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Vigil for war victims at Coast conference

Peace campaigners brandish their protest banners outside the confer- ence titled
Peace campaigners brandish their protest banners outside the confer- ence titled "Warfighting in the 21st Century" at the Gold

By LUIS FELIU

UP to a dozen peace campaigners held a vigil for all victims of war outside the Gold Coast Convention Centre last week where a land warfare conference was being held.

Gold Coast and Brisbane members of Peace Convergence conducted the vigil outside the centre where the invitation-only conference entitled "Warfighting in the 21st century: new threats, new technologies, new solutions" was held.

Peace Convergence spokesperson Linda Rose said that while conference participants were discussing "better ways to make war", the vigil drew attention to "the real costs of war".

The conference, Ms Rose said, looked at war from an impersonal, cold, scientific viewpoint while her group tried to make the public aware that "wars kill".

"While this conference is bringing together designers, academics and manufacturers to present so-called new and visionary ideas about warfare, those most affected by wars remain to be the poor, especially women and children," Ms Rose said.

"Instead of conferences like this, the beautiful Gold Coast should be playing host to discussions on ways we can all work towards a positive and peaceful future for all."

Meanwhile, police are continuing to investigate the theft of a semi-automatic pistol from the convention.

The pistol was apparently reported to have gone missing at the end of the conference.

It is believed no ammunition was taken with the weapon, a Heckler and Koch USP point 40-calibre pistol.

Police said the owners of the weapons were responsible for the security of them while on display.



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