people power II – putting your name on it…

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Does putting your name and signature to a cause make a difference? I believe so…

My email in-box is evidence of my affection for causes, populated as it is with emails from change.org, care2 petition site and GetUp requesting my virtual signature.

It started at home and simply enough with the change.org petition to RailCorp NSW: Erect a noise barrier wall along the St Peters rail corridor. Initially my support was speculative, not envisaging my armchair warrior stance could accomplish much. But there have been tangible results, evidenced by the weekend track-work taking place within sight of our balcony and a resultant reduction in noise.

And then today change.org and the media announced what is to me a real and groundbreaking victory both for the issue (which has been ongoing) and online petition supporters.

People-power win after Sydney teacher Paula Orbea launches petition against ‘misogynistic and degrading slogans’ on Wicked Campers vans. In this instance: in every princess there is a little slut who wants to try it just once…

street art_Macdonaldtown Train Station, Sydney NSW Australia
Wicked Campers were otherwise but people power won

“WICKED Campers* have agreed to clean up sexist or misogynistic slogans from their fleet of vans after a public outcry this week…
The company has today issued an apology and committed to reviewing and removing offensive marketing from all of its campervans in the next six months.
Paula Orbea, the Sydney school teacher who started the 110,000-strong change.org petition against Wicked Campers, says it’s a stunning people-power victory against sexism, with the result coming just four days after she started the petition.
In an email from Wicked Campers received by Paula, she says the company has offered a personal apology and has now removed the sexist slogan Paula’s daughter saw.”

Work in progress:
Roseanne is facing a lifetime in prison because of her disability. Stop the neglect.
There’s been “incredible progress on freeing Roseanne. Locked up in prison indefinitely because of her disability, without being guilty of a crime – your signatures have helped convince the NT Government to start moving to free her.”

There are still good old paper petitions doing the rounds as well. Earlier this week a colleague sought my signature on a petition opposing “More than two dozen specialist women’s shelters could be forced to close in metropolitan Sydney as the New South Wales government finalises a major reform into homeless services funding.”

Good news:
In April 2013 I became a member of Lock the Nambucca Valley, created to oppose Precious Metal Resources Pty Ltd mining exploration for gold and antimony mining in the Nambucca Valley… just up the road from our house at Taylors Arm, detailed in the post dead waters.

In June 2014 came the good news
“Precious Metals Resources has relinquished its licence (EL8016) to explore for antimony and gold in the Nambucca Valley! The licence has now been cancelled. PMR claimed that exploration was not justified. Lock the Nambucca Valley is confident that our strong opposition to commencement of antimony mining activities in the Nambucca had a role to play in PMRs decision to pull out. They were well aware of our existence and the enormous community support for our campaign to prevent them starting. We have won.”

Lock the Nambucca Valley however remain realistic and vigilant as “another company could apply for a similar exploration to plunder and pollute”.

Wins:
People power saved Newtown Community Markets.

change.org
NSW introduces tougher penalties for drunken violence
Mum of five gets life-saving stomach cancer surgery

care2 petition site
Tasmanian Forests Won’t Be Open to Logging
The Shubie Spice Girls Can Stay At Their Home

GetUp
Helped save from destruction the oldest collection of rock art in the world on the Burrup Peninsula, WA.
Brought together senators from across party lines to win a conscience vote stopping ministerial veto of the RU486 non-surgical abortion medication.

… and more wins, detailed on their websites.

A final word to Wicked Campers
Artist Stef Burgon takes on Wicked Campers, paints her own slogan
If ya wouldn’t say it to ya Nan… don’t write it on ya van! 

*Wicked Campers is an Australian camper van rental company based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The company also has outlets in other parts of Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, North America, South Africa and South America. Wicked Campers market their product towards younger drivers and backpackers. Each van features a spray painted design, often featuring pop culture references and politically incorrect slogans.”

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23 thoughts on “people power II – putting your name on it…

    roughseasinthemed said:
    July 17, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    The biggest way to hit WC of course would be by not using them. That really is an appalling slogan. It just perpetuates patriarchal stereotypes – virgin/whore, princess/slut. P

    I’m not sure of the value of internet petitions but this would suggest they are having more impact. I tend to sign care2 ones, usually animal or environmental related. I wd obviously sign feminist ones too.

    It takes courage to object and seek support. We owe it to those people who have that courage, to give them our support.

    Liked by 1 person

      EllaDee responded:
      July 17, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      For most of us, if in the market for camper hire, using a different company is a non-brainer but it appears the allure is there for some: from their Africa site* “Wicked Campervans want you to enjoy your trip by supplying you with a vehicle that has as much of it’s own character as it’s driver. The vans are custom sprayed by South Africa’s most well-known Graffiti artist, so a lot of passion and detail goes into the design that will get a lot of attention on your trip.”
      *http://www.wickedafrica.com/campervan-rental-africa/faqs/why-wicked-campervans?
      I’m impressed with the reach and uptake of online petitions. I hope it doesn’t diminish.

      Liked by 1 person

    davidprosser said:
    July 17, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    If you hadn’t mentioned GetUp I’d have thought you had my mail by mistake. I’m always getting requests to sign or updates on those I have signed. I always feel better for a win because I know the individual has won as well as the group. Some of course are really sad that we take to heart and I’ve featured some like that on the blog in the past.
    It’s good to know that wherever we are, we care.
    xxx Mega Hugs to you both xxx

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 17, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      I think a lot of us are on the same page but it’s always good to celebrate the wins, and to use Wicked Campers own words “any publicity is good publicity” 🙂

      Like

    ChgoJohn said:
    July 18, 2014 at 1:20 am

    It’s very encouraging to see petitions resulting in good results, no matter where they occur, EllaDee. You’ve made me realize that I need to spend more time following up some of the petitions I sign to see if they actually made a difference. The fact that I haven’t heard anything doesn’t bode well …

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 18, 2014 at 6:17 am

      Worth following up as not all petitions accomplish immediate or complete change, get results that are covered by the media but they at least put the parties on notice, act as awareness raising and possibly a stepping stone to resolution. In the online world, it’s so much easier to harness the power of the people.

