SUE JACKSON Therapist/Writer/Photographer/Activist

Last year, as the unofficial blogger/photographer to the anti-East-West Link campaign, our battles were my blog's entire focus. But by Christmas, with the electoral win for people power and the dumping of the dud Tunnel, I was suddenly at a loss. What to write about now? Not sure yet. But there will be ongoing musings and images from this Australian life. So please leave a message. (No need to sign into an account. Simply comment as ‘anonymous’; then leave your name within the comment itself.)

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Toot for Trains

Sunrise over Hoddle Street this morning

Those of you who didn't climb out from under that doona to join the stalwarts at Yarra's inaugural 'Toot for Trains' protest this morning can see the wages of your sins above. You missed a glorious sunrise. And as you can see, it provided a stunning backdrop to trains whizzing into the city, while streams of cars (already by 7am) languished beneath.

And that's exactly what many drivers did

It was great to hear how many drivers exiting the Eastern Freeway responded to the invitation and honked their horns in favour of public transport. I felt like I was in Rome or Saigon, there was so much tooting going on. And despite the freezing conditions and early hour, numerous warmly-clad locals turned up to demonstrate their support for the 'Trains Not Tollroads' initiative.

Faces behind 'Toot for Trains'

And it wasn't only the humans who voted with their feet.

Committed canine

In fact a lovely black and white kelpie snuggled up to me at one point as I stood still taking pictures. I was thrilled with this affectionate behaviour from a strange dog, until I realised his possible ulterior motive. He was probably as frozen as I was. But mere cold was no dampener, especially as more and more people realise how much they stand to lose should the proposed East-West link go ahead. People like the young couple below, whose house is under threat, pictured with Yarra's mayor, Jackie Fristacky.

Mayor leading the way

Ms Fristacky has an appointment scheduled with the Victorian Premier next week. I asked her where it would be held. Not surprisingly, the Premier wants it on his own turf. But I have an alternative venue in mind. I suspect, if he joined the protestor below at his post for a single hour, the Premier's opposition to the rail-line to Doncaster might well evaporate.

Perfect venue for meeting?

The protest had a very good vibe. There is obviously growing support for the idea of improved public transport. Probably there is nothing quite like driving bumper to bumper to work on the Eastern Freeway to make a good public transport system look very appealing. So perhaps it's not surprising that as well as tooting, some drivers waved and shouted encouragement to protestors.

Waving back to tooting motorists

We'll all be at the corner of Hoddle Street and Alexandra Parade again next Friday at 7am - in fact on every Friday throughout August. So do join us. The sense of virtue in rolling out from under that doona is its own reward. And if that's not enough, just think of the sunrise.

See you next Friday?


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