Pine Gap 4 Jailed in Berrimah Prison- wirte'em a letter!
Address Solidarity Letters/Postcards individually to....
Send solidarity mail....
c/- Pine Gap 4 Solidarity
69 Kurumba St,
Kippa-Ring, QLD, 4021
Letters will be redirected to prisoners in Berrimah, moved or released!
*For photos form Darwin & updates on imprisonment and court
**Christians Against ALL Terrorism website www.pinegap6.org
JIM DOWLING, ADELE GOLDIE & DONNA MULHEARN JOIN BRYAN LAW IN BERRIMAH PRISON, DARWIN, AUSTRALIA
by Jefferson Lee - Australia-East Timor Association Darwin, Australia
Donna Mulhearn, Adele Goldie and Jim Dowling from the 'Pine Gap Four' were taken into custody this morning Tuesday 13/2/08 at 11am Darwin time (12.30pm e.s.t.) in a private house in the suburb of Ludmilla in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.
They arrived on flights from Sydney and Brisbane overnight. Police admitted they were under surveillance and tracked their address through car registration numbers. On Monday the fourth member of the group Bryan Law had been taken into custody and sent to Berrima Gaol for refusing to pay fines imposed by an Alice Springs court late in 2007 following the occupation of the US war facility outside Alice Springs known as Pine Gap.
The three arrested this Tuesday were informed that the police were issuing warrants - Their choice was immediate payment of fines or transference via police vehicle to the Darwin Central lock-up and then processing to Berrimah Gaol. in the Darwin suburbs. The three informed the police they would not pay the fines on principle and were immediately taken into custody. Supporters maintained a two hour vigil outside the Central Lock Up between 11am and one pm (Darwin time) today. (Unfortunately the local media were flat out covering the 'Sorry Day' event and the medical treatment of Timor Leste President Jose Ramos Horta in Darwin Hospital). Overnight there was mention in the 'Northern Territory News' newspaper of the prior arrest (Monday 12/2/08) of Bryan Law. A brief interview with Donna Mulhearn also appeared on ABC Radio.
The Pine Gap Four were last seen departing the police station at 1pm local time here and will be in Berrimah Gaol for the next 5-6 days Even if they "work off" the fines imposed on them in the Alice Springs court in late 2007, they still face the prospect of the Federal Crown Prosecutor pursuing them in the Darwin Supreme Court - which is listed for hearing on Wednesday 20/2/08. The Federal Crown prosecutor laid original charges against the four under a never before used national security law framed in the 1950s in the context of World War Two and the Cold War. The appeal for a heavier sentence appears vindictive and persecutive because of the success of the non-violent anti war action against Pine Gap where "trespass" by the "Christians Against All Terrorism" group closed the base for a number of hours during the change of shift.
Local activists in Darwin are calling for the release from gaol of the "Pine Gap - Berrimah Four", the withdrawal of outstanding fines and the withdrawal by the Crown Prosecutor's Office of any appeal attempts to increase penalties. Peace activists who have been contacting the new ALP Attorney General have urged the government to cancel the antiquated laws under which the peace activists were arrested under.
This statment is issed by eye-witness to their arrest Jefferson Lee from the Australia-East Timor Association who is supporting their immediate release.
Related Link: http://www.pinegap6.org
BACKGROUND OF THE PINE GAP ACTION
In December 05, four Australian activists ("Christians Against ALL Terrorism") were arrested while carrying out a citizen's inspection of the U.S. NSA warfighting base, near isolated Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory of Australia. www.pinegap6. org
In mid-07 Jim Dowling, Adele Goldie, Bryan Law & Donna Mulhearn were found guilty at a jury trial in Alice Springs under the Defence Undertakings Act 1952 (the first people to be prosecuted under this act in the 50+ years of its existence!). The Prosecution demanded jail time the Trial Judge responded with a fine. The Prosecuiton are now appealing the "inadequate" sentencing, the state has also issued arrest warrants for the refusal to pay the fines set by the Trial Judge (the same fines the state are presently appealing! go figure?)
REFECTIONS FROM BRYAN LAW AS HE HEADED TO DARWIN & TO JAIL!
Bryan Law is packing his bags in Cairns and heading for Darwin the venue of the State's appeal and warrent for his arrest. he reflects as follows....
I’m leaving my home in Cairns on Monday 11 February to travel to Darwin, and the beautiful Berrimah Prison. http://www.nt. gov.au/justice/ graphpages/ corrservs/ custo...shtml
Hard case Bradley John Murdoch is in Berrimah, and he has access to television, internet, ping pong tables and film screenings. http://news. ninemsn.com. au/article. aspx?id=77599
I wonder what I’ll get?
I’m going to Berrimah to cut out the $1,000 fine I received for conducting a citizens’ inspection of the US-run Pine Gap Joint Defence facility. http://gc.nautilus. org/Nautilus/ australia/ australian- de...-gap/ I was one of four Christians Against ALL Terrorism who entered the sacred, secret, central security compound of Pine Gap on 9 December 2005. If you look at the map, we got into the top right hand corner of the sticky-uppy bit. Two satellite dishes and the C/MAP building (Communications/ Multi Antennae Project) that Jim and Adele climbed up on.
