Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Citizens Against War Crimes

Just received this via email...interesting that all the news coverage of the last sitting day of parliament was centred around the childish bickering of politicians, with no mention of this...

Media Release: (Thursday 20 September 2007; Canberra)

Iraqi deaths due to US invasion - 1,051,145 (Just Foreign Policy, & The Lancel - UK medical journal) "We had to destroy the country in order to save it.

"Citizens Arrest of John Howard, Alexander Downer, Philip Ruddock, & Brendan Nelson as War Criminals."Point of order Mister Speaker: I have a Warrant for the arrest of John Howard, Alexander Downer, Philip Ruddock, & Brendan Nelson as War Criminals.

"Yesterday in Federal Parliament at Question Time, an anti-war activist confronted the Government with a formal Citizens Arrest Warrant, charging them with various breaches of international law. (see Warrant below)

Peter McGregor, a retired academic from Newcastle, was himself then arrested, & charged with 'unlawful entry on inclosed lands' & taken into custody. McGregor was calling for the Speaker of the House of Representatives to have the police arrest the 4 Ministers. "Just the Howard Government's abandoning of Habeas Corpus should make it a social pariah, especially with those who believe in the rule of law & human rights. Instead of people like me, the Pine Gap 4, the Talisman Sabre Peace Convergence, Rising Tide, Greenpeace, etc. resorting to acts of civil disobedience, it would be preferable if groups like Amnesty, councils for civil liberties, university law faculties, etc. practiced what they preached, and brought formal legal charges against the Howard Government for its War Crimes."

"In order for evil to triumph, it is enough for good people to do nothing."No date has been set for the trial, but McGregor will be pleading not guilty.Contact: Peter McGregor - mcgregorpeter@yahoo.com.au & 49293587----------

Warrant for the Citizens Arrest of John Howard, Alexander Downer, Philip Ruddock, & Brendan Nelson: John Howard, Prime Minister; Alexander Downer, Minister for Foreign Affairs; Philip Ruddock, Attorney-General; & Brendan Nelson, Minister for Defence are hereby charged, to be trial by the International Criminal Court, with:

(1) Planning, preparing, initiation or waging a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances - VI (i) Nuremburg Principles

(2) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for accomplishment of the above - V (ii) Nuremburg Principles

(3) Participating in the use of cluster bombs in contravention of the AUSTRALIAN MINES CONVENTION ACT, 1998

(4) Participating in the use of weapons of mass destruction in breach of the GENEVA Convention including Fuel Air Explosives which cause death by asphyxiation

(5) Conspiring to pervert the course of justice by
(i) abandoning habeas corpus both in the domestic 'anti-terror' laws & in international policy; &(ii) covering up or defending the use of torture & over breaches of the GENEVA Convention, the International Covenant for Civil & Political Rights, & the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, against Australian – and other - citizens, at Guantanamo Bay

(6) Failing in its duty to protect Australian citizens overseas, & conspiring to continue the illegal detention of Australian citizens without trial or changes for over 5 years

(7) Demonizing and incarcerating asylum seekers under the policies of mandatory detention and fortress Australia. Such policies contravene the legal principle of habeus corpus and have induced undue suffering and mental illness for detainees.

Dated this Wednesday 19th September, 2007.Signature(s): Peter McGregor: (mcgregorpeter [at] yahoo.com.au)

Issued & authorized by Citizens against War Crimes

So whats happening in Burma?




JUST RECEIVED THIS MOVING MESSAGE FROM A GOOD FRIEND OF PACE E BENE, JACK HEALEY, FORMER DIRECTOR OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA AND A FOUNDER OF THE BURMA CAMPAIGN. HE HAS BEEN WORKING TIRELESSLY ON BURMESE FREEDOM SINCE MEETING AUNG SAN SUU KYI IN 1999. BEST, KEN BUTIGAN


Dear all, The demonstrations inside Burma have escalated into a full-scale nonviolent Gandhian revolution. Yesterday 200,000 monks, civilians, and students marched through the capital city of Rangoon, calling for human rights and democracy.


