Has anyone ever organised a blockade before?

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 13:19
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Folks,

I was just wondering if anyone on this forum had organised a mass blockade, or go slow, or some sort of protest before?

I work in Sydney, and don't mind doing a bit of organising, but I have no idea where to start with some sort of protest.

I realise we would need as many four-wheel-drive vehicles as possible, and knowing North Sydney, we would need to be split into a few groups to disrupt business as much as possible. But thats if a blockade is warrented.

Would the cause be better served through other means? I don't know what exactly, but things like petitions, charity events, erection of signs, etc...

I could imagine 1000's of four-wheel-drives, driving round the city collecting toys and presents for sick kids, or something. Then driving en-mass to the Westmead Childrens Hospital (at 10km/h). The message would get accross, the charity work would ensure good air-play, and noone could say bad things anymore.

So, does anyone have any ideas?

Chumpion.....
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 13:38

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 13:38
What are you smoking?

That will get people onside wont it....
AnswerID: 98827

Follow Up By: Moggs - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:13

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:13
Agreed Truckster. LOL The above is the most ridiculous thing said in a week of many ridiculous issues!

How in hell is disrupting business, inconveniencing other traffic going to further the 4wd cause??? All it will do is focus peoples frustrations directly at a slow moving convoy of 4wd's.

You didn't by any chance run Labour's last campaign did you? ;-)
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 17:59

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 17:59
ANY post where Truckster is the voice of reason, has GOT to be a worry
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Reply By: Member - rengatt (VIC) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:10

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:10
noone could say bad things anymore,

except every one who is inconvenieced by the blockade, I agree with Truckster. Good idea if the purpose is a fun toy run, but to blockade to get a message through doesn't sound right, bit like tearing up and burning the bush to get the government to spend more on conservation
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Follow Up By: chump_boy - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:15

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:15
Is there another way to do it?

We hear about this pedestrian council which seems to have 1 person running it, and the bicycle group, who can round up a fair number of ppeople at not much notice.

Why can't people that drive four wheel drives all stand up together? There are so many more of us than most political groups.

Such a large group of people drive these cars, yet we have little or no voice. Semms like it is time to do something, thats all...
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Follow Up By: Member - rengatt (VIC) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 15:09

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 15:09
Have been impacted by the bicycle mob that rode through the Burnley tunnel, that night had commitments with the family and ran about 2 hours late. Could you imagine the consequences if a four wheel drive blockade grid locked a city and a serious emergengy eventuated. Imagine the -tive publicity if it contributed to the harm or deaths of others.

The impact here in relation to the parking is $$$, if the changes are made it is going to cost thse concerned. Maybe every body bears some cost and we lobby to fight these.

Most of us have paid $$$ to join here as members, a couple of dollars each to fund some type of publicity campaign of our own.

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Reply By: Member - Steve (ACT) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:11

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:11
Almost didn't read to the end, blockades I fear will only enhance the negative opinions that many already have.

But charity work, toy runs etc, would put us out there in a positive light. I know a lot of clubs do clean ups of areas, but this is really only of interest to us and others who use these areas!!

More publicity of a positive nature is what we all need!!!

Sandy
AnswerID: 98833

Follow Up By: chump_boy - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:19

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:19
I agree.

Bikeys do their toy runs, but four wheel drivers don't appear to do anything noticably worthwhile for the community. Sure cleanups are excellent but only other 4by people know it's being done.

There must be something else we can do.

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Follow Up By: Utemad - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:33

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:33
I think a toy run like the bikies do as said above is a great idea. Woud be a good idea for the ANFWDC to organise.
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Follow Up By: chump_boy - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:36

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:36
ANFWDC? Organise?

Now theres 2 words that you don't see in the same sentence very often....
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Follow Up By: 3.0turbob - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:37

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:37
For a start, the North Shore yuppy tennis mums and accountants would NEVER be interested in a blockade, as well as the bad publicity for us, like truckster said, we need the AN4WD Council to get onto/into the media and make public the good work that most, if not all 4WD clubs do, and that we DO care about the environment and all those who like to get out and enjoy it. I just hope I don't have to hold my breath too long.

Rob
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Reply By: V8Diesel - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:55

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 14:55
Haven't read the previous posts as they get my back up so this may have been covered before, but my suggestion is to find out the residential addresses of every North Sydney councillor and assess the eco-friendliness of their private homes and lives.

