Lithuanian inline skaters need your support !

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CameraPlayers
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Lithuanian inline skaters need your support !

Postby CameraPlayers » Thu May 13, 2004 1:29 pm

Dear fellow skaters!

We're sorry to bother you, but Lithuanian inline skaters need assistance of fellow skaters from all around the globe ! At the moment our club has started a new initiative to reclaim Vingis park. This park is the main park in Vilnius, Lithuania. It is located not far away from the city centre and could be the ideal place for inline skaters, bicyclists, joggers and other folks who sometimes want to escape from the noise of the jammed city streets. There is one problem, though. For several years now the park has been simply forgotten by the municipality of Vilnius. Due to the symbolic maintenance of the park most bicycle and pedestrian paths deteriorated over time and now are in extremely bad conditions that it is almost impossible to skate.

A new private restaurant opened in the middle of our park a couple of years ago. During those two years the restaurant kept expanding and building new attractions in order to get more customers. Eventually the owners of this joint obviously pulled the right strings and the municipality of Vilnius decided to open the park for car drivers. Last autumn they took away traffic signs that banned traffic in the park, so now it's a common sight to see cars driving in the park.

Today skating scene is not very big in Vilnius and it might shrink even more if we don't reclaim our park ! We cannot afford to lose Vingis park ! That's why we've been sending e-mails to the municipality of Vilnius and we've urged other people to support our action ! We think that some international support would also be very helpful, that's why we ask you:

1. Write an e-mail to the municipality of Vilnius ( see below and copy text or add your own comments) and express your concers regarding Vingis park.

2. Post this information on your web-site and urge other inline skaters to support us.

3. Forward this e-mail to other skating organisations or individuals!

With best regards,

Thursday Night Fever

http://www.inlineskating.lt

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and here's the text with emails from our poster ( you can find the poster on your web site ):

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Vilnius Inline skating Club ├óÔé¼┼ôThursday Night Fever├óÔé¼┬Ø invites everybody to join a civil action ├óÔé¼┼ôVingis park belongs to you!├óÔé¼┬Ø

Participants of this action seek to revive the main park of Vilnius and to turn it into a real center of healthiness that could be visited by everyone looking for rest and peace, running away from the noise of city cars.

If you think that Vingis park should be hospitable not for car drivers arriving to the restaurant situated in the center of the park, but to people preferring both peaceful and active ways of life (cyclists, inline-skaters, joggers and pedestrians and etc.) first of all, send this appeal by e-mail e.vicemeras@vilnius.lt to the municipality of Vilnius (Attention! Also send a copy of your e-mail to tnf@omni.lt and we├óÔé¼Ôäóll display your e-mail on our web site):

├óÔé¼┼ôI support this initiative to make up Vingis park and urge the municipality of Vilnius:

├é┬À To ban car traffic in the territory of the park
├é┬À To renovate tracks and lanes for pedestrians and cyclists to make them safe for roller-skaters and skateboarders
├é┬À To build playgrounds for children, and sports grounds for football, basketball, roller-skates, skateboards and the like.

If you don├óÔé¼Ôäót care about it, then nobody does!

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Postby n_prenom » Thu May 13, 2004 1:46 pm

I don't want to be pessimistic and I do believe your action is right, but I don't see why the municipality would bother satisfying people like us who are not users of the park nor citizens of Vilnius ? Especially if there are big bucks at stake from the restaurant business...

Thinking of that, I remember in Central Park they only close the streets during the week end, for skaters, bikers, pedestrians, etc. It's true that the park also has plenty of alleys which are car-free all week long, but it may be a compromise ? Also, if the issue is about access to the restaurant within the park, maybe one or a couple of roads could be left for the cars while the others are closed, so everybody's happy ?

Good luck anyway !

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Postby CameraPlayers » Thu May 13, 2004 2:11 pm

Well, I understand all the pesimism and to some degree I understand that life ain't fair most of the time ....... that big bucks rule while skaters and joggers suck, but does that mean that we should simply give up then, toss our inline skates in the garbage bin and do something else ( how about playing chess. huh ?)? :x

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Postby CameraPlayers » Thu May 13, 2004 2:18 pm

all we ask is to show some support and help us reclaim some public space that now is being given away to vehicles ..... and that's the only place where we could skate and bother nobody .... your support means = spend 1 minute of your time and send an e-mail to the municipality and then maybe those damn bureaucrat will do something (u)

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Postby n_prenom » Thu May 13, 2004 3:23 pm

CameraPlayers wrote:Well, I understand all the pesimism and to some degree I understand that life ain't fair most of the time ....... that big bucks rule while skaters and joggers suck, but does that mean that we should simply give up then, toss our inline skates in the garbage bin and do something else ( how about playing chess. huh ?)? :x


Watch out here, I love playing chess !!!

