Protesters rallying at Market Baskets in an attempt to reinstate ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas have taken up a stuffed giraffe as a symbol of their movement. “Jack the Giraffe,’’ as he is called, represents the mantra that they are “not afraid to stick their necks out,’’ protesters said.
Giraffes were everywhere at the rally on Friday in pins, signs, and, most prominently, stuffed animal form.
On the makeshift speaker’s stage:
On the shoulder of a protester:
On the head of a protester:
On the petition table:
On the hood of a car:
The giraffe mascot appears to have been inspired by Gordon Leblanc, a longtime Market Basket employee. At last Friday’s rally in Tewksbury, Leblanc cited the giraffe was a personal mascot of his family’s that applied to everyone who “is sticking their neck out,’’ according to The Lowell Sun:
“I lost my father a while ago. At the wake, my sisters decided we would all have the family mascot, a giraffe, on our lapel. We had a lot of questions — why would the giraffe be the Leblanc family mascot? My father was pretty outspoken and independent, and his motto was ‘Do not be afraid to stick your neck out when you know you’re right.’ Everybody here is sticking their neck out, and they have threatened us. We will not be threatened.’’
Since then, the giraffe has turned up in all manners of places as a metaphorical symbol of the pro-Arthur T. protesters.