The following was sent in by Max, a member of Occupy Berkeley, who has been one of the main drivers of the Knit-in series of events. In what follows, she describes the progress they’ve made on that front and the feedback that they’ve received thusfar.
Right about the time I was appreciating the wool hats my kids and I had made and were wearing at camp and in our tent on the chilly nights hitting us in October, I thought that a Knit-in for justice for all at Occupy Berkeley would be a grand idea. 2,500 hundred fliers and a port shutdown later, November 3rd turned out to be a soggy day so the Knit-in was rescheduled for 11/26 and has taken place every Saturday since, right by the farmers market, at the site of the camp, now the dismantled camp site.
We have sent off 3 big boxes of lovely hand-knitted and crocheted hats, scarves, neck cowels and such to Occupy Wall Street in NYC, Tahrir Square, in Cairo, and Fukushima moms who walked days from Fukushima to Tokyo to Occupy in front of Tokyo Electric (TEPCO) with over 5,000 others. They wore our gifts at their end-of-year protest at TEPCO! With so many millions around the world, we are weaving a web of love across land and oceans.
We continue to knit Saturdays with nearly enough, including knitted socks, mittens, and a baby dress, for another box to be sent to another U.S. occupation and we’ll be putting together a box for Syrian protesters, too. People have been touched by this act of solidarity, and we have had lovely times Saturdays getting more people started knitting or crocheting with donated needles and yarn. This is an addiction Occupy Berkeley can support!
People who want to send their handmade items to be added to the boxes can look at the flyer for info on where to send, and in case of inclement weather on a Saturday, you can see if there is an update at 510-895-2312 about another meeting place for that day.
From Ms. Ruiko Muto in Fukushima (the woman who made this speech (press ‘CC’ at the bottom right of the clip if you don’t see the English subtitles at first).
We’d love to receive your warm gifts and thank you for your solidarity. Please make sure to tell our warmest thanks to the people who knitted at the Occupy Berkeley for us and support our action from Berkeley.
And from the person in Cairo who will receive and distribute the things we’ve knitted:
Dear Maxina, I have no words to express my deep appreciation and respect for your amazing initiative. When I first got Crystal’s mail, I just cried; I remember people who lost their eyes, their legs, or their lives, what a wonderful support they would get from your lovely gifts. I’m thinking to distribute them to: -Journalists, at least 2 or 3. -Some of the injured youth, particularly the dentist who lost his eyes. -To young students who will wear them in universities and talk about it. Finally, I will write in my 2-weekly column about such a great project and the honest meaning of solidarity. Of course, the no. of pieces will be the main factor in distributing them, but I will try very hard to send them to the right people. I’m not sure if we can mention it on TV, but I will send it also to my friend who has a weekly column in the Guardian in Britain. I wish the best to the American protesters who are sleeping in very cold weather; I wish the best for each person saying NO against oppression.