Resistance Update 8/22/2017
Last week I posted a general update after taking part of the summer off from these regular resistance blog posts. This week, I want to get back to the What Happened and What You Can Do Next format.
The lists of what happened — the “not normal” things that are being done in and around the Trump regime — are documented by Amy Siskind in her weekly list. The most recent list has over 100 items in it.
After the so-called president’s god-awful comments in response to the horrific events at a white supremacist event in Charlottesville, Virginia last week, I would like to talk about the more recent Boston counter protest to the “Free Speech” (a term that has, sadly, recently turned into a euphemism for Nazi and white supremacist hate speech) “Rally” (a term that is, sadly, being used by white supremacist groups to describe their attempts to start race riots).
On Saturday, a measly group of about 40 Nazis gathered in Boston Common to spew their foul hate speech. Their “rally” was cut short because 40,000 — you read that right FORTY THOUSAND — counter protestors showed up! The counter protest crowd was so big, that many of the Nazis couldn’t even make it to their own event.
Some people thought this was overkill, but I was so proud to be an American and see that there 1,000 decent human beings for each hate monger. And after the so-called alt-right organizers saw the Boston reaction to their crap, they cancelled 67 “America First” rallies that had been scheduled in 36 states.
Keep up the good work. It’s hard work. It’s time consuming. It is exhausting, sometimes. But we have to save our democracy. No one else is going to do the work for us.
What You Can Do Next
There are lots of great craftivist resistance opportunities around right now.
Lots of crafters are making Hearts for Charlottesville to spread some love in the city where white supremacists did their best to scare us off last weekend. The residents of Charlottesville are asking for help to spread the love. “Be A Force Of Love! Our city was invaded Aug. 12, 2017 by groups of hate. They inflicted violence in our streets and on our citizens ultimately taking three lives from our community. These groups DO NOT represent who we, the people of Charlottesville, are. We will not allow hate to infiltrate our loving community. We’re hanging knitted/crocheted hearts all around our city demonstrating that love defeats hate. If you see one take it home with you as a reminder that we are unified in love in Charlottesville.” Their about page has links to patterns.
If you need lots of ideas, pick up a copy of the new book Crafting the Resistance: 35 Projects for Craftivists, Protestors, and Women Who Persist by Lara Neel and Heather Marano. Take politics into your own hands, literally, and craft your message out into the world. Including an essay and quotes on the history and importance of craftivism, Crafting the Resistance is the ultimate book for political crafters, DIY activists, empowered protestors, and any woman—or man—who is part of the resistance.
The LGBTQ+Equality for Shawl by nycraft craftivist (aka Beth) is new on Ravelry. The pattern is free but the designer requests that you make a donation to one of the causes she lists in the pattern. She says, “I created this shawl because I was angry at 45’s tweet banning transgender people from the military. I chose to take my protest to my needles! It seemed many people were unfamiliar with the trans flag and I decided to add that image to the ubiquitous rainbow design for a wearable easy-to-make shawl.”
The shawl pattern is also available on Craftivist.net for those who aren’t Ravelry users.
The Holding Hope Kerchief by Taylor Rutledge is also free and the designer requests donations be made to causes she’s listed. She says, “As I watched the news from Charlottesville, Virginia in August of 2017…like so many people I didn’t know what to do. But I did have to go to work at our local yarn store. I grabbed a mini skein I had from The Yarn at Home Mom in the vibrant color Glow. I started to knit…to mess around with what I could do with 87 yards. I thought about Heather Heyer and still wondered what I could do. I ended up with this simple kerchief, and I wore it to an anti-hate rally the next evening. I wrote down the pattern and decided one thing I can do is offer this pattern for my kerchief…a knitted prayer… to anyone who wants it.”
The Welcome Blanket Project deadline has been extended to November, so you still have time to make a blanket to welcome refugees to the United States. The organizers say, “The enthusiasm and dedication for Welcome Blanket have been amazing so far. We want the momentum to keep going. So, we are making time and space to include more work and more voices in this project. That includes YOUR work and YOUR voice.”
If you’re not familiar with The Welcome Blanket Project, you really should check it out. A welcome blanket is traditionally created to lovingly mark the arrival of a new person into the world. In the Welcome Blanket Project, each handmade blanket is a physical manifestation of this celebration of new refugees and other immigrants: “Welcome to the United States and your new life here! We are so glad you have arrived.” The website has free crochet, knitting, and quilting patterns plus lots of additional information.