Media Release 24 July 2014
Lamenting the Militarisation of our History and Culture
Local peace activists will be commemorating the eve of the beginning of the First World War with a lantern-lit lamentation which will assemble at the Cairns Cenotaph and parade along the Cairns Esplanade:
from 6 pm Sunday 3 August
opposite the Cairns RSL 115 The Esplanade, Cairns.
Called A Lamentation for the Losses of War the event will evoke the various losses of wars with spoken word, songs, dance, performance and individual story telling.
"A participatory theatre event, we are inviting contributions from local performers before hand and we will be inviting contributions from people on the night, friends and strangers," said organiser and itinerant peace activist, Graeme Dunstan of Peacebus.com. "Together we will seek and find the common ground of lament."
"Everyone one has a story to tell. Everyone is touched by the trauma of war and the trauma crosses generations," he said. "Lest we forget."
4 August 2014 also marks the beginning of the Australian government's $300 mill, four year campaign of WW1 commemorations.
"A veritable tsunami of ANZACery is now building," Mr Dunstan warned. "The impact of which, if not its base intention, will be to militarise Australian history and culture and to normalise war."
Mr Dunstan observes that WW1 was supposed to be the war that would end all wars. But now we have endless war. "Hatred cannot cure hatred and war cannot bring peace."
"Our little Cairns citizen's lamentation initiative can be understood as a preemptive strike for peace," he said. "We aim to counter the myths of noble sacrifice and nation building via foreign battle fields with other stories of the grief and loss of families and also of citizen resistance to war."
Mr Dunstan is a 71 year old nomad lantern master and a former comrade of the late and lamented Bryan Law of Cairns Peace by Peace.
For the past four years he has been organising lantern-lit Anzac eve Peace Vigils at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. He has also been supporting the Anzac Day Lest We Forget the Frontier Wars Marches there.
Photo Opportunity10 am to 4 pm Thusday 31 July and Friday 1 August
Lantern making for the event:
at Cairns Peace by Peace House 298 Fearnley Street Manunda.
Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688 Peacebus.com
This is the Cairns Cenotaph where our Lamentation will assmble 6 pm Sunday 3 August. It is directly across the road from the Cairns RSL 115 The Esplanade. On 23 July, Graeme met with Cairns RSL President, David Clifton, to explain the event and he is pleased to report that the President endorsed the event with full support.