• June 3, 2020
Protesters flock to Aotea Square in support of the #blacklivesmatter movement. Photo: Valerie Tan.
The use of social media was key in encouraging more than 4000 protestors to gather at Aotea Square for the Black Lives Matter march on Monday, 1 June, 2020.
The protests came after the death of African American George Floyd at the hands of a police officer.
With less than 24 hours’ notice, Lulu Tekeste managed to get the word out to thousands of New Zealanders to stand in solidarity with the US.
Many credited social media, mostly Instagram, as the primary source for generating crowds for the protests and attracting a number of New Zealand influencers like Paris Goebel.
“Social media, that’s the wave today,” said Keisha, one of Ms Tekeste’s friends.
“It just beats every other means of communication. Word of mouth. It’s all organic. Everything here is grassroots.”
Click here to listen to Ms Tukeste’s friends discussing the importance of social media.
One protestor, a Kiwi-American, had heard of the march taking place through a friend, who had seen the campaign poster on her Instagram feed.
“I just got a message from my friend,” she said.
“And turns out we have a march today. So, all of just made plans to come here.”