Sunday, September 07, 2008

Victory for Peace Activists: Adelaide Arms Fair Cancelled.

A report in today's Sunday Mail claims that the Asia Pacific Defence and Security Exhibition (APDSE) planned for Adelaide in November has been cancelled. The arms fair was due to start on November 11, Remembrance Day, and would have been in a feather in the cap of The State Government who are intent on positioning South Australia as the new 'head office' of the military industrial complex in the Southern Hemisphere.

According to the Sunday Mail report, the event has been cancelled "amid fears of violence by radical protest groups". If this is the case, then it can only be said that the cancellation of APDSE is a massive victory for the peace movement in Australia. However, Acting Premier and Treasurer, Kevin Foley, doesn't agree. He says that it should not be seen as such because "contacts with manufacturers have been made and will be followed up."

In claiming that "the cost of security" and "possible threats of violence" forced the Government to cancel the exhibition, Foley showed his true colours by levelling abuse at some of the protestors. ""These are feral, low-life people that want society to be in a state of near anarchy for their own perverse pleasure," he said.

Kevin Foley has a habit of putting down those with whom he does not agree. This latest outburst pegs him as an arrogant sore loser. The Rann Government is clearly angry that their showpiece military event for 2008 has been rejected by those who support peace and non-violence.

And the CPA certainly does not endorse or participate in violent protests of any nature. "We were confident that agreement to a non-violence statement from the majority of the parties meant that, by and large, the groups involved would be acting peacefully," said CPA (SA) State Secretary Bob Briton.

"Any cry from the Government about the potential for violent protests reveals their unbelievable hypocrisy. Is the development of an industry that manufactures and deals in deadly weapons not the epitome of violence and destruction?" he asked.

"We believe that the development of military industries is not the answer to the State's problems. Money invested in such adventures would be better spent on creating jobs and infrastructure that contribute to improvements in health, education and other essential services," he said.

"The SA Government and the military industrial complex need to know that the South Australian people will not idly stand by and watch them turn our State into a marketplace for war and destruction," he added.

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