Uplift members have been leading campaigns and making waves all over Ireland. From increasing newborn screening from eight conditions to forty to saving the Clare Bus to calling for action on the Climate Emergency Bill. Uplift members around the island are upskilling and collectively utilising their resources to mobilise, from independent to community-led action, leading to people-powered change.
One campaign in particular that caught our attention was from the residents of Shankill village. The community mobilised to challenge to the National Transport Association (NTA) and BusConnect proposal of route 13 bus which would cut through Shankill village.
The 3000 people strong My Uplift petition will help stop a minimum of 166 properties being impacted, the removal of important parking spaces in Shankill village and stop an estimated 1000 trees being removed.  The proposal would impact on local traders, parking for the elderly and disabled, cause damage and destruction to local heritage sites including the old railway bridge, create safety issues for local school children and have environmental damage to local wildlife and green areas. The petition was delivered by hand by the group on Wednesday, 8th of May (7pm at NTA offices).
It has been an anxious time for the members of Shankill as they eagerly await the verdict of their proposals. For the locals of Shankill, this is their home, their community, their village and its environment that they stand to protect. All for a slightly reduced bus route. They have turned their anger and upset into passion, and used this as their tether to campaign to save the Shankill village.
Rob, a leader of the Shankill village campaign describes the community-led action,
“We have used everything at our disposal — community meetings, posters and leaflet drops, canvassing at doors, social media, Whatsapp groups, we have tied red ribbons around trees in the village and have mobilised hundreds to attend meetings and to support and help out.”
The group also ran their own social media campaign, which had success both on a national level and garnered local media attention.
The Shankill petition starters advise fellow Uplift members to not give up! “Give yourself a target of how many signatures you want, and then use every media channel available to drive awareness to hit your objective!”
More power to us all.
From the Uplift team.
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