As of Friday, some detainees in Lane County Jail have been on a hunger strike for 19 days. To show their support, the Lane County Mutual Aid Network held a press conference outside of the jail Friday.
During the gathering, community members advocated for detainees, urging the jail to implement more safety precautions, as well as release people being held pretrial so they will not be exposed to the coronavirus. Supporter Avery Temple said communities should be working to defund and restructure police departments, as well as the prison system.
“The so called United States has yet to recon with its history of blatant and covert oppression of Black, Indigenous, people of color, and the working class,” said Temple. “We call ourselves the land of the free, but I want to ask you all, ‘Who decides what freedom is, and for who?’”
This comes after three detainees filed a federal lawsuit against jail supervisors and Governor Kate Brown, claiming a lack of COVID-19 protocols and multiple violations of rights.