Seriously, I've been dealing with politicians and public authorities for a long time, especially in emerging countries, and unless they are really nice and comprehensive (which can happen, but very rarely !), you'll need an edge to get your claim through. Peer pressure may be working, if it's REAL pressure. I.e, citizen pressure for a mayor because he gets elected ; public opinion pressure because politicians are cautious with media and public image, etc.

IMHO, pressure on the mayor of Vilnius from unknown skaters in foreign countries is no pressure: he will simply not care.

I think your claim may be working better through other (or complementary) channels than pressure: money is not a choice, so the alternative ways are negotiating an agreement, and using relationship. Negotiation means trying the middle line, keeping everybody happy (though I agree you'll still some convincing to get the negotiation started in the first place). That's what I referred to before by talking with the restautant owners for instance.

Relationship is trying to find someone who is both close to the mayor AND will be sympathetic to your cause, somebody who will sell it for you (like: does he have kids ? Do they skate / bike ?). Another way to look at it, is finding someone who will be better than you to put pressure on the mayor: you have very little chance to grab the medias attention as a bunch of anonymous skaters, but if a known personality supports you (artist, journalist, etc.), then you'll improve your chances of being heard.

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Postby CameraPlayers » Thu May 13, 2004 4:44 pm

well .. I agree with your remarks and thanks for advise ! actually, we're trying to work in several directions and support e-mails are just one of them .... they helped us a lot last summer when another city in Lithuania banned skating, boarding and biking in the main streets of that town. And it caught the attention of local media, too :) so this ban was lifted last autumn by the municipality of that town .... and as I said previously, one has to spend less than one minute to send that e-mail .......

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Postby CameraPlayers » Fri May 14, 2004 6:13 am

check out recent news at http://www.skatelog.com - the establishment is proposing bans on skating, skateboarding and etc. in other parts of the world ... if we're gonna sit and do nothing, then one day this ban is gonna come to a place near you ......

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Postby CameraPlayers » Mon May 17, 2004 9:02 pm

Pictures of our park can be accessed here http://www.inlineskating.lt/pictures/vi ... ame=vingis

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Postby CameraPlayers » Mon May 17, 2004 9:04 pm

our forum is right here at http://www.inlineskating.lt/forum .... there's a small section dedicated to guests from other countries .... if you plan 2 visit our country or just wanna ask smtg about the skating scene in Lithuania - your questions won't be ignored !

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VINGIS PARK

Postby Grampz » Sun May 23, 2004 7:27 am

I have tried posting on your website but no luck.

I have written a protest on your behalf to the authorities but the e-mail address
" tnf(-at-)omni.lt " is not valid according to my system.

I have fond memories of your city and hope to return one day to explore more of the traditions and history.

Mazylielis (Grampz)

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Vingis Park

Postby Grampz » Sun May 23, 2004 8:33 am

Here is a copy of my e-mail:


I support this initiative to make up Vingis park and urge the municipality of Vilnius:

├é┬À To ban car traffic in the territory of the park.

├é┬À To renovate tracks and lanes for pedestrians and cyclists to make them safe for roller- skaters and skateboarders.

├é┬À To build playgrounds for children, and sports grounds for football, basketball, roller-skates, skateboards and the like.

You are an emerging nation and something like this restoration will show that you have your people to heart. Maybe there is some E U incentive and money to assist in such a challenge.

Mazylielis
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Postby CameraPlayers » Wed May 26, 2004 2:46 pm

Thank you for your support, mate ! The tnf at omni.lt is a valid address, however, sometimes their server or something else goes crazy. Thanks for your support, anyway ! Hope you e-mailed your letter to the municipality, haven't ya? Tonight they'll mention about our initiative on local TV news. Hope that eventually they'll have to do something about the park, cause we ain't gonna back down :) And by the way, when did you visit Lithuania?

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Postby Grampz » Thu May 27, 2004 7:07 am

Yes I did get my posting to the authorities Ok it was just the CC one that bounced.
I have friends in Vilnius & Plunge and last visited them Sept. 2002. I may be over later this year and will bring my in-lines if I do (y)

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Postby CameraPlayers » Thu May 27, 2004 10:00 am

That's great ! Give us a shout when you come back to Vilnius ! (b) (b) (b)


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