Margaret Pestorius is an organiser in the Peace and Environment movements:

"As a little girl, I hated seeing the unfairness of war. I became involved with young people organising to stop ships bringing rainforest timber from Malaysia. We had strategic success blockading ships by swimming in the river, occupying wharfs and timber yards. A builders' union stopped using the timber. The Wharfies stopped allowing the ships to dock. We used strategic nonviolence, building power.

But we were suddenly confronted by the first Gulf War in Iraq. I supported friends who went there to stop it. Later, with my husband Bryan, we stopped US warships coming into Cairns on their way to Iraq. Strategic application again met success with long gaps between visits.

We were already an intersectional movement supporting different campaigns: sometimes environmental issues like Skyrail, sometimes militarism or police violence or racism in the Cairns Post. We would shift campaigns training and organising. My husband Bryan was a talented strategist, but he was consistently targeted by the Labor party whose unimaginative agenda has set back movement building 30 years.

Stopping militarism is connected to stopping climate disaster. The people with the military equipment and military training enforce extraction of fossil fuels for the corporations. They enforce deforestation.

In 2016 we started Wage Peace. Our small organisation has supported ephemeral groups and mobilisations against the military exercises Talisman Sabre and to Close Pine Gap. Each year we organise a ceremony to remember the Frontier Wars.

Our campaign with West Papuan friends is Make West Papua Safe. West Papuan people have organised a significant and powerful nonviolence movement and require solidarity. People there are defending Land with nonviolence against highly militarised police operations.

West Papuans have identified that the Australian Federal Police are training Indonesian police. Australian corporations are also involved with regional weapons transfers. The same colonial racism that has plagued Australia now runs in West Papua.

We are calling on Australians to organise and speak out; To call on the AFP to stop training in Indonesia. And to get in the way of weapons corporations.

These are our campaigns today – ‘Remembering the Frontier Wars’, ‘Make West Papua Safe’ and ‘Disrupt Land Forces’.