'Free them all': Anti-incarceration activists form human chain at Rikers, demand no new jails in US

Adam Warner
October 12, 2019 - 4:15 pm
Rikers Island

Anthony Behar/Sipa Press


NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Anti-incarceration activists surrounded the entrance to Rikers Island as they protested jails, migrant detention centers and America’s “carceral war.”

Activist group Code Pink said protesters are there “to demand the closure of Rikers, the closure of the camps, and to reject any plans to build new jails in NYC and across the US.”

New York City has a $11 billion plan to close Rikers Island and open four new jails in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens over the next decade. The jails are planned in Chinatown, Boerum Hill, Kew Gardens and Mott Haven to the ire of many residents.

For months, immigrant rights activists have condemned detention centers for migrants set up at the U.S.–Mexico border, with many activists calling the centers “concentration camps.”

“Close the camps! A cage is a cage!” protesters chanted beside the large Department of Correction: Rikers Island sign in Queens on Saturday.

They held signs that read “Free them all, NYC to the border!” and “No more cages, no more camps.”

“We cannot fight global warfare without opposing the carceral war right here in the US against black and brown communities, immigrants, poor communities, and LGBTQ+ communities,” Code Pink tweeted.

“We will NOT incarcerate our future. We will NOT leave anyone on Rikers,” another tweet read.

It wasn’t immediately known if any arrests were made by police.

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