‘We make kids disappear’: An Activist Art Collective Protests Trump’s Immigration Policy With a Bay Area Billboard
Artists in San Francisco’s Bay Area are using guerrilla measures to express their opposition to Trump’s separation of immigrant families at the US border. The activist art collective Indecline scaled a billboard that was advertising junk removal and transformed it into an indictment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
A video released by the collective shows a trio of masked and hooded activists approaching the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? billboard, which features a photograph of a screaming toddler, under cover of night. Aided by a ladder and long-handled paint rollers, they climb up to the top and carefully adjust the ad. Over the course of just a couple of hours, they changed the phone number and the slogan “We make junk disappear” to read “We make kids disappear,” signed by “—I.C.E.”
The billboard is located in Emeryville, California, along Interstate 80 leading to the Bay Bridge and San Francisco. It is owned by ClearChannel, which as of yesterday was hoping to repair or remove the vandalized sign by the end of the day, according to the .
Immigration has dominated the headlines of late thanks to President Donald Trump’s controversial “zero tolerance” policy at the border. By insisting on arresting all immigrants attempting to claim asylum in the US, ICE must separate children from their parents, as it is currently illegal under the Flores settlement to imprison children for extended periods of time. (Pressured to end family separation, Trump signed an executive order this week seeking to amend Flores to allow entire families to be jailed together, indefinitely. But since the “zero tolerance” policy was enacted last month, immigration officials have taken 2,300 children from their parents.)
“Obviously it’s a hot topic right now and something we feel very strongly about,” one member of Indecline told the , noting that the child separation policy “extends beyond immigration and into a humanitarian issue, so we wanted to draw attention to that, empower the public and raise awareness on the topic itself.”
The anonymous artist group has become known for its high-profile anti-Trump stunts, especially its hideous, poorly endowed, naked Trump statues, titled , which popped up ahead of the 2016 election in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Seattle. Most recently, they infiltrated Trump International Hotel and Tower and transformed a suite into a jail cell, replete with a Trump impersonator locked away with live rats.
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