Submarines at arms bazaar protest

Media Release Monday 7 October 2013

 Submarines at arms bazaar protest

A three metre submarine will star at a picket outside the Darling Harbour Convention Centre today at 11 am to condemn the Pacific 2013 arms bazaar.

“Modern warfare is catastrophic. The toll in human life, injury and dislocation demands a massive reduction in weapons production,” Denis Doherty from the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign said.

“Instead we have offensively lush arms bazaars such as PACIFIC 2013.

“Excessive defence spending diverts public money from meeting human needs and it creates relatively few jobs,” he said.

“For every job created in the arms industry, between three and seven could be created in health, education and clean energy.

“We cannot afford to house the people of our country but we can afford warships and submarines.

“There is something wrong here,” Mr Doherty said.


For more information:

Contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

Visit our websites: and

Corruption fears drive protests against naval arms bazaar

Media Release 6 October 2013

Protest:  Sydney Convention Centre

Monday October 7th 11 am

“We are protesting against the Pacific 2013 arms bazaar because the arms industry is poorly regulated, secretive and corrupt,” said Denis Doherty, National Co-ordinator of the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition.

“The arms industry corrodes democracy, weakens already fragile states and undermines the security it purports to safeguard.

“The arms trade accounts for 40 per cent of the world’s corruption,” Denis Doherty continued

“Any doubts about this should be dispelled by the recent scandal of Glenn Marine bribing elements of the US Navy in Singapore for information. This is a real life NCIS story.”

According to Dr Peter Wigg, a former Medecins Sans Frontieres aid worker: “There is more regulation of world trade in bananas than the arms trade”

“Hidden among civilian maritime exhibits at the expo are sophisticated weaponry for military use, including naval weapons systems and platforms, maritime defence equipment and systems and unmanned and autonomous systems (drones),” Denis Doherty stated.

“Among the sponsors and exhibitors are notorious armaments corporations such as Raytheon, Thales, Lockheed Martin and BAE systems.

“Weapons production creates mega-profits,” Mr Doherty said.

“In 2011, defying the global recession, world arms sales reached US$401bn. In the same year, Lockheed Martin alone made US$26.5 billion in profit.

“Arms manufacturers have traditionally over charged for arms and often after long periods and obscene amounts of spending produce items that are unusable or simply are not delivered,” he said.

The Obama administration says arms sales are an increasingly critical and cost-efficient way to defend US corporate interests.

“Why should Australian taxpayers underwrite US economic interest in our region?” Denis Doherty asked.

“Its time our governments took an independent stand and defended Australia’s interests.

“The arms trade is about making super profits and not for genuine defence needs. That’s why we will be protesting outside Pacific 2013 at DarlingHarbour on Monday 7 October,” he concluded.

For more information
Contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

Visit our websites: and

Submarines at naval arms bazaar protest – media

Media Release

5th October 2013

Peace activists will bring their own submarines to highlight the waste of billions of dollars at a protest at the Convention/Exhibition Centre at DarlingHarbour on Monday 7 October at 11 am.

“We strongly object to Pacific 2013 which is an arms bazaar staged to coincide with the Fleet Review,” Denis Doherty from the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition said in Sydney this morning.

“We oppose the military build up in our region which threatens to bring war to our doorstep.

“We do not need an arms bazaar to promote aggressive naval acquisitions and activities. We do not need a regional arms race,” he said.

“Much of the $153 billion earmarked by government for an upgrade of ADF weaponry is to fund an unprecedented increase in naval power.

“Such over-priced, over-sophisticated procurements will make us poorer, not safer.

“We need to decrease, not increase, Australia’s already exorbitant military spending of $68 million every day.

“We need peace and confidence building to help grow a sustainable economy in Australia and the region, ensuring a rising quality of life in our and our neighbours’ communities.

“To preserve our national security and sovereignty, we need to stand on our own two feet.

