St. Louis, MO—Prisoners in a medium security jail known as the Workhouse could be heard screaming for help for blocks outside the jail walls on Thursday.
For the past three days the prisoners—many of whom are African (black)—have had to endure the St. Louis heat wave of over 100 degrees with no air conditioning and extremely poor ventilation. On top of having to suffer health-threatening temperatures, the prisoners are also forced to breathe in toxic mold and backed-up sewage.
This comes on top of the already inhumane conditions which the prisoners are forced to suffer at the hands of the colonial State. The Workhouse jail has been previously condemned and has been under scrutiny for decades due to the prison guards’ torture of the prisoners.
This is a direct violation of human rights, which is one of the highest forms of “true” democracy.
In 1992, International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement’s President Kalambayi Andenet’s brother was a victim of the genocidal conditions and traumatic abuse of the Workhouse.
While awaiting trial, the 17-year-old was forced to fight other African prisoners every day––as the guards placed their bets––so that he could have a meal.
If he lost, not only would he have suffered physical and mental abuse from being placed in a situation where his African brother was forced to be his enemy, he would also go hungry for days.
This State-inflicted abuse eventually led to him being in a hospital bed with broken ribs and a shattered psyche that no 17-year-old child should ever have to endure.
Twenty-five years later in 2017, the Workhouse is continuing the genocide that President Kalambayi and the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) are fighting against.
“Let us out!”
Facebook live video feeds on Thursday showed inmates yelling and screaming for help. The prisoners could be heard shouting, “Let us out!” and “Help us!”
President Kalambayi was able to speak to a mother of one of the prisoners, Jacquelyn, who was allowed to enter behind the enemy’s line.
Jacquelyn stated that her daughter has been locked up for 16 months and is suffering from possible health issues as a result of being denied healthcare.
Her daughter, along with her family, have been complaining about the deplorable conditions of this jail for months. Jacquelyn’s daughter has found two lumps on her breast since being imprisoned.
Today, Jacquelyn saw first-hand just how her daughter and every other colonized African is being treated at the hands of the colonial State.
When she asked the guard why it was so hot inside the prison, he stated, “you should just mind your business, they [the prisoners] are getting ice every three hours,” as he sat under a fan.
She also raised why her daughter could not receive medical care and the guard told her “I’ve had a toothache for two weeks and haven’t been able to schedule an appointment, do you think I care about your daughter?”
Jacquelyn, along with her three grandchildren, were forced to leave the prison and listen to the heart wrenching screams that could be heard blocks away.
It is clear that the life of an animal is seen as more valuable than that of an African, as the penalty for the same “inhumane” conditions committed against animals carries up to one year in jail in the state of Missouri.
Points 31 and 32 of InPDUM’s Revolutionary National Democratic Program states:
31. We recognize that the neocolonial justice systems that function within colonized territories around the world are extensions of the North American and European imperialist state apparatus and therefore will never function in the genuine interests of African workers, peasants and true patriots;
32. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of all African political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Africa and throughout the world. (InPDUM.org)
In order to stop this genocide against our people behind bars, we must organize every individual and every organization towards these principles.
The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement is calling every African and oppressed person around the globe to action!
Call the Workhouse jail at 314-389-4790 and demand the immediate transfer of every prisoner to a facility that meets the following code requirements: Air conditioning; fresh-breathable ventilation; and working plumbing.
Fight for Freedom! Join InPDUM!