By ERWIN CHLANDA
Vigilante sentiments are alive and well in Alice Springs. One individual runs a website that speaks for two groups calling themselves the Concerned Residents Council (CRC) and the Alice Springs Volunteer Force (AVF).
A post and thread last Sunday, in the wake of rock throwing and vandalism last week, started with a summary of non-violent CRC activities, followed by an AVF “warning” that is an overt threat of violence.
The CRC pats itself on the back for having restored order (the spelling here has been maintained as it is on the site):
“If I had a pin I would drop it in most areas tonight, and hear it Bounce.
“I have taken a 30 min Break. I sent the Billy Goat Volunteers off site at midnight. Thanks to those who honked their horns and wished us well. Its not easy standing for 3 hours in the one spot.
“There has been no significant items brought to our attention in EAST NORTH LARA or GAP.
“For the next 2 hours the remainder of our volunteers will patrol and observe only.”
The tone of the statement on behalf of the AVF sounds far less benign:
“WARNING on behalf of AVF.
“Who breaks into houses in Alice Springs???? …… Potential victims of the Alice Springs Volunteer Force that’s who. You have been warned. House breakers Will not be tolerated. Formal warning to those wanting to Break into Houses or Steal cars will be declared after the AVF meeting on the Full Moon 4th May.
“Spread the word to yer buddies. Alice is no longer an easy target. If identified as Housebreaker, or car thief, you will be severely dealt with.
The response is mixed:-
“Dealt with how??? Vigilante style (with pitchforks and torches) or by the actual law???”
“Actually not pitchforks … Maybe some bats of some kind? Hahahaha”
“Sounds like this group provides more work for the NT Police, not a support group!”
“Maybe on horseback wearing white cloaks carrying fire torches!”
“I liked your post re CRC. But the AVF warning at the end smacks of a throwback to the UVF and the ‘troubles’ in Ireland. Pathetic.”
“I could tell you at least five stories about how the N.T police have let me down. I’m all for the community and police working together. If we can … But let’s not get it all out of control too…”
“I liked the crc but not the avf maybe you should have seperated the two!”
“This is just so good to read, what a difference you guys have / continue to make. Its nice to know there are people watching over our town for our safety. Thank you.
“The CRC and the AVF are not affiliated. I am a member of the CRC and spokesman for both entities. I must stress, that the CONCERNED RESIDENTS COUNCIL is not affiliated with the AVF anymore than the ALice Springs TOwn Council is.”
“So is the CRC the political wing of the AVF and is that why they both are in your post?”
“Well done, I’ll help when I’m in town … ! 2-3 weeks before the show is the time to worry. Last year breakers also killed the dogs. Hearts go out to those who lost a loved pet when their place was done over!”
By ERWIN CHLANDA