“Australia’s military ties with the US undermine our independence and distract us from the greatest threat to our nation’s security – environmental degradation,” Denis Doherty concluded.


For more information:

Contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

Visit our websites: and


Keep Space for Peace and the RAN Naval Powers Conference

All advanced military forces including Australia’s are dependent on space systems in many ways—for communications; command and control; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; navigation; and meteorology and oceanography – and they will be even more so in the future.  Australia’s White Paper on Defence 2013 says “Space-based systems are a critical enabler of a modern networked military capability”.

The US Navy has an amazing amount and sophistication of space based assets to assist its mission to any part of the globe.  Australia sees itself as having a smaller role yet it still has to cover large distances, the country’s vast area of interest in the Indo-Pacific region, and dispersed areas of operation globally, require a robust command and control architecture and communication systems. (White Paper 2013).  Hence it has space based assets and is extending them.

The Government has invested in terrestrial and satellite communications and command systems that deliver a digitised and better connected force. Enhancements to Defence’s command and control capabilities will continue to be progressed to meet operational requirements as they evolve. (White Paper 2013)

And again they say

8.35 Communications satellites provide an independent source of connectivity for deployed operational forces and are often the only available connection between ADF tactical areas of operations and the strategic networks used by the remainder of Defence.   Defence will continue to invest in the ground and space-based elements of satellite communications capabilities, including the important Wideband Global Satellite Communications program.

We are protesting the use of space for terrestrial warfare by any forces be they US, Australian or any other country, we say keep space for all, keep space for peace.  The prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAROS) should be a critical issue on the UN disarmament and arms control agenda.

Weapons such as Ballistic Missile Defence and Unmanned Vehicles (drones) are dependent on space based assets, this is the practical application of space for war which we are protesting about.  These systems must be brought under control and minimized for a peaceful world.

Keep Space for Peace Week is an annual event at many sites around the world, in Sydney 2013 our event will at the RAN Conference.  Keep Space for Peace!


Pine Gap’s Secrets Revealed

In late July The Australian reported it was revealed that the US/Australian satellite tracking spy base Pine Gap is likely connected to US drone strikes which have killed Pakistani citizens.

Pine Gap is a secretive facility nearly 20km southwest of Alice Springs and has been there since 1970. Run by both Australia and the United States, its official name is the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap.

“It is fair to say that Pine Gap has some fairly awesome capabilities when it comes to intelligence gathering,” said a former worker at Pine Gap, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak about his work. “It’s secretive.”

Pine Gap is essentially a satellite tracking station, situated in the middle of no­where. It is believed that the US and Australia “listen to Asia” from the 14 antennae concealed beneath white domes at Pine Gap.

A Pakistani lawyer went on record in July saying Pine Gap tracks the commu­nications of al-Qaeda and Taliban militants. This, he says, enables the US to target those militants with its drone strikes. Sadly, these strikes kill civilians in increasing numbers.





RAN Sea Power Conference 2013 and the Environment.

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The theme of the 2013 Conference is Naval Diplomacy and Maritime Power Projection: The Utility of Navies in the Maritime Century, which is designed to capitalise on the presence of many foreign navies in Sydney for the International Fleet Review


The theme will examine the contemporary utility of navies as tools of statecraft, from hard and soft power perspectives. It will also explore, in a dedicated session, the notion of ‘a maritime school of strategic thought;’ a debate that has emerged in Australia in 2012, ahead of the promulgation of a revised National Security Statement and Defence White Paper.


(Excerpts from the official blurb on its website.)


What is evident from the above is the maritime or ocean component of this conference and what we worry about is that element’s standing in a progressively deteriorating situation in the Indo Pacific Oceans due to ‘the pivot to the Asia Pacific by the US military.’



The contribution of military activities to the unprecedented series of environmental crises facing the world today has been largely overlooked and, to an extent, wilfully ignored. This, despite the reality that 163 of the 192 current sovereign countries maintain regular armed forces (Westing 2000).


