Protect Ihumātao signs appear in London streets

August 23, 2019

Protect Ihumātao signs appear in London streets

“Protect Ihumātao” posters have been appearing in busy areas in central London. Credit: Protest Stencil/FB

Londoners are seeing professionally installed signs alerting them to the occupation at Ihumātao on the sides of bus stops in the central city.

London-based Protest Stencil installed the signs and posted photos on its social media on Monday, triggering a surge of support for the protestors.

The group, calling itself a “subvertiser”, consists of activists from Palestine, New Zealand and the UK who specialises in making headlines by installing subversive political signs and posters into the London advertising space.

A spokesperson from the group said they installed the “Protect Ihumātao” signs at different locations around the city to demonstrate solidarity with the campaigners.

“We are in the heart of the former British Empire, and so we also emphasise the legacy of colonialism in on-going dispossession,” the spokesperson said.

“We admire and support the land protectors at Ihumātao and all communities resisting dispossession, occupation and colonialism globally.”

In New Zealand, campaign supporter Whenua Warrior said she hadn’t heard about the signs but was “super super stoked” that they were in London.

Another supporter, Zoë Poutu Fay, said London was a significant place for the signs to appear.

“I do think it’s significant support coming from the heart of the colonial empire.”

Protest Stencil sometimes receive funding for projects but they funded the Ihumātao signs itself. The large signs feature the red, white and black colour scheme of tino rangatiratanga and the words “Protect Ihumātao” and “as land was taken so land must be returned".

The photos posted to the group’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages included links to the Protect Ihumātao website and the donation page on Action Station.

The occupation at Ihumātao has been recognised for its effective use of social media to grow support and spread awareness.

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