Author: Cairns Peace by Peace

Trial Day Seven – The verdict

Day seven in the Alice Springs supreme court for the Pine Gap peace pilgrims, with all the evidence done and the jury out considering their verdict. Surely it couldn’t go any longer? We have been staying at a lovely Christian retreat centre, where among other things they have communal prayers every morning. Today one of our hosts read from the bible about John the Baptist and then played a beautiful song about John’s ministry and his unfortunate end. I’ve always loved the wild desert prophet, but today it had even more significance. Jim spoke about how last time they...

Read More

Pine Gap on Trial November 10 – 24th 2017 Alice Springs – Pilgrims Face Trial for Lament

#PineGapPilgrims have been set down for trial for their lament on the mountain, and in the valley next to Pine Gap war-making facility. Pauli Christie will face court on 13th November and following days as needed. Margaret, Franz, Jim, Andy and Tim will face trial on 16th November and following days as needed. We will meet with you we hope in Alice from 10th November for 10 days of actions, ceremony, public meetings, and trial. We heartily invite you to Alice to be with us to PUT #PINEGAPONTRIAL AGAIN!! Please donate to get us and YOU there! Sign up...

Read More

Cairns Peace Pilgrim crosses the line to pray at Pine Gap Defence Facility early Monday as Peace Convergence ends.

Media Release Cairns Peace Pilgrim crosses the line to pray at Pine Gap Defence Facility early Monday as Peace Convergence ends. UPDATE: Paul Christie has been arrested and is being held at the Alice Watchhouse. Peace Pilgrim Paul Christie has been arrested after praying on the mountain at Pine Gap Defence Facility and is being held by police in the Alice Springs watchhouse. It is not clear what charges he is facing given the challenge to the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act 1952 by Supreme Court Judge Trigg last Thursday. The police prosecution last Thursday were directed to drop charges against 5 Peace Pilgrims after Judge Trigg announced that the legislation was “a nonsense”. Judge Daynor Trigg, said  the legislation requires an ‘authority to prosecute’ from the Attorney General BEFORE prosecution proceeds. He added that the law states that ‘prosecution’ starts with charging. All pilgrims who were lamenting the preparation of illegal war at Pine Gap were immediately released last Thursday. It is understood the police prosecutor intends to appeal later this month in the Darwin High Court. ———— Paul Christie is expected to appear in court at the 2pm sitting Monday afternoon in Alice Springs. PHOTO and VIDEO opportunity outside the court following proceedings. Margaret Pestorius 0410273604 More information at PINE GAP PEACE CONVERGENCE Cairns Peace Pilgrim crosses the line to pray at Pine Gap Defence Facility early Monday...

Read More

Close Pine Gap, Free Chelsea Manning!

Australian peace activists attempting to close the Pine Gap US intelligence base declare their solidarity with imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Chelsea Manning was a US soldier, arrested in 2010 after leaking thousands of classified documents related to the war in Iraq. In 2013 she was sentenced to 35 years in military prison for the leaks. Chelsea attempted suicide in July and was hospitalised. Last Friday she was found guilty of charges related to the suicide attempt and sentenced to 14 days solitary confinement. The Pine Gap intelligence base and the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning are both symbols of the US military’s war on the truth. On one side of the world you have this intelligence base, hidden away in the desert, unaccountable even to the Australian government, which drops bombs with impunity on places where the US has never declared war. On the other side of the world is a person locked up for most of her life for daring to tell what she saw with her own eyes in a US warzone. Peace will never come from a military superpower spying on the world, killing people in their homes, unaccountable to anyone and willing to go to any lengths to suppress the truth about its actions. Peace can only come from openness, transparency and a willingness to take responsibility for our own actions. Courageous truth-tellers like Chelsea Manning...

Read More

We at the gates of Pine Gap – join us with a selfie

Right now our peace convergence is at the gates of Pine Gap! Peacefully blockading to #ClosePineGap and oppose US drones killing civilian, data collection / surveillance on citizens and US war making on sovereign Arrente land. Can you join us now? Spread the word by tweeting and posting on your personal social media a selfie with a #ClosePineGap sign like Marcella just tweeted: Include your family / pets / friends / neighbours in the selfie or just you is enough to create a national buzz. Yesterday, you may have read in media that five peace pilgrims were arrested after...

Read More

Peace Pilgrims Lament at Pine Gap

Early on Thursday morning, five “peace pilgrims” walked on to the Pine Gap US military base at Alice Springs, in Arrernte country, to lament the death caused by the base and to resist the violence that is perpetrated there. Jim Dowling, Margaret Pestorius, Andy Paine, Tim Webb and Franz Dowling were the pilgrims. Christians committed to non-violence, most of us had undertaken “peace pilgrimages” before on this and other military facilities. We had already had several thwarted attempts at actions at Pine Gap this week, and this one involved a long late night walk through pretty tough country. When we eventually arrived at the perimeter fence we discovered police patrolling with spotlights. If we were going to get to the base it was going to be a race. The actual Pine Gap facility is tucked away behind hills. With police at the top, our only hope of lamenting in eyesight of the base was to do it on the run. Musical instruments and a photo of an Iraqi father holding his dead child had been packed to aid the lament. They were unpacked halfway up the hill. Miraculously, the instruments were in tune. Playing guitar and viola while running up a mountain is not easy. Neither is filming the whole thing in the dark. Nevertheless, the feeling was there. The musicians made it to the top of the...

Read More

At dawn “peace pilgrims” entered pine gap to lament the human cost of war

Six “Peace Pilgrims”, whose ages span 19 to 73, travelled through the desert together last night and are due to arrive on a crest inside military land at dawn and there sing a mournful lament about the human cost of war. Margaret Pestorius with her viola. Image: Adam Ginger Longtime Catholic, social worker and peace advocate Margaret Pestorius says ‘I am taking my viola to Pine Gap to play a song of lament for the dead of war. The viola is the perfect instrument for lamentation because it sings in the range of the human voice. I’ll play a...

Read More

Support the #PineGapPilgrims

We were lamenting war and praying for peace at Pine Gap. We have been found guilty of "being" in a prohibited area, and await sentencing. Now we need your help and support:
  1. To get involved sign up for Wage Peace Newsletter for updates, invitation to actions, call outs. Also to halt the march of the military in our universities and communities. Share this information with your friends and networks.
  2. Donate to help us with the costs of travelling back from Alice Springs and general costs that we incurred fighting this case.
  3. Support us with Actions in Alice Springs, Brisbane and Cairns on December 4th when we will be sentenced in the Brisbane Federal Court