Topics:  grafton jail, jail workers, protest, the daily examiner

United we stand, defying Sydney

DAY three on the front line outside the Jail and the crowd showed no sign of giving up yesterday.

Young and old, old and new, jail workers and community members - a steady stream of bodies have been flowing to both entrances to fight the downsizing of the facility.

Some haven't left the scene since Saturday at 2pm when the picket line was formed as word arrived that prisoners were to be moved out.

Others turned up today for the first time to do their bit.

Jail workers have been taking their place on the line in between shifts working at the facility.

The fires have been burning since Saturday afternoon and a healthy supply of donated wood will keep them going for as long as it takes.

The front line has seen more than 200 people face the trucks trying to get in to transport the prisoners on Sunday. People on the front line have seen one truck barge its way through the crowd and leave hours later with prisoners inside beating and banging the side of the vehicle.

They've huddled together through cold nights, welcomed donated food and drinks, rejoiced when finally the trucks were stood down on Sunday.

They've cried, they've laughed, they've raised their voices.

They walked with numb feet backward and forward in front of the two jail entrances from darkness, through the sunrise and well into the day, holding signs with numb fingers.

They don't know what will come next or when it will happen, but they won't leave.

Staff from The Daily Examiner spent Saturday night and Sunday morning on the picket line and visited again at about 2pm yesterday and spoke with some of the people holding fort.



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