Land campaigning building to a BOOM

Posted by Ian Sullivan Digital Campaigner

11th Oct 2012

It's been a fantastic first week of land campaigning with stunts, action and a social sonic boom.

It's less than a week since we launched our latest campaign, to stop land grabs but so much has been going on in the UK and around the world that we've be manically busy - and loving it!

To launch the campaign Oxfam supporters headed to London with some hard hats, tape, banners and diggers to grab some of our capitals better known landmarks. It generated some great media coverage and supporters took to social media sites to make some noise about land grabs causing hunger and poverty. They even managed to make the hashtag #landgrabs trend as the fifth most talked about subject on Twitter in the UK.

Campaigners outside Westminster. Credit::Andy Hall/OxfamWith this support we're calling on the World Bank to freeze their investments in big land deals for six months while they make sure that they work for the world's poorest people. Currently, rich land investors are buying up large tracts of land across Africa and beyond, an area the size of a football pitch is bought every second. Too many of these deals are tearing communities apart as people are thrown off the land that they rely on to grow food.  Without proper oversight of these deals, we can expect more horrific examples like this land grab from Guatemala. That's where the Bank, as a major lender to investors and an international standards setter, plays a key part.

This week, we're building on the momentum from launch and taking our call to stop land grabs right to the heart of the World Bank. Bank staff, Directors and their new President Jim Kim are in Tokyo to talk about their priorities in helping the world's poorest people. In advance they launched their own social media campaign asking, #whatwillittake to end poverty. With a little bit of a nudge from us thousands more Oxfam supporters messaged them to say that stopping land grabs should be top of their list of priorities. We even created a social sonic boom as hundreds of people donated a campaign tweet to help spread the word.

And while our colleagues in Japan were driving diggers across maps of Africa for the media, our supporters were making sure that the British government weren't feeling left out as our land girls and land grabbers turned up outside the Conservative Party Conference to highlight this issue to MPs and delegates.

It's been a great first week for the campaign and there is plenty more to come over the next few months. If you haven't yet, sign up and get involved www.oxfam.org.uk/land

Blog post written by Ian Sullivan

Digital Campaigner

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Ian Sullivan