Two signs, addressed to outgoing Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo were placed on either side of Route 95 early Thursday morning, between the Veterans Memorial Auditorium and the Promenade Apartments. Based on the messaging, the signs appear to have been placed by prison abolitionists imploring Governor to do more, including releasing people from prison, to stop the spread of COVID-19 with the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) and to protect the health and safety of the incarcerated persons under her care.
The signs are similar. Both display paintings of a person behind bars, looking out directly at us. Above the person is a second sign that reads, “Prison is Genocide,” “Gina You’re Killing Us” and “Stop COVID-19.” The words are decorated with paintings of the COVID-19 virus. The sign facing the northbound lane features a person with darker skin, the sign facing the southbound lane features a person with lighter skin.
Advocates for incarcerated people have pushed the Raimondo Administration to take stronger measures at the ACI to prevent the ravages of Covid since the pandemic first hit Rhode Island. They remain critical of Governor Raimondo’s actions, or lack thereof, which they see as not going far enough to protect the health and safety of incarcerated persons. As the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the ACI beginning late last year, the fears of these advocates were validated as two inmates and one prison guard died from the disease. The ACI was reporting near 100% positive cases in some units.
As of this writing no one and no group has taken responsibility for these signs.
UpriseRI has been covering the intersection of the pandemic and the ACI for months. See previous reporting and opens here:
- As Covid rages, Decarcerate NOW continues protests outside ACI
- Six arrested outside Governor Raimondo’s home protesting conditions at the ACI
- Rhode Island to stay the course on prison Covid outbreak
- State legislators call for action in response to prison Covid outbreak
- As the pandemic rages inside, advocates, families and allies rally at the ACI
- Car Rally outside Raimondo press conference demands an immediate response to prison Covid outbreak
- OpEd: DARE speaks out on COVID Crisis at the ACI
- Black Lives Matter RI calls on state leaders to deal with ACI covid outbreak
- The Uprising: COVID at the ACI, State Pause, LEOBoR Recommendations
- Public Defender petitions RI Supreme Court to end cash bail amid ACI Covid spike
- Response from Medium Security inmate to ACI Director’s ProJo oped
- Three asymptomatic inmates at ACI test positive for COVID-19
- Local COVID Response Coalition holds Noise Demo for incarcerated Rhode Islanders at ACI telling Gina Raimondo to #Knockitoff
- A noise demonstration at the ACI seeks reforms for the incarcerated amid COVID-19 crisis
- Woman who tested positive for COVID-19 brought to ACI to await arraignment
- ACLU files records request for state plans to address possible COVID-19 outbreak at ACI
- First COVID-19 case at ACI will not alter state’s policy
- An open letter to Governor Raimondo and the ACI regarding COVID-19
- Governor Raimondo “aware” that COVID-19 causes stress for the loved ones of inmates at ACI
- No confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the ACI