In support of the STOP KILLING CYCLISTS campaign – a radical yet peaceful group – who orchestrated the two recent “Die-Ins” in London: many people are tweeting, posting on Facebook or adding to their websites one of the many “subvertisements” that members of the group have made themselves over the past week or so; All happening together at precisely 8pm tonight.
It is quite something to see (I am a member and help them with their websites) how quickly the people in the group – now 1475 strong – can work up an idea into a direct action. This one came about because one person posted to the group’s Facebook account a subvertisement they made. It snowballed from there!
Some people took existing posters from Transport for London and added in a statement, usually from a media report or transport report, about the current situation on the roads of London; Other people created new posters to convey their message.
The group also works under the banner (and website) of “Stop the Killing” so that it is inclusive of people who choose to walk or get around with their wheelchairs. One very active person in the group, Tom Kearney, was hit and left for dead by a London bus a few years ago: he’s made a remarkable recovery and now has made a series of posters highlighting the dangers that London’s buses pose to people everyday. You can read about his campaign at THE BUS STOPS HERE: A SAFER OXFORD STREET FOR EVERYONE.
Another remarkable person in the group is Nazan Fennell who lives in Birmingham. Her daughter Hope was struck and killed by an HGV as she walked her bicycle across at an intersection. She has created versions of subvertising posters targeting the situation in Birmingham. You can read about her campaigning at LIVE IN HOPE.
The issues raised by this campaign are national in scope – it just takes volunteers (like you?) to drive the message home where you live.
It is because of harrowing tales like Tom’s and Nazan’s that I became involved. No one should go through what these two – and many, far too many, others have gone through. It is time for police and politicians to stop blaming the victims – especially through well-intentioned but misdirected “safety campaigns” – and get on with the jobs of building the infrastructure which removes the conflict in the first place. A separate campaign called ‘Space For Cycling’ is the one driving that message home (it will be BIG this year leading up to the local elections and again through 2015 to the national election). In the meantime, many things can be done to make the current road network safer for people, and at not much cost (especially when you factor in the savings to the NHS who are dealing with a massive obesity epidemic). Banning HGVs from popular roads at peak times is a good start on that front.
Here’s a selection of the posters and subvertisements. Feel free to add some yourself to your website, Facebook and send out via twitter after 8pm tonight — click HERE for a complete list that you can copy & paste.