Vale Vikki Riley – “a beautiful woman lost” … and still the trolls come out to play
This is Vikki Riley. We knew each other many years ago in very different lives and somehow both ended up in Darwin, a town she described as “one of the greatest cities in the world.”
Yesterday afternoon Vikki was struck by a car as she crossed McMillans Road in suburban Darwin while on her way to do what she loved and did best – advocating for and working with the many asylum seekers that find their unfortunate way to the various detention centres around Darwin.
It brings me no joy to record that while Vikki was lying in the hospital fighting for what little life she had left there were people willing to traduce the memory of a woman who at her worst would always be better than them at their pathetic best.
We’ve all seen the outrages over bad behaviour on social media over the past few months and years – the vicious and unwarranted attacks, the vicarious slurs, the demeaning of the good and great by petty and mindless bullies.
I’ll leave it to others who knew her better than I to write here – and at her Facebook page – of the good works she did.
But for now I think it is important – not to diminish our memories of her and her good life – but to expose those who have made thoughtlessly unworthy comments about a good woman they never knew.
Hopefully exposing these people will do some good – maybe the NT News will tighten up its policies on gratuitous and ugly comments and just maybe some of those who said these terrible things will examine what little consciences they apparently have and think again – not just about what they said yesterday but next time – and stop and think before pressing the “send” button.
And – thankfully – the negative and senseless comments were vastly outnumbered by those with sympathy for Vikki, her family and the unfortunate driver of the car.
Here are just some of the things said about the accident on the NT News Facebook page.
The NT News grab at the top of the post said: “CAR VS BIKE: A pushbike rider has been rushed to hospital with serious injuries after he was allegedly hit by a car on McMillans Rd in Darwin. Police are still at the scene. Please drive carefully…”
The responses included:
Matty Meow Meow: Well bike riders insist on riding on the road…. What do they think the outcome will be? All this bullshit about road safety, speed cameras, etc, yet they let bike riders share the roads/highways with cars? Yes I feel bad that the bike rider is hurt, but no sympathy for putting themselves in danger.
Yesterday at 5:16pm · Like
Mike Howard: Well mabye now this this stupid cyclist and other stupid cyclsts will learn that the road belongs to car users and not cyclists! this cyclist brought it upon him self for being a stupid moron by riding a bike on a road what motorists use. When will these fools learn thet they do not belong on our road!? Bikes are for kids and i see no reason why a fully grown adult will ride one. If you want to exercise go to the gym if you dont have a license catch a cab or public transport. Roads belong to cars not little kiddy push bikes!
Yesterday at 4:30pm · Edited · Like
Ben Fairless: Serve’s the bike rider right. Its a road, for cars, not for pissy little pushbikes.
Yesterday at 2:40pm · Like · 2
Artemis Ginnis: I am so sick and tired of driving in two lanes because I have a biker who wants to take up the whole space! There are foot paths that they choose not to use and as much as I hope this person(s) are ok and not badly injured, I hope this is a wake up call for all the other bike riders. It is scary for us in the vehicle – injuring them or ourselves. No on wants to get hurt on the road.
Yesterday at 2:39pm · Like · 6
Annicka Lernbom: to many bike riders ignor the bike tracks and prefer to ride on the roads pure stupidety bluntly
Yesterday at 1:50pm · Like · 13
Kelly Steele: So true Krystal, too often bike riders take on traffic and risk thier lives like its a race or something!
Yesterday at 1:50pm · Like · 3
Marcus Patiniotis: 100 points.
Yesterday at 1:51pm · Like · 2
This afternoon’s post at the NT News – and the news story on it’s website – attracted none of the trolls and haters seen the day before.
Up to the time I pressed “publish” on this post all of the comments were thoughtful and caring – just what social media should be at its best.
For mine this post from this afternoon says it all:
Khel Dolly-racquel Holt: Poor buggar…thoughts are with her loved ones… Was this the person that got knocked off her bike on mcmillins rd on the weekend? Doesn’t make an ounce of difference really but curious if all the ppl that posted derogatory comments about that accident have a friggin conscience…… Doesn’t matter about the reason why what matters is some family and friends are grieving for a beautiful woman lost…please respect that…rip lovely lady…
about an hour ago · Unlike · 6
Post script: This snippet comes from today’s report at the NT News website:
[Vikki] leaves behind her son Elijah, 7. Her partner Jimmy Hatton has requested that Darwin detainees be allowed attend her funeral next week.
I hope that DIAC allows those refugees with whom Vikki worked so closely for so long the opportunity to farewell their friend and tireless advocate.
If you have some memories of Vikki and her work that you want to share – in a troll free zone, I promise to moderate any inappropriate comments – then please do.