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Jun 13, 21

Detroit, MI: Report Back from June 11th Noise Demo

Report back from a recent noise demonstration in Detroit, Michigan, organized on June 11th, an international day in solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoners.

The June 11th noise demo outside of Wayne County Jails in downtown Detroit happened one day after the new interim police chief announced a plan to enforce strict noise and crowd ordinances in the wake of a fight in Greektown, which is one block from the Wayne County Jails. This included a plan to significantly increase police presence downtown on weekends.

Wayne County Jails are also presently experiencing a severe staffing shortage, which has led to officers refusing to work and likening their jobs to “being on death row.” In spite of this, we noticed police buses and vans downtown, parked and ready to load up more arrestees. We were not deterred by these intimidation tactics, as we were committed to showing up for the folks in our community being held captive by corrupt Detroit police.

About 50+ comrades attended the noise demo, representing local mutual aid groups, street medics, anarchist collectives, housing unions, environmental groups, abolitionists, musicians, and folks who had previously experienced incarceration. NLG were also on site for the early part of the noise demo. We distributed zines from, and mutual aid groups brought cold water and snacks. Folks had musical instruments, pots and pans, drums, kazoos and whistles, microphones and megaphones, thundersticks that said “FREE THE ALL”, and full PA systems. We made noise, danced, sang, and chanted for our incarcerated community members, some of whom we could see through the narrow frosted windows of the Andrew C. Baird Detention Facility. We held up signs with messages such as “Free them all” and “We love you” and chanted “Black lives matter” and “Fuck 12.” Music played through the PA included The Coup, NWA, and Dead Prez. Folks inside were seen dancing, waving, and holding notes up to the windows, showing us that they could see and hear us. It was a beautiful moment of solidarity felt by many.

We were given no trouble in spite of this alleged plan to crack down on weekend noise and crowds. At one point a couple of cops stood behind glass doors and filmed while comrades yelled “Fuck 12!” We held the space for about three hours until a heavy downpour forced those with electronic equipment to vacate. Still, some comrades continued to stay and make noise in the pouring rain, including one comrade who had brought a full drum set.

Noise demo kicks off in Detron, TO

Many comrades felt moved by this action and expressed interest in showing up for incarcerated friends more frequently. June 11th in Detroit was a wonderful night of music, fun, and unity.

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