Protest Draws Attention to Family Behind OxyContin
Protesters gathered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art at an exhibit funded by the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma – the makers of OxyContin.
As reported by the NY Times, anti-opioid activists unfurled banners and scattered pill bottles on Saturday inside the Sackler Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which is named for a family connected to the powerful painkilling drug OxyContin.
The protest, which was organized by a group started by the celebrated photographer Nan Goldin, started just after 4 p.m., when several dozen people converged at the Temple of Dendur inside the wing.
As onlookers watched, protesters brandished black banners with the phrases “Shame on Sackler” and “Fund Rehab” and hurled yellow pill bottles with white labels that read “OxyContin” and “prescribed to you by the Sacklers” into the wing’s reflecting pool.
Ms. Goldin announced a series of demands in the form of short statements, including “harm reduction” and “treatment,” that were repeated loudly by the crowd.
“We are artists, activists, addicts,” she shouted. “We are fed up.”
Ms. Goldin — whose intimate photographs documenting drug use, violence and deaths from AIDS are displayed in numerous museums, including the Metropolitan — started an anti-opioid group called Prescription Addiction Intervention Now, or PAIN, after being addicted to OxyContin from 2014 to 2017. She has called withdrawal from OxyContin the darkest experience of her life.
While museums around the world have benefited from the Sackler’s generosity, many of the donations were made before the OxyContin crisis struck.
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To read more about how protesters are drawing attention to the makers of OxyContin, please visit the New York Times.