Rockhampton Tiger Ploughshare Statement

by the Rev. Simon Moyle
19 August 2013

I am an ordained Baptist minister with the GraceTree Community in Melbourne. I wish to express my support for Graeme as he faces trial for the Rockhampton Tiger Ploughshare action.

Graeme and I have been spiritual companions for a few years now, having first spent significant time together at a peace gathering near Canberra in April 2010. Graeme being a Buddhist and I a Christian has opened up rich opportunities for common understanding and mutual challenge and encouragement. I consider him a friend and a person of great integrity.

I admire, and am personally challenged by, the stance Graeme has taken in this Tiger Ploughshares disarmament action and trial. His and Bryan Law's willingness to risk suffering in order to arouse the conscience of the Australian community on war demonstrates integrity of the highest order, not to mention exemplary citizenship. Civil disobedience is generally not well understood in this country, but it is one of the highest duties of any person when their government is acting immorally or unjustly.

Ploughshares actions take their inspiration from the Biblical books of Micah and Isaiah, which speak of a day when"swords will be beaten into ploughshares, and spears into pruning hooks". The image is one of disarmament, the transformation of destructive weapons into creative farming tools. There have been more than 80 such actions since 1980, with three common elements:
1. being absolutely nonviolent towards people;
2. to remain and take responsibility for the action; and
3. to make some attempt to disarm a weapon and begin its transformation into something useful.

Disarmament is often seen as an impossible dream; desirable, certainly, but utterly unrealistic. It is precisely this societal torpor that Ploughshares actions seek to address. Ploughshares actions are an indictment on the imagination and moral commitment of contemporary society just to the extent that they are seen as outrageous, destructive, or utopian.

While most of us ask,"Why would we reduce or even give up our ability to kill?" people like Graeme and Bryan gift us with the confluence of flesh, steel and carbon fibre, and ask,"Why not?"

In a time of perpetual war, it is high time we took that question seriously.

I am available to speak on the action, the trial and the Ploughshares movement and can be contacted on:
smoyle@gmail.com
and 0402 857 915

Rev. Simon Moyle
9 August 2013

ABC Melbourne Sunday Night 18 March 2012
Podcast: The Interview: Baptist Simon Moyle on peace activism

 

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