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.)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Moving on - change of venue for Tunnel Picket

Fenced in

Arriving at the tunnel picket site in Clifton Hill this morning we found that it was surrounded by a fence. Apparently the fence company had arrived at 5am, unannounced, to do the job. The drillers were caged in, without toilet or water facilities - a nightmare scenario for health and safety. In the face of this, we adjourned to a nearby corner to strategise.
After considerable discussion, we agreed to march to the site, where we expressed our  determination to continue our opposition, to the waiting media.

'What do we want?' 'Public transport!' 'When do we want it?' 'NOW!'

The police were already in place protecting the fence and two huge police vehicles passed us as we walked down the street. Word had it that the vehicles contained horses, although afterwards a fellow protestor suggested that they might just have been luncheonettes for police personnel. Some of the police (like the officer below) looked as if they would rather be lunching, or perhaps stationed just about anywhere else.

'Beam me up, Scotty!'

Speaking of horses, the consensus was that the horse had well and truly bolted in Clifton Hill, where only a few hours were required to complete the drilling. All in all, it seemed more sensible to move to a site where drilling had yet to start, in clear view of passing traffic. The corner of Station and Princes streets in Carlton, the next scheduled site, fit the bill, so we made our way there on foot, by bike and car. A most productive meeting ensued.

Experience tells

Speakers were at pains to emphasise that they are only speaking for themselves and their organisations, which was important as there is a great diversity of community groups represented among the protestors. Personally, as a novice, I very much appreciate the input from some of the veterans of other campaigns. I am also impressed with the commitment to ensuring that everybody who wants to speak gets a hearing. Though today, with the larger crowd, high winds and traffic noise, it's obvious that the time has definitely come for speakers to use a megaphone.


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