Australia – From July 28th to the 4th August 2023, a delegation of Pacific Peace activists participated in a one-day conference in Brisbane then went on to speak at events in Sydney Canberra and Darwin. The peace delegation visit coincided with the largest ever US led Talisman Sabre exercise in Australia with over 30 thousand troops participating. The so-called exercise is held in the Central Queensland Shoalwater Bay designated military training precinct.
This is not the first time that activists from around the Pacific have campaigned against Talisman Sabre. In 2007, for example, a Peace Convergence that actually travelled to the Shoalwater Bay area was convened when people from a range of Pacific States gathered to witness US and Australian troops training for war. As with the 2023 Speaking Tour, participants were able also to share their own experiences of war and the presence of US bases in their countries. Some of the issues tackled are as follows:
- the loss of sovereignty, autonomy and self-determination;
- the appropriation and destruction of indigenous ancestral land;
- the siphoning of resources away from urgent local needs, including to improve local welfare, to address climate change and to respond to increasingly severe and numerous typhoons and other corollaries of climate change.
- the aggravation of climate change through the military’s use of fossil fuels; and
- other direct impacts of the large military presence.
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