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.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Unstoppable!: People Power at TNT Rally

In a word, today was wonderful. More than 3,000 opponents of the East-West Link and supporters of public transport, from a wide range of community groups, met outside the State Library of Victoria on a freezing afternoon to voice their opposition. There was entertainment and great speakers, but the real star of the afternoon were the many Victorians who braved the elements to ensure that the Government hears loud and clear that we don't want the monstrous Tunnel. Here are just some of today's faces:

Outside the State Library of Victoria

Sue Bolton - a tireless worker

Karima Mohamed from the Flemington Housing Estate with Anthony Main, today's great MC

Federal Member, Adam Bandt, with (hopefully) Melbourne's soon-to-be MP, Ellen Sandell 

Placards, placards everywhere

'Where the wild things are'

Zoo animals addressing the media

Kat (front) after her rousing debut speech at the rally

What a fantastic event it was, worth the tremendous amount of work people put in door-knocking and leafletting - congratulations everyone! As Stephen Jolly concluded, today's rally could well represent a new phase in Australian politics.

Friday, June 20, 2014

'You stupid woman!' Tough Gig at Trains Not Tolls Rally Leafleting MCG

Cathy and Mike sharing a laugh

'You stupid woman,' a well-dressed football supporter, who looked like he was en route to the Members' stand, shouted back over his shoulder at Cathy, rejecting her smiling offer of a leaflet. Cathy dealt with this with her usual grace, and then went on to laugh and chat, also as usual. This supporter's response was extreme, but overall, observing the reactions of the crowd to our leafleters at the Hawthorn versus Collingwood match, I was struck by the general indifference of most people to the important issues we were promoting.

Rosie in the thick of things

I can only think that it is true that sport is the Australian religion. And of course the MCG is its high temple:

Maybe supporters are just so focussed on what they are there for that everything else, like the destruction of Royal Park or the abomination of the Tunnel itself, feels inconsequential. All that matters is that Collingwood defeat Hawthorn or vice versa.
But for me whoever wins the football match today, the real champions are the leafleters. So strong are their convictions, that they just kept on smiling, stepping forward, ignoring the rebuffs and extending their leaflets.


They will all go home hoarse after their marathon of verbal invitations: 'Save Royal Park', 'Trains Not Tolls', 'More Trains', 'No Tunnel', 'Save Victoria's Heritage'. What surprised me was that not even: 'Stop the Destruction of Collingwood' provoked a response in supporters draped in Collingwood colours. I could only think that maybe they no longer connect the suburb of that name with the birthplace and home of their beloved team.

Keith allowed himself the occasional: 'Carn Collingwood!' 

With the rally on next weekend, we are beginning to wind down our promotional activities. But just in case you have been on Mars and have missed the details of the Trains Not Tolls rally, it is on next Saturday 28 June at 1pm outside the State Library. 
And Keith wants to let you know that there will be an After Party on Saturday at the Lienster Arms, 66 Gold Street Collingwood, where between 4pm & 7pm pots will cost a mere $3. ALL WELCOME. 

Friday, June 06, 2014

Trains Not Tolls Rally Leafleting at Vic Market: Queen's birthday.

The beloved Queen Vic market

I'm no royalist. And I can't imagine either the market's regal namesake, Victoria, or the birthday girl, Elizabeth, enjoying wandering its crowded aisles, weighed down with shopping bags, before taking a well-earned rest - feet up and bratwurst sausage in hand. For such are the delights that entice hordes of shoppers to the Vic market every Saturday morning. And today those shoppers were in for a very special birthday treat, because with a mere three weeks until our Trains Not Tolls Rally, we protestors were there to greet them.

Some people signed our petition:

Others had their pictures taken:

Some shared their ideas:

Others shared a joke:

Standing outside the beautiful entrance way, I recalled the attempt in the '70s to demolish the market - to make way for a high rise development. Due to public outcry, the proposal came to nothing.

Saved from the axe - and for future generations

It felt like an omen. Hopefully, in the end, people power will prevail again and the Tunnel plan will end up where it belongs - in the rubbish bin of history.