When you find it hard to promote US-Australia war games, try the old "this will boost the local economy" line as Queensland tourism boss Daniel Gschwind did when he welcomed the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan for the biannual month-long war games.
Last Sunday I was arrested while attempting to obstruct war rehearsal operations at Lee Point. Despite standing in the water off Lee Point, right in the path of the US Navy LCAC amphibious craft, it continued to rush back and forth past me until I was removed from the area by water police. Its final pass, before I was plucked from the water by police, came so close that the bow wave knocked me over. I was disappointed that I was unable to present enough of a hindrance to at least delay them while they waited for my removal.
In November 2011, US president Barack Obama announced that the military focus of the US was “pivoting” to the Asia-Pacific region. At the same time, as part of this “pivot”, he announced that US marines were to be stationed in Darwin. Following those announcements, a ripple of discontent spread around the nation. Numerous peace groups, academics, faith-based groups and unions began talking to one another about this “pivot” and the threat it represents.