Peace Convergence Newsletter: July 2009

Dear Friends

Operation Talisman Sabre begins in days!!!

Attached is a detailed program of events for the Peace Convergence (a calendar of events is also available on the website Here is a quick overview of the program:

Fri July 3 - Sun July 5 Committed2Change Festival see
Sun July 5 1pm- 6pm Talisman Saber 2009 Open Day (see below)
Sun July 5 7pm Film Screening: Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives: the Environmental Impact of War
Thur July 9 5:30pm Nonviolent Direct Action Training


Equal rights means same-sex marriage

Few issues so neatly symbolise a whole system of oppression as the ban on same-sex marriage. It seems so clear to gay and lesbian people and our supporters that we deserve the basic civil right to be able to publicly celebrate our relationships with the same standing and recognition that straight couples do. It is so blatantly unfair.


Peace Convergence 09: Get Involved

Close the Bases
Stop the Exercises
End the Wars

Up to 30,000* US and Australian troops will be practicing bombing, landing and raiding at Shoalwater Bay in Central Queensland - just north of Rockhampton- in the NT and in WA as part of Australia-US Joint Military Exercises Operation Talisman Sabre 2009 from JULY 6 – 26 this year.

The Peace Convergence is calling for peace action to take place throughout the war games in the Shoalwater region, throughout Queensland and around Australia. Join us in saying NO! to the practicing and waging of war.


Sydney Peace Convergence Solidarity Action

Stop War Games Stop Talisman Sabre 09

Reduce Military Spending

Australian troops out of Afghanistan

We oppose these war games because:

· They are designed to practice aggression and offensive military strategies, not to defend Australia or protect its people.

· They are intended to train Australian military personnel to take US military orders – the so-called “seamless interoperability”.

· The exercises will cost over $50 million, an obscene amount in these times of economic recession.


Melbourne Peace Convergence Solidarity Events, 5-13 July

From the 6 July, Australia will host the third 'Operation Talisman Sabre', joint military exercises with 13,000 US and 7,000 Australian troops. With worldwide military spending likely to tip $1.4 Trillion this year, and our militaries continuing to participate in a horrendous war in Afghanistan, it is vital people let the Government know we seek a different solution to our world's problems. Perhaps you can come up to Shoalwater Bay in central Queensland to join protests and resistance.


4,000 sex-crazed drug-addled US troops to descend on Cairns

Where US troops go, sexual assaults and drug charges follow. Look out Cairns!

Around the world, in the Philippines, Japan and many other locations, US bases have become the centre of major social problems. The Governor of Okinawa has said the US bases on his island brought a major increase in levels of prostitution, drugs, alcoholism, rape, sexually transmitted diseases, and abuse of women and children.

The Australian experience is similar.

An Anglican Church report from Hobart details frequent sexual assaults on juvenile men and women by US service people.


Stop Talisman-Sabre - Brisbane launch

Media Release 24 June 2009

Stop Talisman-Sabre - Brisbane launch

Peace and environmental protesters from around Australia are organising to obstruct and counter the US - Australian war games which will take place at Shoalwater Bay near Yeppoon 6 - 26 July.

Called Talisman-Sabre, the live-fire war games will involve some 30,000 US and Australian military personnel, cost Australian taxpayers at least $50 million and bomb and blast coastal waters and pristine rainforest of the largest wilderness area on the Central Queensland coast.


Honour among Politicians on Refugee matters

We certainly would like to thank the Liberal members for their stance, an unpopular stance no doubt. Their stance is more courageous than the two-faced stance of the Labour Party, on immigration, refugees, human rights.

Its time to get a decision from this questionable High Court Australia on issues of HREOCA1986, RDA1975, etc

Turnbull faces backbench revolt

By Julian Drape and Melissa Jenkins

Federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull's leadership was further undermined on Wednesday amid the second backbench revolt in a week.


Help send refugees to the Canberra pollies to chuck out cruel policy

By the GetUp team

After 16 months in immigration detention, Kasian was granted a temporary visa. Then he was hit with a $160,000 bill for his "accommodation" in Baxter Detention Centre. There are hundreds more like him - experiencing unimaginable trauma only to then be slugged with an enormous bill for the privilege.

The good news is the Senate is scheduled to vote this week on a bill to overturn this policy, but the vote is going to be very close.


Key environment groups dump ACF over carbon trading

In an historic move, several of Australia's key environment groups have abandoned peak environment group the Australian Conservation Foundation for it's support of carbon trading. They have formed a new alliance they are calling "Plan B".

Friends of the Earth Australia (FoEA) said in a statement that, "We’re concerned the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are already above safe levels, and the CPRS will not effectively reduce carbon pollution."