I was devastated by the elections, as many were. I needed a platform to shout. So immediately after the elections, I started to make protest banners in my apartment. I then started to invite friends over to make banners with me because I needed to feel a sense of community. Then I quickly started to do workshops for the public.
Banners are a way for me to resist what is happening in the United States and in the world. It is a way to put my voice out there and not stay silent. I cannot be silent. However, as a non citizen and a new mother, I cannot always go to protests. And in these workshops I realized that there were many people who came because they needed to find a way to participate, resist, and speak up but also couldn’t always go to protests because they too were mothers, non citizens, undocumented- those who would be at great risk if caught up and arrested. My protest banner making workshops has become a place where people come together in solidarity through making. And making is, in and of itself, a form of resistance.
The Protest Banner Lending Library is a space for people to gain skills to learn to make their own banners, a communal sewing space where we support each other’s voices, and a place where people can check out handmade banners to use in protests.
The words and these banners have a growing history. They are made by someone, used in a protest, returned to the library, and then taken by someone else to a different protest. The banners carry the histories of the hands that made and hold them, and the places they have and will travel.