For the trip from WA we had 2 trucks (3 for a while) and 5 other vehicles. On the way I had at least 200 “thumbs up” or positive signs and a grand total of 2 thunbs down or negative signs.
Every place we stopped people came for a look, signed the petition and gave us encouragement.
There was a concerted effort made to minimise disruption to Canberra residents, the coppers were for the most part helpfull, but there was a deliberate lack of senior figures to make decisions on the ground. I was for instance forbidden access to the parlimentary parking area until I got out and spoke to the copper and pointed out I had medical gear in the back which was for the rally.
There was a point made by the chief minister on the ABC that they had to spend a lot on preperations for the rally. None of that spending included any medical units I saw, just police.
The start of the rally was a fizzer, only about 200 (as reported) arriving on time. the convoy I came in with arrived about 10:00 I was towards the front of this group and there was about 1.5km of trucks and other vehicles behind me. One of the WA trucks broke down (clutch problem) and held things up a little, but was quickly towed away.
There was a good turn out of Canberra citizenry supporting the convoy, with only 2 individual protesters spotted negative, and well over 300 positive.
One problem for many of the trucks was a lack of parking, some were told to park on the verge, but were then ticketed, others only got parked up and back to the rally after lunch.
I got to see speeches by Abbott, Prof. Carter and quite a few others, most made the point the government was a shambles, and climate change was a crock of crap. All good stuff.
Now the Allan Jones controversy. Notice how it became the “focus” story for the MSM? No other hook for the story?
Heres what I saw.
There was talk in the crowd of another convoy due in, I was fairly sure it had allready joined us just before we came in. Please note nearly every person with truck radios knew this, but as trucks were still looking for parking or circling the parliment there wasnt anyone fully informed.
Truckies were annoyed we hadnt been allowed to go past the actual bulding, and no light vehicles (myself excepted) with convoy markings had been allowed to drive up to the main building once the trucks arrived.
So there was quite a bit of confusion, if anyone was to blame it was the organisers.
Jones was handed a mobile phone (Im not sure who handed it to him) and had a couple of words with the bloke who handed it to him, listened to the phone a bit then had his rant on a convoy being turned back.
Without knowing who told him that its hard to apportion fault. But as best I could tell he was reporting in good faith what he was told, he left less than a hour later he left, could he have corrected his story by then? Dunno.
But it was a good day, Id estimate about 1500 people at its peak, there were a few strange folk (Truther alert!!), but for the most part a good natured bunch of Aussies assembled peacefully to protest an incompitent government.
Numbers should have been better, but considering (as one speaker mentioned) many of the cattle communities affected havent had an income for 10 months, its hardly suprising not many could afford the trip.
I have most of my piccies below the fold, I was pretty well suck in one place with my medical gear so missed quite a bit though.