Protests against Wellington Airport’s Wellywood sign have gained momentum, with protesters yesterday conducting marches and hunger strikes.
A group of protesters led by veteran activists Sue Bradford and John Minto abandoned plans for a march for equality, and instead barricaded themselves inside the main terminal of Wellington Airport.
They were joined late last night by a members of the activist group Death To Wellywood, who have commenced a hunger strike and are refusing to move from the terminal until the plan to build the sign has been abandoned.
Meanwhile a large group gathered outside Parliament to demand the government take urgent action against Wellington Airport.
One woman in the noisy crowd, Carmel Valera, explained why she was at the protest.
“I’m outraged at this. I live a comfortable middle class existence, and I wouldn’t normally dream of waving a protest banner. Certainly not if it meant having to stand among the poor and oppressed demanding social justice and an end to inequality.
“But this sign will be an eyesore and will offend my delicate sensitivities. Death to Wellington Airport! Death to all of them!”
Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira said he would lead a hikoi to march on Wellington in protest at the sign.
“That sign must not go up,” said Mr Harawira.
Harawira confirmed he was abandoning his byelection campaign for the Te Tai Tokerau seat, because a more pressing issue was the need to ensure Wellington Airport’s proposed sign was never erected.
“Poverty and injustice will always be with us, and it’s a battle we’ll always be fighting,” said Mr Harawira. “But we can stop this sign right now. All that other stuff can wait.”
Harawira has allied himself with a newly formed group Racists Against This Sort Of Thing, a white supremacist organisation devoted to being racist.
Group leader Kyle Chapman said he liked the colour of the proposed sign, but said the message on the sign was the wrong one.
“”We were keen on something simple but less derivative, something that spoke to our values. Something like ‘GO HOME YOU STUPID DIRTY FOREIGNERS, AND WHILE YOU’RE AT IT TAKE YOUR COMMUNIST IDEALS AND SMELLY FOODS WITH YOU, YOU’RE NOT WELCOME HERE, UNLESS YOU’RE WHITE”.
Mr Chapman said he was not worried about working with Hone Harawira.
“Normally I’d be wishing him dead, but for the racist community this issue is much bigger than personalities. I’ll work with anyone, whether he be white or… or… I’m sorry, what was the question again?”
UPDATE: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has confirmed he will relinquish control of his country, but only if Wellington Airport agrees not to erect the Wellywood sign.
“I will stand aside, but not if this satanic sign goes up”, said the Libyan leader.
It is understood that Gaddafi has a role in the upcoming Hobbit films as the Goblin king, but is refusing to fly into Wellington for filming if the sign is built.
UPDATE 2: Wellington Airport management have confirmed they will no longer proceed with the Wellywood sign. They are instead going to build a giant penis.