portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

A very Canadian form of Protest... which works...

interesting approach here. The crux of the action is it is non-threatening, creative, and allows interaction from those seeking information.
Revolutionary Stitching

from: Interweave Knits; Winter 2002/2003 --
www.interweave.com

Last June, while leaders of Britain, Canada, France,
Germany, Italy,
Japan, Russia, and the U.S. were arriving for the
two-day G8 summit
in Canada and fighter jets were crisscrossing the skies
for
protection, protestors staged an event that security
personnel
hadn't anticipated: a peaceful knit-in along Calgary's
main
pedestrian throughfare. Organized by the Revolutionary
Knitting
Circle, a loosely structured international network of
knitters who
are committed to social activism and reject corporate
globalization,
the 21/2 hour event drew over sixty needleworkers
ranging from
children to grandparents. As media swarmed around the
unlikely
spectacle - a sharp contrast to the violence they
covered so heavily
at last year's summit in Genoa - protestors fielded
questions,
worked on personal projects, taught newcomers, and set
up a seven-
foot-long handknitted banned appliqued with the word
"Revolution"
spelled out in floral bedsheet. Worked in a 2 x 2 rib in
worsted-
weight yard on size 15 needles, the banner was the
creation of Grant
Neufield, RKC member and event organizer.

"The knitting opens up opportunities to talk about the
issues we
care about without scaring people away," says Neufield,
who worked
as a computer programmer until about a year ago when he
began
devoting himself full-time to activism. "It's a pretty
nonviolent
form of dissent. We are creating, rather than going out
and trashing
what we object to. We're trying to return communities to
subsistence
needs, taking away dependence on corporations for our
basic
survival." The Revolutionary Knitting Circle meets
monthly in
Calgary. For more information, visit knit.activist.ca

homepage: homepage: http://www.interweave.com

you don't know squat 03.Nov.2002 22:52

Chris Pangle

Canada is having an insurgence in squatting from Woodwards in Vancouver to Pandora in Victoria to the ever-effective Pope out in Toronto with OCAP... and with all that, knitting is the type of change you think works? That's some kooky shit...

-me

don't you guys need blankets? 04.Nov.2002 04:30

mamansita

better yet. why don't the squatters start knitting. then you have it all. i love you all and i hope you don't undermine one groups efforts just to be more revolutionary than thou. you are all good and think of the good we could do working together (to gather) in autominous subsistence living communities. don't make money- don't use money.

make food- make a home- make your bed-make a family-

that's what livings all about. don't pay someone to do it for you while you waste all your time working some dumbass job.
i never wanted to be a dependant of the state. cops and government are like really bad abusive parents. i'd rather count on myself to take care of my own needs. it's possible and a lot of good solid work that makes you sleep good at night

Beauty, Truth, Life 04.Nov.2002 04:50

I like Mamansita's post too

I thought Ohh Canada was a beautiful post. Thanks. Very interesting action too.

Reminds me of Gandhi and the spinning wheel.

Basically one of his first economic actions was to convince people to spin their own linen rather than being dependent on the WalMartian textile industry then coming out of industrial England. (The English government was trying WTO-style to enforce the buying of its products from its colonies!)The spinning wheel became a kind of beautiful symbol for his movement for awhile.


Btw, another beautiful and effective action of his, was to WALK to the sea and make his own salt. Again, the main point was to beak any sense of addiction to English rule.

Interesting.

its funny 04.Nov.2002 08:50

Mr.E

I was just thinking how funny it was really on how much people i know and people who call themselves activists or whatever are addicted or at least really like some basic substances. Like coffee, tabacco, and sugar. Most people dont even realize where it comes from. So when i see people knitting i see people at least trying to remove themselfes from becoming dependant on whatever, Capitalism/wal mart/ you pick. It gives me a warm feeling inside. Keep up the good work.


And about the squating. I think that the only way that activism will continue to survive is if we really bind togethor instead of getting pissed at each other. People divided will never be united kind of thing.

revolution begins at home 04.Nov.2002 11:30

bethany

It might be quiet and not overtly confrontational, but the revolutionary knitting circle is definitely revolutionary. There's a lot going on out there right now -- many reasons to be out in the street struggling to make a better world. But there's no better place to start than with ourselves. The street actions aimed at the rest of the world get all the glory, and certainly have their place. But the quiet things we do in our own lives make a great difference as well.

If we start making our own clothes, blankets, toys, if we start growing our own food, if we start living in a more sustainable way, then we stop the capitalist machine. the rEvolution begins with us.