As thousands of women and their supporters gear up for this Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington, as well as sister marches around the country including in Oakland and San Francisco, many protesters plan to wear hand-knitted pink hats as a visual statement of their resistance to the incoming administration and President-Elect Trump.

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Los Angeles creatives Jayna Zweiman and Krista Suh launched the plan for marchers to adorn their heads with the cat ear-topped creations popularly known as “pussy hats” last Thanksgiving weekend. The effort was intended as a playful but prescient response to Trump’s bragging about his predilection for grabbing women without their consent. Their free step-by-step instructions on how to make the headwear have since gone viral.

Here in the Bay Area, Oakland’s Piedmont Yarn & Apparel store has become ground zero for pussy hat knitting and crocheting, with owners Celia McCarthy and Pamela McKinstry organizing two weekend workshops this month for experienced and beginner knitters to create hats together. The shop has also served as a drop-off location for knitters donating hats to send to Washington D.C. They’ve collected more than 350 hats so far.

“Ever since the election, our shop has been activated,” says McCarthy, who has also been hand-stitching hundreds of tiny badges emblazoned with the word “nasty” as accessories for the hats. “This is something people can do, something that is visible representation of their activism.”

Oakland Yarn Shop Becomes Ground Zero for ‘Pussy Hat’ Protest Effort 16 November,2017Kelly Whalen

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Kelly Whalen

Kelly Whalen is a multimedia producer for KQED Arts.

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