Pick a cause and then fight for it!

I came across this YouTube video:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzE-IMaegzQ&w=560&h=349]

That guy is worthy of respect, not just for putting together a thoughtful and entertaining video, but for his willingness to endure physical injury to make a valid point.  Some would say the man is foolish, but folly and bravery go hand in hand.

I once orchestrated my own similar campaign in – you guessed it – Israel.  In Israel, pedestrians do not have rights.  Automobile have little expect pedestrians to move out the way and thus, by default, the car always has the right-of-way.  If they’re “considerate”, they’ll honk their horn.  They do have sidewalks in Israel, but as often as not, they are used as parking spaces.

It bothered me that I would have to leave the relative safety of the sidewalk, and venture into busy streets, in order to reach my destination.  It bothered me a lot more when my children could not even get to school without being forced to walk in the street.  At one point I took matters into my own hands.  I bought some fairly large stickers and wrote on them “the sidewalk is for pedestrians”.  When I came across a car parked on the sidewalk, I would affix one of my stickers to its windshield – directly in the driver’s field of view.  The hot sun would do the rest.  There was one truck driver, who would regularly park right in front of my daughter’s school, who needed a few stickers to finally get the point.  His windshield had a grid in front of it (to protect it from Palestinian rocks) so it must have been a chore for him to remove the stickers.

There was one street, in particular, that was a problem and it was en route to my daughter’s school.  The entire length of the sidewalk was used for parking.  On the other side was a construction site.  In the wee hours of the night, I would go there and collect large pieces of stone and concrete from the construction site and place them at the edge of the sidewalk to block entrance from the street.  In the morning, it would be obvious why they were there.  Once in a while, a driver would remove the stones and park there anyway.  He would return to find the stones on top of his car, still in a straight line.  I did this for a month or two.  Eventually, the city built a metal barrier to save me the trouble.  One small victory for me!

It has been a long time since I’ve visited Israel.  I’d like to think that things have improved.  Perhaps a reader can give us an update.

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6 Responses to Pick a cause and then fight for it!

  1. J says:

    Until I watched these videos on YouTube I thought you were being at least half-serious.
    Apparently it’s still happening, haha.

  2. Half Sigma says:

    In the U.S., they give out parking tickets. They don’t do that in Israel?

  3. White people are the Israeli pedestrians of the world. (With apologies to John Lennon.)

  4. destructure says:

    If someone did that around here their car might possibly be “keyed”. Same for taking up two parking spaces. I would never key anyone but I did once have a problem with where a neighbor was parking. When I asked the guy nicely not to park there he laughed and said he’d do whatever he wanted. So early one morning I let the air out of a tire and removed the valve stem. Pumping up a tire only takes 5 minutes. But having to get another valve stem first adds another 45. Plus being late for work because the stores aren’t open yet. I only had to do it once.

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