Block the roads

It takes a lot of provocation, but the truckies of Australia have, on several occasions, been driven to block the major highways to make their point. This video celebrates the most famous, the Razorback Blockade in 1979. When the original five drivers blocked the Hume between Camden and Picton, they didn’t even have a list of demands, they were just bloody angry! The confusion led to violence between truckies and police, but after some initial flurries the situation calmed and negotiations began. It took nine days to finally get the promises out of the NSW Government and the trucks started rolling again.


Razorback was followed by a similar event with the Yass Blockade in 1988. Again the Hume ground to a halt and the politicians came down to negotiate. More demands and more promises were made. Events the following year like the Grafton Truck and Bus crash, and the consequent government crackdown, provoked another blockade, this time in Albury, in February 1990. Fortunately, there have only been sporadic and short-lived blockades since. Does this mean the situation for trucks has improved? Or has the the truck industry structure changed, with fewer owner drivers and more, larger trucking firms?



Similar issues to those the truckies on Razorback were protesting about have raised their heads in China recently. The results seem to also have been similar, with some violence and a negotiations to get improved conditions. Again, many of the protesters are owner drivers.


In Kenya, the issues are very different, with thieves attacking trucks on un-policed highways, but the dynamics of the blockade are similar, with groups of angry drivers crowding around a TV crew to outline their grievances.