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Feb 3, 16

Durham Takes the Streets in Protest of Jail Deaths

Submitted to It’s Going Down

The following is a short reportback of the march in response to the death of Matthew McCain and Dennis McMurray at the hands of the Durham jail and Sheriff’s department. Keep checking out for jail news and future actions.

This past Saturday around 100 Durham residents—anti-prison militants, former incarcerated folks, #blacklivesmatter activists, families of those killed by the Durham Jail, and more—marched downtown in protest against the medical neglect and oppression that resulted in the recent death of Matthew McCain. McCain, a diabetic, was repeatedly denied insulin medication, and was found dead in his cell on January 19th.

It’s also has been uncovered, by prisoners, family members, and activists with the Inside Outside Alliance, that the death of another prisoner, Dennis McMurray, occurred last January as well. This was hushed up by the media and Sheriff’s department.

On Saturday folks gathered at CCB plaza to share news and meet each other, and then marched through downtown to the jail. Carrying banners, signs, and a loud sound system built into a tricycle, and without permits or peace marshals, people once again took and held the streets. At the jail parts of the crowd continued to block Corcoran St. with banners while others filed into the “yard” directly in front of the jail building. Interspersed with chanting and noise-making, family members and loved ones of McCain shared their anger and sadness over the mobile PA system. It was a space of grief as well as rage, with prisoners looking on and holding signs from their cell windows.

On the way back people continued to occupy lanes of traffic while blasting hip hop, chanting, and screaming, and returned to CCB plaza to share contact info and talk future plans. It was clear that this daytime march was merely a continuation of resistance to DPD and the downtown plantation that is the Durham jail, and that there will be more to come as folks’ rage spills out into the streets.

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