The spirits of 40 feisty anti-AUKUS, anti-nuclear protesters were not dampened by old, wet and windy weather as they gathered for their monthly protest outside Minister for Defence Richard Marles’ office on June 28.
The AUKUS deal with the United States and Britain commits Australia to spend more than $368 billion over 30 years to buy eight nuclear-powered submarines. It has never been debated in parliament, nor taken to the Australian people.
Dr Liz Boulton, a former Australian Defence Force major, spoke about the need to break the close relationship between the war machine and the climate emergency. “Our present military strategy keeps us chained to the past.”
She said it was likely that the climate targets would not be met while the military-industrial establishment continues to pursue their forever wars.
Tony Gleeson from the Australian Conservation Foundation and Geelong Sustainability spoke about US imperialism’s track record since the end of World War II. While it has lost multiple wars against countries in the Global South, which has led to untold suffering and loss of life, it has never been a problem for the US because arms corporations and their shareholders always benefit from the “forever war” strategy.
The Geelong Climate Choir sung several songs, bringing a warm glow to everyone’s hearts.
Protesters marched to Geelong Trades Hall, chanting all the way, to watch David Bradbury’s inspiring documentary The Road to War.
Independent and Peaceful Australia Network convener Jaimie Jeffrey said the group will continue to protest in front of Marles’ office because AUKUS “will escalate tensions in the region”.
[Watch David Bradbury's video of the protest here.]