On the night of July 4th, a small group of individuals had a noise demonstration at the local jail. We shouted to those held captive, lit off fireworks and smoke bombs, and scattered hundreds of leaflets.
There is no point in waiting until there are enough people, until the time is right: you will be waiting forever. Small, modest actions are the necessary groundwork for revolt. You do not need great numbers to do meaningful things.
Text from the leaflet:
FIRE TO EVERY PRISON CELL & BORDER WALL!
DEATH TO THE STATE!
Solidarity with those in revolt behind prison walls.
Solidarity with anarchist prisoner Eric King.
Prisons cannot stop anarchy.
War against power.
In response to the call for an international day of action in solidarity with trans prisoners, some antagonist queers and accomplices paid a visit to the juvenile detention center in Minneapolis, USA. Two banners were unfurled that read:
Not Gay As In Happy, Queer As In Fuck 12
Fire To The Prisons
Several fireworks were set off, illuminating the dreary night for those held captive to see. We exchanged a few waves with those inside before disappearing into the night.
In the evening of December 31st, we went to the federal women’s prison in Joliette (the only prison for women with sentences exceeding 2 years, in so-called Québec), in Lanaudière region. We held two banners with the inscriptions: ‘The love for freedom makes us enemies of authority’ and ‘Freedom is our absolute weapon’. We shot some fireworks, were able to communicate with the women incarcerated and chanted our solidarity. Several of them came out of their units (little houses in the prison yard), or went to their windows. This was the first time of its kind at this prison.
Solidarity with all prisoners in struggle
Until we are all free
LET’S DESTROY ALL PRISONS AND THE WORLD THAT NEEDS THEM
“Combative memory defines us as individuals taking a stand in our negation of the existent, forces us to push the memory of our fallen comrades beyond reflecting on how they were snatched from us, bringing them into our everyday lives in many forms and individual initiatives without giving in to resignation in the face of death or to oblivion. To bring new life to their insurgent lives, through actions, also to remind those who took their lives that the comrades live in each one of us and that we will always despise the role of those who chose to become defenders of the present system of dominion.”
– Nataly Casanova
On New Year’s Eve, about 20 individuals gathered in Bloomington, Indiana for a noise demonstration at the county jail. After brief discussion and preparation, as well as side-eyed glances and giggles from stumbling young people, the black-clad crowd walked a few blocks to the jail to show our solidarity with those held inside its walls. Banners were unfurled, black flags flew, and words of solidarity were shouted. The response from those inside came almost immediately: pounding on the walls and windows of the building. Dozens of smoke bombs and fireworks were set off, their sound echoing through the streets and colors lighting up the night. Approaching midnight, a dumpster was rolled into the street and set on fire. Sparks and whistles from several fireworks joined the flames in the dumpster, noise from the prisoners, and cheers from us.
Seeing the lights of police cars, the group scattered. Police gave chase, threatening with tasers those running away. Unfortunately, one comrade was tackled and arrested. Facing a few misdemeanors, they were bailed out early the following morning and are recovering with help from their friends.
We see this as a slight escalation of street activity in Bloomington, and an interrogation of how we relate to the BPD, who we often assume will remain relatively hands-off during demonstrations, but who nonetheless keep us largely passive.
Solidarity to all prison rebels and anarchist prisoners around the world. From Bloomington to Barcelona, from Montreal to Melbourne, from Santiago to São Paulo, from Montevideo to Minneapolis, from Alabama to Athens: struggle continues until all prisons and precincts are rubble at our feet!
On April 28th 2015, the anti-extremist police unit commanded Operation Fenix across the Czech Republic, in an attempt to frighten the anarchist and antiauthoritarian scene, and collect information in a fishing expedition. The police have arrested or interrogated over thirty people so far, with the intention of investigating activities which they later labeled as ‘terrorist’. Individuals were harassed by undercover cops, others taken from one city to another for immediate interrogations, private flats and social centres were raided, and servers confiscated.
According to updates until May 26th, three individuals remain in police custody for further investigations, and a number of individuals have been interrogated for second time.
On Saturday, June 6th, comrades gathered outside Prague’s remand prisons where Operation Fenix prisoners are currently being held.
Below is an open letter from Petr S., one of the imprisoned since Op. Fenix was launched:
thank you for all your support and solidarity. It means a lot to me, especially in this situation. I have always regarded my life as a mere fraction of all life on Earth. That has not changed. Even when I was not in custody, the thought of all those whose freedom has been taken, not only behind bars, has made me feel not free myself. My journey in life has always been a journey towards equality and a truly free society for all. Your kind words assure me that I will never be alone on this journey.
With sincere gratitude and fraternal greetings,
On May 22nd, about 200-250 people took to the streets in Basel in a demonstration against Frontex and the European migration-regime on the occasion of the international action days against the 10 year anniversary of Frontex.
The demonstration went in front of the deportation prison “Bässlergut”, where a big unit of anti-riot cops prevented people from getting to the fence of the prison. There were slogans and speeches against borders and prisons and in solidarity with those held captive. The reaction from the prisoners was loud and strong, with slogans against the cops and lots of noise with banging on the iron bars, for example.
Later that night, a bigger group of people attacked the “Waaghof” with stones and paint. In this building the prosecutor’s office and a pretrial prison are located, as well as certain units of the police.
