‘We call it pastivism’: Knitted pasties appear around St Ives in very Cornish response to G7 summit

It’s a climate change protest that shows the, er, steaks could not be higher

Colin Drury
Thursday 10 June 2021 13:42 BST
Extinction Rebellion supporter Sarah White surrounded by knitted pasties
Extinction Rebellion supporter Sarah White surrounded by knitted pasties (Neil Scott)

Thousands of environmental activists are expected to descend on Carbis Bay and St Ives to demonstrate against this weekend’s G7 summit – but residents living in the area are set to show their own disquiet in a rather quieter, more Cornish way.

Specifically, through the medium of pasties.

Dozens of knitted and crocheted replicas of the traditional southwestern snack are being placed around the twin holiday resorts by the local Extinction Rebellion group.

Each one will come with a hand-written, pasty-themed message which it is hoped will make the finder – Angela Merkel or Joe Biden, perhaps? – pause and reflect on the urgency of the climate crisis.

“Earth's crust is burning,” one declares. “Almost pasty point of no return,” reads another.

Neil Scott, co-ordinator of the action and a St Ives resident himself, said: “There will be plenty of people from the area out protesting and marching because Cornwall is right on the front line of the UK’s climate crisis. People here know how important this is.

“But we also wanted to do something a bit more subtle. We’re calling it pastivism.”

The group put out a plea last month for residents from across the county to make their own crafty crusty replicas and say they have been overwhelmed by the response.


“They’ve been arriving by post everyday,” said Scott, a 60-year-old father-of-two. “We’ve had everyone from grandparents doing them while they’re seeing out the pandemic to children who want to make their voice heard.

“What it shows is that for everyone protesting this weekend, there is a groundswell of wider support for their message and their aims.”

Neil Scott (Neil Scott)

Visitors, he added, are welcome to keep the pasties they found or leave them for someone else to see. All that remain after the weekend will be collected and put into a future exhibition by the group.

The action is not the only creative protest linked to this weekend’s summit, which will see leaders of the world’s seven largest advanced economies meet in the holiday idyll.

A massive Mount Rushmore-style sculpture made from electronic waste and depicting the septet has been erected this week on a nearby beach.

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