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#BlackLivesMatter: The Never 21 Project

#BlackLivesMatter protesters aren’t messing around.

Posing as employees at Forever 21 Union Square, activists managed to clothe the front-window mannequins in “Black Lives Matter/Never 21” T-shirts over the weekend. A banner with the same message was also dropped across the store’s second floor windows.

Several clothing racks were also stocked with the T-shirts.

The protesters, who go by The Never 21 Project, said their goal was to draw attention to the number of “young black lives that have been lost to police violence before ever reaching 21-years-old, who were never afforded a true childhood…”

The group’s website mimics Forever 21’s theme, and features short bios of youth who have died at the hands of police.

Here’s a statement from the group’s homepage:

Countless underaged lives have been lost at the hands of ‘vigilantes’ and disgruntled police officers. These youth were never given the chance to see age 21, or any age there after, so we respond by reminding the public of the battle that we are still actively fighting. We care about the lives of Black men. We care about the lives of Black women. We care about the lives of Black CHILDREN.

According to Gothamist, organizers referred to the action as “shop gifting” because they “were putting shirts into the store rather than taking them out.” Initially, a banner team, comprised of a videographer and a legal observer, walked up to the second floor to hang the banner. Then the mannequin team entered as the banner team exited, followed by three more protesters who added T-shirts to the clothing racks.

The t-shirts were removed after 20 minutes when the store manager realized what happened. But not before a passerby snapped this pic:

forever

#BlackLivesMatter, and they always will.