Media Release 16 August 2013
Rockhampton Tiger Ploughshare trial begins Monday 19 August
with widespread support for the accused
Peace activists will be gathering in Rockhampton to support Graeme Dunstan when he appears for the beginning of the Tiger Ploughshare trial
10 am Monday 19 August
in the Rockhampton District Court
Solidarity rallies will also be held by peace activists in Brisbane and Melbourne. The trial is expected to take three days.
Long time peace activist, Graeme Dunstan of Peacebus.com, is charged with wilful damage of Commonwealth Property, namely an Australian Army "Tiger" Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter which was disabled by a blow from a garden mattock during the 2011 Talisman Saber Military Exercises.
WIN Tv news footage of the event show Bryan Law, dressed in a black suit and a Bob Katter hat, riding a tricycle across the Rockhampton Airport tarmac and striking the blow. Mr Law died last Easter.
Graeme Dunstan has confessed to being Mr Law's driver and assistant and is a charged as a co offender.
But Mr Dunstan is pleading not guilty to the charge and is defending himself with the assistance of Brisbane based nurse, Sean O'Reilly, as a "friend in court". Sean is the brother of Ciaron O'Reilly, a Brisbane born activist, famous for his Ploughshare actions in the US and Ireland.
"Ploughshare" is a reference to the Biblical prophecy of Isaiah (2:4) about a coming time when "nation will not rise up against nation, spears would be beaten into pruning hooks, swords into ploughshares and we would study war no more".
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.
The Tiger is similar in design and identical in function to the Apache helicopter used by the US Army to gun down innocents in the Collateral Murder footage leaked by Bradley Manning and Julian Assange and which has had in excess of 14 million viewers on YouTube.
Dunstan will be arguing that the strike was an act of conscience aimed a raising public awareness to the true nature of the war in Afghanistan where the attack helicopters were to be deployed.
"Disarmament is often seen as an impossible dream; desirable, certainly, but utterly unrealistic," said Mr Dunstan.
"It is precisely this societal torpor that the Tiger Ploughshare action sought to address."
Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688