Concerned veterans will conduct a public Speak Out against the Afghanistan War at the gates of Holsworthy Barracks,
from noon Friday 24 September 2010
MacArthur Drive, Holsworthy
(off Heathcote Drive and opposite Holsworthy Rail Station)
Holsworthy Barracks is home to the 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment, the 2nd Commando Regiment and support units.
The Speak Out will be hosted by Stand Fast, the national association of veterans opposing Australia's engagement in the US-led wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. It will be supported by the Greens, Socialist Alliance and other local antiwar activists.
"The Speak Out will be an opportunity for citizens voice their concerns over an open mike and service and ex-service people in particular, will speak and hear the truth about the Afghanistan War," said SpeakOut organiser and Stand Fast member Graeme Dunstan of Peacebus.com.
"We veterans reckon the best thing we can do for Australian soldiers serving in Afghanistan is to bring them home," said Hamish Chitts, veteran of Timor and a founding member of Stand Fast.
"Immediate and unconditional withdrawal was the demand of all participating groups", he said.
"We note that former PM and now newly commissioned Foreign Affairs Minister, Kevin Rudd, has hurried to Washington to assure the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, that Australins will "stay the course" in Aghanistan.
"That's easy for him to say but deadly for soldiers to do. And from him who never was and never could be a soldier," Mr Chitts said.
Stand Fast veterans are appalled by Mr Rudd's arrogance and delusion and know for sure he will not "stay the course" as Foreign Affairs Minister if he continues to ignore the tide of Australian public opinion against the US led war.
"As the Wikileaks make clear, the US military and the US Government have lied consistently about the cause, conduct and progress of the Afghanistan war and successive Australian Governments have repeated those lies to the Australian people like ventriloquist's dummies," Mr Chitts said.
"The bitter truth is that for all their killing power, there is no win to be had for the US military and their collaborators in Afghanistan. Just like Vietnam, there never was and never could be.
"Our message to serving soldiers is this: Politicians lie and give not a damn about you. The best way to protect yourself and to protect your mates is to refuse to go to Afghanistan. Desist and resist," Mr Chitts said.
Stand Fast calls on veterans and non-veterans to help end the lies, end the wars and end the US Alliance.
Media call: 12.30 pm Friday 24 September.
Hamish Chitts, Stand Fast 0401 586 923
Graeme Dunstan, Peacebus.com 0407 951 688