As do many Melbournians: “ Fracking! It’s the stupidest idea I’ve heard of.” “Oh yes I’ll sign. I can’t believe they are thinking of doing it here.” Yes, I know about this. I come from Queensland. It’s terrible there.” “There has been too much destruction of the environment already, without doing that too.”
This little piggy went to market… and had a great time with other Quit Coalers who have been going to Farmer’s Markets on the North Side of town. We have been meeting fabulous foodies, hard working producers and anti-fracking friends.
Ali and Ange talked to shoppers and stallholders at the Fairfield Farmers’ Market and found many who support the campaign for a Coal and Gas Free Vic. Some friendly farmers let us use their truck as a photo studio. It was great to talk to people who hadn’t known about the campaign. And even better to hear the heartfelt concerns of those who knew about it and reassure them that we are still working on it and we won’t give up.
People are happy to join in the campaign, sign petitions and make whiteboard signs for our twitter campaign. Some see our stall and make detours to ensure they sign a petition. Many have so much to say against onshore gas, they find it hard to hone it down to one phrase for a photo. And then there’s the dilemma of whether to smile or look angry in the photo.
Zia, Ali, Oliver and Catherine went to Collingwood Farmers’ Market at the Children’s Farm. Stalls heaped with bright fruit and veg were spread out around an arc of grass fringed with trees. Catherine hadn’t seen so many varieties of apples since her childhood in Tasmania. There were delicious melons, so popular they were rolling out of stalls, wholesome bread, incredibly good falafel wraps and fresh greens piled high next to pyramids of fruit.
In the centre, shoppers sipped coffee while sitting on hay bales and although we had no food on display, we had no trouble attracting people to our stall. People wanted to protect their families, food and future, and to support the farming communities who provided all of this great produce.
It was heartening to see how much city people care about this campaign, and how much more they know about the process of onshore gas extraction than they did a few years ago. There is really only one message to take away from this: for Melbournians “Only a Ban will Do.”