The day before, they forced through barriers on the street outside Aung San Suu Kyi's house to go and visit her. She stepped outside for a brief conversation and it was the first time she can been seen in 4 years. Our colleagues inside Burma tell us that she looked fit and healthy.


I am attaching a photo here of her -- you can see her in the middle with yellow shirt clasping her hands together. When the monks approached her, she started crying as she was overwhelmed by their courage and bravery. Yesterday, inspired by the strong support from Hollywood actors and actresses, several of Burma's most prominent actors joined the protests and offered alms to the marching monks, a highly symbolic and important show of support.


We have been briefing journalists virtually 24 hours a day as they cover the situation. Tonight we are going on CNN and BBC World. There are over 2,500 news articles on Burma right now -- the #1 story in the world.


Journalists are calling this the "Saffron Revolution", noting the color of the monks robes. Ominous news is that the regime is shaving heads of some of its soldiers so they can pose as monks and these "monks" can incite military soldiers into a crackdown. Just amazing to see the power of the human spirit.


Jack and Jeremy

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Alternatives 2 Empire


The Another World is Possible conference invites people of all faiths and no particular faith to create a shared spiritual and moral vision of a new economic, political and cultural order; which rejects greed, domination and violence, respects the rights and dignity of all humanity; seeks sustainable and just stewardship of the Earth’s ecological systems; and which understands the sacredness and unity of all life and creation.The conference will consider the fundamental questions of human existence: Who are we? What is our purpose on this earth? How should we live? How should we address the challenges that face humanity at this critical moment of its history?

Only when we consider these questions can we begin the task of building political, economic and cultural institutions and policies that overcome the structures of greed, domination and violence.



Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Salvo's Moblised for Peace

watch out the salvo's are getting involved! this sunday, the salvo's have organised a prayer for peace rally. this a fantastic start to getting involved in the campaign for the abolition of war. lets hope we can go deeper and further, inspired by time praying with the God of Peace on Sunday.




Details are Sunday 23rd Sept. 69 Burke St Melbourne, 7pm and then a candle lit vigil to the steps of parliament. Hope you can come!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"you can have your protest, if we can have our war".

some blog posting worthy conversations from Christian Activist Network egroup...


There is an> agreement (maybe only implicitly) between the authorities and the> anti-war movement that "you can have your protest, if we can have> our war". Anything outside of the limits on protest set by the> authorities is criticized by the "mainstream" anti-war movement.







...anti-war protests and the warorganisors and beneficiaries forming a kind of co-dependency. I do thinkthat it is more complex than this and possibly a major reason for thisis the way that the war organisers have acted to restrict andmarginalise any dissent and protest to the extent where at a major eventlike APEC they employ extreme measures to prevent any disruptionregardless of the costs.



This is what i think is different from thepast, is that those conducting the war are changing the rules andrestricting free speech and dissent so that there is no possible waythat their activities can be disrupted by protests. The governmnts and corporations involved have powerful allies in the corporate mediaworking to demonise anti-war protestors at any opportunity in ordersilence them and marginalise them further.



For some who are able tothink critically about the issues and who do not have an interest andare continuing to profit from current political policies they maybe ableto see through the media and political spin, for others and possibly themajority they unfortunately accept what's dished up to them. All of thisas we know is not good news for our supposed democracy and it's thisunrelenting war on democracy and free speech that i find most disturbing.



However It's in this space that i think there is room for creative civildisobedience that could act as a catalyst in causing people to thinkmore critically about the issues. To be effective however we do need tobe able to capture an effective voice outside of the mainstream media tomake sure that there is balance in the message thats being reported.



comments by paul dyson and paul jameson

Large Scale nonviolence movement


A MARCH by thousands of protesters demanding an end to the Iraq war turned chaotic near the US Capitol, where hundreds sprawled on the ground in a symbolic "die-in", and police arrested almost 200 people, including war veterans.


Police used a chemical spray against some protesters and pushed back others who tried to jump a barrier in a self-described effort to be arrested. The "die-in", on a walkway in front of the Capitol building on Saturday, was generally peaceful until scores of protesters were arrested when they tried to climb over metal fences and a low stone wall.


