Friday, June 20, 2008

Scott Parkin again

All the way back in 2005 I wrote a couple of posts (here's one and here's the other) about Scott Parkin, a nonviolent activist deported from Australia for allegedly being a threat to Australia's security. It's one of the most blatant abuses of power our country has seen in recent years (leaving him dubbed Australia's first political prisoner). There's a new video out that tells the story - I highly recommend you take the 15 minutes to hear what happened, and begin to question your assumptions about the just, free society we're supposed to be a part of. Visit here for more information.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Persistent Peace

When John Dear was over here, he specifically asked us to pray for a book he had recently written, but was having difficulty getting published...his autobiography. So I'm more than delighted to say that not only did the publishing come through, but it is due out August 1. Read all about it, including advanced chapters, here.

There is also a possible film in the works over it, so continue to pray that all of that will come through.

Pace e Bene National Gathering

Very disappointed to be missing this, but our baby will be due about a week before, so I'll have to miss it...but get there if you possibly can, it'll be absolutely fantastic.


‘Engaging Nonviolence – Deep Listening to the Spirit’

Adelaide: Thursday November 6th – Sunday November 9th

An Invitation

To join with others and listen to the spirit as we share the journey of ‘exploring nonviolence’ and how it takes shape in our lives.

Right now we are seeking indications of interest in attending and invite responses via email, post, fax or phone

Text Box: Bob Myers  Pace e Bene Australia 3 Brierly Street Warrnambool  Victoria 3280

Phone and fax (03) 5562 3277

Mob: 0408 541 152


Who else could you invite?

Who else do you know who shares the passion for this possibility? Who would wish to journey with the spirituality of active nonviolence? Who could you invite to enrich the gathering with their presence? For more details of the program, see below.

Accommodation venue details

The Monastery Conference and Function Centre

15 Cross Road, Glen Osmond SA 5064 Tel: 08 8379 3681 FAX 08 8379 8751

Set in tranquil, picturesque grounds in the Adelaide foothills "The Monastery" is only 10 minutes [5km] from the city centre and 20 minutes from the airport. Car parking is available on site.

Money matters of various kinds

Accommodation: is in single rooms with shared facilities…cost includes all meals from Friday breakfast – Sunday lunch (linen $10 extra).

Single (waged) $290 Single (unwaged) $240

Couple (waged) $550 Couple (unwaged) $420

If you wish to come a day early or stay later, please contact the Monastery direct).

Other conference fees – invitation to contribute

Our commitment is to have the conference accessible to everyone, and our invitation to ourselves is to equalize the costs as much as possible. We suggest an ‘access contribution’ (of what you can afford) from those living in or near Adelaide which would be used to balance out the higher costs of those participants who have to travel further, or who have other financial challenges.

We don’t want anyone to miss out through lack of funding. Remember the possibilities of resources from within your own community or network. Perhaps a parish, workplace or institution would help fundraise to assist with your costs.

There are some funds available to subsidise participation by people who might otherwise be unable to take part. Please let us know your needs.

Draft Programme - Thurs Nov 6th – Sunday Nov 9th

‘Engaging Nonviolence – Deep Listening to the Spirit’

Program outline (so far… do send your ideas, needs and requests!)

Phase 1 Engage with the spirit of the gathering place and with each other
Phase II Engage with deep spirit within self
Phase III Engage with the spirit of our wider communities – going beyond ourselves



Gathering (from 6pm), welcome, settle in, introductions and grounding in place

Dinner informal pizza, nibbles, drinks

Sharing ideas and offers for daily morning prayer ….e.g. meditation, Tai Chi, yoga, other - whatever skills/gifts the group may offer



Morning Prayer – as per last night’s suggestions/offers


Welcome to country
Welcome to each other
and sharing the stories of our individual journeys to here



Sharing Our Community Stories and Gifts

(Focus: how have we got to 'here' and what’s going on in our world now...)

· The Pace e Bene story – locally, nationally and internationally

· From Violence to Wholeness, Engage, Travelling With the Turtles….

· Recent stories…among which are: the Solomon Islands; Mainstreaming Nonviolence; Samuel Hill 5; FVTW in Scotland….

