The Free Hugs Campaign: Spreading the Love


The creation of this surprising breakout, smash-hit video came about following an inadvertent encounter and a hug that Juan Mann (One Man), “The Free Hugger,” gave to Shiman More (the lead singer of the Sick Puppies) more than a year ago.  Sick Puppies is an up-and-coming band from Sydney, Australia, made up of three former Mosman High School students.

At the time, the singer, Shimon Moore, was working menial odd jobs during the day and playing with the band in small clubs at night. “I was one of those guys at the Pitt Street Mall in Sydney with a sandwich board advertising a shoe sale,” Moore said.  The two young men became friends, and Moore ended up borrowing his father’s video camera to shoot some footage of “The Hug Man” at work.

However, The Hug Man’s enthusiastic efforts to spread the love became a little too successful and popular for some people’s comfort and liking, according to a blurb on the YouTube video that announced: “As this symbol of human hope spread across the city, police and officials ordered the Free Hugs Campaign BANNED.”

But then, The Petition began.  Refusing to be impeded by an arbitrary bureaucratic decision, Mann’s determination led to the swift collection of more than 10,000 signatures on a petition supporting the Campaign, which he then presented to the Sydney City Council.  Demands for a halt to the hugs faded away shortly thereafter, and the end of the video clip shows Mann giving one of his “Free Hugs” to a City Official.

I’m Giving Away Free Hugs!




One Response to “The Free Hugs Campaign: Spreading the Love”

  1. Joy Says:

    12/3/06 – Hi! Who has information on folks who are gathering in Chicago during the holi-daze to give Free Hugs to stressed shoppers?

    Anyone have an ‘organized’ group?

    Thanks ~ Joy :^)

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