Taking a walk
It’s thumbs up and full steam ahead for my invitational walk up Oxford Street late one Friday or Saturday night. I have invited the Lord Mayor Clover Moore and the newly appointed Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione. All we need to do now is decide on a date and we’ll soon be trotting down the street and, hopefully, both of them will witness the craziness that many are subjected to every weekend.
So what do we really want to get out of this exercise? Is it enough for both to experience what is happening on our beloved strip or do we need to have something extreme to happen for Ms Moore and Mr Scipione to have their eyes opened?
I must admit to feeling apprehensive. After such a large build-up I am worried our walk will end up being a sedate little affair and dismissed with the line: “Well, we went on the walk and it really wasn’t that bad.”
So I’ve decided my planning needs to be thorough and exact, choosing the most appropriate night so the undesirables are at their worst. Of course I am not hoping for anything awful to happen, but I do have my fingers crossed that Ms Moore and Mr Scipione will get to walk the mile in our shoes.
Small things that seem very unimportant need to be considered, like the role of the media. While it certainly has a role to play in ensuring the public gets to see the walk taking place, is it wise to have a news crew follow the walk party all the way? I have discussed this with SSO editor Scott Abrahams and we agree it is probably not in our best interests. We will most likely have a photo opportunity and interview point at the end of the walk – but not along the way.
This also goes for the many locals and concerned members of our community who have expressed their interest in joining the walk. With a posse of thousands, is it going to work? While there is safety in numbers, you are less likely to be subjected to anti-social behaviour when you are part of a large group.
I am happy to organise such a walk at a later date – and nothing violent or protest-like – but for the purpose of this walk with Ms Moore and Mr Scipione I think we are best taking it alone.
I must say I tip my hat to the Lord Mayor and Police Commissioner for accepting my invitation. It takes two very big people to be a part of something like this.
And while I understand that any changes they deem necessary may not happen straight away, at least they will get the ball rolling in the right direction. After all, isn’t it the ability to walk down the street and not get harassed, beaten, threatened or intimidated what we are trying to achieve?
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