Vigil For Peace

October 8, 2001

A vigil for peace has been called in response to US and British military attacks on Afghanistan overnight. The vigil will take place at 5pm in the City Square, Melbourne today. Friends of the Earth (FoE), who will join the vigil, have called for calm amid heightening tensions. The environment / peace group is concerned that military actions will in no way help the cause of justice and may well fuel further terrorist actions escalating global insecurity.

War kills innocent people

In recent wars (since WW2) over 90% of casualties and fatalities have been civilians. There is a very real risk that by declaring a 'War on Terrorism', President Bush is condemning not just those he says are the enemy, but also innocent civilians. No matter what the motivation there can be no justification for killing innocent people.

?War on Terrorism legitimises terrorism
Far from ending terrorist attacks, FoE believes that this ?War on Terrorism has the potential to increase terrorist attacks by legitimising them as an act of open declared 'war'.

War wastes resources
The US already spends as much on the military as the next nine biggest spenders combined. The recent tragic events in New York and Washington DC show that increased militarism cannot, and never has, created real security. War uses precious resources, resources that if used to feed the world's hungry, to improve health standards, to cancel Third World debt and to undertake urgent environmental repair work, would promote world peace with much greater success than war.

War does not work.
Whether it be to stop the spread of Communism in Vietnam, to oust Saddam Hussein from Iraq, or to be bring peace to the Balkans, almost every act of US military intervention in the last forty years has failed to reach its stated objective.

For comment:

Bruce Thompson
Friends of the Earth Australia
Mob: 0417 318 368

Jacob Grech
Friends of the Earth Melbourne
Mob: 0402 246 491

John Hallam
Friends of the Earth Sydney
Ph: (02) 9567 7533)