The Pine Gap 4 are all gathering in Darwin this month to do our time. I expect we’ll go into custody on Wednesday 13 February. I’ll be staying until at least Friday 22 February. For the last three days of my imprisonment I’ll be attending the Court of Criminal Appeal in Darwin, to defend myself against the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions who wants to send us all to prison for an unspecified period (months or years).
So while I can be in charge of going into prison, I can’t be 100% confident about when I’ll be getting back out. When will I see my wife and son again? That’s a weird feeling.
Many Cairns residents already know that I’m a follower and advocate of spiritual nonviolence – Christian, Gandhian, Buddhist, pagan or whatever – and of using nonviolent direct action (NVDA) as a social change agent. Forest Protection, Skyrail, Daintree, Cairns Post, Reconciliation, Warships and getting up Kevin Byrne’s nose are things where I’ve been involved in NVDA that’s gained community attention.
The Pine Gap action with my fellow Christians Against ALL Terrorism is by far the most successful action I’ve ever been part of. It’s been running for two and a half years now. It’s gained national media attention on six different occasions, with at least one more to go. It’s revealed ASIO and the AFP at work. We’ve had four camps at Alice Springs, which involved and nurtured a nonviolence community each time of 6 to 36 as participation grew. We’ve made friends around Australia and the world. We started as six people.
We’ve found out a lot more about what Pine Gap is and does. It’s a gleaming high tech machine being used for some of the darkest and most insane (demonic) military activity/terror on our planet. Read this US document to get a picture of what Pine gap contributes to. http://space. au.af.mil/ stratcom/ spacemissions. htm You’ll find Pine Gap’s functions under “Space Force Enhancements” .
“Space assets have provided key support to coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, the most digitally intensive conflict ever, with virtually every military platform linked by satellite. Military satellites help choose bomb targets, guide precision munitions, provide weather reports, warn of missile launches, let commanders talk to one another, and allow soldiers to pinpoint their position”. Pine Gap makes a much more vital contribution to US warfighting than any amount of combat troops in Iraq or Afghanistan.
We’ve provoked a massive over-reaction by the state – which has spent millions of dollars on base security, and on our prosecution. On the base there are new buildings, more police, and “enhanced” security and alarm systems at Pine Gap (to prevent further civil disobedience actions?). Will they succeed? How far will they go? Can we charge them a fee for testing their security apparatus? Here’s an article I’ve written about the Civil Liberties aspects of our action so far. http://www.cairnspe acebypeace. org/index. php?option= com_...id= 42
Here’s an article from the Sydney Morning Herald which lists our case in the context of diminishing civil liberties in Australia. http://www.smh. com.au/news/ opinion/another- bundle-of- in....html
Our project appears to be self-funding, with donations meeting expenses since 2006. We enjoyed attention from two Cabinet Ministers in the Howard government, including the wonderfully compassionate Attorney General Philip Ruddock. How many people can say they’ve got a personally signed certificate from Minister
Ruddock authorising their prosecution? The Pine Gap 4 each have one.
We’ve begun a new cycle of engagement with the Rudd Labor government. Here’s a letter to ALP Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon. http://www.cairnspe acebypeace. org/index. php?option= com_...id= 42
Click on the “minister for defence” link at the bottom of the page.
Christians Against ALL Terrorism are going back to the sacred compound at Pine Gap on ANZAC Day 2008. There’ll be solidarity actions in Australia and New Zealand.
We know we’re having an effect because the state continues to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars prosecuting us in the Courts. So far their strategy is failing and our strategy is succeeding.
Blessed are the peacemakers
for they shall be called children of God
Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven
Spiritually our focus has been on the Sermon on the Mount, and its call to love our enemies. Our action provides us with a lot of opportunity to put that call into action, with our critics and prosecutors, as well as with each other. Irrespective of material achievements, our actions have enriched and strengthened our lives and communities. The trial in June last year, and the community of resistance we built around it, was a peak moment for me.
I’m looking forward to another 3 days in Court, this time with a panel of 3 Supreme Court judges, discussing appropriate penalties for civil disobedience, in the particular circumstances of our action. I’ve never been in front of such a senior Court before. The only avenue of appeal from here will be to the High Court, if it grants us leave. I love my days in Court. A Court-room is such a civilised place to have such an argument. I’ll be invoking Lord Hoffman, from the British Law Lords, and his take on civil disobedience.
On the other hand Berrimah Prison is a fabulous place to punish any activists who misjudge the nature and extent of a state’s right to deal forcibly with the citizens. It’s been 20 years since i spent any time in a prison, and I’m not looking forward to going back.
I remember prisons as places of sensory deprivation and routine humiliation. Filled with men and boys in trouble. But I also remember them as places where the structural violence in the heart of our society is clearly visible, and where a literate man can make a useful contribution. I’m in for a period of contemplation and reflection.
See you whenever.
Related Link: http://www.pinegap6 .org