media release 11 april 2013
Speak Out on Defence Spending @ Defence HQ

Next Monday 15 April is the Global Day of Action on Military Spending when hundreds of groups around the world gather in public place to bear witness to the excess of military spending and the paucity of peace.

In Canberra it has become an annual tradition to conduct an open mike, citizens SpeakOut at Blamey Square, Russell, slap bang under the US Memorial and before the offices of Defence.

This year it will take place:

12.30 - 2 pm Monday 15 April 2013

"It's about speaking truth to power," said SpeakOut organiser, Graeme Dunstan of

"After ten years of government lies and cover ups, ten years of futile wars, ten years of wasted blood and wasted treasure, someone has got to have the fearlessness to speak the truth, and that's going to be us, the few and the bold."

Kicking off the SpeakOut will be David Johnson, director of the Silver Wattle Quaker Centre, and Kim Sattler of Unions ACT, speaking about alternatives to violence and alternatives to defence spending.

"I expect to be banging on about the cost of the US Alliance," said Dunstan.

"But in truth i will be there to listen for prophetic voice, for the new and tentative voices of new truths emerging from the darkness of endless war. So i will be urging everyone who comes to have a go on the mike."

In particular this year Canberra GDAMS @ Defence HQ will be calling for the immediate scrapping of the Joint Strike Fighter Project.

"In 2001 Senator Hill announced the JST, the most expensive military project ever, against all precedent and protocol and without Parliamentary or public debate.

"Even at the time he fibbed about the cost. $40 mil each was what he said at the time while in truth Lockheed Martin knew it was closer to $82 mill. Now it's $163 million a piece and rising," said Dunstan.

"Successive Lib-Lab Defence ministers and military chiefs have promised to buy 100 JSF. I imagine a row of these venerable gents with their mouths open and their heads turning mechanically side to side, like clowns in a side show, swallowing unquestioningly every exaggeration, fake promise and lie offered by Lockheed Martin and the US Embassy."

Dunstan says that just as the Iraq and Afghan wars were never winnable, so too the JSF was never feasible because It arose not from the insights of engineers, but rather from the greed and pipe dreams of salesmen ... and the gullibility of politicians.

"In defence of the US Alliance, gullibility is a virtue and waste, a way of life."

Further information
Graeme Dunstan, 0407 951 688
David Johnson, Silver Wattle Quaker Centre, 07 40963236
Kim Sattler, UnionsACT, 02 6247 7844

See The Most Expensive Fighter Jet Ever Built, by the Numbers

See ABC Four corners report Reach for the Sky 19 Feb 13

Tell your friends about it. Speak out!
FaceBook event page here.

Photos of the Canberra GDAMS 2011:

Photos of the Canberra GDAMS 2012:

Global Day of Action Against Military Spending home page

For peace! For justice! For the Earth!