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.
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.