Protest at Cedar Creek Correctional, Washington in Response to COVID-19

Protest at Cedar Creek Correctional, Washington in Response to COVID-19

Cedar Creek Correctional Center, Little Rock, Washington
April 9, 2020

Responding to the spread of COVID-19 in the facility, approximately 30 prisoners staged an evening protest demanding better protections against the virus. Family members and journalists were called and prison officials allowed them to speak with the prisoners in the midst of the protest.

Ginny Parham, a prisoner advocate wrote about her experiencing visiting the prisoners at the fence in the midst of the protest:

On April 9th, 2020 a protest that started at around 9:00 pm at Cedar Creek Correctional Center in Little Rock Washington ended quietly and peacefully at around 12:30am. Approximately 30 men were asking that their requests for safe living conditions during the Covid 19 outbreak be heard. Family Members and News Reporters were called to show up in support of these men who said they were scared and concerned and they don’t want to die in prison. Two of us jumped in the car at about 10:30 at night and drove to the prison. About 800 feet from the prison a huge Road Closed road block sign was put up in the road but we knew the road was not closed so we kept on driving. As we approached the prison a big black SUV sat in the middle of the road with bright lights shining on us. Two Correctional Officers came up to our car window and asked us Why we were there and Who invited us. We told them we were invited by our family to support their requests. We were then directed to a dark side road, where another black SUV and two more officers came up to our window and asked us Why we were there and who invited us. One man introduced himself as Superintendent Alfred Smack. The Superintendent noticed our reluctance to answer any more questions so he assured us that it was okay to be there and our family members were expecting us. We told him that we were there to support all the men and we told him who had invited us. The Superintendent was thoughtful , respectful and kind. Alfred Smack told us to get in the back seat of the SUV and we were escorted close up to the gate where 30 men were waiting to tell their stories of fear, and concern. Men called out a name they have trusted for years, they called out for Lydia Barlow who is a huge prison education supporter. We were allowed to video tape their requests and here is what they had to say:

*There comes a time when silence is betrayal
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Parham took videos of the protest which she posted to Facebook, recording what the prisoners had to say:




Ginny Parham, Facebook, April 10, 2020.

Inmates’ relatives press Inslee to free up prison space to fight COVID-19 outbreak“, The News Tribune, April 11, 2020

Article Published: 4/20/2020

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