Harry Potter Protest Signs: Dumbledore’s Army In The Resistance

Happy Birthday, Harry Potter! Our favorite boy wizard turns 37 today – and the series turns 20 this year – meaning that today’s younger adults grew up alongside Harry and his Hogwarts pals. The messages of Harry Potter have come to define a generation: courage, kindness, acceptance, defending the disenfranchised even if you are not, and standing up to an authoritarian regime. Or rather, those values have come to define the part of the generation that was receptive to the message:

A Potter refresher: Harry Potter was an orphan neglected by his aunt and uncle. He learned that he was a wizard and became a student at Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Meanwhile Lord Voldemort, the would-be ruler of the wizarding realm, struggled to return to prominence after falling when he killed Harry’s parents and was unable to bring Harry down.  Voldemort’s followers, the Death Eaters, decried “impure” wizards (those who are born to all- or part- nonmagical families) and used propaganda and hack journalism to spread their message, controlling the presses and what children learn in school. Harry and his comrades formed a resistance movement to defeat Voldemort’s rise, and ultimately succeeded at great personal sacrifice.

In the muggle realm, another resistance movement has grown to counter autocracy, racism, transphobia, anti-intellectualism, and other ills I could not have anticipated when I cracked open my Scholastic copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 1997. Throughout this struggle, something fantastic has happened- a vindication for those who believe that fiction (perhaps children’s fiction above all) can shape a person’s values. The generation that grew up with Harry Potter has adopted the words and lessons of the series as a lingua franca for the ideals many of us hold.

In honor of this, the 37th birthday of Harry Potter (or the 52nd birthday of J.K. Rowling, or the 26th anniversary of Harry getting his Hogwarts letter) we present some of our favorite Harry Potter-related messages from the modern resistance movement:

From the Women’s March: Without Hermione, Harry would’ve died in Book 1. TRUE.

My favorite pop culture references are always the deep cuts: Any HP fan will know that Neville Longbottom proved himself to be a true hero … and he rocked a distinctive cardigan while doing it.

Dumbledore, champion of the underdog, would be unhappy with all of this.

While Potter fans (rightfully) have a lot of opinions about Dumbledore’s sexuality never being mentioned in the book, the fact is that J.K. Rowling has confirmed that he is gay and a policy that hurts wise, gentle Dumbledore hurts all of human- (and wizard-) kind.

This was actually back in ’08, but now I want Harry Potter cannon with married, gay wizard and witch couples. Hogwarts students with 2 moms or 2 dads. A DUMBLEDORE WEDDING THAT MCGONAGALL OFFICIATES, OK.

If you read HP thinking you’d definitely join the DA instead of hiding in the Slytherin basement (#NotAllSlytherins), now’s the time.

Context: this is from a 2010 student protest in the UK re: a rise in tuition fees.

When readers can reach different conclusions from the same series

From the Occupy London protests.

Honestly a bit emotional that kids today are growing up reading Harry Potter and applying it to their real-life situations. Plus those drawings are precious.

womens march banner 9

Are… are we sure this isn’t Hermione?

Straight from the wizard’s mouth: “We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”

HA.

Even Voldemort didn’t defund St. Mungo’s. Well, she has a point.

The one that just has Voldemort with an X through it

This one’s for you, Gaddafi.

Your hero and mine, Molly Weasley.

Trump’s Horcruxes! I’ve been convinced his Twitter account is somehow one as well.

And since HP actors truly grew up with the series, here’s Emma Watson at the Women’s March in 2017

The Sorting Hat: Random Stuff, By Hogwarts House

Keep your eye out for owls! This week is big in the Harry Potter world: JK Rowling, Harry, and, of course, Neville Longbottom all celebrate their birthdays at the end of July. We cannot reflect on the Potterverse without asking that eternal question: which house are you in? We’ll be forthright. In Pottermore, both of us were given the choice between Gryffindor and one other house — Ravenclaw for me and Hufflepuff for Traci.  We aren’t house-ist …  but we also acknowledge that each has its flaws. Gryffindors are self-important, Ravenclaws are nerds, Slytherins are cold, and Hufflepuffs are human puffalumps. We love them all, and believe that anything – anything – can be sorted into a house.

Fast Food Restaurants
  • Taco Bell: Slytherin
  • McDonald’s: Gryffindor
  • Arby’s: Ravenclaw
  • Wendy’s: Hufflepuff

Reasoning: Nothing says “resourceful” like turning a Dorito into a taco shell. McDonald’s are the beloved popular favorite. Arby’s takes itself seriously and is true to its quirks – like, who serves roast beef? And I’m not sure if Wendy’s even knows that it’s a restaurant, plus their mascot is a bit on the adorable side. Like, it chose to represent itself with a grinning freckly child. That’s pretty Hufflepuff.

