'paddlers for justice'

Inland paddling
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Pyro
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Post by Pyro »

As an only slightly related note, the Rat Race circus is in Manchester on the 11th of August - base will be Picadilly Gardens as far as I know, maybe you could sort something out with them?

I'll be there for that as a marshal, so if anyone's around, give me a shout.

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Post by SJ »

A further note (purely my opinion, hoping for discussion) - everyone that is involved ought to be aware of what we are asking for. My understanding is that we are demanding that the bill referred to by the OP actually gets some time in parliament.

That means that we need to be aware of the content of that bill and the whole protest needs to be relevant to that content. We are not just a bunch of people throwing a strop because we can't play on the rivers - we are a part of a larger movement that challenges the current state of access to the natural resources of England and Wales. The protest must ensure that the correct message is given to the public.

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phil_grice
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Post by phil_grice »

I'm sure if we get people's attention they will want to know what we are hoping to achieve, my thouhts being getting some air time for the access bill.

Primarily though, most people have no idea this situation exists.

If we coordinate any event and get some literature together that everyone can work with then we should be singing off the same hymn sheet.

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Post by Jay Oram »

That is exactly what i was thinking - we could possibly get some other organisations involved - Canyoneers, river swimmers and other groups.

Jay

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phil_grice
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Post by phil_grice »

As someone has already stated we should probably send a summary proposal to the BCU and see what they come back with in terms of support.

High Brace, are you happy to do this? I'll gladly write to them if not but this is your brain child and it makes sense for everything to go through a single channel!

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Post by Jay Oram »

Yep - I am happy to do it but if you are happy to proof read it for me then we get the best of both of us.

I was going to send it to Tamsin Phipps and Andrew Green are they the right/wrong people?

Jay

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phil_grice
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Post by phil_grice »

I'd have thought they were the right people to contact. I'm by no means an expert on the BCU setup so hopefully someone else can confirm this.

I'm more than happy to proof read proposals and help in any way I can. If we can get input from a few others then we should be able to make sure we cover all the bases.

Any other volunteers?

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Dave @ TRC
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Post by Dave @ TRC »

bala boater wrote:That sounds like a job for the river crew! I hear there very fond of fountains!
Trafford center Diying to get in there lol

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Dave @ TRC
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Post by Dave @ TRC »

quicky wrote:
Anyone in Manchester fancy sitting in a boat in the Piccadilly gardens fountains?!
...and without permission from the police and Council that would be classed as irresponsible.

You have to be really careful otherwise someone will always find a way to portray us in a bad light.
We did it in a warrington fountain the police where to busy laughing to do anything
To us just told us not to do it again or there wholud be trouble.

Tell the press your going to be there or make shure you have yoiur own press ( Is getting aressted such a bad thing so you are gonna get a slapted wrist if they do any more you go to the papers and say look what thay did to us and dockaty does all this and gets send home scot free Win Win for us )

Dave



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Dave @ TRC
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Post by Dave @ TRC »

StoneWeasel wrote:
quicky wrote:
Formal methods of campaigning are great but I doubt some silliness alongside would hurt.
Ype but sillyness without permission can be used as a weapon against us..... The old how dare they brigade.....
How much of an effective weapon could it be do you think? I think any land owner / fisher person trying to kick up stink over someone paddling in a fountain could end up looking very silly indeed.

People tried to declare the initial (sensible) FFJ campaigns irresponsible but as they were not really very irresponsible this was rather ignored and the people trying to slate them for it ended up looking foolish.

Denzil
If we could paddle the river wiht out abuse and threat of violence the there whould be no need to paddle in fountains ??.
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Jay Oram
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Post by Jay Oram »

That is the main thought behind it - like the AWA adverts in kayak session.



being arrested wouldn't help, especially with a career in outdoor education ahead of me - I would never pass a CRB check and I bet a lot of others don't want to be arrested.



but could you organise doing it in your area then Dave?



If anyone would like to volunteer their assisstance please e-mail me or PM me.



specialjay@hotmail.co.uk

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StoneWeasel
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Post by StoneWeasel »

High Brace wrote:That is the main thought behind it - like the AWA adverts in kayak session.

being arrested wouldn't help, especially with a career in outdoor education ahead of me - I would never pass a CRB check and I bet a lot of others don't want to be arrested.
I hate to point out but being arrested would have no bearing on this, only being convicted and of what?

