On Saturday, January 5, over 1,000 breastfeeding mothers, children, and the friends that stand in support of them gathered peacefully at Hollister stores around the United States and Canada.
More than 50 mothers participated at the Galleria Mall in Houston, Texas, the Hollister store that sparked the nurse-in. Days before the nurse-in, one of the Houston store’s managers screamed at Brittany Warfield and forced her to leave for nursing her baby in the store. You can see video about Houston’s nurse-in at KHOU.com.
Unfortunately, Brittany was not the only mother illegally harrassed for breastfeeding in a mall recently. We’ve heard reports of mothers being harassed at the nurse-ins at Lakeland Square Mall in Florida and at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, IL (but security later apologized!), and one mother saw a bathroom stall in the Siver City Galleria Mall in Taunton, MA set up for mothers to breastfeed (the toilet had been replaced by a rocking chair and a mall employee confirmed that was the intended use; read more at the link). Ew.
Sadly, it gets worse. In Wilmington, Delaware, Diana Hitchens and two other mothers participated in the Hollister nurse-in at the Concord Mall. Two security guards approached the mothers in a seating area outside of Hollister and asked them to remove the signs they had on their strollers (the women had made signs that said something about normalizing nursing in public) and move to another part of the mall. The mothers took the signs down but continued to breastfeed in their chairs, as they are allowed to do by Delaware law.
The security guards then apparently asked local police to intervene due to the mothers’ “indecent exposure.” The police spoke with the mothers, but the officers did not take any action after Diana showed them a copy of Delaware’s law that protects breastfeeding pairs.
Del. Code Ann. tit. 31 § 310 (1997): Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, a mother shall be entitled to breast-feed her child in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother is otherwise permitted.
After the police officers left, the security guards threatened the mothers with removal if they nursed again and followed the mothers throughout the mall.
When mothers on Facebook heard about the Concord Mall’s security guards’ actions, they posted on the mall’s Facebook page, asking why the guards were allowed to violate state law. Concord Mall’s response was shocking.
When this exchange (and others like it) were shared on Facebook, the outrage was immediate. Women from across the U.S. began writing and calling Concord Mall to denounce their company’s deplorable treatment of mothers.
In a poorly executed effort to cover any evidence of wrongdoing, it appears that Concord Mall’s management has disabled its Facebook page. In its responses to several women who have emailed to express their disgust, Concord Mall management denies that it ever had a Facebook page and attempts to distance itself from the security guards in question.
The detective work of several mothers, however, seem to show that Concord Mall is being dishonest. Concord Mall’s website prominently features a link to its Facebook page with this URL: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Concord-Mall/262301207123393
Digging a little further, you can see what looks like business-appropriate activity on a Facebook page for Concord Mall in Google’s cached pages. Google’s cached version matches the URL of the Facebook link on the company’s site. (This is Google’s cache of http://www.facebook.com/pages/Concord-Mall/262301207123393).
Additionally, a Concord Mall employee confirmed to one mother by phone that Concord Mall does maintain a Facebook page that is controlled by mall management.
Read more: http://www.bestforbabes.org/concord-mall-equates-breastfeeding-babies-to-sucking-on-wifes-breasts-in-public-attempts-cover-up