Anti-Bases Activists honoured by Sydney Peace Foundation
Media release. For immediate release Wednesday, 22 March 2006
Sydney University's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies have decided to honour well known Glebe couple, Hannah Middleton and Denis Doherty, with their inaugural community peace award.
The Centre, through the Sydney Peace Foundation, has awarded the Sydney Peace Prize to luminaries such as:
- Arundhati Roy, author and human rights campaigner
- Dr Hanan Ashrawi, Founder and Secretary General of the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH)
- Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, former President of Ireland
- Desmond Tutu of South Africa and many more.
The Sydney Peace Foundation thought it important to honour significant people in the Australian community who have made a major contribution to peace work in our society. Hannah Middleton and Denis Doherty will receive their award on the evening of March 22, 2006.
The Sydney Peace Foundation recognises that Hannah and Denis have, through their work in various peace organisations, worked tirelessly for peace over man y decades. The Foundation recognises that the couple have worked for the reduction of this country's military budget and the end of Australia's involvement in the arms trade. The Foundation recognises that both Denis and Hannah have made major contributions to Hiroshima Day and Palm Sunday peace marches in Sydney as well as many other rallies and street actions, for many years.
The central contribution of the couple has been through the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition (AABCC), which has been going for over 20 years with the expressepurpose of ending the presence of US bases in Australia.
"We believe the presence of the US bases here is detrimental to Australia's life. Australia is made a lesser country by being dependent on a 'great and powerful friend' and not being independent. Australia needs to act in its own interests, not in the interests of the US and its aggressive foreign policy," said Denis Doherty.
Citation for the award
Dr. Hannah Middleton and Mr. Denis Doherty are the coordinators for the anti-bases campaign. For over twenty years, these citizens have committed large parts of their time to coordinating a campaign for peace with justice by opposing militarism - the idea that control can be exercised in a society by putting large numbers of people in uniform and training them to use dangerous weapons. Denis and Hannah's campaigns have been characterised by altruism in the service of others. When you hear their stories of long bus rides to remote parts of Australia - to Pine Gap, Nurrungar and to North West Cape where the US bases are located - you cannot help but be impressed by their stamina, their courage and fearlessness. To make the world a safer place, they have been carrying out such work when most other people would probably be at the cinema, shopping, at the beach or simply relaxing at home.