On Saturday a group of protesters took their demands to keep the monorail running to the streets, and the pubs, of Sydney.
The Kony 2012 campaign has fizzled out. The Occupy Sydney movement was a flop. Critics say that today’s activists are only ready to protest if it means posting a link on Facebook and not much else.
On Saturday a group outraged at Barry O’Farrell’s plan to rip up the monorail proved there are some issues people are still prepared to take to the streets for.
Alex Jervis, one of the protest organisers, told Sydney Outsider that he had enjoyed a couple of pub crawls on the monorail. When he heard the monorail was going to go he knew he had to take action.
Dozens of people have joined the campaign. Protesters came from as far as Newcastle to vent their anger. One man had even travelled from France (though he probably didn’t come solely for the protest).
Spokesman for the group, Jonny “Moose Knuckle” Lynn, said that he’d been devastated by plans to scrap the monorail. He was excited that the movement to save it had grown so quickly.
Workers at the monorail, unable to go on the record with their own concerns, were enjoying the support they received from the protesters. Several workers told Sydney Outsider that the uncertainty surrounding their future made things particularly hard for them.
The protesters used the monorail to help spread their message. They alighted at each of the seven stops and headed to the nearest pub to recruit supporters. At the Shelbourne Hotel, in the VIP room next to the pokies, the barmaid was blown away by the commotion. She said it was the busiest Saturday afternoon she had witnessed in seven years working at the hotel.
The challenge for the pro-monorail crowd will be maintaining momentum and garnering wider public support. After the group left the Shelbourne and headed back to the monorail, waving placards and yelling chants, a customer came in and asked the barmaid how her shift was going. The excitement minutes earlier had already been forgotten. “Same shit, different day,” she told him.
Douglas Grant served Australia in the First World War. His remarkable and often tragic life – told through newspaper excerpts below – reiterates the sorrows inflicted upon Aboriginal Australians through colonisation, lest we forget.
On a narrow street in Newtown a giant dog towers above the traffic. Passers-by double take at the massive sculpture. Cars slow down as they pass the trailer it sits on, and come to a stop as drivers stare.