24.8 C
Byron Shire
September 18, 2021

Killing in the name of god and country

Latest News

Police arrest 32 in protests across the state

Police say they have prevented the mass gathering of people in various locations across NSW, arresting 32 people and issuing 265 Penalty Infringement Notices in a coordinated and mobile response to planned protest activity.

Other News

Next disaster

I am impelled to bring to your attention the next environmental disaster. We’ve had plastic bottles, single use plastic...

Worried about COVID vaccine adverse effects? Here’s what’s happening each week

A breakdown of the weekly vaccine-side effects report from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Sometimes you’ve just got to laugh

I confess to having no clinical or medical training, but my reading of some of the literature increasingly tells me that laughter, and the hormones that trigger it, is a powerful healing and comforting tool that serves to help us cope with stress, anxiety, trauma and the challenges associated with living and navigating modern life. 

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 15 September, 2021

Inception – Byron Theatre’s first post-lockdown live event Cancelled twice owing to the local lockdown, Three Lords’ Inception and AV...

NRPP transparency questioned over controversial Evans Head Iron Gates development

Concerns have been raised over the transparency of the process of the Northern Rivers Planning Panel (NRPP), by which it reached a decision, in relation to the Iron Gates development in Evans Head, to ‘accept the amendment of the application under Clause 55 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulations 2000’.

Definition

I really like The Echo’s new word invention: Freedumb (noun) 1. The belief that your right to personal freedom outweighs...

Filmmaker David Bradbury prevented on reporting on church service that kicks off the Talisman Saber US/Aust military exercises in north Qld.

by David Bradbury

It didn’t get off to a good start; I was refused entry to film a church service attended by both US and Australian military.

It was held in the quaint St Christopher’s Chapel in the bush, about ten kilometres out of Rockhampton.

David Bradbury, outside St Christopher’s Chapel in the bush, about ten kms out of Rockhampton, north QLD.
David Bradbury, outside St Christopher’s Chapel in the bush, about ten kms out of Rockhampton, north QLD.

The Chapel was built by US army engineers in 1943, when the US was genuinely our friend and ally in the war against fascism and Japanese expansionism.

Back then, Queensland was base camp to 70,000 American troops which Uncle Sam had dispatched there to help bolster the famous ‘Brisbane Line’.

It’s a line that was drawn across northern Australia; allied forces would retreat to and defend all below that line against the invading Japanese forces.

St Christopher’s Chapel gave quiet solace and spiritual inspiration to many American soldiers who took time to reflect and ask for courage for the fight ahead, be it defending Australian soil, or fighting in the very bloody and brutal campaign in New Guinea where the Japanese were finally stopped in their push southward. We’d be speaking Japanese now if it weren’t for them! 

It was disappointing as a pacifist, a Christian and a lover of Australia’s history that I wasn’t allowed to film the service. It symbolically kicked off Talisman Saber 2017, which is a joint military exercise between Australian and US military. I even heard  the priest saying at one point, ‘We must forgive our enemies’.

I was met by police liaison as I parked my car and started to get my camera and tripod out to respectfully set up with the other local TV news crews.

Senior Sgt Kerry Duffy came over and told me I would not be allowed to enter and film the church service because, ‘I was with the protestors’.

Only Graeme Dunstan and two other peaceful protestors were there. Graeme had parked his vans with its signs a discreet distance from the chapel, so those coming for the service could read them.

Sgt Duffy told me later she’d watched my film War on Trial the night before and Blowin’ in the Wind recently. It’s an earlier film of mine that ask hard questions about what we get out of our current military alliance with the US.

I gave the sergeant my promise that I was not there to disrupt the service, only to record it. I gave a similar undertaking to Livingston Shire mayor’s assistant.

Eventually word came back from mayor Bill Ludwig that I was not to be given entrance to the service.

So frustratedly, I was forced to get some very average shots from outside the fence and the backs of heads of assembled military and World War II vets.  

Or be arrested for trespassing. I was told this by senior constable Adam Christianson, who at six foot two inches, towered above me and would have had no trouble in putting his threat into action. 

I protested at this by saying that my uncle Jack had been a ‘Rat of Tobruk’ and chased the Nazis across the deserts of Libya. I said that my uncle Ron had been a POW in the notorious Japanese Changi prisoner-of-war camp. It all fell on death ears. There was a cold irony to my refused entry that the very freedoms our grandfathers, fathers, uncles and aunts had fought for – freedom of speech and the media – was denied me here in Rockhampton in 2017 as the military exercises between Australia and the US kicked off to allegedly continue those freedoms and love of democracy. 

I pointed this out to the police who replied they were ‘just doing our job’.  

The US flag was unfurled by the local scouts flying proudly in the breeze next to the Australian union jack and stars for each state. And the Salvation Army played Advance Australia Fair and the US national anthem in the rotunda next to the chapel. 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. For god and country indeed, nothing has changed. Hopefully, with the rise in Australians professing no religion it will numbers than soldiers be more difficult to use the big stick of the church to goad youngsters into the carnage of battle. In modern warfare, however, civilians die in much greater numbers and one factor responsible for that is that military doctrine prefers to wound soldiers rather than kill them because that ties up hospitals and medical staff which helps deplete enemy resources. Keep up the great work, David!

  2. Thanks Gareth, though I do believe the Christ in the Christian faith I firmly embrace would not have liked his Father’s name being taken in vain in sending off our or American troops to war. To kill and to maim innocent civilians or enemy soldiers even. Remember, He did tell us ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’. And when one of his disciples grabbed a sword and cut the ear off a Roman soldier come to arrest Jesus who had come to take him to be painfully hung up on a cross, it was Christ who rebuked this action and caused the soldier’s ear to be miraculously healed. Because He, like the cops stopping me enter yesterday, realised the Roman soldier was ‘only doing his job’. Thus fulfilling the prophecy that Christ was to be crucified.

    So ‘onward Christian soldiers…and pacifists…Gareth. Marching as to war’. Let’s see how the rest of the week and our time up here pans out. Tomorrow is July 4th, US Independence Day. And the day we up here intend to celebrate in declaring our Independence from yet another colonial power who would press gang us into serving the interests of Corporate America and Oil Inc of that same once great nation of the Founding Fathers.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

COVID update – sewage detection in East and South Lismore and Byron Bay

Northern NSW Local Health District is urging people in the Lismore City and Byron Bay areas to get tested for COVID-19, after fragments of the virus were detected in samples from the East Lismore, South Lismore and Byron Bay sewage treatment plants.

The old slouch hat

‘This is my favourite,’ we say espite the painfully obvious fact that we all, from time to time enjoy a wide variety of hats. Jon Summers, Suffolk Park

The year 2000

I must answer David Heilpern. Remember 2000, how the computers were all to fail on NYE? How could so many get it so wrong? Why...

Viruses

Viruses are organisms at the edge of life and possess genes, evolve by natural selection, and reproduce by creating multiple copies of themselves through...