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Issue #1669      January 21, 2015

Win against East-West Link

In December the now notorious anti-East-West Link protesters held a victory street party at their campaign headquarters in Fitzroy, Melbourne. With the Napthine Liberal government being thrown out of office in late November and Labor coming to power on the promise not to build the East-West Link, conditions have been created that make it near impossible for the new government to go back on its word.

The community group says that if Labor were to back track now it would create huge anger in the community and give impetus to the anti-toll road campaign. The community pressure has been so intense that Labor knows all hell would break loose if it were to go ahead with the project now.

Protesters are taking the opportunity to mark down the significant victory against one of the biggest, but most unpopular, infrastructure projects in the world that would have forced people out of their homes and created major noise pollution problems.

Protest organiser Anthony Main said, “Everyone said we wouldn’t be able to do it. We have proven them all wrong. It’s been a long and hard 18 months but against all odds we’ve forced Labor into a position where it would be suicide for them to proceed.

“We had all the ‘powers-that-be’ lined up against us. Not just the Liberals but the road lobby, the police, the courts, the media, they were all on the pro-tunnel side. We should never forget that until recently we also had Labor supporting this dud project. The fact that we spent a lot of time pressuring them, picketing their offices etc, this was key in forcing them to change their position.

“What everyone underestimated was our ability to win ordinary people to our cause. We relied on the truth and on people power. That’s what got us there in the end.

“What this campaign shows is that when ordinary people organise and mobilise you can win. You don’t have to put up with big business interests dominating your lives.

“We are hoping that other communities take inspiration from this campaign,” Anthony said.

Next article – Survival Day events

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