Is the house air conditioned? If so, what refrigerant is used? REMOVE SAFELY
Double glazed windows and insulated roof and walls? RECTIFY
Constructed using old growth timbers? SHAME SHAME SHAME
How many residents per square metre of land and is this an appropriate usage of space? For example, why aren't couples and singles not living in a high density flats? PLEASE EXPLAIN? MOVE HOUSE
Is the overall construction environmentally correct eg: north facing? DEMOLISH
How is the grey water disposed of? RE-PLUMB HOUSE
Self composting toilets? INSTALL
Rainwater tanks? COULD REPLACE GARAGE
Any lawn / non-native gardens? POISON AND REMOVE FERAL / INTRODUCED SPECIES IMMEDIATELY

If the answer isn't the eco friendly one - RESIGN NOW!

You get the idea. My money is on the fact that the concillors aren't perfectly squeaky clean and green, so NAME AND SHAME. Just pick the worst two who voted for this piece of tripe and go to town on them. SHOW NO MERCY

Get the 4WD owners together with plenty of placards out the front of their house early one morning so they are unprepared / not wearing make up etc. Invent a catchy chant (pommy shop stewards should be able to help on this one), tip off the gutter TV current affairs shows and have a 'press kit' with all the dirt on it so the journo doesn't have to work too hard to get it to air. Trust me, it'll get to air. "If it grates, it rates" controversy is what your chasing.

I can just see it now....... "RICH FAT-CAT HYPOCRITES DOUBLE STANDARDS!.......hmmmmmm....I'm Mike Moore"

After you're through with that little exercise, under the FOI act find out their business interests which should be on a public register. Investigate the eco credentials of these.

What boards do they sit on as well? Are those organisations ecologically sound?
What shares do they have? - this could be a beauty.

Next...North Sydney Council Chambers and offices.

Air con? REMOVE.
Energy saving globes? REPLACE.
Unbleached paper in the office? RECYLCLED ONLY
etc etc etc....he list is endless.

Another big question.....

What vehicles do the councillors. mayor and works crew drive?
If not all straight LPG Barina's or Prius Hybrid's - RESIGN NOW!

Fight fire with fire.
AnswerID: 98835

Follow Up By: Member - Bradley- Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 16:05

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 16:05
Now this line of thinking has merit, but you only need to audit the council owned buildings and plant - ie their vehicles and equiptment , a lot of it , especially the maint crew vehicles are pretty crappy.

There must be an environmental auditor who is sympathetic to the cause, or an industrial hygenist. Nata aproved tests arent that expensive if need be.
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Follow Up By: Rick Blaine - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 18:28

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 18:28
A mate on the lower north shore says the council inspectors all seem to drive 4x4 1 tonners etc....
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Reply By: Patrolman Pat - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 15:19

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 15:19
I'm not for blockades at all but it can work. When I lived in the UK our local council removed several areas reserved for free motorcycle parking. They said we could park in designated bays and pay the appropriate fee. The MotorcycLe Riders Associastion organised a protest. Hundreds of bikes turned up early in town one satutrday morning and parked in the designated parking areas, and paid to stay there till noon. All the car drivers turning up for Sat morning shopping spent ages trying to find available spaces, the city centre was gridlocked. Sure we got some bad press but the free parking bays were back again the following week.
AnswerID: 98838

Reply By: Member - Hugh (WA) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 15:35

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 15:35
I don't think that a blockade is going to achieve anything except generate negative publicity. On the other hand, an en-mass gathering of 4WD to collect for a good cause would be very positive.

In WA, there is an annual blanket run for Anglicare. This is organised via the WA4WD Assoc and is planned by a different club each year, with all 4WD clubs participating. Typically involves meeting en-mass then travelling in convoy, lights on, flags, etc police escort to another place for formal presentation to Anglicare, BBQ, etc. A very well patronised event! By the way, this is done on a Sunday to minimise the impact to other road users. Last year was a country run, the year before was a freeway run from North to South (~ 50 kms).

So, to all Sydney based 4WDers, how about a similar event for a good cause - say raising funds for World Vision or OXFAM Tsunami appeal. Start from say a number of outer points, converging to a central location for handover to the charity. The guys from the North could even venture through North Sydney - imagine that with some 4WD police vehicles leading the way.

I reckon this could be pulled together quickly if organised via NSW 4WD Assoc and given some publicity.

So there you go ChumpBoy - take up the cause.

