Residents of New York’s Chinatown are speaking out against the construction of a new megajail in the neighborhood that would be a third as high as the Empire State Building, which would likely make it the tallest jail in the world, if finished. The so-called jailscraper is part of an $8 billion plan to build new jails across the city in order to retire the infamous Rikers Island facility, but opponents say that money would be better spent on social services, harm reduction and other initiatives that would better serve the community. Jan Lee, co-founder of the community group Neighbors United Below Canal, says Chinatown residents are interested in “creating a more humane environment for those who are incarcerated.” We also speak with Christopher Marte, who represents the area on New York City Council, and Jon Alpert, co-founder of the community media center DCTV, based in Chinatown for half a decade, who has been documenting the struggle.
Democracy Now! is an independent global news hour that airs on over 1,500 TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream at https://democracynow.org Mondays to Fridays 8-9 a.m. ET.