· Sharing our Gifts (What are the gifts you wish to offer this gathering given your journey to here?) - sharing skills, knowledge, wisdom, experiences...gathered along the way

· Other possible dicussion areas might include: gender and nonviolence training, rising militarisation in the region, refusal to pay war tax… the contributions you bring of course….?

· Dinner


Discernment: invitation to one hour of 'noble silence' between 7-8pm

(after dinner) to discern movements within self from the day....

followed by

Sharing the insights between 8-9pm



Morning prayer - as Friday

Sharing our Gifts continues (What are the gifts you wish to offer this gathering

given your journey to here?)
Sharing skills, knowledge, wisdom, experiences...gathered along the way



Discernment: Invitation to one hour of 'noble silence [after lunch] 2-3pm discern movements within self from the day....followed by

Gathering to share insights/further skills and other discernment






Morning prayeras Friday..


Where do we go from here- Open space

2 sessions before Lunch

Sunday Lunch


Closing Circle, Ritual and Departure (3pm)

MONDAY 10th Nov – optional - Pace e Bene Australia AGM

TUESDAY 11th – THURSDAY 13th Nov - optional – APDS – Arms Expo NV Action

Pace e Bene Australia intends to provide an alternative ‘nonviolent marketplace’ in Adelaide during this weapons bazaar. We will keep you informed about how this initiative develops and invite active participation by our friends and supporters around the country. There will be a variety of ways to be involved, whether by being present in Adelaide or by creating solidarity activities in your own community.

Raytheon 9 acquitted!

On 11 June 2008, by a unanimous verdict of the jury, the Raytheon 9 were found not guilty of three counts of criminal damage at the Raytheon offices, Derry Northern Ireland on 9 August 2006.

Immediately afterwards, the defendants addressed supporters and press outside Belfast’s Laganside Court. Colm Bryce began:
The Raytheon 9 have been aquitted today in Belfast for their action in decommissioning the Raytheon offices in Derry in August 2006. The prosecution could produce not a shred of evidence to counter our case that we had acted to prevent the commission of war crimes during the Lebanon war by the Israeli armed forces using weapons supplied by Raytheon.

We remain proud of the action we took and only wish that we could have done more to disrupt the ‘kill chain’ that Raytheon controls.

This victory is welcome, for ourselves and our families, but we wish to dedicate it to the Shaloub and Hasheem families of Qana in Lebanon, who lost 28 of their closest relatives on the 30 July 2006 due to a Raytheon ‘bunker buster’ bomb.

Their unimaginable loss was foremost in our minds when we took the action we did on 9 August, and the injustice that they and the many thousands of victims of war crimes in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered, will spur us on to continue to campaign against war and the arms trade that profits from it.

We said from the beginning that we came to this court not as the accused but as the accusers of Raytheon. This court case proved that Raytheon in Derry is an integral part of the global Raytheon company and its military production. This is no longer a secret or in doubt. Raytheon have treated the truth, peaceful protest, local democracy and this court with complete contempt. The most senior executive who appeared said that the charge that Raytheon had ‘aided and abetted’ the commission of crimes against humanity was “not an issue” for him. Raytheon should have that contempt repaid in full and be driven out of Derry and every other place they have settled. They are war criminals, plain and simple. They have no place in our society and shame on all those in positions of power or influence who would hand them public funds, turn a blind eye to their crimes, cover their tracks or make excuses for them.

These crimes continue daily and hourly in the Middle East. It is up to those of us who oppose those wars of domination and occupation to build a movement that matches the enormity of what is being done by Western governments. We hope that this victory gives courage and heart to all those involved in that movement and the many more who need to be for us to achieve our aim of stopping these wars. Until then, the very least we can do, to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Middle East is to dissociate ourselves from the corrupt governments of the US and Britain. That means opposing the visit to Belfast of the world’s biggest war criminal, George W Bush on 16 June.

We feel totally vindicated by this decision and wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of those who gave us support, especially to our families and friends, to the members of the Derry Anti War Coalition and the Irish Anti-War Movement , to our excellent legal teams. Of course, we particularly want to thank the jury who listened intently through three weeks of evidence before ensuring that justice was done today.