The Denver chapter of the Party for Socialism and Liberation is gathering Wednesday evening for a rally in support of the prison strike in St. Louis.
The conditions of St. Louis prisons came to national attention Saturday when more than 100 inmates at a city jail escaped their cells, attacked a guard and broke windows that they then held signs out with messages demanding freedom.
This was the third protest the prisoners have held since December over the jail's COVID-19 conditions and protocols.
Calls from the prisoners to ArchCity Defenders, a nonprofit legal advocacy group, allege that prisoners who test positive for COVID-19 aren’t being isolated and guards are punishing those who complain about conditions.
“By standing in solidarity, we demand St. Louis fully meet the demands of the inmates,” PSL’s statement said.
“We also demand in Colorado, and everywhere across the country, mass humanitarian release, safe and humane COVID conditions, and an end to retaliation against prisoners speaking out against abuses and unsafe conditions.”
In Colorado, there are currently active COVID-19 outbreaks in 19 jails and prisons, infecting 12,293 inmates and staff members so far, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The state has been reluctant to release inmates during the pandemic. Out of 24 requests for sentence reductions from inmates concerned about COVID-19, federal judges in Colorado approved only three in the final four months of 2020.
The Denver rally, beginning at 5:30 p.m., will be held outside of the Denver City Jail on West Colfax Avenue.
The rally will feature multiple speakers, including PSL members who have recently been arrested in anti-police brutality protests and have experienced the conditions of Colorado’s jails firsthand.