Activists Blockade Pine Gap Facility Due to Evidence of Complicity in the Gaza Genocide

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Pine Gap Blockade

Peace activists blockaded the access road leading to the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap on Monday morning, making it the second time the nonviolent direct action has been staged since the outbreak of the Israeli perpetrated genocide upon the Palestinians of Gaza commenced on 7 October.

Situated close by Mparntwe-Alice Springs, the signals gathering base, which has been operating since the early 1970s, was targeted by demonstrators, as it’s Washington’s second most important surveillance base, and it’s being used to aid Tel Aviv in its wholesale massacre.

The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 15,000 people, with children making up more than 6,000 of the dead. At present a four day ceasefire is coming to an end, and negotiations are underway to extend this truce for a further 48 hours. Although Israel is determined to continue the onslaught.

The protesters outlined that a second blockade had been necessitated due to the evidence that Declassified Australia journalist Peter Cronau revealed earlier this month in regard to the US-Australia facility collecting data on Gaza and passing this on to Tel Aviv.

Two activists secured themselves to a concrete barrel in the middle of the access road at 4:45 am on 27 November, whilst the rest of the protest set up the roadblock and raised banners calling for an end to the killing of kids and the closure of Pine Gap.

Activists successfully blockade the access road to Pine Gap to protest the facility’s involvement in the Israeli war crimes being unleashed upon Gaza
Activists successfully blockade the access road to Pine Gap to protest the facility’s involvement in the Israeli war crimes being unleashed upon Gaza

Shut it down

“We’ve blockaded the road, once again, out to the Pine Gap military facility. And we’ve done that to stop work taking place and workers getting to the site today,” said local Arrernte writer Declan Gillick.

“We’ve done that to draw attention to the fact that Pine Gap military facility aids and abets the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) and the US military in their war crimes and genocidal bombardment of Gaza and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

“Today is the day the four day ceasefire is due to expire, and what we know and what we expect is that Palestinian civilians, women and children… will once again be subjected to the full onslaught of one of the most highly developed, highly capable military presences in the entire world.”

The blockaders of the always controversial US military installation were made up of Arrernte Traditional Owners, local health workers and community members, who want Pine Gap to close, along with the Albanese government to withdraw its support for the mass killings in Gaza.

“My family resisted the installation of Pine Gap forty years ago,” Gillick recalled. “US militarism wasn’t welcome then and it’s not welcome now.”

“Palestinians are being bombed relentlessly by a genocidal apartheid regime that uses military intelligence gathered on Arrernte Country and I won’t stand for it,” he ended.

War crime complicity

In an exclusive 3 November report, Cronau outlines that the “Pine Gap US surveillance base… is collecting an enormous range of communications and electronic intelligence from the brutal Gaza-Israel battlefield – and this data is being provided to the Israel Defence Forces.”

The two satellites connected to the installation keep a prying eye cast down upon the Middle East, Europe and Africa, with data being collected and analysed on behalf of the US National Security Agency (the NSA), while any relevant information gathered is then passed on to the Israeli state.

“Pine Gap facility is monitoring the Gaza Strip and surrounding areas with all its resources, and gathering intelligence assessed to be useful to Israel,” former long-term Pine Gap employee David Rosenberg told Cronau.

The veteran journalist further clarifies that Pine Gap doesn’t solely collect communications, but it also provides geolocation intelligence that can be used to target specific entities, a practice that’s long been documented, and this includes the provision of data to Israeli forces since at least 1991.

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Paul Gregoire

Paul Gregoire is a Sydney-based journalist and writer. He's the winner of the 2021 NSW Council for Civil Liberties Award For Excellence In Civil Liberties Journalism. Prior to Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, Paul wrote for VICE and was the news editor at Sydney’s City Hub.

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