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Jan 3, 22

Noise Demonstrations Held Across So-Called US and Canada on New Year’s Eve

As people counted down to 2022, across multiple cities in the so-called US and Canada, people hit the streets to hold noise demonstrations outside of prisons, jails, juvenile halls, and detention facilities. For over 10 years, anarchists and abolitionists have held noise demonstrations on New Year’s Eve as a way to mobilize energy for the new year and also continue to build connections with those locked behind bars.

Here’s our roundup of noise demos and feel free to email us at info [at] itsgoingdown [dot] org if we missed anything!

Past roundups: NYE 2021, NYE 2020, NYE 2019, NYE 2018, NYE 2017, NYE 2016

Portland, OR:

From submission:

Happy New Year so-called Portland! On NYE about 30 people showed up at the juvi and made a whole bunch of noise with hundreds of fireworks and pots and pans. Abolitionist graffiti was painted across the wall surrounding the jail. Some neighbors came out to yell at us who were disconcertingly upset about the noise we made but not about the fact that they are a landlord next to a fucking baby jail. We were able to organize off of social media and only throughout our networks avoiding detection from cops, fash, and streamers.

We do not need social media to do something and we do not need social media to be successful! We are here and continue to adapt to what is safest for us as a whole. We stand forever with all incarcerated peoples and will not rest until every prison is emptied and burned to the ground! Happy New Year!

Tucson, AZ:

From social media:

To ring in the new year, families and supporters gathered to pay tribute to those lost in the Pima County Jail and at the hands of TPD this year.

For videos and photos, go here.

Austin, TX: Noise demonstration outside of local facility.

Waupun, WI:

From report-back:

Despite the curve balls, the group came to consensus on how to proceed and had what would be considered to be a successful noise demo, although, for a shorter time than planned due to the increased police presence and subsequent movement of the cops towards the rallying abolitionist group, threatening repression, to which the group responded by dispersing. Thankfully, everyone was able to get the fuck out of Dodge (the county in which Waupun is in) without incidence.

Read larger report back here.

Minneapolis, MN:

From submission:

A small group of people shot off fireworks for the kids locked up in the juvie downtown. They displayed a banner that said ‘Stay Warm, Burn A Jail.’

Chicago, IL: Chicago took the NYE tradition of a noise demo outside prisons and jails to another level with a punk show outside the cell blocks at Cook County Jail in Chicago.

Columbus, OH: Noise demo held outside of jail along with free food and groceries.

Cleveland, OH:

From report back:

On New Years Eve 25 anarchists, abolitionists and other rebels gathered outside of the (in)Justice Center in downtown Cleveland, Ohio for the second annual New Years Eve Noise Demonstration hosted by Forest City Anarchists. This event is called every year to both highlight the horrors of the so-called criminal justice system and to let those inside know that they are not forgotten.

Read larger report back here.

New Orleans, LA: Noise demo held outside of prison in New Orleans.

Fort Lauderdale, FL:

From report back:

Dozens gathered at Broward County Jail for the annual New Years’ Eve protest in solidarity with prisoners inside, chanting and banging drums beyond the walls of the complex.

Read larger report back here.

Atlanta, GA:

From social media:

Last night, despite a heavy wave of Covid and a day full of rainy weather, a group of dedicated comrades came together in Atlanta to celebrate the end of 2021 with our friends inside Dekalb County Jail. The spirit here is strong and the fight continues. Until we are all free. ✊🏼

For photos and videos, go here.

Durham, NC:

From submission:

As has happened for several years now, many dozens of people gathered at the jail in downtown Durham on New Year’s Eve, playing drums and shooting fireworks dramatically at the jail, some from close range. Prisoners responded by beating on their windows from inside. Police made sure not to show themselves. At one point, two ignoramuses displayed the flag of the USSR, a gesture very far from the anarchist politics of many of the participants, but besides that, it was a lovely way to ring in the New Year.

Asheville, NC:

From social media:

Much love to everyone who came out tonight and made noise! Many thanks to everyone who donated and helped us bail out 9 people tonight and 2 more on Monday! Here’s to a new year, and a new world with no prisons and no prisoners 🖤

From the Asheville Free Press:

On December 31st, 2021, approximately eighty locals gathered outside of the Buncombe County Detention Center to project messages on the walls where incarcerated people could see them, bang on pots and pans, shout chants, blow air horns, shake noisemakers, and generally make as much sound as possible.

This annual tradition – called a New Year’s Eve Noise Demonstration, or “NYE Noise Demo” for short – has been organized in Asheville since at least 2016. The tradition appears to have started in Greece around 2008, but its origins have a distinct “folk tradition” haziness which precludes a full genealogy, even among people who have been organizing the event for a decade.

In 2010, a group called the North American Anarchist Network put out a global call to action for solidarity with incarcerated individuals, and in the 11 years since many U.S. cities have answered the call. Other U.S. cities where confirmed Noise Demos occurred this New Year’s Eve include Tucson, AZ, Waupun, WI, Cleveland, OH, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Atlanta, GA, Richmond, VA, Worcester, MA, and New York City, NY.

This year in Asheville, organizers also launched a “Community Bail Fund” and managed to bail out nine individuals as part of the demonstration.

Richmond, VA: Noise demonstration outside of local facility.

Norfork, VA: Noise demonstration outside of local facility.

Baltimore, MD: Noise demonstration outside of local facility.

Worcester, MA:

From social media:

Thank you to everyone who came out to the noise demo last night! We refuse to forget our family, friends, and community members the state stole from us. We want them back. Empty prisons & burn them to the fucking ground. Abolition is love. Happy new year.

Brooklyn, NY:

From report on social media:

Anarchists and other abolitionists held a New Years noise demo last nite outside of Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC). A USA flag got burned. Fireworks & lots of noise outside (especially at 12am) as people locked up inside flashed lights and banged on their window. I’ve been to a few noise demos outside of MDC before, but I had never heard this many people inside MDC banging on their windows at once.

Toronto, ON: Noise demonstration outside of local facility.

Montreal, QC:

From social media:

Another annual New Years Eve noise demo last night in the suburbs of Montreal. About 30-40 people showed up to share music, fireworks, and well wishes with prisoners. Demo started out in front of this minimum security federal prison for men.

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