Activists left child-sized mannequins in cages around New York this morning
Immigration reform advocates left child-sized mannequins in cages all around New York City early Wednesday morning to protest the treatment of children at immigration detention centers.
The marketing firm Badger & Winters, in support of The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), set up the cages in front of Google and major news organizations throughout the city. The displays included audio of children wailing that RAICES said were recordings of actual detained children crying, obtained by ProPublica in their investigation of families being separated at the US Border.
A NYPD spokeswoman said that police found and removed eight of the cages. The NYPD would not respond to questions about why they were taken down.
Madonna Badger, Chief Executive Officer of Badger and Winters, a public relations firm that created the #NoKidsInCages campaign with RAICES, said 25 cages were put up in all, and that the NYPD had removed all of them.
Ujala Sehgal, Vice President of Fenton, a PR firm that helped do outreach for the protest, also tweeted about the installations being taken down.
Badger says that she hopes the art incites change.
“It’s time to stop treating these children like numbers that don’t matter in the world,” said Badger. “Hearing their cries is a way to stop people from not caring.”
“‘They can’t even go outside and play. We don’t even allow dogs to be treated that way,” Badger said. “Having your kids stripped from you and not knowing if they’re starving or freezing is beyond unacceptable,”
The street art also sparked outrage among pedestrians.
“It gives me goosebumps,” said one woman who walked by the installation in an interview with CNN affiliate News 12 Brooklyn. “I hope anyone walking by it gets the same feeling.”
“I’m going to put this on Facebook,” a pedestrian told CNN news affiliate News 12. “There’s no way that this should continue like this.”
CNN recently reported that a 10-year-old girl was the sixth migrant child known to have died after journeying to the United States and being apprehended by federal authorities. Nearly 3,000 children have been separated from their parents at the border.
Clarification: This story has been updated to reflect that Fenton did outreach for the protest, and that the protest was carried out by Badger & Winters in support of RAICES.