Freiburg, Germany: Reportback from New Year’s Eve demo from both sides of the prison walls

For a society without prisons

In the early evening of December 31st, 2013, around 50 people gathered in front of the local prison in Freiburg to express their solidarity with the political prisoner Thomas Meyer-Falk and the social captives. Initially, a rally was held close to the preventative detention section of the prison. A salute to Thomas was first read out. A longer contribution followed, which examined the background of this type of ‘security detention’ after completion of one’s sentence (Sicherungsverwahrung).

Later demonstrators moved to the main entrance of the prison, with fireworks and slogans like “Freedom for all prisoners” and “We are not all, the prisoners are missing”. The police escorted the demonstration with some officers at a reasonable distance.

An intermediate gathering took place at the square in front of the main entrance. The Freiburg Anarchist Group read out a collective critique of prisons as well as greetings in different languages to those imprisoned. The prison staff provoked the demo by filming and photographing through the windows of the keeper’s house and from its roof. The prisoners reacted to the noise outside by shouting and whistling.

The demo continued towards the train station and dissolved at the Wilhelmstraße entrance. The prisoners could follow each speech via live broadcast on the free radio station of Freiburg Radio Dreyeckland.

In the late evening hours, several people attacked the keeper’s house with pyrotechnics. The prisoners welcomed this action with loud jeering.

Below is an excerpt from a text of Thomas Meyer-Falk about the noise demo at Freiburg prison:

From 6pm, four of us followed the live transmission of the anti-prison demo by the Radio Dreyeckland (a local non-commercial radio station). Six collectives from Freiburg called out for this event. Best regards and thanks to the organizers, activists, the people of Radio Dreyeckland, and all those who share the claim for a society without prisons, or at least are open to listen to the arguments in favor.

A strong signal was sent through combative contributions and slogans on this December 31st. In the following days, the demo was mentioned and discussed among preventatively detainees and penal captives. Even among the prison guards the demo became a central topic of discussion, since such attention to both the penal captives and the inmates under security detention hardly ever appears.

Due to the construction of the preventative detention section, it was impossible to feel or hear ‘live’ what was happening outside, because the sound died away in the backyard and did not penetrate the prison cells. So, it was really nice that we could listen to the Radio Dreyeckland.

In the penal custody wing, things were different. The prisoners were able to see the demonstrators from the upper floors.

sources: linksunten, freedomforthomas