Eighteen body bags memorializing each of the detained people who have died on Rikers Island this year lined a sidewalk Thursday at City Hall Park, where activists, elected officials and family members called for the city’s jail complex to be closed.

Edwin Santana, community organizer with the Urban Justice Center and a formerly incarcerated person who had been held on Rikers, led the demonstration along with Victoria Phillips, co-chair of the NYC Department of Correction Young Adult Task Force. “Everyone behind the wall deserves to be protected, respected, and have their safety, human rights, whether your staff or detained,” Phillips said. “But unfortunately the detainees have no one to fight for them. So, as a city, we’ve got to get it together.”

Jails Action Coalition representative Candie Hailey-Means, a “solitary survivor,” spoke of her experiences as a detainee for more than three years. She was acquitted by a jury in 2016 after she awaited trial on attempted murder charges for three years.

“Out of those 1,168 days, I spent 1,122 days consecutively in solitary confinement. They need to close Rikers Island now and release everyone in there,” she said. “Because if you’re in there, you have a mental health illness. Whether you went in there with no diagnosis, you will come out with several diagnoses. I’m living proof.”

The 18-hour event was organized with the support of The Fortune Society, the #HALTsolitary campaign, relatives of detainees and other decarceration organizations. The 18 deaths on Rikers this year are the most since 2013.

On Rikers, Hailey-Means said, she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, manic depression and bipolar disorder. She said she had no history of mental illness before she was detained.

Most detainees on Rikers are awaiting trial. Some are serving sentences of a year or less. Pretrial detainment can last months or even years.

Today, nearly 6,000 people are being held on Rikers. Officials say about half suffer from mental illness.

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso told the story of a childhood friend, Kevin Bryan, 35, who died Sept. 14 in a suspected suicide. “Bryan needed help, he didn’t need to go to Rikers,” Reynoso said. “He locked himself in a room and the person that was outside didn’t go in to save his life. He waited for backup while Bryan was dying. You don’t need backup to save someone’s life.”