AABCC Press Release 20th September 2002


Media Alert

Pine Gap Protest

Groups from all around Australia will be converging on the United States war-fighting and spy base Pine Gap (near Alice Springs) over the weekend of October 5 - 7 this year.

The main aim of the demonstration will be to expose the use of Pine Gap in US military aggression. At the moment, satellites monitored by Pine Gap are preparing the target logs for the US military to use in an attack on Iraq. Therefore, even as the Australian parliament debates our participation in a potential war with Iraq, Australia is already involved through the use of the Pine Gap facilities.

Pine Gap also has a role in the proposed US Missile Defence weapons system. Pine Gap is crucial for US plans to put weapons into space - in defiance of United Nations resolutions - to protect US interests and investments.

The presence of the US bases on Australian soil undermines our sovereignty. Furthermore, US military systems in Australia compromise our relations in the region, our international role in disarmament, and make Australia itself a target.

Numerous peace, union, environmental, community and church groups have expressed their support for the national demonstrations.

The groups and individuals converging on Pine Gap have been preparing for the non-violent protests for much of this year and it is expected that the events will be peaceful, spirited and colourful.

The Pine Gap actions will be part of an International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Space between October 4 - 11. During this week, groups in over a dozen countries and at over 65 different locations will be taking action.

To contact any of the groups involved in the Pine Gap actions, or for further media comment, please refer below.

The groups listed include:

the Alice Springs Pine Gap organisers; the Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition; Ozpeace; Australian Peace Committee; the Anti-Nuclear Alliance of WA; Friends of the Earth Australia, Medical Association for Prevention of War; and the National Union of Students.

NORTHERN TERRITORY:
Alice Springs Pine Gap Organisers
spokespersons: Emma King
contact #: 08 8952 4686

NEW SOUTH WALES:
Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition (Sydney)
spokespersons: Hannah Middleton and Denis Doherty
contact #: (02) 9212 0800;
or at actions: 0418 290 663 or 0418 668 098

VICTORIA:
OzPeace (Melbourne)
spokespersons: Jacob Grech
contact #: 0402 246 491 until September 26;
or at actions: 0418332080 mobiles for at protest

SOUTH AUSTRALIA:
Australian Peace Committee (Adelaide)
spokespersons: Irene Gayle and Ron Gray
contact #: (08) 8332 3461 until October 3;
or at actions: 0419 032 896

WESTERN AUSTRALIA:
Anti-Nuclear Alliance of WA (Perth)
spokespersons: Jo Vallentine, Judy Blyth or Scott Ludlam
contact #: (08) 9272 4252 (Jo); (08) 9381 6293 (Judy);
or at actions: 0417 123 774 (Scott); 0408 950 472 (Farida)

NATIONAL:
Friends of the Earth Australia
spokespersons: Dimity Hawkins and Pete Barker
contact #: (08) 8298 5326 up to October 3;
or at actions: 0425 786 301 (Dimity) or 0438 895 471 (Pete)

Medical Association for Prevention of War - Australia
spokespersons: Dr Bill Williams and Ms Giji Gya
contact #: 0413 594 717;
or at actions: 0413 594 717 (MAPW will have a delegation of medical professionals available for comment at the protest)

National Union of Students
spokespersons: Matt Skellern, National Environment Officer
contact #: 0438 381 917;
or at actions: 0438 381 917