I’m in Yeppoon this weekend attending some of the Peace Convergence – a gathering of people protesting against the Talisman Saber defence exercise (also known as ‘war games’), which are taking place in nearby Shoalwater Bay, next to Byfield National Park. Some protestors and activists have been here during the week, but the main actions are over the weekend.
Tonight, over 300 people packed out the Yeppoon Town Hall to listen to a range of speakers, including some women from the Indigenous peoples of Guam and Hawaii. Both places host major military bases for the USA as part of their presence in the Pacific.
As I’ve mentioned a number of times on this blog, I’m not a pacifist. But I strongly believe in a defence force being used for defence. At the moment, the federal government’s foreign policies are using our defence force too often in an aggressive capacity, while showing minimal interest in pushing for disarmament. We are intertwining our defence forces and equipment with the USA more and more, to the stage where we are all but handcuffed to their policies and actions. This is an expensive way of making the world, our nation and its people, less secure and less safe.