Anyway that aside, if you want my assistance in any way you have it.

Denzil

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Post by ash74 »

I'm really conscious that I don't want to dull the enthusiasm for individuals representing themselves however they want, however police involvment is not something that is necessary, I'm pretty sure it would answer the bolded section beneath and that may well impact your coaching career!

There are heaps of guidelines for responsible protesting, it's probably a good plan to follow them.

Obviously its up to the individual.....
ash74 from another thread wrote:At some stage the public need to voice their feelings about the situation. Whatever mechanism is up to them. The WCA allows individuals to pursue their sport in the way they choose, how could we (or even should we) prevent an independent campaign group?

The only mechanism that the governing body have is if a member brings the sport in to disrepute, I am currently trying to find out what would constitute this in respect to recreational paddling.

We would advocate that responsible campaigning would help, and indeed something that we have been actively seeking for the last 18 months.

WCA will always be prepared to offer advice about responsible campaigning or protesting, though it is obviously up to the individuals involved as to how they want to do, as it is ultimately their choice.

I'm unable to comment on the situation outside Wales.

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Post by StoneWeasel »

Ok then, if there are any tasks that need doing that people do not want to take on themselves in case it endangers there coaching careers I will volunteer myself for these tasks as I am not planning on having a coaching career of any form. I don't see it though, being booted out of the WCA for a peaceful protest aimed at increasing access to the waterways of the UK (those regions that are not Scotland anyway).

Denzil

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phil_grice
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Post by phil_grice »

Well I definately don't intend on falling foul of the law. I don't think we should be doing anything obstructive or likely to upset the general public as this could be a great opportunity to get them on-side. I also don't intend on living up to the negative paddler stereotype of being recless and persistently flouting the "law".

I'd like to think that everyone is planning a responsible protest to raise awareness, not kick and scream about not being able to get on the rivers!

I'd hate to set the access campaign back by upsetting the wrong people, but I feel we should be doing something.

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Post by Jay Oram »

I totally agree with Phil_grice and want a peaceful protest.

It is just to remind everyone about the bill and raise awareness. To get the access problem in the light of the local and national media.

Jay

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Post by StoneWeasel »

phil_grice wrote:Well I definately don't intend on falling foul of the law. I don't think we should be doing anything obstructive or likely to upset the general public as this could be a great opportunity to get them on-side. I also don't intend on living up to the negative paddler stereotype of being recless and persistently flouting the "law".

I'd like to think that everyone is planning a responsible protest to raise awareness, not kick and scream about not being able to get on the rivers!

I'd hate to set the access campaign back by upsetting the wrong people, but I feel we should be doing something.
Ok I kind of get the feeling this was aimed at me, I am in no way suggesting we cause an affray or upset the police. I don't believe we should do anything that would annoy the general public or cause an obstruction but I don't think we should be so scared of the consequences that we don't follow up on a good and perfectly harmless idea.

Denzil

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phil_grice
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Post by phil_grice »

Sorry Denzil that wasn't aimed at you (edit - or any other individual)! I was just concerned that, with talk about police and bringing the sport into disripute I was wondering where everyone's thoughts were leading!

Just wanted to point out that I only had spreading the word in mind rather than any civil disobedience etc.

Edit - Making sure I wasn't upsetting anyone!

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Post by Jay Oram »

okay - let me clarify

The event is going to be a group of paddlers in the fountain, posing for pics, talking to the public and raising awareness - it also grabs media attention and makes people say "oohh! what are they up to?" therefore drawing people over to have a look.

They then talk to the paddlers walking around on land handing out flyers detailing the access problem and raising awarness of the access to inland waterway bill.

That is what is going to happen.

Jay

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Post by StoneWeasel »

High Brace wrote:okay - let me clarify

The event is going to be a group of paddlers in the fountain, posing for pics, talking to the public and raising awareness - it also grabs media attention and makes people say "oohh! what are they up to?" therefore drawing people over to have a look.

They then talk to the paddlers walking around on land handing out flyers detailing the access problem and raising awarness of the access to inland waterway bill.

That is what is going to happen.

Jay
And it sounds like a damn good plan to me!

thustler
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Post by thustler »

Maybe if you notify the local police force first it could help you stay out of trouble?

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Jonny Kennedy
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Post by Jonny Kennedy »

I am more than happy to help with this 'peaceful' protest / picnic with kayaks / handing out of access leaflets in... oxford.
We have a canal and rivers going close to city centre, alas no fountains, but if organised well, im sure it will be raining anyway!
Also, how do we get hold of those brilliant kayaking is not a crime t-shirts?

