kilometres high on the
acquifer ridden and ancient desert landscape near Katherine, NT - against
the ignored wishes of the traditional owners - fuelling in midair before
flying back to base.
Part of their training no doubt to simulate a similar run from the US to
It takes three semi-trailers to load up just one B52 bomber with its full
payload of bombs. Just one bomber. Bomber after bomber.
On our ancient ochred desert. “Rubbish country only inhabited by
Don’t worry that the world is melting down from climate change and the
oceans of aviation fuel and heavy crude oil their ships will guzzle up to
come here from the other side of the world. Don’t worry about the
carcinogenic nature of all these heavy metal bombs (even if we can ‘trust’
them on their word not to use depleted uranium bombs) they will explode
and will drift on the wind over Australia for up to one thousand
kilometres from the drop site.
I believe we have an urgent responsibility to speak up for and ‘defend’
We have a moral obligation to object to our sacred soil being used to
train soldiers for pre-emptive wars that are launched to steal natural
resources from people who are no threat to us, who are always the main
casualties in these adventurist wars to grab their natural resources so we
can indulge our own first world lifestyles.
What does it take dear fellow Australians before the immorality of our
inaction dawns home to us making us aware that we are complicit in their
murder while we say or do nothing?
What can I do I hear you say? Come to Shoalwater Bay and by your presence
bear witness and send a strong message to everyone that its not being done
in your name.
We’ve organised an imaginative and active campaign to oppose this with
people coming from all over Australia to say ‘No’!
We will converge on Shoalwater Bay and set up our peace camp at Yeppoon
after kicking off the protest with a street demonstration and concert in
Brisbane June l6 aimed at grabbing media attention and public interest. We
want to steal the PR initiative from the Australian and US military BEFORE
their war games and live bombardments start in earnest June l9.
Mark down in your calendar to be in Brisbane the morning of Saturday June
l6 ready to take to the streets in a colourful media oriented event. (More
about that “street parade with a difference’ in another email). Come join
us in Brisbane that night for the Peace Convergence concert and then kick
up our heels to let Howard and Bush know that we want to dance to a
different beat to ‘the drum of war’.
For the past six months we have been working with 35 coordinators from
around the country, having regular phone hookups, now happening on a
weekly basis in this final runup to the big protest, organising people in
their communities to come. We have close and active involvement with a
good group of people at Shoalwater Bay who are so pleased we are coming up
in solidarity to support their community. They are there to help us have a
good and memorable stay. You’ll even be able to grab a hot shower after a
hard day ‘at the barricades’.
Whilst it was a great idea for the environment to hire a train, it was
just too expensive to hire it ourselves from Brissie to Rockie. We have
the funds of a poor church mouse so far to pull all this off!
However senior cits who can get a pensioner concession are encouraged to
take the train to Rockie where buses will pick you up on arrival nightfall
June l7 and take you to a hot shower and a friendly welcome at the Yeppoon
Those of you who can only come for a few days and want to fly from Sydney,
Melbourne or Brisbane, aim to be there around the evening of Thursday June
2l to Sunday dusk June 24 when most actions are likely to take place. A
regular bus will take you from the airport at Rockie to Yeppoon. There’s a
big night planned in Yeppoon Townhall with the locals Friday night June 22
with speakers including Helen Caldicott and the world premiere screening
of “Shoalwater Bay: Weapons Wastedump One Day, World Heritage the Next!”
by yours truly.
We know it requires effort for you to get to Brisbane and then onto
Yeppoon. We know most of our fellow Australians don’t feel they have a say
anymore in our political life so why care? We know the majority of
Australians are ‘asleep’, struggling to pay their mortgage (aren't we
all..?) or pay their credit card debt, brainwashed to shop-till-they-drop
rather than to struggle to protect this country of ours which has, by our
birthright as Australians, given us so much and now needs our help to
NOW is the time dear regional Coordinators and fellow activists to put the
hard word on yourselves, your families and your friends to commit to
coming to Brisbane and then onto Shoalwater Bay.
NOW is the time to tell us the numbers that are coming from your community
because you can imagine the logistics of an exercise like this so we need
to know now who is coming, not on the day of your arrival up there.
Regional Coordinators, please ‘crack the whip’ and get serious in these
remaining few weeks to have weekly meetings with your local community to
confirm the numbers and make sure people know what to bring, what is
expected of them when they get there, transport arrangements etc. Show
them the six minute copy of “Oh Talisman” dvd that we took the trouble and
time to edit together and sent you to orientate them to the issue.
Coordinators, get people up off their ‘bums’ and motivated! Show them the
Vieques dvd and the mess that wonderful island turned into after the US
military took over for its weapons testing. Same as they did in the
Phillipines, Okinawa. This is our wonderful Australia these war criminal
killers now want to despoil. The same military who tortured and held David
Hicks and countless others for years without a proper trial while telling
us what paragons of justice they are and how we all should embrace the
‘democratic’ American way .
Now they want to destroy our homeland and have our nation sucked more into
their adventurist wars. Don’t fantasise about a Revolution in Venezuela.
Make your own peaceful Revolution here. Now!
For the youth in our ranks romanticising about the past, this could well
rank as your Woodstock, your anti-Vietnam war or Jabiluka protest. Be
there or be square! Bring your guitars, your drums and voices. Lots of
campfire camaraderie and tales to tell. But no hotheads please! Only
people who are prepared to respect the group decisions and peaceful, non
violent actions should come.
Hopefully with me, you will see that this is an important one as we bear
witness to our fellow Australians to treasure what we have and not let our
political masters throw it away. This military madness has to stop. Not in
See you all in Brisbane for that ‘demo with a difference’ Saturday
morning, June l6 (a few celebs to rub shoulders with joining us), at the
Peace Convergence concert that night and then at Yeppoon caravan park and
Shoalwater Bay. You're sure to find a community of like-minded souls who
will warm the cockles of your hearts!
yours in solidarity,
Peace Convergence 17-24 June