|MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 19 June 2020
Pacific Peace Network calls for cancellation of ‘RIMPAC’ War Games in the Pacific
A new coalition of Pacific Peace groups convened by the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) and World Beyond War NZ, is calling for cancellation of the “RIMPAC’ military exercises event attended by up to 26 countries in Hawaiian waters this August. The exercise has already been reduced from three months down to just two weeks duration because of fears around COVID-19, but the Pacific Peace Network (PPN) says it should be cancelled altogether. Two countries, Israel and Chile have already pulled out.
Correspondence from the Department of Defence on the 21st May stated “a final decision about the nature of the ADF’s participation in RIMPAC has yet to be taken as Defence adjusts a range of plans and commitments to implement the Whole of Government response to the COVID-19 pandemic”. IPAN has repeatedly called for a decision to be made by the Defence Minister and recommended that Australia not participate in RIMPAC.
“Indigenous people in Hawaii are struggling for some degree of self-determination in the face of nuclearisation, militarisation and economic exploitation of the Pacific. We believe the military exercise RIMPAC is an ugly expression of this multi-level colonisation –physical, cultural, spiritual, economic, nuclear, military – past and present”, says Pacific Peace Network co-convenor and IPAN Chairperson Annette Brownlie.
This Saturday at 11:00am AEST time, the PPN is hosting a webinar featuring representatives from Pacific and Asian countries about their concerns. Speakers from across the Pacific include: Kawena Kapahua, Cancel Rimpac Coalition (Hawaii), Dr Margie Beavis, Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia), Maria Hernandez, Prutehi Litekyan: Save Ritidian (Guam/Guahan), Virginia Lacsa Suarez, Co-Convenor of SCRAP VFA! -a broad campaign network of coalitions, organizations and individuals united in the pursuit of genuine sovereignty, (Philippines), and Valerie Morse, Peace Action Wellington (Aotearoa New Zealand).
The webinar will be chaired by Liz Remmerswaal from co- host World Beyond War Aotearoa New Zealand, and is produced in association with the Independent and Peaceful Australian Network. There will be brief video footage of the war games and questions from participants after.
The webinar will be recorded and is available to watch live on: https://actionnetwork.org/events/cancel-rimpacseminar/?source=facebook&&fbclid=IwAR1gqh_bKeMJ_PdWd48wIFvYB8PhwCr7iubi4Hjub5WRY9QhCXEYtTPghg
There is also a petition, as below: https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/help-hawaii-stopthe-largest-naval-war-practice-in-the-world
Media Interviews: Contact Annette Brownlie 0431 597 256
IPAN Media Liaison: Kathryn Kelly, contact 0417 269 984