Thursday, March 10, 2016

A result of protest

Never mind the starving in Africa and the world awash with mass migration, this is important.

In 2009 the City of Melbourne passed a bylaw to enable the prosecution of skateboarders who were defiling the memory of those killed in the Bali terrorist bombing by skating all over the Lincoln Square Bali Bombing Memorial in Carlton.

Was the bylaw ever used? No. To quote a council employee in response to my email, we don't prosecute children. Why not? Their parents will have to pay and many of the skate boarders are not kids anyway.

As well as defiling the memorial every day now, it used to be just weekends, along the bench they sit on, and they strew rubbish underneath. In the very early morning someone, a council worker I guess, must remove the rubbish and the memorial is well looked after.

Lincoln Square, where the memorial is, is also a local park and local residents are complaining that they don't feel comfortable going there with all the skateboarders around.

Finally, City of Melbourne is reacting and is going to shut down the square and renovate it to be unsuitable for skateboarders, who have also I might add, removed some of the anti skateboard devices, and unscrewed signs prohibiting skateboarding.

There is a petition against this at Change.org. Don't any of you dare sign it. One tosser said something like, they were young people who were killed in the Bali bombing, so they would not mind. For god's sake, they are dead and past minding. It is about a memorial that people can visit and remember and maybe grieve.

When R's sister and now bro in law first visited us from England, we took them one evening to Lygon Street for dinner. I can't remember why, but after dinner we were in Lincoln Square and there were no skateboarders. I stared into the illuminated water jets, remembering the terrible event, while R's sister and husband were fascinated by the bats flying around.

Governments are very fond of making new laws when a problem arises, but there is almost always a law that already covers the problem. In this case it is a bylaw that was never used. So what was the point of it?

I am thoroughly a grumpy old man, complaining about skateboarders. But if only they did not leave their litter behind, I might take a more charitable view.

Anyway, I hope soon enough Lincoln Square and the Bali Bombing Memorial will no longer be a pseudo skate park.

I ask you, would New York citizens tolerate skating around the 911 memorial? Would UK citizens tolerate skating around the London Tube Bombing Memorial? 

Later: I just searched my blog for Bali Memorial and I have written  eleven posts mentioning it mostly mentioning the skateboarders. I guess my blog is not an effective method of protest, but I am sure my emails helped. Here is a link to one post with photos.

23 comments:

  1. I say prosecute them for being a young and disrespectful. Make the skateboarders do community service cleaning up their mess and maintaining the park. Make them do community service raising awareness of the reason for memorials.

    I do think we get to an age where we can be old and grumpy .. and get away with it.

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    1. C'mon Carol, isn't it the duty of the young to be disrespectful of authority? I wonder if a good talking to them about the memorial might have worked? We are probably on to the second generation of boarders there.

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  2. It is very interesting post

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  3. There is a general lack of respect and consideration for other people and for their property nowadays.

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    1. Here, here........a sense of invidivual entitlement prevails

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    2. Victor, yes there is. It was always so, but it is much worse now.

      John, as I cited, they just assume someone else will clean up their mess.

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  4. And the young things would of course skateboard in the cemetery because there are young people there and they wouldn't mind.
    Hiss and spit. And yes I am old (and getting older) and grumpy (and getting more so).

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    1. EC, grumpy old people balance social issues out in the bigger picture.

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  5. Fair enough, but I hope a suitable skateboarding area is built for them to use in place of the Lincoln Memorial area. Skateboarding is not just hooligans, it's a skill, an art, a sport and just like football or cricket, or any other sport, those who participate need a place to do so. With plenty of large rubbish bins of course for the Maccas Wrappas etc.

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    1. River, there are plenty of skate parks for them. Your point about bins is a good one and I am not sure there are bins nearby. I will check.

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  6. Everyone is terrified by terrorists... that is what terrorists do! But bombing an army camp to smithereens is one thing - blowing up a teenage dance hall or a fruit-and-vegetable market is another thing altogether.

    The Bali memorial should be treated as though it was a proper cemetery. With respect! Not like a playground by rude teenage hoons.

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    1. Hels, I quite agree with you about bombing, but then there is as our US associates call it, collateral damage, where innocents are killed. Yes, memorials should be what they are supposed to be, quite and a place for people to contemplate. Go away kiddies.

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  7. Don't get me started, there are few places set aside for events that have shaped our history but can't these people who think the world is their playground respect these few places, we should go to their homes write on their walls and damage them as they do public places, sit on their lounges and leave our rubbish around and drive our wheel chairs across their front lawns etc.
    Merle ...............

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    1. Beautifully said Merle but maybe these kids come from backgrounds where what you say would not matter. Truthfully, I doubt it. They are relatively local kids and local kids in Carlton, if not from high rise government towers, aren't poor.

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  8. I loathe anyone who leaves litter around, anywhere! Looking at the link Andrew I can see why the memorial is attractive to skateboarders. Flat surfaces, just the right amount of height here and there, it's too tempting. When you come over and explore Kings Park you'll see our Bali memorial is designed in an impossible way for skateboarders.

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    1. Grace, one thing that has happened over the past couple of decades is much less littering than there used to be. Still a big problem in some countries. I hope that is the way our memorial will be, as Kings Park.

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  9. Respect is not something that people find easy.

    There should be quiet spaces where such atrocities as the Bali bombing are remembered and contemplated. I seriously hope that your complaint will make a difference.

    Actually, I find all littering and fouling public spaces abhorrent. Why can’t everybody keep their environment clean and tidy? Let them foul their personal backyards.

    Oh dear, does that make me a grumpy old woman?

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    1. Friko, it seems mine and complaints of others have moved the council to make it skateboard unfriendly in the near future. I don't expect you are becoming grumpy. I suspect you have always been intolerant of littering.

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  10. They need somewhere to skate legally then, so police can say, with great authority, "skate there, not here".

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    1. Strayer, we have plenty of skateparks. I don't know why they turned this one into a skatepark.

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  11. I have nothing against skateboarders, but it seems not appropriate to me to use a war memorial as playgroud !

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    1. Gattina, that is the very point.

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