Taking on Goliath

The campaign against corporations that benefit from the Israeli occupation is only growing (including favoured Palestinians close to colluding President Mahmoud Abbas).

The latest from suburban Melbourne:

A small band of residents in the West urged commuters at the Footscray train station last Thursday to “dump Connex” as the State Government reviews shortlisted contenders for a new contract.

The group, led by Yarraville resident Margarita Windisch, targeted Footscray’s morning peak commuters with brochures and a petition to get rid of the train service operators.

The group has done similar spot rallies at the Yarraville station and other stations across the West.

The group has also taken the petition on train trips to get angry commuters to sign.

Hundreds of commuters have already signed the petition, which will be delivered to Transport Minister Lynne Kosky next month when commuters will protest outside her office.

Connex has applied for the new contract through its French parent company Veolia.

French firm Keolis and Hong Kong’s MTR have also put their hands up.

Whoever wins the contract will run Melbourne’s train network for eight years from 1 December.

Ms Windisch said the State Government should listen to overwhelming public opinion and take control of the train network itself.

Ms Windisch said she is held up at least twice a week from a late or cancelled train.

She was 30 minutes late to work in the city on Wednesday morning after the 8.21am train from Yarraville station arrived late.

She said commuters had resorted to catching earlier trains to try and avoid delays.

“This is a daily occurrence. It’s not something that happens occasionally. People have had enough.

“Commuters have had a horrific summer, the network literally collapsed.

“We targeted Footscray because it is quite an essential station. It covers both the Werribee and Sydenham lines and both of these lines have been really, really suffering from the lack of infrastructure that the government and Connex haven’t been providing.

“(They’re) some of the worst lines with the amount of passengers that are travelling.”

Ms Windisch said residents were also anti-Connex after the company recently won a $500 million 30-year contract to operate an “apartheid” light rail system in occupied Palestine that would acquire many Palestinian homes.

“The vast majority of commuters hate Connex already because of its utter inability to run a proper transport system.

“Connex’s contract to build and operate the Israeli light rail project confirms that they will do anything to make a dollar – including profiting from apartheid.”

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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