#NoKidsInCages Installations Bring Horror of Immigrant Children in Detention to NYC Streets

| revcom.us


On Wednesday morning, June 12, thousands of people going to work or school, tourists, and others in New York City were jarred out of their daily routine when they came across metal cages on sidewalks with what appeared to be a child-size figure inside, wrapped in Mylar sheets. There were voices of children wailing for their “mamá” and “papá.” Anyone with any awareness of the horrors going on in the world immediately recognized what this was about—the thousands of immigrant children seized at the border by the U.S. and kept in detention under inhumane conditions, separated from parents. For those who should be aware but weren’t, there was a sign on the cages, under the hashtag #NOKIDSINCAGES, saying in English and Spanish:

Kids are still in cages at the border.
They’re kept from their parents.
Thousands go to sleep shivering and
afraid and then wake up sick and
afraid. 6 children have already died.

The sign urged people to be part of this action, saying “Sharing is an act of protest.”

This striking protest was the work of the immigrant and refugee rights group RAICES working with the progressive ad agency Badger & Winters. They placed more than 20 of the cages around different locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, including Union Square, Barclays Center, Natural History Museum, offices of major national media, entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge, and other busy locations. Inside the cages were mannequins representing the detained immigrant children, wrapped in the foil blankets that are their only protection in the cold detention cells that the immigrants call hieleras (iceboxes). The children’s voices are from an actual recording at a detention center that was released by ProPublica last year.

The police quickly mobilized to cover over or take down the installations—though not before many people had seen them. RAICES tweeted from one scene, “Police here with a chainsaw. The State can act rapidly to put a stop to an art installation but every night over 13,000 children are locked up for the crime of seeking a safe haven. Know this: this system is working as designed. #NoKidsInCages.”

In a statement, Badger & Winters Founder Madonna Badger said, “We have to rise up against innocent children being ripped from their parents’ arms. What has been happening at our borders is inhumane and against domestic and international law. There is no justification for harming the ones among us who are most in need of love and protection.”

For more on the continuing—and mounting—brutality and horror carried out by the U.S. against refugees and immigrants at the border, go here.




Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:

Volunteers Needed... for revcom.us and Revolution

Send us your comments.