Hyperlocal news about Melbourne's first suburb: Fitzroy 3065

idiot tunnel protesters block Brunswick St


I stepped out my door and onto Brunswick St this morning after 9am to tram into the city to catch a train at Flinders St to attend a job interview. A queue of trams heading into the city was blocked at Westgarth St by East-West tunnel protesters.

Apparently all kinds of shit has gone down this morning in relation to test drilling sites being established without notification and local residents being inconvenienced in relation to parking and access.

But responding in kind by blocking Brunswick St and inconveniencing hundreds of other people, including those who support the cause, is not appropriate. I don’t want to be stressed as I run down to Nicholson St to get a tram worrying if I will be late to my interview. First world problems I know, but this was shit.

While I support the cause, I don’t support the movement. These people are idiots if they think that further inconveniencing local residents and others is an effective strategy.


  1. Judging by the pictures, couldn’t cars just go around the protesters by heading down side streets (Spring St or similar) So really the only group they are screwing over are the people taking public transport.….. Intelligence is strong with these folk.

  2. Why obstruct public transport users? Outrageous.

  3. Clearly quite foolish to block tram users and possibly foolish to block motorists too, many of them local and sympathetic to the cause. In fact even to block motorists from the outer burbs may be foolish. East West link won’t benefit them either in they are driving down Brunswick Street.

  4. I support the cause and I think that they are extremely brave in taking their stand. Putting myself in your position however, Brian, I understand your frustration. If I was going about my normal routine the protesters would not bother me, I would simply find an alternative route. However, if I had a commitment to fulfill or a personal emergency to respond to, I would be most annoyed. Perhaps they should concentrate their efforts to annoy the state rather than the public.

    • I think they realised it was a significant error of judgement. I was not the only person complaining about the inconvenience and there has been no repeat today.

  5. These organisers are experts at getting the message across. Their numerous successes speak for themselves. It seems churlish to complain about ‘idiot protesters’ unless you have a better strategy to keep the message alive. Or maybe you are thinking of starting your own group? This is a humungously serious issue, the tunnel will wreck Melbourne – if i lived on the northside i would be grateful that they are out there, putting themselves on the line day after day. It takes courage, energy, brains, skillfull means and yes, charisma, to organise something on that scale. You should try it some time.

  6. I hope they don’t pull the blockade on city streets again. Preventing people (including public transport users and people likely to be sympathetic to the protest) from going about their business was a seriously dumb move, and has cost them a lot of public support

  7. How did the job interview go Brian? I hope you weren’t hot and bothered by the time you got there.

  8. This is an epic time lag for a response: The sit down on Brunswick St, and minutes later on Alexandra Pde, was a sudden response to the resumption of geotesting drilling the day after I think it was we had held a rally to mark the close of the year and the cancellation of the drill works. Very few of us were able to get there at short notice to stop this new round of drilling. Many of us disagreed with the idea of sitting down on the road but we adopted it as a sort of emergency one-off. Of course you regret on some level inconveniencing anyone but EWL is/was a turning point and crisis in the life of Melbourne—at these points business as usual needs to be interrupted. At some point the right to not be inconvenienced has to give way. The next day if I remember correctly several hundred people came out before dawn to help stop the drilling.

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