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Flashmob Of Protesters Sing Remixed Christmas Carols At Justice Center

Protesters sang two songs before security escorted them out of the Justice Center. [Jeff Haynes / ideastream}
Protesters sang two songs before security escorted them out of the Justice Center. [Jeff Haynes / ideastream}

More than a dozen members of the Coalition to Stop Inhumanity at the Cuyahoga County Jail burst into song in the Justice Center lobby Monday afternoon. 

The song choices were Christmas carol classics with lyrics remixed to protest conditions at the Cuyahoga County Jail.

"We wish for humane conditions. We wish for no more corruption. We wish for just justice, in the county jail here," the protestors sang to the tune of 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas.'

The carolers started with 'Silent Night' - reimagined as 'Silent Plight.' 

"All's not calm. All's not bright. Drowning in silence in the county jail. Families are crying to no avail."

Carolers sang 'Bail Reform is Coming to Town' while security escorted them out of the building. [Jeff Haynes / ideastream]

Security guards allowed carolers to sing two songs before escorting them out the building. On their way out, they sang 'Bail Reform is Coming To Town.'

"Our voices are loud. We're gonna unite. We're not gonna let you let us all die. Bail reform is coming to town."

The carolers finished their five-song setlist, plus an encore of "Bail Reform is Coming to Town," in front of the building's entrance.

The protesters sang a few more songs outside of the Justice Center. [Jeff Haynes / ideastream]

Coalition members said they wanted to get their voices heard with creativity and some holiday spirit. 

"It's the holidays. It's all great to remember the times you're with your family and be grateful for all that, but there's people that are inside of here, that haven't been convicted of a crime, are not with their families today," said Devin Climaco, a coalition member who assisted with the songwriting. 

Devin Climaco (left) helped write some of the remixed Christmas Carols. [Jeff Haynes / ideastream]

The mission of the music was to draw attention to what a U.S. Marshals report called 'inhumane' conditions at the jail. Climaco also cited a 'lack of effort' by county employees tasked with making changes. 

"It's not the typical thing. It's not everyone out here yelling and chanting, holding up signs. We're having fun too," he said.

Jennifer Lumpkin's flute cued the carolers to begin singing 'Silent Plight.' [Jeff Haynes / ideastream.]

The county has not replied to requests for comment.

jeff.haynes@ideastream.org | 216-916-6276