The Guardian 31 August, 2005

Opera House clean-up final payment

Last Monday, Will Saunders and Dave Burgess turned up in person to make their final payment of their $151,000 compensation order to the Sydney Opera House Trust.

It has taken two years to raise the money through earnings, donations, "No War" snowdomes, benefit gigs, art exhibitions and other activities.

Will completed his sentence last weekend. Dave finishes next weekend. They were the first non-violent protesters to be jailed in Australia since the Vietnam War.

"We were always committed to paying any reasonable clean-up costs, or even unreasonable costs as it turned out. But the Opera House is as good as new, unlike Falluja, or Baghdad. 100,000 deaths later and with Iraq on the brink of civil war, our reasons for painting NO WAR on the Opera House look as good as ever", said Will Saunders.

"Australia has suffered from the invasion of Iraq. Joining Bush’s Middle East crusade has made this country a more fearful place — if anyone tried climbing the Opera House today, they would be shot."

"After two and a half years, the Opera House will receive their compensation and we have served our prison terms. But there are few regrets. Ours was a non-violent action, undertaken in desperate times, attempting to stop an illegal act of military aggression by the United States, UK, and Australia. There were no weapons of mass destruction and is the world a safer place today?", added Dave Burgess

Will Saunders and Dave Burgess were sentenced to nine months periodic detention and ordered to pay a total of $151,000 in compensation to the Sydney Opera House Trust in January 2004.

Further details about the clean-up fund and the case can be found at

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