      Like

        mybrightlife said:
        July 18, 2014 at 2:27 pm

        This is along the lines of what I was thinking. If a large amount of people respond, the company / business / group / government, surely has to be thinking – what are they going to do next??

        Like

          EllaDee responded:
          July 18, 2014 at 2:52 pm

          Yes 🙂 People via internet and social media are pushing wide open the doors that mainstream media may sometimes not be willing to go through.

          Like

    philosophermouseofthehedge said:
    July 18, 2014 at 8:50 am

    WC’s slogan is stupid…even more stupid are the ones who laugh at it.
    People are beginning to discover the power of social media. Little efforts do count – enough small stones can block a river.
    Besides sometimes publicity is like shining a light in a room and running the roaches off
    Better to try something rather than just sitting around complaining about stuff.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 18, 2014 at 11:02 am

      Well said 🙂 Online petitions are doing something when otherwise nothing might be done because comtemplating how and what get in the way of bringing to notice things that benefit from public scrutiny and opinion.

      Like

    Eha said:
    July 18, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I began signing many AVAAZ ones years ago: they have been very good in always letting us know as to the outcome. Change.org has also sent a number to which I could honestly relate. Have to look up care2 and GetUp. Quite a few friends have kind’of laughed and thought I was wasting time . . . but people power in this format has had a number of tangible results as this one about the “Wicked’ vans shows . . .

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 18, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      I hadn’t heard of AVAAZ but thank you for mentioning it, I’ve now signed up 🙂
      The power of online community is becoming very apparent, and that’s a good thing.

      Like

    Eha said:
    July 18, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I hope you will get satisfaction from the many worldwide Qs about which you may have a tiny say! If I can spare a moment or two I sometimes stay ‘on board’ to see which countries espouse which Qs the most, ie who signs . . . . ‘We’ have oft been mentioned in Washington Post, NY Times, London Times . . . . with a huge participation rate of hundreds of thousands . . . . have been quite proud to see how active Australians have been during our daylight hours . . . have a good weekend dearHeart!!!

    Like

    mybrightlife said:
    July 18, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    It is also interesting to hear from what feels like ‘like-minded’ bloggers that are engaging in similar activities like these from all over the world. Also one of the reasons these systems work, perhaps. I have a lot of faith in the voice of AVAAZ. Glad you signed onto them too!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 18, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      And as a virtual community we accomplish so much in the way of information sharing, and as a result of it. It’s incredible to be a very small part of something I think is just the start 🙂

      Like

    Bill said:
    July 18, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Hooray for people power! I’m a big fan of this kind of activism (and other kinds as well). It is making the world a better place and as more and more people get on board and leave apathy behind, we can continue to expect change for the better.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 19, 2014 at 9:14 am

      Virtual activism counteracts the inclination to NIMBYism by encompassing the global back yard 🙂

      Like

    Kourtney Heintz said:
    July 19, 2014 at 12:44 am

    It’s really great to hear that tangible progress has been made because of these petitions. It’s amazing what people can accomplish by standing up for something, even by putting their signature behind something. OMG, I cannot believe that camper slogan. It’s so misogynistic.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 19, 2014 at 9:19 am

      WC have been just plain rude in their attitude and it’s so good that finally they are named, shamed and dragged into the real world by people power.
      And, yes we of the virtual world are making a difference 🙂

      Like

    ardysez said:
    July 19, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Wow, good for you EllaDee! I have not seen a WV but I wouldn’t be impressed if I saw the particular slogan you mentioned either. All the best to you getting a new noise barrier, too. Having just come back from three noisy weeks of travel, am so loving the quiet at home and wish everyone could have such quiet to return to.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 19, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      It’s crazy – Wicked Campers could easily do catchy slogans without resorting to distasteful about which they’ve been on notice for a while… reluctant to change, they now look like the worst of idiots.
      We don’t yet have a noise barrier but they’ve been more diligent with track maintenance which has a twofold benefit of improvement of safety, and noise levels.
      And yes, the quiet of home, even here but more so at Taylors Arm. Welcome back 🙂

      Like

    diannegray said:
    July 19, 2014 at 9:06 am

    People power does work! I’ve been watching the WC issues and think it’s great that they can change those stinking slogans that aren’t even funny. Also, Roseanne’s story is an amazing one.

    In the mid-nineties (pre-internet days) I walked to every farm in our area to have a petition signed to change the speed limit on our one lane road from 100 to 80 (after nearly being killed a few times). People told me ‘you can’t change a speed limit’ – but guess what, I did! The speed limit was changed, but the council took a little too long to put up the new speed signs and a fellow on a motor-bike was killed when he took a corner too fast. I woke up to find the media at my door asking me ‘how it felt to wake up to find someone dead on the road when I’d spent so much time trying to make the road safer’ – (I’m not a big fan of the media). They put up the right road signs that very same day (better late than never). Now I find I’m at it again – the cycling community has decided our road is great for bicycle racing on the weekend (groups of 30 cyclists abreast). The only problem is the harvesting season is in full swing and ten ton trucks hauling sugar cane and groups of racing cyclists are a recipe for disaster. I’m working with the police and the local council to change things. Wish me luck! 😉

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 19, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      Oh, I wish you luck… you won’t need it though because you’ve got something much more, commonsense, initiative and determination 🙂 Virtual petitions are great but like Lock the Gate, being on the ground has advantages.

      Like

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