NSW Inmates Made A BLM Sign Out Of Bedsheets To Protest Against Racism In The Prison System

50 protestors were also cleared out of a courtyard using chemical munitions.

Parklea BLM

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Inmates are facing charges after protesting against racism and Indigenous incarceration rates at Parklea Correctional Centre in NSW.

On Monday, 14 protestors climbed on the roof of a prison wing, and crafted a ‘BLM’ sign made out of bed sheets. Those involved may have their sentences extended.

A spokesperson for Parklea’s private owner, MTC-Broadspectrum, said an additional 50 inmates were cleared out of the yard using “chemical munitions” after they lay on the ground in protest, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. A fire erupted inside the building at the time.

Raymond Finn, an Indigenous activist and father of a young man inside Parklea, spoke out in support of the protests on Tuesday afternoon.

“I need to speak up for those young fellas who were protesting yesterday. They were taking brave action to try and highlight the plight of our people who continue to be brutalised by prisons and police.”

“So many of our people are filling up the jails. We are the most incarcerated people on the face of the planet,” he said. “They need to set our people free. Too many are inside for petty offences.”

“Police harassment is [a] big part of the reason why so many young First Nations people are in jail.”

NITV reported that authorities deny claims of racism, saying buprenorphine was allegedly part of the prisoner’s demands. Reports have pushed “it was sparked by a sudden reduction in illegal drug supply”.

“Describing the riot at Parklea Correctional facility … as being racially motivated, is completely false and misleading,” Corrective Services NSW said in a statement.

Monday’s demonstration reflects a similar protest at Sydney’s Long Bay Jail last June, where inmates also spelt out ‘BLM’.  CSNSW had said there was “no indication” Long Bay was related to the international racial equality movement then as well.

MTC is one of the biggest private prison operators in the US, and was given the Parklea contract in 2019, despite their “atrocious” track record overseas, according to the ABC.