Book: Peace Crimes: Pine Gap, National Security and Dissent by Kieran Finnane
Peace Crimes (available at the University of Queensland Press) tells the story of anti-war resistance and direct action against Pine Gap, a Military Base in Alice Spring, Australia.
In 2016, six Peace Pilgrims, Andy Paine, Margaret Pestorius, Franz Dowling, Tim Webb, Pauli Christie and Jim Dowling organised a direct action and headed to the Pine Gap Military Base to pray and play music. 2016 was the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the military base, and the pilgrims felt compelled to intervene to lament the continued operation of the base and its involvement in drone strikes against people and villages in distant wars. They could no longer tolerate the collusion of their government in military operations which cause suffering and destruction.
The Peace Pilgrims were arrested for trespassing and faced 7 years in prison. They conducted their own court case which involved retelling the story of what they did and why, over several days, to a jury of 12 ‘peers’ in Alice Springs. The Pilgrims put Australian and US militarism on trial.
Kieran Finnane’s book Peace Crimes tells the story of this court case for the very first time, and traces its lineage in the activist group Pine Gap 4 and many other brave people who resisted the nuclear and war fighting capability in the years before. They all stand for the same cause: #ClosePineGap!