“Rocky” is the local nic for Rockhampton, a staid regional capital of central Queensland, Australia.    Rocky is 60 kilometres by road to the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area.  Every two years 20,000 Australian and US troops play a wargame called Exercise Talisman Sabre.  In 2011 they practised for war in Afghanistan.

During Talisman Sabre the Rockhampton airport sees a lot of military traffic.  In 2011 there was a squadron of 8 “Tiger” Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters from the 1st Aviation Regiment (Robertson Barracks, Darwin).  These aircraft were being evaluated during the exercise for combat duty in Afghanistan.  Elements of the Australian Army are pushing hard for such a deployment.

A “ploughshares” action is one of direct disarmament carried out in witness of the Biblical prophecy of Isaiah.  Initiated by the Berrigan brothers (priests active in the Catholic Worker movement), the movement initially targeted nuclear weapons, but has been broadened to include conventional militarism.

It took just over two minutes from cutting the chain to smiting the helicopter.

At around 9.30 am on Thursday 21 July 2011, Bryan Law and Graeme Dunstan enacted a ploughshares action against a Tiger helicopter parked at Rockhampton airport.  A common garden mattock smote the carbon fibre skin of the weapon, which was thereby rendered inoperative as a weapon.

Welcome to rockytigerploughshares.com.au where you can find the evidence, have a discussion, and follow the trial of these dedicated and creative peace cronies.

Expanded view of ploughshares action

On 14 December 2011 I received a bunch of “evidence” from the police prosecution.

The You-tube video here shows the tricycle ride across the tarmac, the smiting, and the aftermath.  It was filmed by Kent Murray, a WIN news camera operator.  The still photographs were taken by two forensic photographers at “the scene of the crime”.