Regards,
Hugh
AnswerID: 98840

Reply By: Member - Steve (ACT) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 15:38

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 15:38
I can see it now all over the news, an Australia wide phenomenon, little cards left on cars as we pop a few cents in an expired parking meter, "You have been saved by a 4wd owner"

Alittle old lady helped to her car to load her groceries "Thank you" she says. "No worries you've been helped by a 4wd owner"

All we need are capes and masks, "Who was that masked 4wd owner???"

We could become superheroes!!!!!!!

Ok have to stop I'm laughing too much and my kids are staring at me funny, think I'm starting to scare them!!!

Have a great day guys, Off to save the world!!

Sandy (NOT STEVE)
AnswerID: 98841

Follow Up By: Member - Bradley- Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 16:01

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 16:01
meter maids eh ? like the ones up on the gold coast ??

cause i'm warning ya now, i'm very pale and have eaten too many pies :-) other than that i'm a pretty sexy individual LOL LOL.
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Follow Up By: Member - Steve (ACT) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 16:14

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 16:14
We could have a EO beauty pagent at the end of the year and see who looked the best in there costume???

Sandy (NOT STEVE)
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Follow Up By: Rob! - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 10:27

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 10:27
superheros huh?

Will we have to wear our undrpants on the outside of our tights?

R.
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Reply By: Member - Smocky (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 16:37

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 16:37
My contribution:

PROBLEMS: 2-fold.
1. DRIVERS - peceived to be selfish, uncaring and dangerous (Remember, it's perception and not reality that counts).
2. VEHICLES - preceived to be dangerous, unnecessary and bad for the economy.

HOW TO FIX: The only way to address the problem 4wd owners and their vehicles currently face is by positive publicity. This can be done a heap of ways which I've listed later, but it MUST be positive stories and press. The complication will be that for every "superhero", they'll show an arrogant 4wd driver cutting someone off. Blockades are DEFINATELY OUT.

ADDRESSING THE ARGUMENTS: We must tackle the arguments head on and isolate, explain and defuse. It's like all other complaints, but on a grander scale. When they say "All 4wd owners are inconsiderate" this should be easy to difuse. Ask them if they KNOW any 4wd owners. Have they ever been in a 4wd, etc, etc. It NEVER works to simply say "that's not true". We need to demonstrate that their arguments just aren't credible and have no basis of fact.

WHOM: OK, this is the tricky bit. It needs to be a group with credibility as well as skill. I'm fairly new at 4wd'ing so don't know whom is who. Is there a National owners group or lobby group? Motor companies, credible magazines like Wheels are also worth a go etc.

EXAMPLES:
1. Clean ups are excellent ONLY IF PEOPLE KNOW WE DO IT!!!!! I've seen quite a few photos of clubs that show how much rubbish they have collected. These should be in mainstream press, not club forums. ALSO, the benefits to ordinary people need to be explained. It's pretty easy. For example: "We removed 3.5 tonnes of scrap metal and rubbish from the Mennai National Park today, which will significantly reduce the amount of heavy metals that will leach into the Sydney water supply." There you go, 12 second sound grab and you show a 4wd next to a pile of crap and you just shown that a 4wd owner has improved water quality in Sydney. The press will print and show that. They WON'T print, "Today we cleaned up the 4wd track meaning that all 4wd's can now get further into the bush." Subtle but important difference.

2. Toy drives and fund raisers are excellent again only if people know about the benefits to ordinary people and also so long as it doesn't look like it's just for show.

3. Planting trees, erecting forrest signs, fire trail maintenance etc. Again, all great so long as ordinary people see the benefit. What about helping out the local fire brigade by helping keep their fire trails clear of branches?

EVERYONE CAN DO SOMETHING: I'm probably going to get some flac for this, but everyone can help change the perception of 4wd's by doing something positive. When you're in traffic and someone indicates, ALWAYS let them in. No big effort required. Whether you think this is required or is fair or whatever is IRRELEVANT. As long as the general perception stays as 70% of people think 4wd drivers are arrogant, we will never win an argument. Unfortunately, it is simply the case that you have to be that extra bit nicer to be perceived as normal.

SUMMARY: I've started putting together some facts about the arguments from the forum here and from other sources. I'll also be valdating some of the stuff with the relevant agencies etc. If someone can point me at lobby groups or interest groups that would be of help or would be interested in promoting, I would be most appreciative.

