Who are we?

Hi Friends. Welcome to the blog of the Pine Gap trial, held in Alice Springs. For a background of the case and our group, and other stories please see www.pinegap6.org. At the bottom of the page is a photo of the four accused (from left) Jim Dowling; Donna Mulhearn; Bryan Law and Adele Goldie arriving at court on the first day of the trial, Tuesday 29th of June 2007.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Action at Pine Gap 2 June - from Ross

Ross here on behalf of Barry myself from Alice Springs, Central Australia. This afternoon about 100 people assembled outside Pine Gap, the top secret US spy base here in the centre of Australia.

This CIA run base assists the US globally in its bombing and intelligence around the world.
Not even the Australian govt. gets a tour inside this place.
The event started with speeches from Traditional owners of the land on which the base is built, the Arrerente People.

A sign outside the base gates was covered to say "Pine Gap terrorist Base". Peace songs and bible readings followed from the Beatitudes and Ezekiel about the dry bones coming to life.
Flowers were made into a peace sign and a cross had names pinned to it of peace activists and dead Iraqis from the war.

A citizens inspection was then carried out with myself and three others dressed in inspectors uniforms. We approached the gates and were met by an Federal Police Officer who said "NO" to our request. As part of a dream a had a few days back, I came with my passport and said as an Australian citizen I had a right to know what the US and Australian governments were doing on this base and that it was being kept secret from the Australian people. After each inspector being refused we retreated back to the crowd for discussion. Two inspectors, one Australian and one Amercian said they would continue to persue the inspection. The "Coalition of the Willing" proceeded to the fence to the side of the gate and climbed it. The State Police warned them but did nothing to hinder their climb. On the other side of the fence were Australian Federal Police (AFP) waiting to arrest them on the other side.

After about 5 minutes the two completed their climb and were arrested when they reached the ground on the other side. After about half an hour, the AFP informed us that the two would not be charged, and were released back out the main gate.

As you can see the group here has a very good relationship with the police here, and the police were doing everything thing they could to appear reasonable. I myself had seriously considered climbing the fence also, but did not wish to be entangled in legal problems at this time. As it was I think the event worked fine with the two who offered themselves for arrest, without my extra assistance. However, I am happy that I was willing and prepared to do so should a future event and need arise.

I continue to admire the beauty of the landscape here, at the same time we are confronting a quiet death machine whose decisions kill thousands from remote distances. Pine Gap is also a target of Russian Nuclear missiles, as any American base would be in this country. And our close military cooperation with the US makes us ever more vulnerable to attack, receiving the same retribution as America would for their foreign military adventurism.

1 comment:

mpestorius said...

Saturday 2nd June Pine Gap

We carried out a fabulous 'rise up' nonviolent action today. Creative, full of singing and ritual and narrative - my favourite kind. [well I did help organise it!]

Part 1 - Acknowledgement and Reflection
We started with a senior custodian of that country, who attended with his sister and younger brother and grandchildren, welcoming us to that country. And in response we thanked him and apologised for the impact of our people and society on his people. We stood in silence feeling the earth and remembering and acknowledging.

We then listened to a prophesy of Ezekiel - dry bones that will return to life; Matthew's beatitudes and Jesus' pentecostal call to love and rejection of fear in John 14. This was a pentecost action, so we then placed on a cross black cards with the names of the dead in Iraq and red flame-cards with the names of people who have led/do lead us in action into the Reign of God. - Oscar Romero, Gandhi, Luther King, Seeds of Hope, Ploughshares, Ciaron O'Reilly, - all our favourite heros.

We sang - Hear the voice of Justice Cry, Moving through our Land ...
and then
Rise up, Rise up on Eagles Wings

Part 2 - Transformation
We transformed the sign at the front of Pine Gap from "Pine Gap Terror Base" to "Pine Gap Peace Base"
... and we created a lovely peace symbol on the ground in front of it out of purple flowers while Stu sang "Flowers in the Guns"

Come on Everybody
Lets put Flowers in the Guns
Everyone under the sun
Lets put Flowers in the Guns

Part 3 - Inspection
We listened to Helen Caldicott speak about the US war machine
We listend to Bryan talk about the court case
We listened to Edward.
We congratulated the Pine Gap 4

Then we launched a mass citizens inspection. Unfortunately after asking three times, our inspection was not given authorisation. We then regrouped.
Edward and Terry decided that they were prepared to proceed with an inspection despite not being authorised by the authorities! So the crowd of citizens gave the authorisation needed.

Edward and Terry went forth and climbed the fence to carry out their mission - yes over the barbed wire. Unfortunately they were arrested on the other side.

We sang:
With my hammer I break the chain
I will not remain in silence
I will stand and I will defend
My right to fight agains violence

Then we sang
Let justice roll on like a river

And went home ...

[Oh - Terry and Edward were released to our loving arms first, uncharged, unhurt.]

... I'm tired. - lucky we didn't have to do a watch-house solidarity vigil!

love margaret