Uprising at Dekalb County Jail in Georgia

Published May 16, 2019

Dekalb County Jail

On May 15, during a protest by outside supporters in front of Dekalb County Jail in Decatur, Georgia, rebels inside smashed out over a dozen windows in all three buildings of the facility. Many of the prisoners then attempted to communicate through the smashed windows with protesters outside, shouting “help us” and “there is mold.” Another inmate held up a sign to the window that read “strangled by CO King. While cuffed behind back.”

The uprising was harshly repressed by brutal prison guards. Prisoners shouted through their broken windows that guards were spraying them with pepper spray.

Prisoners could also be seen on the first floor jumping and waving to protesters outside. At least 100 officers responded, including SWAT teams, a bomb squad, and a helicopter. Four outside protesters were arrested during the protest.

The protest occurred about one month after a previous protest at the same facility on April 12, 2019, called by the same groups. Both protests were organized in response to urgent calls from prisoners for support and complaints of deplorable conditions at the facility.

Earlier this year, prisoners released a video using a jail-issued tablet during a video visit showing the inedible food they were being served and photos of themselves holding signs made of styrofoam food trays. The messages included, “Dekalb jail is mistreating us!!!” “We sleep & breathe mold,” and “Please help we dying! Need food!!!!”

Prisoners inside the jail released the following statement about their conditions and call for support:

“Inmates in the DeKalb County Jail is actually dying and being subjected to unhealthy conditions; breathing and sleeping with mold, having skin break outs, being assaulted by correctional officers in areas of the jail where there are no cameras etc. STAND FOR THESE YOUNG MEN! they are caged away with no voice. No matter what they are incarcerated for, they do not deserve to live in such treacherous conditions! most of them are there awaiting trials or traffic tickets… They are innocent until PROVEN guilty. But judge ye not! Repost and share! Let our voices be heard for them to get attention of officials who can have this facility investigated and fix the conditions.”

The conditions of enslavement in American prisons and jails are horrendous. Revolutionaries on both sides of prison walls must continue to strike against prison infrastructure until prisons are completely abolished.