Filed under: Action, Anarchist Movement, Incarceration, Northeast
Report back and analysis of New Year’s Eve noise demonstration in Philadelphia.
A call was made for an anti-prison solidarity noise demo on NYE. When we arrived to the meetup there were scattered crews huddled in the rain, around 20 or 30 people in all. A short announcement was made explaining the route and dispersal for the march, supplies to share, and the legal number.
The march began by taking the street. There was a banner that read “Total Freedom Against All Authority”, drums, black flags, fireworks, leaflets, shakers, graffiti, and rowdy voices showing disdain for prison and police.
Once at the prison more fireworks were shot and we made a bunch of noise. Cops showed up surprisingly fast compared to other years. But the march left the prison as the plan was to leave once police presence was significant. We marched against traffic until we turned into an alley, where a dumpster was thrown to block the way. Everyone dispersed.
What We Liked
We liked keeping this New Year’s Eve anti-prison tradition alive. We were happy with the turnout despite the weather. People came prepared with their own objectives and the tools to carry them out. We liked that the bloc stayed together and kept it tight once the cops arrived. We liked that we didn’t wait around to get fucked up by the police. We’re glad that the planning and promotion were kept offline. We thought overall that the demo went smooth. This demo opened our eyes to the potential of short flash mob type actions and left us wondering what something like this would look like with a different intensity.
What We Didn’t Like
Because of its shortness we regret not seeing the prisoners. That was our biggest disappointment because the intention behind the demo was to have an interaction with the prisoners. It’s difficult to navigate how long to stick around while maintaining an intensity that feels honest and defiant without making it easier for the cops to arrest us.
Two more takeaways were: we could have done more to make our banner less flimsy, and that we wonder if this particular demo is becoming predictable to the police. Lastly the unfortunate timing of a park ranger meant we couldn’t have more time for discussion before the march began.
We hope that other people at the march share their reports, thoughts, criticisms, and feelings and we can create an open dialogue around actions.
For the blackest December
Fuck law and order
Happy New Year!