Often vehemently defended for their role in insuring national security, peacetime military operations, in fact, pose a constant and major health threat to the citizens of militarized countries. Yet, governments still refuse to conduct serious assessments comparing the highly actualized national security threat posed by their own armed forces versus those posed by perceived external threats.


Oceans at risk due to Naval activity:


The global military use of oceans has not been assessed although the US Navy, is known to operate in over 765,000 square nautical miles of designated navy sea ranges (Willard 2002). Naval activities, however, can affect ocean ecosystems far beyond their designated ranges.


The Australian Navy’s reach too is fairly extensive with Australia’s national interest being considered to be 200 miles out to sea from the coast of our country.  We also reach down to the Antarctic and include Macquarie Island and some other outcrops.  This spread of our perceived area is a very large part of the world’s ocean surface maybe as much as 1/6.


The Australian component

With Australia’s unique maritime environment with significant reefs both in the tropical and temperate areas is an important part of the world’s store of environmental maritime environments.  We saw during the recent US – Australia Joint military exercise that the US Navy planes bombed the Great Barrier Reef and left 4 unexploded bombs in that pristine area.


Damage to reefs dues to Naval activity:  Take this incident:

January 25, 2013 (ENS) – All of the fuel onboard a U.S. Navy minesweeper grounded in the Philippines’ Tubbataha Reefs Natural Marine Park was removed today without a spill, but the incident has prompted calls for better protection of the pristine area.

This incident left major damage to the reef.

But conservationists warn that large areas of the pristine corals have been destroyed as the ship’s hull grinds on the reef, while monsoon winds are making it difficult to dislodge the vessel.

“Hundreds of meters of once-pristine reef have already been flattened,” said the World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines.

This type of accident could happen on our own Great Barrier Reef by a naval vessel on exercise yet the US and Australian Navies still play their war games in this area.


Affect of Naval Activity on sea mammals

January 26, 2012 (ENS) – A coalition of conservation groups and American Indian tribes today sued the National Marine Fisheries Service, NMFS, for failing to protect whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions from U.S. Navy warfare training exercises along the U.S. Pacific Coast.

Again there have been incidents of dugong habitat being threatened by exercises such as talisman sabre which sail in and out of dugong areas without regard to this threatened species.  As well Whales use that area for a winter breaks and to breed yet the whole area is saturated with navy vessels.  The risks are there and the concerns are real yet the navy and the Government continue to ignore the problem in its headlong rush to rearm for the pivot!


The military use of the sonar system known as Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active sonar (or LFA), for example, can potentially cover 80% of the planet’s oceans by broadcasting from only four locations (Science Wire 2001). The LFA sonar was developed in the 1980s and used by the U.S. Navy to detect the presence of deep sea Soviet submarines by bombarding them with high intensity, low frequency noise. It has had a profound impact on marine species.  The frequencies that dolphins and whales use for hearing, to find food, families and direction fall within the range used by the military — 100 to 500 Hz (Science Wire 2001). Whales send signals out at between 160 and 190 db and the Navy has tested its sonar signals at levels up to 235 db. In March 2000, four different species of whales and dolphins were stranded on beaches in the Bahamas after a US Navy battle group used active sonar in the area. A government investigation found evidence of haemorrhaging around the dead whales’ eyes and ears, indicating severe acoustic trauma. Causation was established to the mid-frequency sonar used by Navy ships passing through the area (NRDC 2003). Since the incident, the area’s beaked whales population has disappeared. This has led scientists to conclude that they have either abandoned their habitat or died at sea. On August 26 2003, a US federal judge ruled that the Navy’s plan to deploy a new high-intensity sonar system is illegal, violating numerous federal environmental laws and endangering whales, porpoises and fish (NRDC


Pollution of the air, land, and water in peacetime


Consider the following facts:

The world’s military forces are responsible for the release of more than two thirds of CFC-113 into the ozone layer. During the Cold War, the US and Soviet armed forces produced enormous amounts of hazardous wastes. As a result of naval accidents there are at least 50 nuclear warheads and 11 nuclear reactors littering the ocean floor. There are more nuclear reactors at sea than on land. The Pentagon generates five times more toxins than the five major US chemical companies combined. The US military is the largest single source of US environmental pollution. The cost of clean-up of military related sites is estimated to be upwards of $500 billion. This is in addition to the bill for clean-up of former Soviet military activities – a bill still largely unpaid.


