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.)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

'And the heat goes on' at the Tunnel Picket (Wednesday)

Greeting the day with a good stretch

My admiration for my fellow picketers is boundless. To be ready for work at 9am, I generally head home just as the sun starts to threaten. At that point many of the picketers, and there are quite a few seniors in our ranks, are facing the prospect of another 4 or 5 hours in the heat.
They are getting very canny about it though - arriving with beach chairs, ice and parasols. Who needs Sorrento sand when you can work on your tan on Collingwood asphalt? This morning one of the picketers compared the items she now regularly totes with the 'pregnancy cases' packed several months before D-day and left by the front door for that dash to the Maternity Hospital. We can only hope that the outcome for us will be just as joyous.
In the meantime, and unfortunately for me, after my departure, locals showered the picketers with ice creams and icy poles, something that no doubt increased the festive air. And they were not the only ones party-ing.

Police trailer park (Alexandra Parade median strip)

I wonder how the police would feel if they noticed the signage and cute trains springing up on the  trees at the entrance to their compound! The police look as if they now call the Alexandra parade/Brunswick Street corner 'home'. They have moved their food tables into the shade and have erected awnings. Tomorrow I'm fully expecting barbeques - maybe even a paddle pool.
I walked by their encampment en route to the adjoining drilling rig, where work had started yet again today. It appears that the other two drilling attempts were unsuccessful. Obviously the powers-that-be believe 'third time lucky'.
There were no picketers there today as we had the other 2 sites to cover so the force was there in solitary splendour:

Protecting the Alexandra Parade rig from...?

At the second site in Charlotte Street, four speedy picketers had climbed on top of the rig, where supporters ensured they kept hydrated and comfortable.

Settled in (Charlotte Street)

There was no drilling activity at Charlotte Street, nor any police.
Today's focus was Gold Street, home to the famous primary school of the same name (where my Dad went to school).
Once again in the early hours - well before the picketers were up and about - and without any prior warning, residents in Gold Street were wakened by the sound of the police and the rig workers arriving. The locals called the Tunnel hot-line, but although some nearby protestors dashed around immediately, there were too few of them to stop the erection of a fence and the setting up of the rig.

Gold Street Picket

On the positive side, there were new faces for us to meet and greet at Gold Street, some even equipped with their own cool banners.
As I sit here at the computer in my lunch break, writing this post, I just hope that my fellow picketers have found a shady tree and that the icy pole brigade is doing the rounds again. Actually that's not a bad idea ...


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