DMZ: Fig guardians, above, and security guards, below, who don’t always wear their hard hats. – Main picture by Phil HearneWITH the figs on borrowed time, their watchers cling to each milestone.
Nanjing Night Net

Save Our Figs’ Sharon Healey told us she’d found a diary entry from December 14 last year, about a council resolution she’d thought guaranteed the trees’ future.

Supporters defiantly celebrated that decision’s one-year anniversary.

‘‘Moral to the story: don’t take your eyes off the political ball,’’ Ms Healey told us.

With the figs seemingly safe until the end of the year, the group has invited people to celebrate what they refuse to accept will be their last Christmas.

‘‘You are invited to the Fig Kids Christmas Picnic in gorgeous, fig-lined Civic Park on Sunday’’, a flyer says, brightly.

At the cage fences that lock the street, sprawled supporters keep watch.

Some get there at 4.30am, and are joined after sunrise by pro-fig councillors with coffee.

Like North and South Korean soldiers at the edge of the demilitarised zone, they’re within talking distance of the security guards.

‘‘Some are friendly, others are highly suspicious,’’ SOF sentry Roz Ramplin said.

The watchers are on first-name terms with some of the guards, who don’t all wear the recommended hard hats.

Fig supporters’ phones were busy on Friday morning when a truck and a cherry-picker roared into Laman Street, but it was a false alarm.

They were there to trim trees at the corner of Auckland Street. When the figs’ day arrives, we suspect the city will find there’s life in this protest yet.