Some rally protests were over the line

ARE we so different in this part of the world?

Apparently we are.

As the World Rally juggernaut winds down in Kyogle and Tweed shires, organisers must be seriously doubting the wisdom of staging the event in this area.

Perhaps they underestimated the passion local people feel for the environment. They certainly underestimated the lengths to which locals would go to make their opinions known.

Rally chairman Garry Connelly said World Rally stages held in other part of the world had been subjected to threats and protests 'from time to time'.

But here in the Rainbow Region the rally has attracted direct action ranging from boulders placed on the rally route and rocks thrown at competitors' cars to threats of frozen road kill being thrown on the road.

In light of the actions of protesters over the weekend, it will be interesting to see whether rally organisers rethink any plans to stage the event in this region in the future.

Protesters may regard this outcome as a victory, but their actions in achieving any such result should not be condoned.

Endangering the lives of competitors is a long way from the spirit of peaceful protest that is a hallmark of environmental activism in this region.

Protests should have remained peaceful and targeted at organisers, not drivers.

As driver Sebastian Loeb said: “The people are not so happy to see us. They don't have to be angry at the drivers. We are just doing our jobs. Sometimes people don't like us in front of their houses, but I didn't ask to come here. I can understand why some people don't like the rally, but I have to do my job.”

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