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.

Monday, November 24, 2014

'We will sit and occupy these homes in Bendigo Street. We haven't even started yet.'

Stephen Jolly: Socialist Candidate for Richmond

On this gorgeous crisp Spring morning Stephen Jolly addressed the crowd assembled outside the homes slated for demolition in Bendigo Street Collingwood. And yes, that is the Herald Sun you can see in his hand. Yet again today the rag has attacked the anti East-West Link movement, and as their journalists smell the wind shifting towards a Labor victory on Saturday they become ever more strident. But Stephen suggested that, whichever party wins, we need to remain firm, to ensure that the residents of the 102 properties which were compulsorily acquired by the Linking Melbourne Authority last month have the decision rescinded. Should the winning party fail to do that, in tried and true inner-city Melbourne tradition: 'We will sit and occupy these homes. We will be living in Bendigo Street for as long as it takes. We haven't even started yet.'

Keith Fitzgerald being interviewed by Channel 9 reporter

Keith, whose parents moved in only weeks before VE Day in 1945, has lived in Bendigo Street his entire life. He has been a stalwart of the anti East-West Link campaign, a fact that was lost on none of those in today's large crowd:

Our numbers were a little reduced because some people had opted to stay on in Royal Park. They had assembled there at 6am to thwart the Linking Melbourne Authority surveyors who arrived soon after.
With the election imminent feelings are running high and we saw many old, some new and some returning faces at today's protest:

Welcome back Mel!

Tony Murphy, who has authorised a leaflet which was distributed at the protest, reminded us of the crucial role that the Greens and Stephen Jolly will play should they be elected on Saturday.

Tony Murphy 

Ellen Sandell for Melbourne, Stephen Jolly or Kathleen Maltzahn for Richmond, Tim Read for Brunswick and Sam Hibbins for Prahran all come with a passion and integrity that State Parliament sorely needs. 

But whatever the electoral outcome (and it's only 4 more sleeps):
'No tunnel. No way. We're gonna fight it all the way.' 


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