“There are a growing number of situations throughout the world that call into question the assertion that US bases positively impact a local community’s economy,” says Dr Lisa Natividad, a speaker at the annual conference of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN), being held in Alice Springs today. “For example, in the case of Fayetteville, North Carolina that hosts two major US bases, the city is found to have one of the state’s highest rates of child poverty and infant mortality. The military sector is one of the least efficient mechanisms for job creation. “A quantification of the economic impacts of the military needs to transcend a mere bean count of jobs locals are able to get on bases. Rather, this analysis needs to take into account the various services and infrastructural investments made by local communities that include the provision of health care, the maintenance of roads, the increased demand for water, electricity, and the wear and tear of these systems over time. “In addition, the social costs for military-related crimes, the demand for the sex industry, and the tensions between US active-duty troops and locals also needs to be considered,” said Dr Natividad. “In Okinawa, US Forces-related revenue has been approximately 5% of the gross prefectural income since the 1990s,” says Professor Kosuzu Abe, of Okinawa, also a speaker at the IPAN conference. “From our...Read More
Raytheon the private contractor behind much of Pine Gap’s work has become a target of protesters who are in Alice Springs to draw attention to Pine Gap’s 50 year history of creating instability and war. Situated in a non-descript building in Whittaker Street, Raytheon Australia, the subsidiary of one of the largest arms dealers in the world, expects to ply its trade without hindrance. From Raytheon’s own website (http://www.raytheon.com.au/ ):- “Raytheon Australia provides state of the art sensors, effectors, electronic warfare and mission systems integration to enable capabilities for the Australian Defence Force. “Raytheon’s systems incorporate satellite navigation, laser guidance, high-definition radars, advanced seekers and other technologies. They allow customers to carry out discriminating strikes on bona fide targets and defend against incoming attacks with unprecedented effectiveness.” “We mean to upset the smugness which permeates this horrendous corporation, whose self-advertising slogan is laughingly ‘keeping the world safe’. It means to do this by massive weaponised force!”, said Denis Doherty of the Anti-Bases Campaign. “In regard to Pine Gap alone Raytheon has much to answer for, creating the software to spy on civilians, to direct drones and to target areas of the world Australia is not at war with, such as Yemen and Somalia”, said Nick Deane from Independent and Peaceful Australia Network. “We call Raytheon a public-funded merchant of death”, said Dr. Hannah Middleton of the Anti-Bases Campaign. “It...Read More
1.30pm, Thursday 29th September 2006 at the Chifley Resort, Stott St Alice Springs – at the palm trees quadrangle behind the Gumtree Room. SPEAKERS available for interview: BACKGROUND BIOS BELOW PROFESSOR RICHARD TANTER DR LISA NATIVIDAD PROFESSOR KOSUZU ABE REV BERLIN GUERRERO ALEX EDNEY-BROWNE NICK DEANE Professor Richard Tanter Richard Tanter is Senior Research Associate, Nautilus Institute, and Professor in the School of Political and Social Studies at the University of Melbourne. Richard has worked on peace, security and environment issues in East and Southeast Asia as analyst, policy advocate and activist since the 1970s. His research has focused on militarisation...Read More
“Just when will Australians realise that the Pine Gap military installation does not serve our national interests?” asks Nick Deane from the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN). “This facility, largely run by and for the US makes Australia an accomplice to many of America’s questionably legal activities, from invading sovereign countries to the use of military drones in targeted assassinations. “Looking back 60 years Prime Minister Menzies gave the nod to the UK dropping nuclear weapons on Aboriginal land and 10 years later gave Aboriginal land to the US to host a military facility, Pine Gap, that is pivotal in the event of a nuclear war,” Mr Deane said. Professor Kosuzu Abe, who will address both the public forum in Alice Springs and the Conference, knows all too well the consequences of a nuclear war affecting the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the ongoing military presence in Japan. “Military power is not the best provider of security for ordinary people. This is what the people of Okinawa have learned through the battle for their island. The installation of foreign military facilities on Okinawa has gone way too far. It is simply a form of colonisation and, as such, is unacceptable.” said Professor Abe. “The US Military’s recent policy of the ‘Asia-Pacific Pivot’ does not ensure security at all. All it does is provide justification for...Read More
The need to close the drone warfare program at the Pine Gap Joint Facility near Alice Springs will be debated at the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network annual conference in Alice Springs next week. Alex Edney-Browne, a researcher on drone warfare at the University of Melbourne, will be among those debating the issue at the Saturday, October 1 conference. Ms Edney-Browne said the Australian public was not told about the alarming rates of civilian casualties from drone strikes and the psychological effects of living under drone surveillance and attack. “There are numerous reports of men, women and children too afraid to...Read More
On the 25th year of the Filipino people’s rejection of a new United States Bases Treaty with the Philippines, demonstrators led by BAYAN (New Patriotic Alliance) held a protest action near the US Embassy to call for the abrogation of all military treaties and agreements that perpetuate US neo-colonial rule over the Philippines. Aside from expressing support to the new Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s stand for an independent foreign policy, the demonstrators also aired their support for Australians’ efforts to close the Pine Gap Joint Facility and remove US marines from Darwin. Ordained Uniting Church minister from Victoria and...Read More
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