Thankyou Newcastle City Council and three cheers for the C word 4.2.2012


The Council has almost completed the first part of its July 2011 resolution to remove and replace the fig trees – as soon as ‘practical’.

Here’s a few examples of how practical it was. You’ve probably seen this video from the Herald:

Thanks, boys in blue, thanks NCC.

Apologies to the women in the fence image at the bottom of the page,which is a screen shot from the Herald video, as I was slow to help them. At this point these small women were in the point of pushing the fence over.

I was busy making an unpleasant noise with the megaphone: they have a siren button on them  – a change from making an unpleasant noise with my mouth. I want to tell you I gave the megaphone away very soon after that and helped. Look at the size of the people who managed to pull the fence down.

Nothing like adrenaline as a powerful substance: I remain impressed at myself that when my riot squad chap was trying to break my wrist – sorry, that would leave evidence: trying to sprain my wrist – that I was able to cling onto the arm of the campaigner along side me and he failed. FAILED.

Another epic f***ing FAIL.

We have quite a relationship now: I had my photo taken with him yesterday: in the Marilyn Monroe calendar pose that proudly shows off the bruises he inflicted.

And while I allude to curses, if you can bear to look, there’s a great poster of me and my great friend Cindy, after I had been assaulted by him, giving the finger and a mouthful of abuse to the police, read on. Thanks to the anti-tree person who created it.

If you don’t like the curse word that starts with a letter somewhere between b and d, the DO NOT CLICK ON THIS LINK. You have been warned.

If the link doesn’t work, I’ll sort it. At the moment you may have to copy and paste it into a new tab.

(And I said the word over and over again because I don’t think riot police who are capable of assaulting middle-aged women to whom they have given NO direction like ‘move’ – not that I would have – understand or deserve anything  else. My regret is that I couldn’t think of a worse curse because I suspect it’s fun for some of them to see us angry. We are lucky they didn’t ride over us on horses like they did to the Occupy people in Sydney or taser us or spray us with capsicum spray.

I had lots of attempts yesterday afternoon at thinking of worse curses, at the Great Shout of Shame, sending karma and disease and a dark future the way of all the agents of the Council, and of the Premier who would not intervene but whose police force was used against ordinary (and foul-mouthed) citizens.

One of the recipients of my curses was the Council’s Director of ‘Liveable Cities’ (thankyou former GM Lindy Hyam for these sarcastic titles)  who came down and hid behind a pillar on the art gallery steps to watch the work.

You can hear the Director of ‘Liveable’ Cities telling us how tough he is in this audio from the Herald What a CV he will have: removed $1million worth of healthy beautiful trees from the centre of a city that used to be no 9 on the Lonely Planet world Cities Guide: after almost three years, almost $2 million of ratepayer funds and two foiled attempts, he finally got it right. Good on you Mr C.

The screen shot of people sitting on the ground shows the moment when two police bend down and start torturing my lovely friend Gennice. It’s really interesting that there was a man sitting beside her – also a lovely friend – whom they ignored. At least I was only assaulted on one side. A relative imagined the induction and information meeting before these troops left their site shed, sorry, command post in the park, probably being shown photos of people who were important to injure.

And I’d like to thank Cr Bob Cook who sent me a video that he thinks will ruin my reputation and the reputation of Save Our Figs Inc as a consequence.

(And again, if you cannot cope with hearing a curse word that starts with a letter between b and d, do not watch the video: again – you have been warned: some viewers may be offended by hearing a woman swear after she has been repeatedly pinched – bizarre, isn’t it – and had her wrist attacked by a policeman. I thought when I first watched it that I was saying ‘scum’ but it’s obvious that it wasn’t.

Cr Cook is interesting. There is a small number of people whom I hate after the last two years, but he isn’t one of them. He’s been very influential in the campaign to remove the trees but no room in my brain is occupied by thinking about him. (You know what they say: if you hate someone, they’ve rented a room in your brain.)

How a man who used the most racist term imaginable in a Laman Street Working Party meeting in 2011, that was the subject of a succesful code of conduct complaint, can denigrate anyone, let alone leave his house, is beyond me.

Anyway, more frothing at the mouth later.

The Great Shout of Shame was just fantastic yesterday. A crowd with drums and whistles and air horns and cymbals and recorders and coffee tins with marbles in them and saucepan lids and wooden spoons met at the Darby St end of Laman Street. The lovely minister from the Baptist tabernacle played the Last Post and Amazing Grace, Cate Green sang some beautiful songs, the Lord Mayor spoke beautifully, the crowd bagged Mr C on the Art Gallery verandah and we led the riot police across the park to the admin building and back again. I still think we should have gone back and forth a number of times just to give them some exercise.

And the afternoon ended with the beautiful call of the kookaburras who were sitting in one of the four trees that remain.

Take some flowers down to the fence at the end of the street. The loppers are having the weekend off.



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6 Responses to “Thankyou Newcastle City Council and three cheers for the C word 4.2.2012”

  1. ArchitectGJA Says:

    Caity, I am far more impressed with a woman who shows courage, emotion, suffers injury in trying to do what she believes is right and lets out an understandably salty expression after being brutalized than I ever would be with cowardly men who engage a uniformed force to further the enactment of a very flawed and wrong decision.

    Shame and blame are still well directed at NCC, not Community members.

  2. Ross Brent Says:

    it is at the stage that all that remains is to ensure these clowns will not be elected again.

    can we have a list please?

    • Caity Raschke Says:

      Cr Osborne has been steadfast since the very beginning. The Lord Mayor has been extremely supportive since he looked critically at the evidence and reports and has voted for maintaining the trees for the last year. I have NOTHING good to say about Crs Boyd, Buman, Cook, King, or Sharpe who have been AGAINST keeping the trees even when the evidence was put plainly before them.Since he changed parties Cr Jackson has also voted against the trees, which is interesting since in the beginning he wanted to keep them all. Cr Connell has been missing in action on many occasions which has the same effect as voting against the trees. The ALP gave up their fight to keep the trees at the end because they claimed that working towards a rescission motion would not win. Well, not working towards one certainly didn’t win. Of the ALP Councillors, Cr Crakanthorpe has been least helpful.

  3. Shepsta Says:

    Caity, I’ve said it in a few other posts but i’ll say it again, YOU HAVE TO RUN FOR COUNCIL NEXT ELECTION, PLEASE!
    You would get at least 11,000 votes.
    Please consider it.
    A big thankyou from me to you for all the effort you have put into the fight, you are a champion

    • Caity Raschke Says:

      Aren’t you lovely? A huge number of new people should run for Council – there’s certainly a HUGE number of councillors who need to go. I wonder how on earth one could work with the management there – the people responsible for this week’s vandalism of Shamin’ Street.

  4. Greg Warburton Says:

    Caity many thanks for your honesty here … feel free to froth away at the mouth all you want as most in the local community have the ability to tell legitimate and warranted frothing from the illegitimate and belligerent fumings and frothings that drip far too frequently from the mouths of the ChopSquadCrew and their chainsaw-loving-lets-cleave-the-soul-out-of-Newcastle supporters!!
    And many many many thanks and shouts of appreciation, respect, and admiration for your long work in defence of the figs and the beauty that was Laman St. And whilst I might live on Laman Street and am deeply distressed by this atrocity I cannot but think how much more devastating it is for the likes of yourself and your amazing Save Our Figs colleagues who have campaigned so long and so tirelessly on the issue. My heart goes out to you.

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