VIDEO: Pilgrims plan parade to wage peace against war
A SMALL but vocal group of "peace pilgrims" descending on Capricornia are determined to wage peace against war.
Their motivations vary but at the core they say is a simple fear of Australia being dragged into more concocted wars, at enormous human and financial cost.
"Our primary ally, the USA, has been at war for 222 years of its 239-year history," said pilgrim Graeme Dunstan who first arrived in his Peacebus in 2007.
Mr Dunstan said Yeppoon would host its own celebration of peace and resistance to the increasing militarisation of Australia during Exercise Talisman Sabre.
"Concerned Yeppoon folk who want to be visible for peace and meet like-minded people are invited to join the parade and bear a flag for peace," he said.
"People don't think we should be sending people to futile wars or wasting our taxes on them when we don't have enough for health and education," he said.
"Our government has spent a lot of money creating fear, but US statistics show you are more likely to die by being crushed by your own furniture than in a terrorist attack; but we're not afraid of our own furniture."
It is ironic that those advocating for peaceful solutions encounter some local resistance and at times are seen as the enemy.
"I sometimes get some people lean out car windows and shout out wanting to know what kind of halfwit I think I am," Mr Dunstan said.
"We were accused of being terrorists in an SMS… but that's the nature of fear promoting.
"When Mayor Strelow says the more military, the better for the economy, people don't see that money has been taken out of social welfare.
"The military is spending $81million a day just to service the organisation and that says nothing about the billion-dollar programs they are talking up for submarines, new strike fighters, warships.
"It's huge and it's hard to get this idea across to people."
The Yeppoon Peace Parade assembles at the old railway station in James St at 12.30pm on Sunday, July 12.
The parade is followed by a free concert with local musicians from 2pm in the foreshore amphitheatre, followed by a lantern-lit sing-along as the sun goes down over Keppel Bay.