Launch of national network opposing US bases

MAPW is a founding member of a the Independent & Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) which was launched around Australia on the International Day of Peace, 21 September.

The network has written to Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, outlining its campaign to promote an independent Australian foreign policy that builds peace and nonviolent resolution of conflict in our region. The letter was signed by 28 organisations including peace organisations, community groups and trade unions.

The letter stated the groups' opposition to the establishment of foreign military bases and the deployment of foreign troops in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, and read: 

"In particular, the network is opposed to the stationing of up to 2,500 US marines based in Darwin by 2016-17, the possible upgrading of Stirling Naval base, the stationing of US aircraft at RAAF Base Tindal and the militarisation of the Cocos Islands. We object to the increasing integration of Australian and US military forces. "  

"We remain gravely concerned that this military build-up has enormous potential not only to damage relationships with our neighbours, but also to accelerate regional arms races and embroil us in further wars on behalf of a foreign power."