Anti war activists have geared up their protest by blocking access to the secretive Swan Island military base near Queenscliff at 6am today (Tuesday 5 July 2011). Four protesters from Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth were arrested arrested this morning picketing the base as about 40 local and visiting activists converged in the small town in protest against Australiaâ€™s continuing participation in the US-lead war in Afghanistan.
Australian peace activists are taking direct action against military expenditure, war games, the U.S. alliance, the Afghanistan War and the trial of Julian Assange over the next few weeks. On June 28th in Adelaide, activists are picketing a Defence Industry Expo. From July 4th-8th a a blockade of the Swan Island military base is occurring to protest the Afghanistan War.
It was over five months ago, in the depth of a chilly Victorian winter day that about forty people gathered in front of the Swan Island military base. They had just been to court and witnessed four activists have their charges of trespassing onto the base be dismissed by a Magistrate. The group sang songs; chalked the footpath with messages for peace; spoke to an aid worker in Afghanistan; heard from an ex-serviceperson; and then held a die in. At the end of the die-in, nine activists refused to get off the road.
A Geelong Magistrate today stated that activists who had blocked the gate of the Swan Island military facility had â€śacted in good consciousnessâ€ť and in light of this, recorded no conviction, and dismissed the charges for 8 of the 9 defendants.The 9th defendant, who was arrested the same day she faced court for a similar action, was given a one month good behavior bond.
updates from the activists as it happens: http://twitter.com/jarrodmckenna
The Bonhoeffer Peace Collective
Activists breach secret military base
At 6am this morning, four Christian peace activists entered Swan Island, one ofAustraliaâ€™s most secret military installations near Queenscliff, Victoria, seeking to disrupt the war in Afghanistan.
â€śBoth Swan Island and the war on Afghanistan are out of sight, out of mind. Itâ€™s time to end further suffering of the Afghan people and our soldiers by bringing our troops home,â€ť the group said.