Showing posts with label occupy movement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label occupy movement. Show all posts

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Tartan Rebels

An American-based academic has registered a protest plaid which he hopes will be adopted by members of the Occupy Movement and persuade the more fashion-conscious activists and eco-warriors to wear tartan as they head to the barricades.

 Dr Giles Jackson
has revealed the gold-flecked tartan, which represents the unequal distribution of wealth, will be the first in a range of radical designs. His Liberation Kilt Co , whose slogan is “Dress to protest!” has also registered tartans which can be worn by the anti-nuclear movement, supporters of political dissidents and climate change activists. The Virginia-based business school professor insists he was inspired by Scotland’s long-standing tradition of championing the underdog and supporting progressive causes. He said: “I’m tapping into a long and glorious tradition. Long before tartan became the garb of royal subjects it was a badge of dissent.” Jackson hopes his Liberty Square tartan will prove popular with the anti-corporate Occupy movement which has held protest camps in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and across Europe and the US. He said: “Tartan’s role as a unifying aesthetic within groups is well known. Less well known is its potential as a unifier between groups and its capacity to cross cultural boundaries on a planetary scale. Anyone who identifies with the Occupy movement is welcome to wear or display the Liberty Square tartan”.

According to the Register,  it: “Symbolises the golden rule of capitalism: ‘Those with the gold make the rules’. The spoils increasingly go to a protected class of global profiteers, represented by the gold stripes, while the ordinary citizen is gradually stripped of freedoms, money and dignity”.

Jackson’s Havel tartan, designed to resemble prison bars, celebrates persecuted dissidents and has been approved by the widow of the late Czech playwright and president Vaclav Havel, who was imprisoned for his belief in freedom of speech and civil liberties. Other designs include the anti-nuclear Yamaguchi Tsutomu tartan, named after the only person to survive both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs, and Tahrir, which honours the pro-democracy Arab Spring, as well as plaids symbolising climate change and the importance of public ownership of water supplies.

Rob Gibson, the SNP MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, gave his support to the idea of tartan being used to promote social justice and environmental causes. The convener of Holyrood’s rural affairs, climate change and environmental committee said: “There are so many corporate appropriations of tartans that it is not surprising that people will want to reclaim it."

Jackson is now looking to create a range of kilts, headbands, caps and seal-friendly sporrans.