Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pine Gap in the news #6

This is from ABC News Online, and is particularly interesting, so I thought I should repost it here:

Pine Gap break-in trial stalls
A Supreme Court trial in the Northern Territory for four people accused of breaking into the Pine Gap Joint Defence Facility near Alice Springs has stalled.
A lawyer representing the Commonwealth is applying for public interest immunity to stop the defendants eliciting details about the facility's operations.
Bryan Law, Donna Mulhearn, Adele Goldie and Jim Dowling are facing up to seven years' jail over their alleged unauthorised entry into Pine Gap in December 2005.
Law has cross-examined the facility's deputy chief Michael Burgess about who he reports to and which agencies are involved in a daily joint management operational meeting.
The Crown prosecutor objected, saying it was not relevant to the charges.
But Law told the court he was trying to prove a link between the operation of Pine Gap and the committing of war crimes in Iraq by US and Australian forces.
He said his group was acting against the alleged war crimes.
The jury has been stood down while Michael Maurice QC applies for public interest immunity on behalf of the Commonwealth, in response to Law's line of questioning.

Pine Gap in the news #5

'The New Pacific Wall' - Foreign Policy in Focus
'Pine Gap 4 on Trial' - Indymedia

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Pine Gap in the news #4

'Three plead not guilty to Pine Gap charges' - ABC Northern Territory
'Australia uses old law to deal with activists' - Legalbrief, South Africa

There's also some stuff on Indymedia: 'Pine Gap on Trial'
And Marcus has put some stuff up on Seeds: 'Pine Gap 6 On Trial'

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pine Gap in the news #3

'Judge rejects Pine Gap house arrest bid' - The Australian

Pine Gap vigil

So, today we (about a dozen of us, including kids) were in Bourke Street Mall from 12 noon till 2pm, reading out the names of people who've been killed in Iraq (coalition forces and Iraqis), praying and talking to people about Pine Gap. It was pretty full-on reading out the names of the people killed, and reading about who they were how they had died. A majority of the Iraqis were civilians - farmers, clerics, students, children.

Most of the people walking past ignored us (which wasn't surprising), but we still got to talk to a fair few people about Pine Gap, including one guy who lives in Alice Springs.
Also, we got a message from friends in Alice Springs, saying that the prosecutors were unsucessful in putting the Pine Gap Four under house arrest, which is good news.
For about the second hour we were down there it was raining, so this sign was a bit worse for wear by the end:

Pine Gap in the news #2

'Protesters gather for Pine Gap four' - The Australian

Monday, May 28, 2007

'Love your enemies'

Just been reading Jesus' famous sermon on the mount, as preparation for tomorrow's vigil. This bit in particular stood out to me:

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons [and daughters] of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers [and sisters], what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
(Matthew 5:43-48)
I'm thinking about the fact that if you hate your enemy then it's pretty difficult to have any hope for tranformation or reconciliation. It often means you can end up seeing them as being completely evil and yourself as being completely righteous in hating them. (That's called scapegoating.) We noticed that going on at the G20 last year, where some protesters were saying that if was fine to use violence against the police, because they weren't human anymore.

Pine Gap in the news #1

'Pine Gap peace activists facing possible house arrest' - WestEnder
'Pine Gap tresspass trial starts' - Brisbane Times

Sunday, May 27, 2007

24 photos

I had so many photos in my camera, and I thought I'd blog them in chronological order without explaining them:

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Support the Pine Gap 4

Next Tuesday May 29th 2007, four Christians will go on trial for attempting to lift the veil of secrecy surrounding the Pine Gap military base in the Northern Territory. They face seven years' imprisonment for their actions, and we invite you to lend your support. Join us on Tuesday in Bourke Street Mall as real human toll of the war in Iraq interrupts business as usual...
From 12pm, we will be conducting a prayer vigil, including reading aloud the names of many of those killed in the conflict so far. Please feel free to join us, and by your presence be a voice for peace.
Pine Gap is a joint US/Australian military facility that has played a significant role in the Iraq war. Its existence and activities call into question Australia's sovereignty as a nation, and make us complicit in the many war crimes that have already taken place in Iraq in the last four years.
There's more info about the Pine Gap 4 here.
There's also stuff going on in Cairns, Newcastle, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, Adelaide and Baghdad, which you can find out about at the Pine Gap Six livejournal.
Have peace,
(wearing my Christian Activist Network hat)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Choir of Hard Knocks

