Every Friday night is community stitch night at JP Knit & Stitch, and this month’s gatherings have been dedicated to the Pussy Hat Project to support the Women’s Marches on Saturday. Knitters make hats and donate them with a note about the issues that concern them most. Some knitters created four or five hats. Hundreds of people have come into the store to pick up hats for the March in Boston. People offered to buy the hats, but they weren’t for sale.
[Editor's note: The following is a letter to the editor from JP's Ken Sazama.]
Who Lived Here First? The Massachusett people lived in the general Boston area. They were called "people of the great hills”, a reference to the Blue Hills. Going from East to West, the Wampanoag, Moheagan and Mohican tribes also lived and thrived in what we now know as Massachusetts. Facts About The First Thanksgiving
The first Thanskgiving was a peaceful event that brought 90 Wampanoag Indians and 50 Pilgrims together in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621.
Part performance art, part public education, the Arts Committee of City Life/Vida Urbana literally drew a line down Washington Street Saturday afternoon to show what housing discrimination looks like. Drawing on the 1934 policy of the Federal Housing Administration not to underwrite mortgages in areas they determined were poor risks, CL/VU recreated the red line that the FHA drew in residential areas marking the boundaries of where they would not grant housing mortgages. In the words of Lawrence J. Vale in his book From the Puritans to the Projects, ( 2000) the FHA "gave federal sanction to a long history of housing prejudice [in which] it enforced the homogeneity of neighborhoods exclusive of [what it described as] undeserved people." Charles Abrams in his 1955 book Forbidden Neighbors stated that as of 1952, "98% of the 3 million home mortgages issued by the FHA went only to white homeowners". This policy created the pattern of urban and suburban life for three generations.
Jamaica Plain residents carried out a creative protest against what they see as a dangerous high-pressure gas pipeline slated for next-door West Roxbury. Here's part of a press release from the opponents of the project:
In the spirit of Paul Revere, a group calling themselves the “Parkway Pipeline Prevention League,” have drawn attention to the dangers of the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline. On the morning of May 15, they painted a bright red “Freedom Trail” along the pipeline route with several signs saying “No Spectra,” a reference to the Houston-based energy corporation slated to start work digging up West Roxbury streets in June. The paint is water-soluble. JP residents Andrée Zaleska and Chuck Collins carried out the protest garbed in road-worker gear.
In December 2014 a political artist from Jamaica Plain created a piece of public art as a commentary on the number of children killed by guns on a daily basis. That piece was made of painted children's chairs attached to a chain-link fence, and was removed within 48 hours by the Boston Police Department, located across the street from the art site. The removal of that piece did not deter the artist who yesterday installed a new work. This new piece consists of t-shirts on wire hangers, installed once again on the chain-link fence across the street from Boston Police Headquarters on Columbus Avenue. The artist along with “3 fearless grandmothers” installed the piece and two large painted banners following the 10,000 strong Mother's Day March on Sunday.