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May 3, 16

Autonomous March in Solidarity with Prisoners in Philly

Submitted to It’s Going Down

Across the country, prisoners have been pushing back against the indignities of prison. In Texas, prisoners have been on strike against slave labor for almost one month. Bubbling tensions in Holman, Alabama have erupted into prison riots at least twice and are now taking the form of a work stoppage. Three facilities around Michigan have seen mass protests, with inmates refusing meals and skipping meetings with the prison staff in protest against food quality. Louisiana has also seen hunger strikes recently. All of these actions lead toward a nation-wide prison strike on September 9th, the anniversary of the Attica uprising.

On May Day, between 15 and 20 people gathered for a short autonomous march through West Philly in solidarity with prisoners’ struggles and against prison society. The demonstration moved east behind two banners, “Prisoners to the Streets” and “REVENGE”. Music from a sound system kept the atmosphere playful.

Pamphlets expressing solidarity with struggles in prison were given to people in cars and in the street who were curious about what was happening. Stickers and tags against police and prison were put up along the way. A police substation received a few splashes of paint as the march passed it. People generally seemed enthusiastic about the demonstration and expressed their support from the sidewalks and cars.

The march ended and dispersed without incident at a nearby park. It had been promoted in a way to decrease the possibility of police presence at the meetup and no police were around for the entirety of the brief march.

Some takeaways:
-Avoiding reliance on Facebook and building networks of friends and comrades in less mediated ways makes repression harder.
-More dialogue between participants — especially during the demonstration — can make events like these less confusing in the future.
-As long as an escalation is not too drastic, sharing tools (like paint, stickers, flyers, etc) can welcome and encourage people to take action in a friendly setting.
-Bad weather is not the end of the world.

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This submission came to It's Going Down anonymously through IGD is not the author nor are we responsible for the post content.

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