We know that the US and other navies use very toxic substances and leak them into the sea, we know that the area around Subic Bay the Philippines is contaminated with run off from the US navy activity there.


The general environment of the sea is becoming more of worry with fish stocks decreasing, reefs disappearing and the amount of rubbish and plastic floating on the sea are all having a harmful on the sea.  The extra maritime activity of the region’s navies is not helping the sea and its species and environs prosper.


RAN Sea Power Conference 2013 and the ‘pivot’.


DSCN0864The theme of the 2013 Conference is Naval Diplomacy and Maritime Power Projection: The Utility of Navies in the Maritime Century, which is designed to capitalise on the presence of many foreign navies in Sydney for the International Fleet Review


The theme will examine the contemporary utility of navies as tools of statecraft, from hard and soft power perspectives. It will also explore, in a dedicated session, the notion of ‘a maritime school of strategic thought;’ a debate that has emerged in Australia in 2012, ahead of the promulgation of a revised National Security Statement and Defence White Paper.


Excerpts from the official blurb on its website.


The Naval Powers Conference comes at a time when the Obama’s aggressive policy called ‘pivot to Asia’ is starting to take effect.  This policy means that the US will be paying more attention to the Asia Pacific area after a period of concentrating on or being distracted by the Middle East.  When the US was involved in the Middle East they invaded Iraq and Afghanistan and assisted in the destruction of Libya.  This record of violence and destruction in the Middle East is very worrying if the US is applying its attention to our area.


The most basic feature of the Pivot is to bring 60% of US Naval assets into the Pacific and this feature is well under way with more aircraft carriers being moved into the Pacific.


The pivot has let loose a rush to increase navies across the region, with the allies of the US particularly Japan, South Korea and Australia ‘beefing up’ their navies to suit the imperial dictates of the US.


Japan Unveils the Izumo, Its Largest Warship Since WWII, Amid Tensions With China

Read more:

On Aug. 6, Japan launched its largest warship since World War II in a fresh demonstration of Tokyo’s steadily expanding naval capabilities.


Japan has a ranking as the third biggest navy in the world before the launching of the above ship.  It is maintaining and extending its number of bases for the use of the US Navy.


South Korea comes in 9th in the world for navy hardware.  ROK is building a new Naval Base on the island of Jeju again as part of the US pivot.  This base building ignores the unique maritime environment of which Jeju is.


Australia too with the prospect of 12 submarines and three possibly 4 Air warfare destroyers and other items at present due to be purchased is engaged in a massive naval build-up.


The conference talks about hard and soft power perspectives for the navy.  What are soft options?  Gunboat diplomacy where the mere presence of military hardware is enough to bring nations to obey the US or the west’s orders.  Hard perspectives?  These must be the use of weapons on small nations.


Where else in our region is the US acting in a preparatory way for war?


From the North Pacific to the India continent the US has measures either in place, being constructed or being negotiated to station troops, materiel and make new bases.


The US itself has started building a massive naval base on the Island of Guam which is basically a colony of the US.  The new base will house pens for nuclear subs, and places for large warships including aircraft carriers as well updating auxiliary facilities such as US Air Force aerodrome and hangars.


The US has reimposed itself on the Philippines with previous bases being reactivated and put at the disposal of the US military.  The former base at Subic Bay has hosted 68 US naval ships so far this year.  The US has also conducted a large number of military exercises on the Philippines.  Many Filipinos now say their whole country is a US base now.


