Kooky little knits, words and pix

Plucky the Protest Mouse vs The Fat Cats

Posted by on 26 Oct, 2011 in Beasts, Birds and Creatures, Knitting, London, My Graffiti Knitting, My Knits, People, Protest Mice, Solo Graffiti | 13 comments

Plucky Protest Mouse at Occupy London - a Protest Mouse is born

A protest mouse is born

Sometimes you have to make a stand. Even when you’re less than 10cm tall and a handknitted mouse. Maybe especially when you’re 10cm tall and a handknitted mouse.

You may only be one teeny tiny squeak but maybe if you squeak up when things are unjust then someone will hear you and stand with you.

And if enough of you are standing then you might start changing things for the better.

This is the tale of one little Protest Mouse who stood up and squeaked.

Why a Protest Mouse was born

Up until this point I’ve not really been a banner waver. I’m happier just spreading the woolly love with my street art and stitching together a giant community of crafters for very little pay but a warm fuzzy feeling.

However in the past year my little knitted creatures and I have seen and been affected by some sad things.

As far as we can understand it this happened:

  1. The banks made a huge mess with everyone’s money.
  2. To make up for this mess people had to make sacrifices and cuts had to be made.
  3. The government started cutting, and these cuts affected the most vulnerable people worst of all. Charities, children, people with disabilities, old people, libraries (where those who can’t afford books and internet can go and use them to learn), the homeless, people trying to make a living by making lovely things, schools, small businesses, people with illnesses… You get the idea.
  4. The big money-chomping banks and corporations carried on doing what they do with only a light slap on the wrist.

With the sound of those fat cats purring away while the rest of us little folks lost so many great things (and are still losing them) something had to be said.

On Saturday October 15th a group of disillusioned individuals pitched their tents outside London’s imposing St Paul’s Cathedral and settled in to join the worldwide ‘Occupy‘ cause. Occupy London is just one of hundreds of Occupy camps around the world, part of a movement which began with the Occupy Wall Street Camp in New York.

What they’re saying is simply this: There has to be a better and fairer way of making things right.

It sounded like a fine idea to me. I picked up my needles and began to knit. Some hours later Plucky the Protest Mouse was born. Plucky is indeed 10cm tall, and he is just a tiny handknitted mouse, but he (like me) has grand ideas of equality, justice and happiness for all. One thing you can say about Plucky. He’s really not a fan of fat cats.

To Occupy or not to Occupy?

The newspapers, Twitter, the television; they all had their views. Plucky and I decided to go along to Occupy London and see for ourselves. Here is what we saw:

We saw tents pitched on the chilly London pavements.

A polite notice

A polite notice

We saw stirring words, dubious fonts and Lord of the Rings references.

I always thought The Shard looked more like Sauron's Barad-dûr

 We saw heartwarming attempts at anarchist order.

A wall of organisation on the side of St Paul's

We saw people talking passionately and people discussing things quietly.

Occupy's game of pass the parcel heats up

We saw obvious truths.

Something we call all agree on

And people telling their own versions of the truth.

Plucky Protest Mouse at Occupy London - here come the press

Here come the press

We saw families.

Plucky Protest Mouse at Occupy London - sign post

Protest pram

We saw some serious crafty action.

Plucky Protest Mouse at Occupy London - banner-making 101

I want a go!

We saw bunting (not just for Royal Weddings).

Plucky Protest Mouse at Occupy London - you can't beat a bit of bunting

Handmade in the wind

And we saw a distinct lack of chaos, laziness and disorganisation.

Plucky Protest Mouse at Occupy London - training workshop

Passing on peaceful protest

Once we’d seen all this we made our decision. It was time for Plucky to Occupy.

Plucky Protest Mouse at Occupy London - Protest Mouse in place

Plucky takes his place

Plucky Protest Mouse at Occupy London - Protest Mouse

A proud Protest Mouse

Plucky Protest Mouse at Occupy London - a tiny rodent revolution

Not sure Queen Victoria is amused

And just when you think that one tiny Protest Mouse, in the middle all of those shouty banners, is never going to be heard, you’re proved wrong.

Plucky’s little squeak, along with all those other voices, is being heard by everyone who walks by. Those passers by take their tales and their pictures of a tiny handmade revolutionary rodent that made them smile, and they tell other people, who tweet other people, who text other people, who tell more people, who text, who tweet, who type, who talk.

Plucky Protest Mouse at Occupy London - Protest Mouse appreciation

Say cheese!

Plucky Protest Mouse at Occupy London - Protest Mouse does Blue Steel

Say more cheese!

Pretty soon that 10cm mouse isn’t looking so little, and the feeling that he’s just one small squeak against those giant justice-stomping fat cats starts to subside when his voice is part of a whole chorus of squeaks from all around the globe.

So maybe one little Protest Mouse can make a difference. Fancy joining him?

Plucky Protest Mouse at Occupy London - Goodbye Protest Mouse

Small but mighty

 


 If you fancy starting out in Craftivism you really should check out The Craftivist Collective, run by the splendiferous Sarah Corbett too. Their mini protest banners are very cool.

13 Comments

Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Love Resonates

    Excellent, heart-warming stuff. Thank you.

  2. Wool Daisy

    Great read, thanks for the fantastic photos too. Send my love to Plucky, he’s an inspiration ;-D

  3. a craftivista

    I love the whole blog and Plucky. I am going to tweet and share this as much as I can. Inspirational! :) x

  4. brobof

    Superb blog; lovely pictures; truly heartwarming I thank you. But I think you will find that Protest Mouse is a grey Clanger. If you are a fan of Postgate try:
    Added value: http://stuffucanuse.com/fake_moon_landings/moon_landings.htm

  5. Susan Hughes

    You are such an inspiration. Thank you. I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet you at the Ally Pally but perhaps the next time I’m in London, you can give me your autograph to paste in your book. I ordered it today from Amazon Canada, and got the last copy!

  6. Amy Pedlar

    You are such an inspiration I love looking at your twitter page. I’m 12 and I love reading your books and looking at your website ! Is Plucky still at St Pauls Cathedral ?????

    • Deadly Knitshade

      Hi Amy. Thanks so much. So glad you like my crazy knitting. :)

      I don’t think Plucky is still at St Pauls. I had a look the other day and he’s gone. I wonder what he’s up to. He could be anywhere!

      • Amy Pedlar

        My dream ambition is to find one of your knitted creatures ! I have a little farm of your patterned square sheep and a pig I made by myself. I really want to be like you one day a secret knitter who brings joy to everyone ! Deadly knitshade you are my role model and hero ! Your the best knitter ever ! Hope to hear from you soon !!

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