Two Helicopter Gunships; Two Stories of Compassion and Resistance; Two Trials.

END THE WARS!

For more about the empire’s hostile reaction to peaceful humanitarian acts such as saving lives or sharing information that will save lives, see this page.

We all now know what happened in July 2007.

But what about July 2011?

Aussies take action to prevent another Collateral Murder.

Wherever there is violence and suffering, it can be resisted. Wherever there is resistance, our solidarity is required.

Your solidarity and support are needed now, as Graeme Dunstan faces trial in Rockhampton from 19th August, and the prospect of jail if convicted for the Rocky Tiger Ploughshares Action.

THE COLLATERAL MURDER STORY

A helicopter gunship in Iraq opens fire and eleven adults are slain.

coll murder gathering 2

Two children in this van are critically injured in a further attack by the same helicopter crew. The children’s father, who went to help the wounded from the first attack, is killed in this second assault.

van

One compassionate soldier, Ethan McCord, intervenes and insists on rescuing the children. Pictured here with his uniform stained with the children’s blood, Ethan seeks help over the trauma, is bullied, refused support and eventually leaves the military suffering from PTSD.

mc cord with blood

Another compassionate soldier, Bradley Manning, reveals the truth about the attack after more than two years of US military cover up and the footage is published by WikiLeaks.

05 brad army unif

Ethan sees the leaked Collateral Murder footage on his TV at home. He begins to speak out in public.

Bradley Manning is arrested, tortured and held for three years without trial.

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks is investigated and persecuted, forced to seek refuge and asylum.

julian4b

Bradley Manning’s show trial eventually begins in June 2013. He faces the possibility of life without parole. Judge Lind is expected to sentence Bradley before the end of August.

lind

As this trial is ending, another begins on another continent involving another helicopter gunship and more acts of compassion and resistance.

THE ROCKHAMPTON (ROCKY TIGER) PLOUGHSHARES STORY

rocky ploughshares 2

A Tiger helicopter gunship is on the tarmac at Rockhampton airport in July 2011 during the biennial joint US/Australian Talisman Sabre military exercises.

The armed helicopter is being evaluated for use in Afghanistan; if deployed it will put civilians in mortal peril. Two people decide to do something to resist.

site plan

One compassionate war resister, Bryan Law, intervenes by riding in on a tricycle, attacking the helicopter with a garden mattock.

bryan tricycle

Ploughshares actions are undertaken in the spirit of the Biblical prophesy [Isiah 2:4] to “turn swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks”.

mattock and heli

Another compassionate war resister, Graeme Dunstan, accompanies and assists by opening the gate and filming the action.

GraemePortrait

Bryan has already got the story out, in advance of the action.

ROK210711cprotest2

At the action, both are arrested and charged.

Bryan dies in March 2013 before the case comes to trial and is buried on 12 April in a Cairns cemetery. Read tributes to Bryan from Graeme Dunstan and Ciaron O’Reilly.

Graeme Dunstan’s trial is scheduled to begin at Rockhampton on 19th August.

If convicted, he is likely to be imprisoned.

This is where you come in.

Use #StandbyGraemeD hashtag on twitter.

For more information about how you can support Graeme, see this Peace Convergence blog post in which you are invited to join Graeme at court, to donate, to bring food to share. The information below is taken from this article. Follow the link above to read the full piece.

THE TRIAL

Each day of court will begin with a solemn procession from Havachat (20 East St) to the District Courthouse. The first day will commence with a reflection by Rev. Simon Moyle from the Grace Tree Community.

An ongoing presence will be held outside the courthouse during proceedings. We will be remembering those who have died or suffered from war particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq. Names of the dead including soldiers and civilians will be read out. Please be respectful of these events organised if you intend to come to support Graeme.

The trial will begin on Monday 19th August with jury selection. Five days have been set aside for the trial but we have been advised that it is more likely to be two to three days long.

DONATIONS

We are collecting donations for trial preparations and legal costs such as transport and accommodation expenses for expert witnesses, materials, banners etc.

Credit Union Australia
BSB: 814282
Acc. No. 10226245

ACCOMMODATION

We can provide accommodation if we know you are coming. There is space at Havachat (mattress on floor and some beds) and limited billeting options. Please contact Sean O’Reilly if you need accommodation:

FOOD

Please bring food to share.

A MESSAGE FROM GRAEME

Bryan’s death evoked a great outpouring of sorrow and, from the announcement of his death and his requiem mass in Cairns’ St Monica’s Cathedral 10 days later, the passing of peace activist Bryan Law was big, sad news in Central and Far North Queensland.

Now i will be in the dock alone. Pleading NOT guilty and defending myself with a MacKenzie friend in court, namely Sean O’Reilly of Brisbane and brother of Ciaron of Pitstop Ploughshare fame.

This is not something i relish. Unlike Bryan i have neither court room experience nor court room confidence.

But i feel honour bound to carry on Bryan’s Ploughshare work and bring it to fruit.

I ask your prayers, presence in the court room on 19 August if you can, and assistance in getting the trial noticed – tell your friends.

Let’s end this era of endless war and profligate military spending.

Let’s turn to peace and peaceful means of conflict resolution.

Let’s beat those attack helicopters into ploughshares.

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