Finally, you have to remember that 1 in 4 cars sold today is a 4wd. The FORD TERRITORY is the Wheels Car of the Year for God's sake. There is a massive recreational, 4wd movement out there that isn't about to be smothered. We just need to get some perspective and balance into this argument. Also remember that the Media are cheap, unloyal *&^% ( a word I can't print). They'd be JUST as happy showing good 4wd stories if they are newsworthy.

Sorry for the long e-mail, this has really started to get on my nerves. I'm sick and tired of reading or watching lies get spread with no even a whimper for 20% of the population.

Stay safe,

Smocky.
AnswerID: 98844

Follow Up By: hoyks - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 16:47

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 16:47
Smocky, good points and to save me typing it again, do you mind if I cut this and post it on other 4wd sites?
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Follow Up By: Member - Smocky (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 16:59

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 16:59
Hoyks,

I'd be thankful if you did. I respect everyone here and don't want to be seen criticising people I don't know, but if any of you post here complaining how much you hate all the criticism on the telly and then DON'T let that next driver in, you are a hypocrite yourself.

One fired-up Smocky.
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Follow Up By: Skinny- Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 15:11

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 15:11
Great advice Smocky, suggest you keep us posted.
Also no one looks at the issue of things like: how long most of us keep say a diesel 4x4 and the cost of making it (enviromental etc) compared with the throwaway four cylinder tiny toys they are making for around town. Iwould like to ask why we continue to build cars that can do 200km/h and drive them at 35km/h bumper to bumper. Surely we would be better with 6 people in a cruiser than one in a mini. Do the math.
Also we need to ask how we can carry large amounts of equipment in the rice bubbles on wheels.

I personally think most pedestrains would go under a four wheel drive with less damage than being scouped along by a little low speeding matchbox car.
Anyway thanks for the long well thought out post.

Skinny
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Reply By: Charlie - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 17:13

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 17:13
Early nineties the 4WD clubs had an anti lockout protest convey, the only thing media response was some complaints about delaying the traffic. Same thing happens with the bike riders who protest every year; all you hear about is some idiots holding up the traffic .
Regards Charlie
AnswerID: 98848

Reply By: bruce.h (WA) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 18:12

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 18:12
this thread is symptimatic of the problem
nobody can agree on what is best to do let alone get up & do something

as to toy runs charity drives ect, ho hum been there done that public could not give a rats ass about our positive image, as we are an easy target for negitive press becauce we are affraid of our own shadow.

the whole idea of a blockaid is to inconvienance people , an group who is able to stop a city may well loose afew supporters in the public but will definatly get the attention of those in power remember its numbers that count not how good you look, for if that was the case the greenies would have disapeared long ago.
AnswerID: 98854

Follow Up By: bruce.h (WA) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 18:26

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 18:26
oh & as to bad publicity wake up a & smell the coffee
we are being called vermin & a blite on the cities of this country,
how much worse can we get!
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Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 20:34

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 20:34
Skimmed through this thread

Basically it is all HOT AIR.

Must've been a slow day in the Big Smoke..................
AnswerID: 98863

Reply By: Member - Landie - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 20:34

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 20:34
Wait until the next local government election. The power of the ballot box will sort it out!

Who would want a mayor and councillors presiding over your community when they make decisions like this group have based on totally flawed arguments. Four-wheel driver owners and non-owners alike will recognise this - and vote accordingly.

AnswerID: 98865

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 23:17

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 23:17
Whatever happened to Green dog???? LOL
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AnswerID: 98895

Reply By: Member - Bernard - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:59

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:59
Just about all of the suggestions appearing here have some merit. But what about aiming for the "emotional funny-bone" and getting a fairly large and vocal group onside? ... Senior Citizens??
What about 4WD owners and Clubs arranging for one National Weekend, or Week, or Month, or whatever, to pick up Seniors from their homes, nursing homes, retirement villages etc and take them for a ride into the country, or on a BBQ or picnic. Perhaps several times a year.
Or, perhaps, Seniors could be offered a hand to get rid of junk etc by using a large 4WD to take it to the nearest Waste Transfer Station.
I'm sure that between us all we can come up with alternatives to blockades, parking lockouts and toy runs.
AnswerID: 98966

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 15:18

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 15:18
I have already worked on this theory of a large group - Starlight Foundation 2+ years ago..

They said they already had something going with the Toyota Club...

But yes I think something like this would have merit, although, with lots of "HIGH" up 4wds gettin Granny into it could be a mission :(

Good thinkin though.
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