Last night while we ate tea we watched Choir of Hard Knocks on ABC. (It's about a choir that Reclink's been running, for 'marginalised' people.) It was interesting to watch, particularly because there's a number of people in the choir we know from hanging out at Credo and in the street.
We were a bit upset by some of the stuff they decided to show on TV, like one guy getting pretty upset because people were complaining about his cleanliness. I don't know the guy myself, but I know a few people who do, and they said today that he was pretty upset about them showing that. I get that they want to show stuff as it really is, but still...
Anyway, I think it's a five part series, and last night was the second episode. 8pm Tuesdays on ABC.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Credo retreat

So Friday night at about 10:30 Ben picked me up from work and we headed out to retreat, stopping in Ringwood to have pizza for second dinner, and driving through the Black Spur, which wasn't too scary because we were listening to The Clash, and they're scarier. I think we arrived around 1am.
Saturday morning Luke invented another new game, which combined Rusk with Pool. He called it Pusk. You had to try and knock over everyone else's soldiers with the pool ball.

Saturday afternoon it was raining an awful lot, but a fair few people still decided to go for a bushwalk, and ended up all covered in leeches.
Saturday night we had karaoke.

This morning we had a church gathering, based around the story about Jesus healing the man who had a legion of demons (Mark 5).

One of the things we noticed about the story is that when Jesus heals the guy, his neighbours, who used to try and chain him up, are upset and scared. It's as though they were more comfortable with him as a possessed madman. We finished up church by playing Queen's song 'I've Got to Break Free'. (While me and Tomsy were planning the church gathering it started playing on the radio, so we decided to use it!)
We got the owners of the camp to take a group photo before we left this afternoon:

Friday, May 18, 2007

Off to Credo retreat

This afternoon everyone's headed of to the Credo retreat for the weekend, out near Marysville. Me and Ben and (hopefully) Damo are heading out there after I finish work tonight.

Monday, May 14, 2007

People in the park

This aftenoon I was sitting under a tree in one of the parks, and this group of about seven people, about half of them goths, turned up, and sat in the middle of the grass, across the footpath from me. I recognised one of them, because he's often busking in a spot near where I live. Anyway, one of them came over and said, 'Would you like to come and join our circle? We've got cognac and European cigarettes.' I declined on the cognac and tobacco (and later marijuana), but I went and hung out with them for maybe an hour or so. (It turned out that they're part of the group of goths that I heard a lot of people complaining about at various community meetings, because there were heaps of them hanging out in one of the parks, and some people didn't like it.) Anyway, hung out with them for a bit, talking about nuclear weapons and drugs and John the Baptist and stuff.
When I was on my way back here I was thinking that it was a lot different to hanging out with people who come to lunch at Credo, in that someone from Credo wouldn't be very likely at all to offer me drugs - but I guess marijuana is practically mainstream, and heroin definitely isn't. And of course, I was just some guy hanging out in the park today, whereas in Credo I'm someone who's involved in running the place.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Back from India for Mother's Day

Last night I made two chocolate ripple cakes. One was for Stella, because I ate her chocolate ripple cake about two weeks ago, and the other one was for Mum, becuase it's was Mother's Day today.
So I caught the first train out this morning, so I could go to church with Mum, and one of the elders who was at the door welcoming eveyone as they came in said, 'Chris! You're back from India!' (Except I've never been out of Australia, let alone to India.)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Green Collect in Big Issue

Green Collect (where I work Thursdays) is on the back cover of Big Issue.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Computer repairmentage

The last two days Nate-Dawg has been helping me fix my laptop. (He's also been fixing Gin's, doing something to our server, and helping us set up some computer for Credo punters to use.) It's almost finished, now we just have to wait a really long time while it downloads seven years worth of Windows XP updates, because we ended up having to completely reinstall everything.
And Nate-Dawg's flying to Durban on Sunday.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A big crash

I've been on leave today because I've been pretty exhausted, and having difficulty sleeping for a couple of weeks. (Thursday, Friday and Saturday night I actually didn't get to sleep until after 3am.)
So today I skated up Brunswick Street to see if I could find some cheap pants at one of the op shops, because I only had one pair of long pants left. (I had two pairs, but in February there was this guy came and asked me if he could have some pants because he'd ripped his pants, so I gave him one of my pairs of pants, and then he came back again later that day asking for another pair of pants!)
Anyway, I'm still not very good at stopping when I skate. (I can sort of stop if I'm not going too fast, but I also spin around and most likely fall over.) Also, it was only the second time I'd been skating in the street. Anyway, I ended up going downhill, past the big highrise flats, and was going way to fast to stop, and there were an awful lot of people ahead of me, so I made myself crash before I crashed into the people or got any faster! It was a pretty big crash, but I was pretty okay.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Stuck in the elevator

This evening I was stuck in the elevator for half an hour. This is me being stuck in the elevator:

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I've been spotted!

Turns out Samantha Louise (she reads my blog) walked past me in the street yesterday.