The #CutShutInvest scissors are large-scale cardboard placards that double as posters and as a toolkit for the creation of agitprop to be used in demonstrations. The placard features the pieces of a giant pair of scissors laid out flat, like a schematic, which community members cut out and assemble. This is a social activity and a way to get people involved and to feel connected. The scissors are also visually impactful, attracting attention and bringing more people in. It is these seemingly simple—yet very powerful—tools of engagement that make the best agitprop. Scissors are traditionally a domestic tool, representing women’s work. By scaling up this basic tool, it becomes larger than life, demanding attention.
The #CutShutInvest scissors are being wielded by Black and working class women who are directly effected by mass incarceration, as either formerly incarcerated people themselves, or as mothers, wives, and sisters of those on Rikers Island and in other prisons and jails. When they convert scissors from the domestic sphere to the public, they become a symbol of empowerment. Their sharp edges carry an implicit message to politicians about the consequences of inaction and upholding a broken system.