Tuesday 7 July 2009

Bryan Law and a 406 MHz personel location beacon

Cairns activist Bryan Law, along with wife Margaret Pestorius and son Joseph, and family friend Trisha (all Catholic nonviolent activists) have arrived in Rockhampton, Yeppoon, heading to Shoalwater Bay, for a four week holiday camp and anti-war programme, 1068 kms South of Cairns.

Shoalwater Bay is land of the Darumbal people. 454,500 Hectares of military exercise area with mountains, swamps, beaches, forested and open terrain, 80 kilometres north of Rockhampton.
The Commonwealth Government “acquired” the area for Defence training purposes in 1965.

Between 6 and 26 July, the US and Australia will run a “joint” command military exercise called Talisman Sabre ’09. The exercise will combine the use of air, navy and ground forces to amphibiously invade the Darumbal people again, and fight battles against their cities. 5,500 Australian troops and 22,000 US troops will fight together, one well-integrated force, to accomplish this new victory over the Darumbal.

Exerxise Talisman sabre will cost Australia $43 million, and the US $212 million. Not counting regular wages and costs to maintain 27,000 troops in operational mode.

Exercise Talisman Sabre will be commanded by the Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7, a US officer based in Hawaii. His deputy will be Air Vice Marshall Skidmore, the Air Commander of Australia. From there downwards the chain the command will be twinned US/Australian. Command, control and communications systems will all be tested and integrated during the exercise, with full satellite coverage.

Call him perverse, or call him a serial stirrer (as our illustrious organ the Cairns Post recently did), Bryan Law believes that we don’t need to invade the Durambal people again, and most certainly not as agents of US empire.

Just like he did before the famous Citizens’ Inspection of Pine Gap, Bryan has written a letter to the Defence Minister, Senator John Faulkner, about Exercise Talisman Sabre and Shoalwater Bay.

In his letter, Bryan explains his conscientious object to preparation for war, with reference to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and then tells the Minister about a gathering of Christian peace activists during the Exercise, and says...
  • “In 2009 we expect that several affinity groups will form to carry out civil disobedience actions which attempt to obstruct and interfere with the military aspects of Operation Talisman Sabre. Some of those will enter the training area.

    Please appreciate that the details of our actions will be constructed through a weeks-long process of prayer, analysis, inspiration, and material boundaries. I expect that civil disobedience actions will also address convoys, staging areas, airfields, and other elements of the training exercise. Each group will organise its own communication with authorities, and lines of responsibility for actions taken.

    My own particular interest lies in entering the training area in ways which maximally frustrate the conduct of the exercise. I am called to, at an appropriate time, (immediately before a planned exercise would be good) enter those areas set aside for live firing exercises. We may set off emergency beacons to confirm our presence there. Exposing ourselves to potential harm so as to arouse the conscience of the community, is one key element of Christian nonviolence”.

    Would you halt the live firing exercises to preserve the safety of peace activists at risk under those circumstances?

    Or would the death or injury of such activists constitute an acceptable level of collateral damage for the privilege of studying war?
So the Minister for Defence, Senator John Faulkner, has been formally notified that Christian nonviolence activists will attempt to enter the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area and disrupt the conduct of exercise Talisman Sabre ’09.

Bryan says at least a dozen experienced activists will build and carry out a program between 6 and 26 July.

"As part of my own space-based technological revolution, I've acquired a GME MT410 406 MHz Personal Location Beacon, and intend to set it off inside a live-firing area of Shoalwater Bay," Bryan said. "The retail price is $469, so I'm looking for anyone who'd like to donate towards the cause."

Air Commodore Meier, in the Senate Defence Committee earlier this month told Greens Senator Scott Ludlum that...
  • “Air Cdre Meier —Your final question was the contingency plans for trespassers getting into the live fire exercises in Talisman Sabre. Essentially, if we know there is an unauthorised person into the Commonwealth land at Shoalwater Bay, Bradshaw or any of the other exercise areas, the exercise is stopped. It is then passed over to either the Federal Police or state police to deal with. For Shoalwater Bay, in the vicinity of the training area it is an issue for the Queensland police. Once they cross into Commonwealth land, it is an issue for the Australian Federal Police.

    Senator LUDLAM —Your automatic response on learning that somebody has trespassed inside or close to a live fire area is you would stop the clock?

    Air Cdre Meier —Yes.”

So using a $469 piece of technology, a band of nonviolence activists can frustrate a quarter billion dollar program for how long?

Bryan has some concerns for his health in taking on a bush walk, and says he will have to pay attention to his medication and go steady. When asked whether he should defer from direct action he says he feels “compelled to do what is available to end war, and to end this preparation for war.

