COVID-19 and a Violent Uprising in a St. Louis Jail
Date:  02-11-2021

Incarcerated individuals throughout the country are feeling fear and anger over not receiving the COVID-19 vaccination
From The New Republic:

Where there was once a window on an upper floor of the St. Louis City Justice Center stood a row of people in yellow prison uniforms, with masks over their noses and mouths, framed by shards of broken glass. The uprising on Saturday, in which 117 incarcerated people took part, and which participants said was to protest unsafe pandemic conditions, was part of a wave of demonstrations that have taken place in the jail since the end of 2020. Cortez Easterwood-Bey, who is jailed there and recounted the events in a statement published at Rampant, said that after he and more than 50 others “stood together in solidarity outside of our cells as a form of peaceful protest,” on December 29, 2020, prison staff tear-gassed them and sprayed them with cold water, and locked some of them down “in the hole” without heat, dry clothing, or new face masks. “All this because we were trying to tell jail staff and management that we don’t want to DIE.

Saturday’s demonstration in St. Louis exposed the deadly risks people in prisons and jails in the United States have been subject to for a year now. Now that a vaccine is available, the health of incarcerated people has become another political debate. Missouri is alone in placing prisoners in the lowest-priority group. Lashawn Casey, who tested positive for the coronavirus at Chillicothe Correctional Center, told St. Louis Public Radio that purposely delaying vaccinations to people in prisons conveys the belief “that some people’s lives are more valuable than others’.” Continue reading >>>