A neat combination of online and offline protesting took place in London today, as thousands of people who had signed an online petition were transformed into little cardboard characters and placed outside the Houses of Parliament.

The petition and ‘protest’ were organised by the Fairtrade Foundation, and called on Prime Minister David Cameron to prioritize the rights of smallholder farmers in his trade policy in the run up to June’s G8 Summit. The cardboard figures, one for each signature on the petition, were created using Mint Digital’s Foldable.Me service which, as we’ve previously reported, allows users to create a customized cardboard character in their own likeness.

The Fairtrade Foundation says the total number topped 8,000. Those of you with an eye for British celebrities may recognize a few in the swarming ranks in the photos below.

Sure, this was largely an eye-catching media stunt, but it does make us wonder what other ways technology could be used to make a point when protesting. We’ve already seen an app to help protesters avoid police ‘kettling’.

foldableme1 730x319 Thousands of tiny cardboard people stage a protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London

foldableme2 730x430 Thousands of tiny cardboard people stage a protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London

foldableme3 730x280 Thousands of tiny cardboard people stage a protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London

Image credits: AFP / Getty Images: 1, 23,