Organizers of the Chicago action said they chose Cook County Jail because they felt the Japanese American community’s experience with mass incarceration during World War II holds lessons for how to handle the coronavirus outbreak in the jail.

“We saw what was happening, and it reminded us of how many people in the World War II incarceration camps died because of medical neglect. We want as many people as possible to be released to prevent more loss of life.”

The demonstration was part of a national social justice movement called Tsuru For Solidarity.