The war in Afghanistan is eight years old now, and no further along in “protecting” us from Terrorism. The war, and al Qaida, has spread into Pakistan and Iraq”. “Ask yourself: Who are the US training us to invade at these exercises around Shoalwater Bay? When Australia acts as “Deputy Sheriff” to the USA, we disgrace ourselves and besmirch our good name.”

“It’s time to face the truth that the USA are the biggest and worst terrorists on Earth, and they need to be disarmed”.

As well as Pine Gap, Bryan nominates training exercises like Talisman Sabre ’09, and port visits by warships USS Essex in Cairns last week, as key enablers of US military aggression.

Bryan says “as a Christian nonviolence activist I’m compelled to seek disarmament and fulfil the plowshares prophecy. It’s quite simple really, we simply musn’t study war any more”.

Bryan reckons we should study nonviolence instead.


nocturnal congress said...

To "america is great", the illegal war in Iraq will cost us Australians billions in years to come as the case for War Reparations comes to the International Courts. That is your legacy for sycophancy with the US. John Howard should have stood alongside Canada, Germany and France at the time they resisted the ridiculous US propaganda that "Saddam had WMD".
And what the HELL are we doing in Afghanistan?

america is great said...

Noc old boy, religous zealots like bryan "i,m on tv again" and people like you give me the s***s , for starters "christians" have started more wars than anyone .
We are not asians and we are surrounded by them , we are not coloured and we are surrounded by non whites, who else will come to help us in times of war? new zealand on canoes ? tassie ? get real you have no answers you and lawless are just against the u.s.a .
why doesn,t he call australia terrorists as well in his blurb?
We are in both countries he and you named ! why because he is s**t scared.

Bryan Law said...

Sure, Australia is a deputy terrorist. Our politicians are happy to misuse and abuse our soldiers by sending them into situations where they'll be required to kill and/be killed - and where their actions will kill/harm civilians.

The US government is the chief terrorist.

At the same time, most ordinary Australians, and most ordinary Americans, would be horrified by the reality of what our military forces do. That's why the politicians lie to them.

As for why people believe such obvious lies (for example that training to invade another country is somehow for the "defence" of Australia - well maybe people just like to believe that they and their government are "good".

I'd rather people put real effort into actually becoming good, and acting for justice. That's why our operating base - the "Martin Luther King Jr House of Christian Nonviolence" is named for a great American, a true world leader.

Perhaps our anonymous abuser would like to nominate someone he believes exemplifies true American leadership (I'll bet right now that it won't be George W).

america is great said...

easy peasy Abraham Lincoln , and the reason I need annonimty is because people like you with"nice haircut" as seen on where else "I love tv" last night may hold peaceful vigils outside my workplace.

Bryan Outlaw Rules said...

Australia is still England's bitch, not the USA. You'd think if someone like Bryan Law really wanted to effect change, he'd be spending time trying to secure Australian independence from the Crown.


He's busy dreaming that a $469 device is going to somehow frustrate the US military. Perhaps we'll get lucky and it will serve to direct a missle up his dole-bludging arse.

As a week with the US military in Cairns has shown, jerks like Bryan Law have little traction with anyone.

Mike [not Moore] said...

It would nice to see the word "terrorist" thrown around a bit less. Terrorists are those who target and try to terrorise a civilian populace in order to carry out political change. That accidental civilian casualties can and certainly have resulted does not make it a terrorist endeavour. And before anyone accuses me of being pro-American, I'm not - I felt the War in Iraq was a mistake and think the Afghan campaign was bungled massively.

Before complaining about the cost of the exercise to Australia, how much economic activity is resulting from it? It would have to be a fairly good boost to the economy. Sure, it may not beat good infrastructure spending or targeting funds at the poor, but with the US putting so much in we could get good bang for our buck.

Law is a Media Whore said...

Hey Bryan, that box you bought is a "wacko protester homing device". Turn it on, and watch the cruise missle as it cruises in.

Shelby Montana said...

Thank god for the Yanks - or we would not have the freedoms in this country for Bryan Law to do what he does.

Try doing it in Japan if you think I am wrong.

Bryan Law said...

It's not that I think you're wrong Shelby, it's more that I think you're a fake and a phony. Hiding behind a nom de plume seems to give some people a license to make really stupid comments that have no connection with reality.

It's amusing though, so keep it up.

america who allows you to do what you do ,useless protests said...

Let us really face facts bryan lawless ,everyone in cairns bar a few on here and your loopy band think you are a real nutter, me too

Thaddeus said...

Shelby Montana, read up on your Queensland political history.

nocturnal congress said...

sigh.....people have protested war since time began. Some people truly and sincerely believe in "thou shalt not kill". Many religious people today follow that commandment passionately. Are they "nutters" for believing in the word of Christ and the sanctity of life?