Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Activist knitting!

Here's an example from 2002 of how knitting can be a powerful statement for change:

G8 Protesters Turn to Knitting Blankets to Needle Heavy Security Presence
CALGARY -- Anti-globalization protestors hit the streets here to protest this year's Group of Eight summit, armed with knitting needles instead of the bottles, petrol bombs and stones that rocked last year's meeting in Italy.

More than 1,000 protesters turned to creative gimmicks Wednesday to press for Third World debt relief and to denounce corporate greed -- a stark contrast to the militancy expressed by the 150,000 protesters who descended on last July's G8 meeting in Genoa, Italy.

Last year, window-smashing and car-burning protesters left the streets of Genoa in tatters. One protester was shot dead by a policeman.

This year, several dozen protesters, seeking to needle the city's heavy police presence, gathered on a stretch of Calgary's main pedestrian street to collectively knit in protest.

"I'm knitting 12-inch (30 centimeter) squares that will get into blankets for the homeless," said 74-year-old Patricia Grinstead.

"What we're doing is symbolic. Another thing about the blankets is that they represent warmth and security because we feel we are losing our security."

Grant Neufeld, the young founder of the Revolutionary Knitting Circle, said knitting was symbolic of "community independence."

"We need as communities to be able to take care of ourselves because when we are not able to take care of ourselves, we end up dependent on others -- in this case the corporation -- to survive."

Here's another article, more recent, about guerilla knitting, that appeared in the Guardian on January 31.

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