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Dave @ TRC
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Post by Dave @ TRC »

High Brace wrote:That is the main thought behind it - like the AWA adverts in kayak session.

being arrested wouldn't help, especially with a career in outdoor education ahead of me - I would never pass a CRB check and I bet a lot of others don't want to be arrested.

but could you organise doing it in your area then Dave?

If anyone would like to volunteer their assisstance please e-mail me or PM me.

specialjay@hotmail.co.uk



Yea I can sort a event manchester / liverpool area





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Post by Mark R »

SJ wrote:My feeling is that the best protest events are done where there is a real problem at or near the site of the event. There should be a body of water that cries out to be paddled but to which access is refused for no very good reason.
Yes, yes, yes. Otherwise - assuming you've sorted your media coverage properly - the media-viewing public won't have any clue about or engagement with what you are about.

Look what a success the Carmarthen Show protest was ... embarrassed the Hell out of the landowners/ anglers concerned, as can be judged by the fact that - unusally - they've felt the need to seek media attention themselves, and judged by the vitriol of their public response.
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Post by caveman_si »

SJ wrote:
My feeling is that the best protest events are done where there is a real problem at or near the site of the event. There should be a body of water that cries out to be paddled but to which access is refused for no very good reason.

Mark R wrote
Yes, yes, yes. Otherwise - assuming you've sorted your media coverage properly - the media-viewing public won't have any clue about or engagement with what you are about.

Look what a success the Carmarthen Show protest was ... embarrassed the Hell out of the landowners/ anglers concerned, as can be judged by the fact that - unusally - they've felt the need to seek media attention themselves, and judged by the vitriol of their public response.

True for a one off event something close to a body of water which has access issues such as the WGF event would be better. But if you had people in fountains etc in every major city town village over the country on the same day at the same time highlighting the cause handing out flyers and talking to people then it wouldnt matter about the local water access as there would be national and local coverage (assuming it was organised properly) and we could highlight the wider lack of access issues for all.
BUT more importantly there would be a massive push to educate the public on the sameday.
I work in the Manchester/Liverpool area and I deal with people that work in flood risk management for the EA all the time and it is amazing how no one I have ever spoken to is even aware of the lack of access to rivers for paddler or the general public. And these are people that should know this type of thing as its probably part of there jobs. So what hope does joe public have of knowning if we dont get out there and tell them?

(Of course I make an effort to inform EA employess, where possible, over the access issues.)


Theres a few fountains in liverpool that I have had my eye on for a while so I am game for some public awareness. I am guessing Liverpool Uni Canoe Club might be up for it too. In fact if the bill isnt being read until Oct might be worth waiting to do the event untill sept when students are about as that could help boost numbers significantly.

edit spelling

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RichA
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Post by RichA »

What waters, apart from the sea and tidal sections of rivers, are 100% legal to paddle on?

There is apparent debate over the legality of paddling rivers. The Thames needs a license. Canals I think need a license too.

Reserviors? Duck ponds?

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Post by Jay Oram »

The proposal has been written and proof read by a number of people.

Thankyou to all those that have read it and others who have offered to help - I have e-mailed it to Tamsin Phipps and Andrew Green and am awaiting a reply.

I am going to ring them tommorow night if I have no reply by e-mail and am going to start contacting regional access officers to promote the idea.

I am away for the weekend doing a half marathon for charity and partying away, but will be back monday to keep organising things.

Keep the support coming and spread the word.

Jay

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phil_grice
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Post by phil_grice »

Nice work High Brace!

I'm with caveman_si, the more people that are aware the better. I work with a fair few people who, whilst not pafddlers, spen a lot of time participating in outdoor activities. They had no idea about the access problems.

I'm sure this is also true of many others who travel from the cities to enjoy the lake/peak district etc and would support our cause.

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RichA
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Post by RichA »

Someone had an idea a while ago about a mass paddle on the sea just offshore from a busy beach in high summer. Could that be tied in to this somehow? Or best kept seperate?

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Post by Jay Oram »

Rich A

it's a good idea but if it was held on a seperate day both the events would probably have more paddlers. possibly make a weekend of it. Saturday in a fountain - sunday in the sea.

Working on a date at the moment that doesn't get in the way of other events.

Jay

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