World of DIY rainbows grows

DON'T get angry, get chalking.


That's the catchcry that spawned the rainbow-crossing phenomenon that went global in days after the multi-coloured pedestrian crossing that spanned Sydney's Oxford St was covered by bitumen on April 11.

James Brechney, creator of the Facebook page DIY Rainbow Crossings, which attracted the interest of more than 18,000 likers in a week, said since the page drew the attention of countries and cultures, he and four others have been working to manage the traffic on the page.

"I created the page a week ago," he said. "I thought it was a great way to share the 15 to 20 rainbow crossings that were being done that day in Sydney.

"I did not expect the explosion that happened all across Australia and come Sunday last week, rainbows came peppering in from around the world. Now they are everywhere."

From France to Hawaii, from near the steps of Sydney's Town Hall to Argentina, Zurich and across the US, the rainbow crossings have snowballed.

Originally introduced as a statement of gay pride, the rainbow crossing message has morphed through various guises into a celebration of global love.

Possum Creek resident George Gebhardt was one of many people who converged on the pedestrian crossing on Jonson St, Byron Bay on Thursday night armed with chalk to spread the rainbow crossing message.

"It was a good opportunity for a group of friends to get together and show their support for equality, and we thought Byron Bay needed to be involved," Mr Gebhardt said.

"There were kids involved - travellers, families and locals - in what started as a minor protest over the crossing on Oxford St that has taken on a different message and spread around the world."

Southern Cross University media lecturer Jeanti St Clair said while the prolific spread of a movement via social media was not new, Mr Brechney's suggestion to actively engage in chalking rainbow crossings contributed to the success of the Facebook page.

She said the instant communication via social media across nations and cultures made it the perfect platform to spread a message globally.

"The thing that differentiated James was that he was saying to just 'like' this and 'share' this, go out and buy some chalk and do something creative," she said.

"He encouraged people to get down and make a public expression because the expressions he was actually asking for were not on social media at all; they were out in the real world."

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