SUE JACKSON Therapist | Writer | Photographer | Activist

An avid blogger for the last fifteen years, I believe in the power of the word to change the world. I have participated in, and reported on, a range of protests during this period, including the successful East-West Link campaign and, more recently, our wonderful, home-grown Extinction Rebellion (XR). If you believe, like I do, that it is time for ordinary people to rise up in defence of the planet, I encourage you to explore this blog, share it with your networks, and – of course – take action.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lend Lease - Please take the money and run!

Putting our money where our mouths are

This morning at 7am a determined group of East-West protestors met outside Southern Cross station to march together to the Bourke Street headquarters of Lend Lease. This company is one of the major potential tenderers for the East-West Link, and we were there to offer them a more direct, environmentally friendly alternative to construction.
To help them out, we decided to simply present them with bags of Victorian taxpayers' money to the value of the $8 billion estimated expenditure. We figured that this would have a 2-fold benefit. The company would be saved all the fuss and bother of actually constructing the tunnel, and the environment and local communities would be protected from the decimation that the project would inevitably produce.
Unfortunately we were not allowed into the building to present management with the sacks of money in person. Undeterred, we waited downstairs, picketing the doorways so that Lend Lease staff were unable to enter the building for the 3 hours that we maintained our watch. We were far from alone in our vigil. The press was there -

 Don't miss Channel 10 News tonight

Several members of our group were interviewed for tonight's news, and hopefully our peaceful picket will attract other supporters. In fact there were quite a lot of new faces this morning, some from outer-lying parts of Melbourne, and this augurs well for the many Pro-Public Transport events scheduled over coming weeks.
The police had obviously been advised to avoid any behaviours that would cast them in a poor light or attract negative publicity. So even though there was a substantial police presence, police behaviour was friendly, even jocular.

Protestor and policeman sharing a joke

I was so relieved at the polite behaviour of the police that as one of them said goodbye to me at the end of the rally, I replied befuddled: 'Nice to have met you'!