Graeme Dunstan leads his supporters, including David Sprigg, to the Rockhampton court for his trial this week.
Graeme Dunstan leads his supporters, including David Sprigg, to the Rockhampton court for his trial this week. Chris Ison

Brisbane man stands up for his beliefs and support Dunstan

DAVID Sprigg isn't following the normal life path.

While most people his age are busy building their careers and worrying about paying off a home loan, David, 31, is taking a different track.

This week the Brisbane man spent his time in Rockhampton supporting Graeme Dunstan who was on trial in the District Court for his role in an attack on an Australian army helicopter during 2011 Talisman Saber.

David was one of the many Dunstan Disciples who packed the public gallery in the courthouse each day.

On Thursday Dunstan was found guilty of damaging a $45 million Tiger armed reconnaissance chopper.

He walked free after Judge Nicholas Samios sentenced him to two years jail, wholly suspended, and placed him on a three-year good behaviour bond.

For David, a fellow peace activist who has a part-time job, the trial was a focal point for the shared Ploughshare cause.

He was impressed by the way the trial was handled.

"I felt like the judge was very moved, and I feel like the judge understood the morality in (Dunstan's) action," he said.

"He could differentiate between justice and the law."

During the trial the court was shown footage from the Collateral Murder video, a clip which depicts a gunship shooting down Iraqi civilians.

David described the video as having a big influence on the Ploughshare action, which he said was as a non-violent movement with the aim of disarming weapons of war.

"I'd heard about the Ploughshare actions before and I was very interested in it, especially because it's about disarming a killing machine," he said.

"Part of my concerns are when there are war crimes like collateral murder and Australia has done nothing about them they haven't spoken out publicly. They haven't requested a trial for these soldiers who have killed innocent civilians."

David said he was completely horrified by what he saw in the video.

His convictions have led him to put himself on the line.

In July he was one of a small group arrested for taking part in a Talisman Saber 2013 protest outside the Western St Barracks, by lying across the entry to the military facility. "On so many different levels I don't agree with Talisman Saber operations," he said. "I'm doing what I believe in."

On trial

Graeme Dunstan, 71, was this week found guilty of damaging a $45 million Australian Army helicopter.

Judge Nicholas Samios sentenced Dunstan to two years jail, wholly suspended. He was placed on a three-year good behaviour bond.

Different view

Collateral Murder is a 17-minute video that was leaked in 2010 by US soldier Bradley Manning. It shows footage of a helicopter gunship attack in Iraq that killed 12 civilians, including two Reuters journalists, and critically wounded two children.

The video was admitted as evidence in Graeme Dunstan's trial after he listed it as motivation for his actions in 2011.



Ag technology a ‘real gamechanger’ for Roma producer

Premium Content Ag technology a ‘real gamechanger’ for Roma producer

‘At the end of the day, to make your operation profitable, whatever you adopt, it...

CQU, AgForce looking for new research partners for Belmont

Premium Content CQU, AgForce looking for new research partners for Belmont

Changes to the agriculture industry have led a Central Queensland partnership to...

Yeppoon businesswoman pleads guilty to drugs charges

Premium Content Yeppoon businesswoman pleads guilty to drugs charges

She was caught with methamphetamine and also pleaded guilty to a cannabis supply...