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Sep 9, 21

Minneapolis, MN: #ShutEmDown2021 Action Reportback

Report on #ShutEmDown2021 actions in Minneapolis in solidarity with the call from Jailhouse Lawyers Speak for actions marking the 50th anniversary of the Attica uprising.

On the morning of Thursday, September 9, 2021, in response to Jailhouse Lawyers Speak’s call for #ShutEmDown2021 actions, autonomous crews crashed the offices of a key player in the vast prison-slavery complex.

Operating out of so-called St. Louis Park, MN (occupied Dakota land and a suburb of Minneapolis), Klein McCarthy Architects is a white-collar architecture firm that has designed much of the upper midwest’s brick-and-mortar infrastructure of genocidal white supremacy. They’ve been in business since 1977. We believe it’s time they face the people’s wrath. The firm has recently been contracted by Winona County, in the southern part of so-called Minnesota, to design a new $28-million jail, in the face of mounting grassroots resistance. We saw an opportunity to strike back against a parasitic firm that has had a significant behind-the-scenes role in imprisoning working people.

We took direct action in solidarity with Community Not Cages, a group leading the fight in Winona against the proposed jail and all carceral institutions. Employees driving in to work saw the large words ‘Klein Cages Kill’ and ‘Avenge Attica’ graffitied on the road and across a semitrailer directly opposite the office park driveway.

We greeted workers coming into the building and made conversation with them about the architects of white supremacy who share their office building, as well as distributing literature about the struggle for abolition. Our message was clear: your neighbors have profited from the construction of nearly 100 jails, courts, and police stations on this land, and continue to grow rich from the capture of working-class, overwhelmingly colonized people. Most workers were receptive to the information, glad to talk, and happily took the literature —a small stack of zines we had carefully bound in twine—on the Attica Rebellion, Jailhouse Lawyers Speak’s *Shut ‘Em Down* call, Racial Capitalism and Prison Abolition, Winona communities’ opposition to the proposed jail and what abolition means to us.

Separately, Klein McCarthy employees arriving to their 4th-floor office suite found their door, window and entryway slathered in red paint with posters reading “No new jails” and “Quit your job to wash the blood from your hands”—letting them know that their complicity in the murderous system of modern-day slavery can no longer be obscured by a dreary suburban office park.

An employee of Colliers International, the commercial real-estate giant that owns the building, called the pigs. Eight of them showed up quick, but we evaded arrests.

We parted ways with Klein McCarthy, but not before making sure every car and neighborhood passerby had information on the quiet, routine planning of new concentration camps happening down the hall or down the street.

Soon after, another crew dropped a banner over the nearby highway, displaying boldly ‘Klein McCarthy: Architects Of White Supremacy.’

In memory of the prisoners who rose up at Attica 50 years ago today, and in solidarity with Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, we stand with imprisoned revolutionaries everywhere, from Turtle Island to Palestine and beyond. This #ShutEmDown action is just a start, we all must continue to reveal the many ‘respectable’ cogs in the blood-soaked carceral-capitalist machine. Onward to Abolition!

Fire to the prisons, free them all!

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