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Peace Day – IPAN launch

On International Peace Day today in Australia IPAN is formed. Independent & Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN)
No Foreign Military Bases!

There is a growing concern amongst many Australians that decisions to base US troops in Australia and increase military use of Australian facilities were made too hastily to allow proper consultation with affected communities and are not in Australia’s best security, economic or environmental interests.

Responding to that concern, members of organisations in each State have established a new network to campaign around this issue.

The Network aims to:
• Promote an independent Australian foreign policy that builds peace and nonviolent resolutions of conflict in our region;
• Oppose the establishment of foreign military bases and the deployment of foreign troops and military in Australia and the Asia-Pacific;
• Provide information, analysis and opportunities for NGOs, unions, churches and community groups to participate in decision-making on Australia’s peace and security options
• Build links with peoples and organisations in the Asia-Pacific campaigning for peace and against military bases and troops in the region.
The network welcomes all organisations and state groups that agree to the aims, and we will be working to broaden the involvement of as many organisations as possible.

The launching of the IPAN network is the International Day of Peace – 21 September 2012.

A public statement signed by each organisation, as well as by prominent Australians, is to be sent to the Defence Minister outlining proposals for Australia’s independent and peaceful defence and foreign policy.”

Check your capital city for a variety of organisations.
1. Brisbane Tonight United Nations – International Day of Peace
Brisbane Peace Lecture Friday 21 September from 7.30pm
Speaking out for Peace’ Inaugural Lecture by Leneen Forde
at St John’s Cathedral, 373 Ann Street Brisbane.
See website of Just Peace
http://www.justpeaceqld.org/
2. Melbourne tonight to mark International Day of Peace 2012 and launch the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN).
Friday 21 September 2012: 6pm to 7.30pm: State Library of Victoria, cnr La Trobe and Swanston sts, Melbourne.
The Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia) has a number of peace activities.
http://www.mapw.org.au/
Swan Island Peace Convergence 2012
Sun, 23/09/2012 – 12:00 – Thu, 27/09/2012 – 15:00
Location: Queenscliff, Vic.
Join Swan Island Peace Convergence in Queenscliff, Victoria for a week of learning about & nonviolently resisting the war.
Activities will include:
– Nonviolence training
– Community engagement
– Peace vigils
– Blockade the bridge to Swan Island military base where SAS troops are trained for active combat in Afghanistan.
Further information at Swan Island Peace Convergence Facebook page.
3. Adelaide Campaign Against Foreign Military Bases (SA) Stephen Darley at: stoifan@adam.com.au
As well, Graham F. Smith Peace Foundation http://artspeacefoundation.org/
4. Sydney Australian Anti-Bases Coalition
http://www.anti-bases.org/
As well, Sydney Peace Foundation. Prize 2012 Sekai Holland Dinner http://sydneypeacefoundation.org.au/events/
5. WA Anti-Nuclear Alliance WA Jo Vallentine
http://www.anawa.org.au/
6. Darwin – Basewatch contact Justin Tutty 0424028741 or Chris White 0418830297…see this blog for reports.
The US war machine against China is more than in this ADF spin that says a social impact study proves that the marines have had no negative impact on Darwin. Please reply.

http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/09/20/3594285.htm

IPAN: Support this letter to The Hon Stephen Smith MP Minister for Defence PO Box 6022, House of Representatives
Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 21 September 2012
Dear Minister Smith,
On International Day of Peace 2012, the Independent & Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) will be launched to promote an independent Australian foreign policy that builds peace and nonviolent resolution of conflict in our region.

We are opposed to the establishment of foreign military bases and the deployment of foreign troops in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

In particular, the network is opposed to the stationing of up to 2,500 US marines based in Darwin by 2016-17, the possible upgrading of Stirling Naval base, the stationing of US aircraft at RAAF Base Tindal and the militarisation of the Cocos Islands. We object to the increasing integration of Australian and US military forces.

We remain gravely concerned that this military build-up has enormous potential not only to damage relationships with our neighbours, but also to accelerate regional arms races and embroil us in further wars on behalf of a foreign power.

These developments are not in Australia’s national interest; US military posturing whether through containment or adventurism is a handicap in our relationships with trading partners, costing us in financial, social and environmental terms.

IPAN would rather see Australia have an independent foreign policy, based on good relationships with our neighbours and trading partners and for Australia to be proudly free to do what is best for our country and region.

Our network is comprised of non-government organisations, unions, churches and community groups seeking to promote democratic, transparent and participatory decision-making on Australia’s peace and security options.

We would greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet with you at your earliest convenience, and seek your advice on how our network can participate in the development of the forthcoming Defence White Paper.
Member organisations IPAN.

The organisations who have come together in IPAN have a range of concerns regarding an independent foreign and defence policy for Australia, for example:

• Do Australians really want US aircraft carriers based in Perth, drones and surveillance aircraft operating from our territory in the Cocos Islands, US marines deployed in Darwin and US nuclear armed ships docking regularly in Brisbane?

• Will the basing of US troops in Darwin for 6 months of each year compromise Australian sovereignty and our relationships with other Asian countries,especially as it is a containment of China?

• Will the major communications and spying facilities operated by US forces in Australia, such as Pine Gap, Geraldton and North West Cape draw Australia inevitably into any conflicts in which the United States engages?.

• Is Australian involvement in the ANZUS Agreement really in the interests of Australian peoples, and likely to contribute to peaceful relations within the Asia-Pacific region?

• Will the increasing proliferation of smaller and more “useable” nuclear weapons make our region safer?

• How will the Trans Pacific Partnership reduce Australian government regulation of our foreign investment, our financial system and our health system?

• Do we want an Australian Government defence policy based on defence of Australia or on an offensive involvement in a US war with China?

The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network is a way for us to work collectively to address these concerns, as well as working with peoples of the Asia-Pacific countries to assist.

Senator Scott Ludlam Greens has been leading the criticism in Parliament of the US war machine in Australia
See http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/

Peter Boyle and Susan Price National Co-coonveners Socialist Alliance support IPAN.

See Peace One Day
http://peaceoneday.org/

Peace Day TV here
http://www.peaceday.tv/

Read Richard Tanter in The Conversation 7 August 2012, 2.36pm AEST
Memo Stephen Smith: there are US bases in Australia and they are expanding

http://theconversation.edu.au/memo-stephen-smith-there-are-us-bases-in-australia-and-they-are-expanding-8622

Former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser says the new American marine “base” near Darwin is a mistake:
“We seem to believe that our security can be best assured if we do what we can to win brownie points with the US. This is a mistaken assumption.”

There are many individuals, churches, community groups, unions and
citizen action groups who support the aims of IPAN.

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