Bonhoeffer Four charged after entering Swan Island Base

The Boenhoffer Four successfully infiltrated the secret Australian military base on Swan Island near Queenscliff this morning. After swimming to the island at 5.30AM they spent several hours on the base shutting down the switchboard, a satellite and causing lock down on the base, effectively disrupting the Australian war effort in Afghanistan. The four have been charged with trespass and have been held at the Ocean Grove police station.

An account of the action can be read at Twitter and a video of the four activists speaking about their action is available.

According to a colleague of the activists, they not only successfully entered the the secret based used by the SAS and ASIS but succeeded in shutting down military hardware including a switchboard and pressing a button marked "emergency satellite shutdown" which presumably did just that!.This highlights the fact that Australia's biggest contribution to the U.S. War machine is probably our satellite stations at Pine Gap and places like Swan Island which help control the U.S. nuclear arsenal, communication technology, missiles and predator drones. In 2005 four Christian peace activists entered the Pine Gap base to highlight this fact and were eventually acquitted.

The Boenhoffer Peace Collective are Rev. Simon Moyle (Baptist Minister), Jacob Bolton (Community Worker), Jessica Morrison (University Lecturer) and Simon Reeves (Social Worker) have called themselves the Bonhoeffer Peace Collective after Kevin Rudd’s favourite theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was also an antiwar activist.

They are inspired by the words of Boenhoeffer -

“The followers of Christ have been called to peace. And they must not only have peace but also make it. His disciples keep the peace by choosing to endure suffering themselves rather than inflict it on others. In so doing they overcome evil with good, and establish the peace of God in the midst of a world of war and hate.”

The group outlined their motivation for the peace action in a number of statements:

“Both Swan Island and the war on Afghanistan are out of sight, out of mind. It’s time to end further suffering of the Afghan people and our soldiers by bringing our troops home,” the group said.

“In the week before the first Easter, Jesus blockaded the temple and turned the tables inside. Today we are imitating Jesus’ disruption”, the group said. “Sometimes you have to get in the way of injustice”.

“War can’t bring peace, it can only bring further terror, death and poverty,” the group said.



Congratulations, solidarity and many thanx for shinig some hope in a dark time.
Ciaron O'Reilly
Catholic Worker/ Ploughshares

Great, brave and inspiring action folks - well done! First people to directly intervene in our wars of occupation for some time!

Jessica & all-
Congratulations for your clarity, conscience & competence!

You are heroes - thank you on behalf of all of us.

Thank you for your prayer and your courageous action! Thanks for doing what we all need to be doing---Blessings on your actions...and on you...

thanks crew for your solidarity and posts! NB the video is from the last action bearing Bonheoffer's name....

Was an amazing day - I never guessed we'd get right to the centre of the base...or shut it down for 5 hours!!!

Fantastic action and such a sign of Easter hope. Well done, keep strong, in solidarity, Lisa Bridle

Congratulations! I keep thinking about how easy it is to act boldy once the decision to act is taken. Pine Gap, Waihopai, Shoalwater Bay, Swan Island. The path through the wilderness is made smooth, by the grace of God.


Thank you for your action of faithfully speaking truth. Great news to wake up to.

With thanks for the grace of this action in the midst of Holy Week. War is "out of order" indeed.

in peace,


Thank you so much for this inspiring witness; a ray of hope through the cloud of indifference that plagues our churches.

Nice one!
Great to hear about this.

Awesome! And what a great banner: Closed! War is out of order.

Congratulations and many thanks to The Bonhoeffer Four on your witness against Australia's participation in these ongoing wars againt the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Good on youse !
Makes a great change to see "social justice" Xtians direct action
instead of Corporate media spectacle around the Catholic hierarchy in denial over child abuse, Archbigot Jensen denouncing atheists, anti-abortionists hassling women and workers at clinics etc.
Keep up the good work and hope to see you all at the next larger community anti-war event.

Well done, thank you from one who fully supports such actions that can inspire others towards the thought of a peaceful world.

Is there a single early church example of the Church directly disrupting the Roman military.

Christianity is meant to be more than this, fight for the redemption of lives and souls and don't sell out to silly, do nothing, publicity

This didn't do anything to end the war and I feel sorry that Christianity is being dragged through the mud. We love soldiers and wouldn't want to cause the death of a single person.

Good witness? Perhaps - someone has to remind us of the day when swords will be beaten to ploghshares.

Yet that time is not yet - and Aussie soldiers, sailors and airmen are doing their bit for the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan alongside others and deserve the support of the church. It is no time to pass by on the other side and leave Afghanistan to the 'mercy' of the Taliban. That's not what ordinary Afghan families want - and I've been there and asked them!

Congratulations on your courageous action. My comments apppeared in the Geelong Advertiser Letters Column 9 April 2010 as per below:
In a society such as ours which is besotted by big media events, sport, consumerism, an almost total lack of interest in climate change and issues of war and peace, I wish to thank the young people who recently took a stand on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (Geelong Advertiser, 1 April).
Their efforts to highlight the actions of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) on Swan Island are in keeping with the Berrigan brothers and the Ploughshares movement in the United States during the American war in Vietnam. That war of lies cost the lives of 500 Australian and 50,000 US soldiers, plus two million Vietnamese civilians, countless numbers of injured soldiers, not to mention those still suffering the effects of Agent Orange (chemical warfare).
During the Vietnam war in the late 1960s and early 1970s friends of mine and I were involved in radical but peaceful actions similar to those above. We felt completely justified in helping to bring the war to an end which finally gave independence to the Vietnamese people.
In December 1996 activists scaled the Queenscliff Fort walls to protest the training of Indonesian military officers. This was a time when Indonesia was involved in the slaughter of thousands of East Timorese. Those actions too were fully justified.
Today the United States anti-war movement is increasing in strength due in part to the military budget bleeding the country dry of urgently needed social infrastructure. History shows that other empires have collapsed because of similar misguided use of government funds.
We must never forget the war in Vietnam was sold to the Australian public on fabricated evidence, some of which, no doubt, would have been supplied by our spy agencies. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are built on a similar pack of lies.
Peaceful protest by anti-war activists should be applauded.

Excellent! Well Done. We need more actions like this one.
Funny how I had to wait till I checked on this site to hear anything about this.

In the week before Easter 2010 the Bonhoeffer Peace Collective went to the Swan Island Military base to press the emergency stop button on the war in Afghanistan. They face Geelong Magistrates Court in the last week of May/first week of June and would love you to join them in a celebration of active, vibrant resistance to war on that day.

Now it's your turn to hit the emergency stop button!

Immediately after their court appearance, the Bonhoeffer Peace Collective will invite you to join them in returning to the gates of Swan Island, at Queenscliff. There you will be given the opportunity to take a simple act to refuse continued warmaking on the people of Afghanistan by stepping onto the prohibited land (thereby risking arrest), or to participate in a peaceful, nonarrestable demonstration at the gate.

We will ensure that, as much as possible, people in both arrestable and nonarrestable positions are well informed and supported throughout the process.

So this is an invitation for you to consider being involved in these acts of nonviolent resistance to war. The exact date of the court appearance/demonstration will be confirmed on Wednesday 12th of May. If you could indicate your interest in being involved as soon as possible, that would help us plan numbers, and set up communication and any necessary support. And of course please pass this on to anyone else you know who might be interested.

With thanks for all you do to make this world a more compassionate place,

Simon Moyle on behalf of Jacob Bolton, Jessica Morrison, Simon Reeves and the rest of the Bonhoeffer Peace Collective.

You christians are all fucking crazy, no wonder half the world is atheist, you are some messed up people.