Filed under: Action, Incarceration, Midwest
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Action report on recent home demonstration in Valparaiso, Indiana in response to rising COVID-19 infections and deaths inside Westville Correctional Facility.
Members of the Free Them All Rainbow coalition arrived at John Galipeau’s suburban home in Valparaiso, IN on Wednesday evening May 20, 2020. John Galipeau is the Warden of Westville Correctional Facility which has the highest rate of both infections and deaths in Indiana since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Thirteen people from the coalition participated in a demonstration right outside his front lawn to make it clear they will not tolerate these injustices.
They disrupted him from the comfort of his evening to expose the injustices he is responsible for at Westville Correctional Facility. To date, 85% of those who have been tested have tested positive for COVID-19 and 6 people have died under his watch. The first to die only had a week left on their sentence, but instead of making it to their release date, they were killed by the virus directly related to neglect, lack of medical care and lack of treatment.
Posted by Kwame Shakur on Wednesday, May 20, 2020
The group also delivered a total of 6 body bags to John’s lawn and held a memorial service outside his home to honor those who died under his watch. Each body bag represented one person who had died at Westville Correctional Facility, and these numbers will only continue to rise if action is not taken NOW.
Members of the coalition also read a list of demands that they expect John Galipeau to take action on IMMEDIATELY.
These demands include:
⦁ Release of everyone with less than a year on their sentence, everyone held on parole violations, everyone held on cash bail, and everyone whose age or medical conditions put them at high risk for COVID-19
⦁ Housing in hotels for up for two weeks after release to properly quarantine for COVID-19, using stimulus funds designated for law enforcement.
⦁ Stop honoring ICE holds
⦁ Free medical care and access to masks and cleaning supplies for EVERYONE who remains incarcerated
⦁ Free video visits and communication throughout the duration of the pandemic
Those who came out in protest also brought with them a flyer both as a memorial to those who died and with a list of the demands mentioned above to pass out to John’s neighbors to raise awareness of the injustices that have happened at the hands of their neighbor.
Warden John Galipeau CAN take action, but has chosen not to and this has resulted in people dying. John Galipeau has blood on his hands, and the group says they are not going to let that go unchallenged.