Following on from last Sunday’s two person protest against Lewis Stanton’s occupation of a section of Trafalgar St, even more people turned out today to let their feelings be known.
Ru Dawson was the man behind the effort, inspired after seeing Patsy Craig and Margaret Bowler last Sunday. “I’m just a Nelson resident, ratepayer and just had enough,” says Ru. “I was just sick of it, as lots of other people are and last Sunday, coming through town, I saw Patsy and her friend sitting here. I thought ‘here’s a winning opportunity to get people’s attention’ and I asked if Patsy had considered a Facebook Page, as social media nowadays is the way to go.”
Ru established the Facebook Page and says over the week he’s had 15,000 people look at it and 330 people like it. He’s even taken the protest to Paul Henry with the issue featuring on his show, while TV3 camera’s were present at the protest today.
“I decided to get some flyers made up, so I went to the print shop and I was trying to negotiate a deal when the gentleman next to me turned and said “I’ll pay for that, put it on my account, you’ve got $50 worth of printing.”
Both Ru and Patsy distributed the flyers among Nelson businesses, trying to get their support. He also had a sign created for free thanks to Cutting Edge Signs & Graphics, which has been placed on Bishopdale hill stating, ‘If its ok for Hone, it’s ok for me.’
“Shame on the Nelson City Council for sitting on the sidelines for so long, it’s a council issue, that’s what I’m aiming at, the NCC has done nothing and we need to show them we’re not going to wait for another three years, something needs to be done,” says Ru.
The protest began around 12pm and attracted around 50-60 people. While the demonstration was only planned for today, Ru says if the issue is not resolved, they will continue their efforts, people even talking to him about sleeping on the street.