AABCC Press Release Sunday April 6, 2003

We support the troops by opposing this war

The fence around Richmond RAAF base was festooned today with anti-war messages on paper and cloth banners and placards, demands woven into the wire mesh and flowers everywhere.

The messages ranged from the straightforward: THIS IS NOT OUR WAR to the concise: BUSH IS A WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION and to the lighthearted: FRODO HAS FAILED; BUSH HAS THE RING

Anti-war protesters from Sydney joined people from the local area in the protest to call for an end to the invasion of Iraq and that the Australian troops come home now.

"Our demonstration is intended to draw attention to crucial role of Pine Gap and Richmond in the war on Iraq," protest organiser Denis Doherty said.

"We also believe that opposing the war is the best way to rally behind our troops," he said. "We have taped to the fence copies of our statement which says:

"Our hearts go out to the military personnel and families who are suffering enormous strain right now. Many of us have friends and loved ones in the armed forces, and it is because we care about them that we believe their lives should not be risked for a war that is not consistent with Australian interests and values.

"There is no better way to support men and women in uniform than by keeping them out of harm's way. Using them as pawns in a game of global chess is not patriotic and it is not a sign of support."

"War requires an enormous sacrifice by military personnel and their families. How can we in good conscience demand that they make this sacrifice when we know this war is unjust, immoral and illegal."

"Sending human beings into battle is an enormous responsibility to bear. Supporting the troops means coming to terms with the reality of what they face, not romanticizing it. With language like "surgical strikes" and "collateral damage," we ignore the reality of what soldiers are really being asked to do. "Smart bombs" have incinerated even civilian bomb shelters. Many innocent civilians die in war, and even those soldiers who return uninjured are forced to carry those memories for the rest of their lives.".

"We will continue to insist that the Howard Government respect the commitment of servicemen and women by bringing them home now."

Contact: Denis Doherty 0418 290 663 Dr Hannah Middleton 0418 668 098