Temperatures Rising At St Louis City Workhouse Protest 

Tensions in this city are high. It’s over 100 degrees in the day, humidity is high, Mayor Lyda Krewson is new in office with very little support North of Delmar, and prisoners are suffering in the St Louis City Workhouse. 

Yesterday  I took video at The Workhouse by myself. Today hundreds joined me as we heard the chants, screams and cries for help from prisoners. 

Protesters showed up young and old, black and white,committed activists from Ferguson and those new to protests. All stood united in demanding prisoners be released rather than be held in such hot and inhumane conditions. 

Members of leftist organizations, local Democratic politicians and just ordinary concerned citizens interacted with prisoners through their windows. At one point protesters breached a fence outside  of the jail. Police responded slowly and gradually building up their presence. Many officers appeared to be less than enthused. One officer appeared to have a breakdown and ran away. Other officers casually chatted. Several officers engaged in shoving matches with protesters.

By the end of the protest it looked like Ferguson. Police were towing cars, citizens were being randomly sprayed with chemicals, and heavy-handed tactics were used. Police also repeated the tactic of shutting down vehicular traffic making it hard to get to the protests and jamming cell phone signals. 

While Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed has announced potable air conditioners will be provided soon details remain sketchy. Reed admitted to a reporter he acted out of pressure from protesters and FOX 2 reporter Elliot Davis. 

St Louis Treasurer and Mayoral candidate Tishaura Jones had made closing the City Workhouse part of her platform. In addition to the lack of air conditioning the Workhouse has been plagued with mismanagement and violence over the years. 

It’s time for Mayor Lyda Krewson to step up. St Louis is ready to burn. Proceed with caution.

7th Ward Committeemen and Gloves for Grades President Marty Murray looks on
21st Ward Alderman John Muhammad calms a heated protester
Veteran Ferguson protester Talal Ahmad was on hand
Protesters breach the outer fence and try to scale the inner fence of the workhouse
A heated discussion between Ferguson protester Keith Rose and an officer
Sheriff Vernon Betts talks to protesters
Things got a little close
Frontlines
Drones were in the sky above us
A pepper spray victim being cared for by a veteran Ferguson activist
A pepper spray victim
Heated
FOX 2 reporter Elliot Davis, independent journalist Derk Brown, and Talal Ahmad
Myself Umar Lee on hand tonight
St Louis Public Radio photographer Carolina Hidalgo doing her thing
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St Louis City Workhouse: Prisoners Are Burning Alive 

The temperature is above 100 degrees today.  It will remain over 100 this entire week. This is bad news for St Louis prisoners who are packed like sardines in the violence-plagued and woefully mismanaged St Louis City Workhouse on Hall Street in North St Louis.  

Today I stood outside the workhouse as prisoners waved white shirts and begged for help. The question for St Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, Governor Eric Greitens and St Louis judges is this- what kind of America do you believe in? Do you believe in an America of freedom and human rights? Or do you believe in an America where those too poor to post bail and convicted of no crime suffer in inhumane conditions? 

Tomorrow night at 7:00 PM join myself and others as we gather outside of the workhouse asking for it to be shutdown. If you cannot be there in person please contribute to the release bonds of prisoners, call the mayor, call the governor, and call judges asking for the prisoners to be released. 

Shut it down! See my video from today below. Some very powerful testimony. 

On the wall in the lobby at the City Workhouse