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Kieran Finnane in conversation on Peace Crimes
At the closely guarded and secretive military facility, Pine Gap in the Northern Territory, police arrest six nonviolent activists. Their crime: to step through a fence, lamenting and praying for the dead of war.
They call themselves Peace Pilgrims. The Crown calls them a threat to national security and demands jail time. Their political trials, under harsh Cold War legislation, tell a story of obsessive Australian secrecy about the American military presence on our soil and the state’s hardline response to dissent. In Peace Crimes, Alice Springs journalist Kieran Finnane gives a gripping account of what prompts the Pilgrims to risk so much, interweaving local events and their legal aftermath with this century’s disturbing themes of international conflict and high-tech war. She asks, what responsibilities do we have as Australians for the covert military operations of Pine Gap and what are we going to do about them?
Kieran Finnane is a founding journalist of the Alice Springs News, established in 1994, now publishing online. She also contributes arts writing and journalism to national publications, including the Griffith Review, Inside Story, Art Monthly Australasia and Artlink.
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