Swan Island Military Base

Swan Island peace protestors back in court July 27th: results and court statements

Another chilly morning in Geelong on July 27th, with 30 people coming along to join the 3 defendants in court. We had some pre-court reflections in the park opposite the court, sharing reflections of the Peace Convergence, and some inspiring words from heroes of the movement (Jesus scored a mention or 2). We then processed to court with some standing out the front, and others joining the wait inside the court.

Thanks to the Geelong activist crew, family, and Melbourne friends family and activists for joining us.


Swan Island Peace Convergence: A week of resistance to the Afghan War

From July 4th to July 8th, a small group of peace activists took direct action against the Afghan War by blockading the secretive Swan Island military base in Queenscliff in Victoria. The peaceful picket resulted in 10 arrests throughout the week. It was a week of empowering actions that will hopefully be a stepping stone towards building a mass movement of direct action to stop the Afghanistan War.
Related: Day1: Claiming Space -- Day 2: Four activists arrested -- Day 3: Resistance continues -- Day 4: Third day of arrests -- Day 5: Week culminates in arrests and meditations -- Convergence website -- Transparency or collusion: Reflections on the Convergence


Swan Island Peace Convergence Day 5: week culminates in arrests and meditations

A week of protests at the top secret military base of Swan island has ended with a blockade lit with 400 candles representing the deaths in Afghanistan and more arrests as protestors breached police lines. The convergence in Queenscliff has continued all week as a protest against the unnecessary and ineffective war in Afghanistan, and to draw attention to the role that the top secret Swan Island base plays in the war. The war is now into its tenth year – as long as Australia’s involvement in Vietnam.


Swan Island Peace Convergence Day 3 : Resistance to Afghanistan War continues

On July 6th, the day after the death of another Australian soldier in Afghanistan was announced, the protests at the Swan Island Military Base continued. Two more activists were arrested at the morning picket of the gates. Charged with “Hindering police” and “obstructing a roadway” they faced the Geelong Magistrates Court where they given a $400 fine each. Read an account from one arrestee of their day. Some great photos of the days action can be viewed here


Swan Island Peace Convergence Day 1: Claiming space

I would have called today the warm up – but its freezing down here and the wind is blowing a gale! Today is Independence Day in the US, so our theme was ‘Independence from the US’ day. Our call was for Australia to be gutsy enough to make our own decisions about our involvement in Afghanistan. It was also to challenge the notion that there is anything liberating about Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan. So we began the morning on the steps of Flinders St Station, with a human statue of liberty, with 20 people dying in around her feet.


Building a movement: some lessons from Swan Island

Over the last year and a small group of antiwar activists from Melbourne have been escalating our nonviolent resistance to the war in Afghanistan, focussing on the Swan Island Military Base off Queenscliff, Victoria. Australia has 1550 troops in Afghanistan; most are involved in mentoring and training Afghan National Army, but approximately 350 are the elite SAS, who are doing the targeted killings. Swan Island is one of two major training facilities for SAS troops, as well as the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS).