Meet Scabby, the Giant Inflatable Rat Fighting for Labor Rights

Scabby the rat abides. Photo Courtesy: Juana Arias/The Washington Post/Getty Images; chipstudio/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images

Throughout the years, plenty of lovable mascots have emerged that evoke instant associations with brands, teams and even movements. Just think — there’s the righteous Kool-Aid man who busts through brick walls with a signature “Oh yeah!”; the gentlemanly Mr. Peanut (R.I.P.) who dazzled us all with the twirl of a cane and the glint of a monocle; and even Poppin’ Fresh, everyone’s favorite (or feared) sentient, giggling blob of dough. But then there's Scabby, who...looms over protests while flashing a fanged grimace. Not your average huggable brand representative, Scabby is a 12-foot-tall rat whose appearance verges on the border of terrifying — but that’s really all part of its appeal.

Despite its less-than-cuddly appearance, Scabby has become an important symbol of the labor movement and recently even scored free speech rights in court. Join us for a fascinating look into the saga of Scabby and how it became an unlikely champion of workers rights around the United States.