New Year noise demos: Get thee to the prison gates

The darkest night of the year is done, but for nearly 84,000 people in British jails the New Year can be rough as they’re isolated from loved ones.

The anarchist response to this has for the last few years been to take time on New Year’s Eve for making an enormous noise outside prisons in London and internationally, and 2019-20 will be no different.

Callouts have been made to dial up the decibels outside two prisons, Pentonville in the north (FB event) and Brixton in the south (FB event), with organisers asking people to bring banners and something you can make some noise with (pots, pans, kitchen utensils, drums, sirens, speakers, megaphones, horns etc). The facilities are notoriously miserable, with Pentonville recently acquiring invulnerable cockroaches while Brixton continues to be hugely overcrowded. Details of the two events are:

HM Prison Pentonville
From 8.30pm (NB// Alternative times have been posted online but this was confirmed with organisers)
Caledonian Rd, N7 8TT

HMP Brixton
6pm-9pm
Jebb Avenue, SW2 5XF

This year’s callout on the subject comes from New York’s Anarchist Black Cross, which organises solidarity with anarchist prisoners and against the prison industrial complex. In a statement the group wrote:

This is a call for a raucous night of strong solidarity with those imprisoned by the state on one of the noisiest nights of the year. On New Year’s Eve gather your crew, collective, community, organization, or just yourself and come together to raise a racket and remind those on the inside that they are not alone.

Internationally, noise demonstrations outside of prisons are a way to remember those who are held captive by the state and a way to show solidarity with imprisoned comrades and loved ones. We come together to break the loneliness and isolation.

We know that prison is beyond reform and must be completely abolished. It is a mechanism of repression used by the state to maintain a social order rooted in white supremacy, patriarchy, and heteronormativity. To come together outside of the sites of repression is to also stand in defiance of what they represent.

The logic of the state and capital — of punishment and imprisonment, must be replaced by a rejection of oppression and exploitation. This call is one step in that direction.

Wherever you are, meet on New Year’s Eve at the prisons, jails, and detention centers, be loud in solidarity with those imprisoned and to push forward the idea of ​​a world free from domination.

We send this call in solidarity with those defying state repression of large scale dissent: from the anarchist uprising in Chile to those in Exarchia facing repression as anarchist anti-state organizers, and all of those in the spaces between.

We want a world without walls and borders.

We will fight together until everyone is free!

In the US, demos are taking place in New York, Fort Lauderdale, Alexandria, Baltimore and Durham. In Germany there will be a rally at the deportation prison in Dresden Waltherstrasse / Hamburgerstrasse.

For more on the Anarchist Black Cross in London and links to ABC groups worldwide, see here.


Pic: NYE noise demo at Pentonville last year