Phil Aliff, 21, marched wearing his US Army jacket as part of a group called Iraq Veterans Against the War. He first arrived in Iraq in July last year. "I stayed there for a year, in Abu Ghraib and outside Fallujah," he said.


"When we arrived, we were told we were here to bring stabilisation to the country. But we were not rebuilding anything. The Iraqis had only two hours of electricity. And I saw the atrocities committed by the Americans there."


full story...


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Violence at peaceful protests...

Just found a new blog. Its called Peaceful People Power Australia .

They seem to be really committed towards addressing the issue of violent protesters at actions. APEC is a good example as to how they will be doing so - nonviolently of course! So check it out! http://pppoz.blogspot.com/

Here is a good description of what PPPOZ is about :


We hope to continue the conversation about nonviolence as a political strategy with as many political activist groups and individuals as possible.

It is intended for PPPA to help provide impetus for activist groups and individuals committed to nonviolence to form a coalition within which ongoing dialogue continues to explore ways to implement our common goal of keeping political protest nonviolent.

It's time that those seeking to bring violence to peaceful protest actions are made unwelcome at such events. The future integrity and credibility of peaceful protests depends on this.Please help us.

Join us. You can make a difference.

No provocateurs wanted at APEC...

From the desk of Sylvia Hale MLC (NSW Greens):

Canadian authorities admitted last week that three people photographed wearing bandanas covering their faces and carrying rocks at a recent demonstration at a North American government leaders summit were undercover police officers.

This week I called on the NSW Premier to guarantee that there will be no undercover police or other security agents attempting to provoke violence at Sydney's APEC demonstrations.

The most provocative statements about possible violence at the APEC protests have come from the PM, the Premier, the Police Minister and the new Police Commissioner, not the protest organisers.

Sydney has a long history of peaceful political protest and the Greens want to see that historycontinue.We are discouraging any violence by either protesters or police.


Taken from http://pppoz.blogspot.com/

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A guide for political and social action


The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings
The mindfulness trainings of the Order of Interbeing,
first enumerated by Thich Nhat Hanh in 1966 at the
height of the Vietnam War, expand on the traditional
Buddhist precepts.

1. Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory,
or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist systems of thought
are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.

2. Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless,
absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to
present views. Learn and practice nonattachment from views in
order to be open to receive others’ viewpoints. Truth is found in
life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn
throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and
in the world at all times.

3. Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever,
to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money,
propaganda, or even education. However, through compassionate
dialogue, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness.

4. Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering.
Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life
of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering, including
personal contact, images, and sound. By such means, awaken yourself
and others to the reality of suffering in the world.

5. Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Do not
take as the aim of your life fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure.
Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources
with those who are in need.

6. Do not maintain anger or hatred. Learn to penetrate and
transform them when they are still seeds in your consciousness.
As soon as they arise, turn your attention to your breath in
order to see and understand the nature of your anger and hatred
and the nature of the persons who have caused your anger and
hatred.

7. Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings.
Practice mindful breathing to come back to what is happening
in the present moment. Be in touch with what is wondrous, refreshing,
and healing both inside and around you. Plant seeds of
joy, peace, and understanding in yourself in order to facilitate the
work of transformation in the depths of your consciousness.


8. Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community
to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all
conflicts, however small.

9. Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest
or to impress people. Do not utter words that cause division and
hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain.
Do not criticize or condemn things of which you are not sure.
Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to
speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may
threaten your own safety.

10. Do not use the Buddhist community for personal gain or
profit or transform your community into a political party. A religious
community, however, should take a clear stand against oppression
and injustice and should strive to change the situation
without engaging in partisan conflicts.

11. Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and
nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their
chance to live. Select a vocation that helps realize your ideal of
compassion.

12. Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible
to protect life and prevent war.

13. Possess nothing that should belong to others. Respect the
property of others, but prevent others from profiting from
human suffering or the suffering of other species on earth.

14. Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect.
Preserve vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization
of the Way. Be fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new
lives into the world. Meditate on the world into which you are
bringing new beings. ♦

Excerpted from Learning True Love: Practicing Buddhism in a Time of War by
Sister Chang Khong. © 2007 Unified Buddhist Church. Reprinted with permission
from Parallax Press.