Signs containing the message “Future Internment Camps”, purportedly signed by U.S. President Donald Trump, have sprouted in different construction sites all around the United States. The alarming notices appeared in various U.S. cities over the weekend of March 4th.
The signboards indicated that the facilities were under construction in accordance with an executive order allegedly issued by President Donald Trump. The signs are made to look official, with a well-made Trump signature and White House seal.
The Los Angeles-based British artist specializes in creating thought-provoking works that are “inspired by world news events, society, the urban environment, culture, and politics.”
Plastic Jesus, who has been described as the ‘Banksy of LA,’ was quoted as saying: “The signs were intended to jar people, they look pretty realistic and that was the intention.”
“What I’m trying to get across is the thought that with Trump’s recent policies we’re actually possibly and not that far away from some kind of detention center purely for immigrants.”
“A few months before the election, this would have been completely unthinkable,” he explained.
With the help of a dedicated group of volunteers, Plastic Jesus was able to cover multiple locations, such as New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, Boston, Houston and Washington D.C.
Although he has been living in the U.S. for more than ten years, he understands the risks he and a lot of his friends face.
“We’re seeing detention of travelers into the US. They have all the proper credentials, yet they’re being detained for the country they’re coming from and their race,” said the street artist, who is a British green card holder.
With aims of drawing a parallel between the travel ban and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, the artist says the signs should “highlight the dystopian times that we’re currently living in when discrimination has been feral sanctioned and normalized.”
Spotting that the signs are fake is easy enough as the artist pointed out: “There were a couple of clues, and after a very simple fact check you should realize they’re not real.”
There are those, however, who find it hard to tell.
“The feedback on the signs are shocking – because people think they’re real,” the artist shared. “A few months ago, they would have understood it was a joke, but today, people have a hard time telling.”
Among his many creative works are a number of installations featuring Donald Trump. Last year, Plastic Jesus erected a wall around Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star. Not long ago, he also attached “No Trump Anytime” parking notices to street signs in L.A.
“I think with Trump we’ve certainly got a lot of material out there, but I think we need to try to be intelligent and thought-provoking in the way we campaign against Trump’s policy.”