There are similar advances in the following countries Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Myamar even Vietnam has been approached for a naval base.  Of course the US is also very involved in encouraging India to become part of the so called ‘pivot’.


This is the regional atmosphere we are facing as the Naval Powers Conference gets underway, it can only lead to facilitating more tension in the region.


What is the basic focus of the pivot?


We agree with the commentators who say that these measures are aimed at ‘containing China’, a position that can only harm Australia and region.


The strategic thinking behind this pivot is for the US to increase the pressure on China.  Our region’s Malacca Straits near Singapore is what is known as a choke point where a large number of cargo ships go through narrow straits.  Through this strait go about 85% of China’s fuel and the US is aiming to choke off China’s trade should it feels the need to.



What is Australia’s Role in the pivot?


Australia has cooperated with the pivot firstly by stationing of 2500 US Marines on our soil.  There is talk of further inroads by the US onto our land with bases for US navy assets in Darwin and Fremantle WA which could include nuclear submarines.  On top of this was the suggestion that the Cocos Islands could house a base for US drone activity for the region.


The US has requested that the Darwin Marine component be hurried up so that the 2500 number can be reached sooner than expected.  The US has just announced (Aug 23, 2013) it will be setting up a new naval force to support the marines in Darwin.  It is called the Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG).  With this force the US is aiming to support the marines in Darwin to go to war.


What impact this will have on the region?

In regard to Australia it is not in our interest to be on bad relations with China as it is our major trading partner.  Chinese finance is kick starting our fuel industry both oil and gas in the North West of the country.  As well many of Australia CEO’s are alarmed that Australia’s military policy is threatening their economic well being.  The whole of Australia’s population stands to benefit from good relations with China.  As well our relations with our neighbours will be negatively effected by our support for the US’s bellicose attitudes and policies.


Australia’s interests are also threatened by exorbitant spending on the military as it robs other parts of our community such as health and education to pay for naval assets.  These purchases can only further increase tensions between our numerous Asian Pacific neighbours as we resort to gunboat diplomacy instead of diplomacy.


Ultimately we need to remind everyone of the worst case scenario for our region.  The worst possible outcome we could face is a nuclear exchange between the US and China which is what all of us in the region would seek to avoid.  However, Australia in its blind support of the US is bringing closer this scenario rather being a positive influence for peace in the region.



The Navy has to have conferences to improve its skills and all understanding of its job in our region. So why object?

While this conference is held in prestigious surrounds and has an air of respectability, the reality is quite different.  This conference is an occasion for the agents of the shadiest and most evil industries to strut their stuff.  This is a golden opportunity for the arms trade, the dealers of death and destruction to promote their wares.  These are the war profiteers who feed on misery and destruction.  Arms Trade corporations from all countries are implicated in a range of corruption scandals in their own countries in other countries.  Their work often include arming both sides of a conflict as they did in the Iraq war.  We object to the conference on the grounds it is an arm trading fare with a particular emphasis on maritime component.


This conference is NOT an academic exercise, it rather a combination of arms fair and academia which tries to obscure its sinister purpose.



Demonstrate against Australia’s massive Naval Build up

Protest Australia’s massive
naval buildup

abbott surfboard

Australia is embarked on a massive naval purchasing spree while necessary services are run down.  Let the Australian government know that you object to the amount of money being spent on the NAVY!

Protest Monday Oct 7th

The occasion: The RAN Sea  Power Conference and the exposition PACIFIC 2013 (Arms Trading).

Where and what time?  Outside the Sydney convention and Exhibition Centre 11 am till 12.30 pm

  • No more subs
  • No Naval buildup to suit the US pivot
    to the Asia Pacific

Submarines and Placards supplied but bring your own if you want!

Sponsored:  Anti-Bases Campaign, IPAN NSW, more to come ….

Protest Location

 demo position