Peace Activists Sue the ADF! Invitation to Melbourne Civil Case and Remote Digital Support
Hey Wage Peace Friend,
September 2014: Protesters are hooded, zip-tied, have their clothing cut from their body. They are then beaten and threatened with rape and drowning at the secretive SAS military base at Swan Island, Victoria.
A 2015 defence report admits it.
The abuse of protesters is on the lower end of atrocities committed by SAS and ADF members in Afghanistan and elsewhere overseas. A secretive inquiry is currently being conducted by the Inspector General of the ADF. Its subject matter: the murder of innocents, cover-ups, obstruction of justice – matters raised by whistle-blowers as revealed last year in #theAfghanFiles.
In the last month, the Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell banned insignia of death from their subcultures. He noted that the use of these cultish symbols indicates “arrogance”.
It is more than an arrogance, we say. Rather death symbols are a sign of a festering culture of violence and deceit. This culture was cultivated by their masters in Afghanistan and Iraq, the shadowy US Special Operations Command (US SOC).
The edge of this culture is what the Swan Island protesters encountered.
After 15 years of war under US Special Operations, and without oversight from the Parliament or the people of Australia, the SAS, Commandos and other special forces have developed a culture of abuse, normalised atrocity. Rogue elements of the ADF have their own codes of “death cult” behaviours which include killing children outside any “code of engagement” and forcing team members to lie and hide incidents.
Domestic Militarism and Domestic Safety
This culture of military immunity may be understandable in an oppressive dictatorship but must never be tolerated in a democracy. To allow this toxic culture to continue, is to risk infection of the entire ADF and create homecoming threats to domestic safety.
This is why the civil case of the Swan Island protesters is so important, an opportunity to open the public discussion about toxic militarism. The #ourADF knows that secretive inquiries do not result in culture change. Only widespread open discussion of problem behaviours, systems and structures create change.
We can use this court case to make a meaningful difference here.
Require Accountability – Ask Questions
We call on the incoming Chief of Defence Angus Campbell – as he will be after July – to continue his work addressing the culture of abuse. The command lost control. And Angus Campbell knows that for the mental health of his soldiers he must demand open discussion.
Minister of Defence @MarisePayne must also come clean on the report. She must allow the discussion in the open. Ask Minister Payne ‘Where is the #toxicSAS Report??’.
ALP Shadow(y) Minister @RichardMarlesMP must stop colluding with the bipartisan BS on military affairs.
Keep them in your tweets or write to them direct. Speak up whenever you hear them in public. Remind them that the core issue is not the symbols of death they wear but the illegitimate directions of the US Special Operations Command and its relationship with the US Army.
Only a transparent discussion will allow for widespread culture change.
Melbourne Peace Convergence to Support Activists from August 12, 2018
Defend Protesters Rights! Stand up for our Social and Cultural Liberties! [How ‘freedom’ is actually fought for!]
The domestic threats posed by unrestrained militarism are displayed in the assault on the protesters at Swan Island.
You can help make big difference with us by joining us in Melbourne or volunteering wjere you are.
Protesters at Swan Island were charged with trespass, appeared in court and were found guilty. Those who attacked them were never charged and their identity has been protected. Greg, Dave & Sam with the support of Maurice Blackburn legal firm are now pursuing a civil case. They are suing the Australian Defence Force.
It is important and valuable work to link this case to the broader issue of the corruption in the ADF: the #ToxicSAS
- Come to Melbourne – Contact Margaret Pestorius email@example.com We will have a visible presence at the court.
- Put yourself forward as our lead campaigner for the civil case and get skills and experience in modern campaigning.
- Volunteer to be part of a Wage Peace Digital: lay time aside and intentionally campaign together using social media during the case where-ever you are. Contact Cate Adams firstname.lastname@example.org
- Follow the latest developments and find resources at the Swan Island Peace #ToxicSAS page of the WagePeace Website
- Follow Facebook and Twitter using #ToxicSAS #theAfghanFiles
- Keep the following in your tweets @MarisePayne, @cpyne, @richardmarlesmp, @billshortenMP and Angus Campbell who will have a new twitter handle by then! Thank the supporters for their contributions!
- Write articles, letters and opinions linking the case with the inquiry
- Remember Social Media is social! Make friends with people who are involved.
Militarism is toxic and a threat to the best parts of our culture and ‘real’ Australian values 🙂 . Last year you made a fantastic contribution and put a bright spotlight on Pine Gap. Now help us shine the light on the #toxicSAS.
Margaret Pestorius for Wage Peace
P.S. Read Greg Rolles’ personal reflection on what this situation means to him.
What is Swan Island?
Incident as reported in The Age
Report of the Incident