High-vis-wearing artists pull off billboard heist to call for action on climate change

A group of activists wearing hi-vis vests and appearing to work for a billboard company have managed to change dozens of bus shelter ads in a call for action.

A group of Aussie artists have pulled off a public advertising heist, managing to change dozens of billboard advertisements to ones calling for action on climate change.

Labelling it #BushfireBrandalism, the coalition of artists used the high-vis vests to quickly take over the bus shelters on January 30 across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

In a Facebook post, world-renowned artist and political muralist Scott Marsh said the group were reclaiming the advertisement spaces.

“As a collective group of Australian artists, we have been driven to reclaim public advertising space with posters speaking to the Australian government’s inaction on climate change and the devastating bushfires,” Mr Marsh said.

“We do not accept that this situation is ‘business as usual’.”

One of the billboards being changed. Picture: Scott MarshSource:Facebook
A billboard featuring the PM. Picture: Scott MarshSource:Facebook

The activism was quickly shut down by the advertising company with only a few of the 78 hacked billboards remaining.

Speaking to The GuardianMr Marsh said the hi-vis vests had been used as “a cloak of invisibility”.

Each artist who contributed a poster chose a bushfire-related charity, with a QR code at the bottom of the billboard taking the scanner to the charity’s website.

Mr Marsh paints murals around Australia and the world, which has included his famous painting of George Michael as an angel and another of Tony Abbott with his hand down George Pell’s pants after same-sex marriage was legalised.

Mr Marsh said his involvement in the bus shelter takeover was due to his frustration with the government.

“It’s really hit home for me,” he told The Guardian .

“I’m frustrated with the lack of action. I got distracted for a while, but you can smell it in the air that now is the time to really push on climate change. If nothing happens now, it’s never going to f**king happen.”

Blinky Bill fleeing fires. Picture: AnonymousSource:Facebook
An activist changing the billboard. Picture: Scott MarshSource:Facebook

As politicians reflected on the catastrophic summer and devastating bushfire season, climate protesters rallied outside Parliament House calling for more environmental action.

Parliament’s first sitting day of the year was entirely dedicated to the bushfires with Prime Minister Scott Morrison labelling the bushfire season where more than 30 people have died as the “Black Summer”.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the catastrophic events were climate change in action.

“We’ve seen our fellow Australians on the beach, in unimaginable scenes, huddled together in midday darkness with nowhere to turn but the sea, a horrific illustration that this was anything but business as usual.”

Taken from: https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/highviswearing-artists-pull-off-billboard-heist-to-call-for-action-on-climate-change/news-story/39fc6236a07cd0e55b8960e39ada1069