Coffee Chains
  • Dunkin Donuts: Gryffindor
  • Starbucks: Slytherin
  • Tim Hortons: Ravenclaw
  • Gloria Jean’s: Hufflepuff

Reasoning: The most outwardly ambitious coffee franchise – convinced that people will spend more money on it because it’s clearly superior – would have to be Starbucks, the Slytherin of the coffee world. Dunkin gets stuff done – America runs on it, after all – which is more of a Gryffindor thing. Gloria Jean’s is frothy yet unpretentious – it’s for anybody. It’s at the mall and all the sizes are in English. Hufflepuff. Tim Hortons just gets down to business – they’ll get you your double double and they won’t screw up the order.

Social Networking Platforms

 

  • Facebook: Slytherin
  • LinkedIn: Ravenclaw
  • Friendster: Hufflepuff
  • tumblr: Gryffindor

Reasoning: Social justice warriors, but up for a a little diversion? That’s tumblr, and that’s Gryffindor. Cunning Facebook will use all of your personal data… but they’re devious yet fair, because everything is spelled out in the terms of service. LinkedIn isn’t exactly fun, but if you think outside the box you can find it very useful. Friendster… bless.

Styles Of Jeans
  • Carpenter: Hufflepuff
  • Skinny: Slytherin
  • Boyfriend: Ravenclaw
  • Bootcut: Gryffindor

Reasoning: Carpenter jeans aren’t stylish, but they’re cut so that anyone could wear them. Plus “unafraid of toil?” I always imagined that Slytherins would be the more fashion-forward witches and wizards. Boyfriend jeans are perfect for curling up in the library or working out at the lab. Bootcuts are relaxed enough to take your on all sorts of adventures – not so loose or so rigid that you can’t save the day in them.

90s Nickelodeon SNICK Shows
  • Clarissa Explains It All: Ravenclaw
  • Are You Afraid Of The Dark: Slytherin
  • All That: Hufflepuff
  • Hey Dude: Gryffindor

Reasoning: Not all Slytherins are bad, but they are less likely to shy away from the Dark Arts. Clarissa, with her homemade video games and quirky style, was obviously a Ravenclaw. All That was open to everything – sketches, music, vital information for your every day life. And Hey Dude was all about working together for a common goal.

March Sisters
  • Meg: Gryffindor
  • Jo: Ravenclaw
  • Beth: Hufflepuff
  • Amy: Slytherin

Reasoning: This might be an unpopular opinion, but creative, unconventional Jo – brave as she was – also reminds me of deep-thinking, brainy Cho and Luna. Dutiful Meg seemed more concerned with following the right path and being fair to everyone. Beth was just a sweetheart, and preferred staying at home to going out into the world – although she even made grouchy Mr. Lawrence love her. Amy was a social climber who would do what it took to have the life she felt she deserved (she was also a total bitch, and I say that with love).

Hair Accessories
  • Scrunchie: Hufflepuff
  • Bobby Pin: Gryffindor
  • Headband: Ravenclaw
  • Those snappy clips that gymnasts have: Slytherin

Reasoning: Scrunchies are soft and work on all hair types, even if they aren’t cool by conventional measures. Bobby pins can pin back your hair, but they’re also useful little tools  in all sorts of jams. Headbands are practical with a bit of whimsy – your hair is off your face, but still flowing free. Remember those hair clips that, like, Dominique Moceanu used to wear back in the day? It was sort of harsh but unbelievably effective, like the Slytherin of hair accessoreis.

WB Shows
  • Dawson’s Creek: Gryffindor
  • Felicity: Ravenclaw
  • Gilmore Girls: Hufflepuff
  • Seventh Heaven: Slytherin

Reasoning: Felicity was the most, well, collegiate show. All those sweaters. Very Ravenclaw. Gilmore Girls is a feel-good show about a town where everyone is accepted, basically. Dawson’s Creek, with (admittedly whiny, forehead-y) main character Dawson, was about young people who, in their hearts, were always trying to do the right thing. Seventh Heaven was a calculated grab for an untapped market of fairly right-wing fans.

Children’s Story Book Characters
  • Madeline: Ravenclaw
  • Arthur The Aardvark: Gryffindor
  • Pooh: Hufflepuff
  • Max, of Where The Wild Things Are: Slytherin
Board Games
  • Monopoly: Ravenclaw
  • Candyland: Hufflepuff
  • Clue: Slytherin
  • Risk: Gryffindor
Taylor Swift Songs
  • Our Song: Hufflepuff
  • Bad Blood: Slytherin
  • You Belong With Me: Gryffindor
  • Mean: Ravenclaw
Top 10 Boy Names
  • Noah: Gryffindor
  • Mason: Slytherin
  • Ethan: Ravenclaw
  • Jacob: Hufflepuff
Top 10 Girl Names
  • Ava: Slytherin
  • Mia: Hufflepuff
  • Charlotte: Ravenclaw
  • Emily: Gryffindor
Birthday Party Decor
  • Balloons: Hufflepuff
  • A “Lordy Lordy Look Who’s 40” sign: Slytherin
  • Streamers: Gryffindor
  • Noisemakers: Ravenclaw