LGBTQ+ activists hijack London ads to share messages from queer Palestinians

Bus and tube advertisements in London were hacked and replaced with placards sharing the stories of LGBTQ+ Palestinians amid the Hamas-Israel conflict.

This article is about London ads displaying messages from LGBTQ+ Palestinians. In the photo, an activists in the tube hanging one of the placards to the train.
Image: Via Instagram - @thedykeproject

A group of LGBTQ+ activists called The Dyke Project hijacked tube and bus ads in London to share messages and stories from queer Palestinians and call for a ceasefire in the Hamas-Israel conflict.

In a statement to Vice released on October 27, a Transport for London spokesperson confirmed that tube, rail and bus ads had been hacked and they were working on removing them. “We are aware of unauthorized adverts on the TfL network and have begun to remove them, as is our standard practice,” the spokesperson said.

Claiming responsibility for the action, The Dyke Project shared that they hijacked over 100 advertisements across London public transport and replaced them with placards displaying messages from queer people in Gaza, as reported by Truth Out. The messages in question came from the website Queering the Map, where numerous queer Palestinians have started to share their stories after violence in Gaza escalated amid the Hamas-Israel conflict.

One such message read, “I’ve always imagined you and me sitting out in the sun, hand and hand, free at last. We spoke of all the places we would go if we could. Yet you are gone now. If I had known that bombs raining down on us would take you from me, I would have gladly told the world how.”



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Un post condiviso da The Dyke Project (@thedykeproject)

Another user shared, “I adored you more than anything. I’m sorry I was a coward.”

“Pls know despite what the media says there are gay Palestinians. We are here, we are queer. Free Palestine,” someone else posted.

On the hacked London ads, the messages from LGBTQ+ Palestinians were accompanied by words of solidarity from The Dyke Project, who shared: “The Queer community stands with our Palestinian siblings. We all deserve freedom, safety, and belonging.”

“We call for an end to the occupation [of Palestine] and an end to the British funding and arming of Israel’s military,” the statement continued. “None of us are free until all of us are free.”


Taking to Instagram to share a picture of one of the placards, the group reiterated that as queer people, they “recognise the impact of colonialism and state violence” and called out Israel’s “‘pinkwashing’ and the guise of progressive queer politics to distract from and legitimise its violence against Palestinians”.

The group referred to a deliberate strategy employed by the Israeli government to distract from its politics of apartheid and occupation of Palestine by drawing attention to a supposedly positive track record on LGBTQ+ rights. This “pinkwashing campaign” was launched almost 20 years ago by Israeli nonprofit StandWithUs and has been instrumental in enhancing the world’s image of the country.

After the Hamas attack against Israel took place on October 7, numerous public figures opposed LGBTQ+ people expressing solidarity with Palestine by saying that Hamas is homophobic. Among these was the State of Israel’s official X account which sarcastically shared: “Looking forward to seeing Hamas raise the rainbow flag across Gaza as a thank you for your solidarity.”

Gaza has been under siege since the Hamas attack, which saw over 1,400 people killed and 200 others taken as hostages. In response, the Israeli government launched a multitude of air strikes against Gaza that killed over 8,000 people and also cut off deliveries of food, water, fuel and medical supplies.

According to the Associated Press, more than 1.4 million people have been forced to flee since the airstrikes began, and Head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Philippe Lazzarini, said that “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire has become a matter of life and death for millions”.

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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