The Swan Island 3 Settle
Activists from the Victorian based #SwanIslandPeace #ToxicSAS projects, share news below regarding their civil case which has been settled.
From Greg, Sam and Dave:
“We wanted to update you all on our case against the Australian Defence Force. Early in the process the Commonwealth stepped in and took vicarious liability for the actions of the Australian Defence Force members who committed the assaults, so our case was against the Commonwealth.
Near the beginning of the proceedings we plaintiffs Greg, Sam and Dave agreed we wanted an acknowledgement of wrong doing, and a public apology from the ADF. It is now four years since the assaults and the ADF have made it abundantly clear that there will never be an apology, public or otherwise.
On Friday (15/6), a mandatory mediation occurred before the expected trial. In mediation we agreed on a settlement, meaning that this long gruelling process is finally over. It was a very difficult decision, and while we have questioned whether or not to see it as a victory, disappointment and relief seemed to be the biggest feelings of the day. We are confident that procedures have already changed as a result of our experiences.
Our case has resulted in changed procedures in Australia, but not in war theatres. We will keep working for change for our sisters and brothers in affected war theatres, and encourage you to do the same.
As with most mediation, the settlement requires that we do not talk about the details of the settlement itself, so we ask you to accept our decision not to share those details.
There will be more to do around media in the weeks to come. We will keep you in the loop on that.
Thanks for all your support. We appreciate all who had planned to come to court with us.”
Sam, Dave & Greg
Peace Activists Sue the ADF!
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 April, 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. 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).
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 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.
Thanks to journalists there has been a lot of pubic 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.
Focus on these individuals who have leadership roles.
Right click and download these images to your computer if you would like to upload them to Twitter or Facebook
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.
CANCELLED: 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 where 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.
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.
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