Talisman Sabre 2009

During July 2009 the Australian Government hosted Talisman Sabre, a huge US-Australian military exercise which saw 15,000 US troops and 8,000 ADF personnel converge on the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in central Queensland. We opposed these war games because:

There are better things to do with our money!

Australia 's military spending is due to rise to $71 million a day following the recent Defence White Paper. This is an obscene amount in a financial crisis and when one million Australians are expected to lose their jobs. 70 per cent of Australians oppose more spending on the military.

Military exercises are an unacceptable use of Australia's unique environment and ancient cultural heritage. Australia is the oldest continent on the planet. We should be protecting it for future generations, not bombing it to pieces.

There are better things to do with our money!

Instead of a focus on sustainable development, socially useful production and the needs of the community, priority is given to supporting US foreign policy, military spending and increasingly repressive social control.

It is time for Australia to cancel the Talisman Sabre military exercises, cut the overblown military budget, pull our soldiers out of Afghanistan, and develop an independent foreign and defence policy.

Peace Convergence 2009 Video Report

A video report from the Peace Convergence at Operation Talisman Sabre, the joint military exercise involving thousands of US and Australian troops, in central Queensland. Action depicted all took place on July 11 and 12, around the towns of Yeppoon and Rockhampton. Film by Professor Jake Lynch. Editing and additional camerawork by Annabel McGoldrick:

TS09 Media Coverage

In July 2009 The Australian Government hosted Talisman Sabre.
The AABCC has continued the campaign against Talisman Sabre even after it has been concluded. 

During the exercise the media took the attitude that the TS09 was a Central Queensland issue. This meant not many in the capital cities of Australia heard about the exercise or the protest. This comes in the context of poor media coverage of military matters in general. We are asking the ABC and other media outlets to account for their lack of treatment of military and peace issues; We ask our supporters to use the letter here to send to the media and ask why they ignore 70% of Australians who want less spent on the military.

In the second series of letters we have asked the Queensland Government and Police to explain the use of a tactic which is design to undermine our protest; By putting up roadblaocks many kilometres from the Shoalwater Training Base, Queensland Police made certain that the media would not travel to place of our protest.

We sent a letter to the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties about this police practice. 

In a reply to the Queensland Civil Libertarians describe it this way in a letter to the AABCC: The issue you raise is, in my view, most important and it reflects, on the face of it, police tactics that have been the subject of of considrable criticism over the last six to nine months in the UK about similar protests in that country.

In the UK, Police have been using tactics that can generally  be described as minimising demonstration effectiveness by putting up what are effectively large exclusin zones so that a protest in respect of a particular facility attracts minimal media publicitiy because there is no media friendly photographic backdrop to cover a particular activity.