The recent protests at the St Louis Workhouse jail serve as a brutal reminder that American prisons are oppressive hellholes.
Heather Ann Thompson is a historian and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Blood in the Water: the Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy and Whose Detroit? Politics, Labor, and Race in a Modern American City. She is on faculty at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
At Vaughn prison and elsewhere, we should demand transparency and stand with the inmates who dare to affirm their humanity.
The Attica Prison inmates who rebelled on this day in 1971 remain a symbol of resistance in the face of injustice.