Media Release 11 August 2013
Melbourne Baptist Pastor
to defend Ploughshare accused
The Reverend Simon Moyle of the GraceTree Community in Melbourne will be coming to Rockhampton to support and defend Graeme Dunstan in the Tiger Ploughshare trial which will begin the Rockhampton District Court on Monday 19 August
Mr Dunstan is charged with a wilful damage of an Australian Army Tiger Attack helicopter on the tarmac of Rockhampton airport during Talisman Sabre 2011. His co accused, Bryan Law, who actually struck the blow with a garden mattock, died last Easter.
The Reverend Moyle describes Mr Dunstan as "a spiritual companion" and says Dunstan's willingness to risk jail and 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," observes the Rev Moyle. "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".
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 Dunstan and Bryan Law gift us with a 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," said the Rev. Moyle.
Full statement here.
Simon Moyle firstname.lastname@example.org 0402 857 915
Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688
ABC Melbourne Sunday Night 18 March 2012
Podcast: The Interview: Baptist Simon Moyle on peace activism