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Guest Opinion: Big Deal…Right…?

Big deal…right…?
By Jeff Evan

So there was this road with heaps of traffic on it that infested its way around the city. Then someone had this idea that they could make a wad if they made it bigger. Big deal, right? I decided to not be bothered by all the quarrelling, considering it’s already a polluted city with traffic, and with or without a bigger road, that won’t change.

But then this funny thing happened…always scrupulous of ways people might be trying to manipulate others and tyrannise freedom, I realized that there was a push for this motorway even though much of the public were against it. So I decided to get off my arse and find out why this was happening in the face of seemingly all the opposition.

At first I was quite impressed with the community of Wellington coming together to resist the hegemonic hand of Transit New Zealand and the multinational companies behind them. Quickly, however, that turned to anger. Those bastards, Transit, are forcing everyone to buy into their scheming for a bigger road through places where people live.

Historic buildings that are a part of Wellington’s heritage will be ‘relocated’, which basically means they will ‘accidentally’ be destroyed either before or during their ‘relocation’. This slithering bitumen monster will feed on people’s homes and livelihoods, as well as historic sights and areas that have made Wellington the most comfortable city in the world to live.

When it is revealed that Transit’s own studies show a saving of 1 minute’s driving time during peak traffic, things become crystal clear. The pro-bypass movement isn’t actually equating a 1-minute savings in car travel with the relocation and displacement of numerous buildings, businesses, and people.

They don’t actually place value on any of those being removed. What they do have is an insatiable appetite for money, regardless of the human costs. Wars are started on the same set of twisted values and morals. And all the while, the dumbing down of the public by the demonic sentinel known as the Media diminishes interest and feeds lies of progress and viability. Do you still not feel taken advantage of??

So enough of this banter, isn’t there anything that can possibly be done to save the sinking of 24 million dollars into a mistake that will ruin heritage sites, businesses, and the lives of hundreds of people?

Believe it. At the moment, a letter has just been sent out to Transit, compiled by everyone involved in the CBC (that’s Campaign for a Better City).

Big deal, a letter, you say. Considering that proper research into induced traffic due to construction and rates loss studies have not been undertaken, archaeological consent has not been given to remove historic buildings (19 in all), and evictions have been issued when the funding has not even come through yet, Transit needs to be reminded that what they are doing is actually illegal and presumptive to the highest degree.

Legal action is a possible scenario, and one that will tie up Transit in delays that can cost them the entire project. Transit has to meet several deadlines, including the start of winter to finish building removals, which can all be delayed and postponed with intelligent and non-violent direct action.

Realistically, a piece of paper doesn’t have much chance against an invasion of bulldozers, so there are other, larger things that can, and are, being done. Obviously the education of the community of Wellington (community being the grouping of individuals together for the benefit of the whole and the place they reside) stands to be one of the largest tasks.

This can be done by putting up posters, writing articles, and lending a hand where needed to stop this disaster from taking place. Transit is stumbling already as their hasty evictions of 11 businesses have already been extended.

For us to disregard the placement of additional congestion, pollution, and traffic in the face of strong public opposition is to allow the pilfering of other human rights down the [widened] road. The fight against the bypass is a positive one, since it is most definitely one that can be won.

What it needs is the conviction and moral courage of the community to stand behind the cause, and in front of the advance of asphalt in order to preserve all of our rights to choose what is best for us, rather than be imposed with what we know is not.

- For more information on the campaign to stop the bypass see… http://www.cbc.org.nz

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