In the evening of December 31st, 2014, in Freiburg, around 20 people demonstrated unannounced and without permit for the freedom of all prisoners and against the repressive society. From the meeting point at Tennenbacher square the demonstration moved to Freiburg’s prison. Despite the failing sound system, the demo was loudly and was accompanied with appropriate pyrotechnics and some colour eggs. At least at the main entrance the prisoners heard the demo and waved back. The demo lasted about half an hour. The police showed no reaction.
Below are a few words from comrade Thomas Meyer-Falk, imprisoned in Freiburg. Two other speeches prepared by supporters for the action can be found in the German original.
Greeting by Thomas Meyer-Falk
New Year’s Eve 2014
This gesture of yours, showing solidarity with those who are forced to live behind these thick cold walls, is shining like a torch in the darkness. As in the years before, people suffered and died here in 2014. There have been suicides, many suicide attempts and a hunger strike.
And yet one can see pulsating life behind bars, which is not least fueled by the solidarity support from relatives, friends or comrades.
The anti-prison fight will always include the idea of a radical change of existing conditions, because the capitalist form of society will never do without prisons. Someone fighting for the abolition of custodial institutions will, at the same time, be endeavoring to live in another society; that is, a free society.
Your demos at this prison are cherished enthusiastically by those who live here. Because you show us that we here are not alone and that there are people who reject incarceration.
Solidarian and heart-throbbing greetings!
To all of you a healthy, colourful, lively and free 2015!
On December 31st, 2014 as in recent years, a demo took place at the prison building in Münster. From around 23:30, over 40 people demonstrated against one of the most brutal form of repression, imprisonment, by making use of banners, music and fireworks. During the demo many bangers and skyrockets were thrown or fired over the prison wall to express solidarity with the inmates who reacted with loud shouting and jeering.
We do not want a society that deals with problems by punishing and locking up people. A large share of criminalised actions is in all likelihood caused by the capitalist conditions that force people to commit these “crimes”. Hardly anyone would steal food or rob a bank if they were “better off” economically. Prison does not serve to “reintegrate people back into society” (as if persons turned into offenders were no longer part of society in the first place). The only purpose of prison is to uphold the social order, punish people and break them. For us, it is clear that this as any other kind of state repression is to be fully rejected.
After the demo paint-bombs were thrown at the building and the slogan “Fight the State” was painted on the prison wall. We also blocked the road in front of the prison with materials from construction sites.
For a liberated society, free of prison, repression and capitalism!
As a small gesture of solidarity with those languishing behind bars, and like each new year, people gathered to express a bit of their revolt against all confinement.
We went in front of the women’s prison in Rennes, that of men in Vezin and the detention centre for the undocumented in Saint-Jacques. To exchange some shouts and fireworks across the walls and the bars, and mitigate the daily imposed isolation, even for just a short while.
Because we refuse to light-heartedly celebrate a new year, when thousands of people spend time in cells. Because a happy new year doesn’t exist when each day spent in jail is always a day too many; there can be no goodhealth, either physical or mental, when we are deprived of freedom; and the best wishes we can bid them are those prison riots and next escapes!
A small gesture that calls many others.
Here, elsewhere, everywhere, all the time.
Destroy the jails!
Stone by stone, wall by wall, we’ll destroy all the prisons!
In the night of December 31st 2014 to January 1st 2015, a few groups of people went to express their solidarity with the prisoners and other detainees by shouting slogans against confinement, speaking with the prisoners at the windows and throwing fireworks, around the prisons of Fresnes, Versailles, Bois d’Arcy and Nanterre, and the administrative detention centre of Vincennes.
Yesterday evening [December 31st, 2014], while everyone celebrated the “new year”, others didn’t forget that, this year, the misery of the jail continues, and that some are still there to rot and die.
Fireworks and firecrackers were therefore thrown in front of the prison of Ittre [atown located 30 km south of Brussels] in solidarity with the prisoners incarcerated, greeted with cries of “Freedom”, “Strength”, or “Brick by brick, wall by wall, destroy all the prisons”, to show them that there are people who don’t forget those who undergo confinement.
Because nobody can be free in the shadow of a prison, but also because the world which we live in always resembles more of an open prison.
Late afternoon on December 31st, 2014, a group of people in solidarity with undocumented migrants greeted with fireworks those incarcerated at the CIE (Centre for identification and deportation) located in Corso Brunelleschi in Turin. On the stroke of midnight, also at the prison of Le Vallette the prisoners attended a pyrotechnic spectacle and heard shouts of freedom from those who came to greet them. On the inside, the loud noise made by the detainees warmed the spirits of the solidarians, who answered with shouting and firecrackers.
At the early evening of New Year’s Eve, around 20 people gathered in front of the prison in Dortmund for an unauthorized demo. The attention of the prisoners was called by fireworks and slogans like “Freedom for all prisoners”. A short speech was held in reference to the prison society and the situation of prisoners, as well as the increasing repression against political activists, people who organize in prisoner unions, and an overall intensification of the principle of punishment.
Direct eye contact was possible with the prisoners; only a few meters separated those incarcerated from the gathering. Prisoners showed their delight and solidarity with the manifestation through cheering, raised fists and loud noises. Their affirmative shouts were also heard during the speech. The short-time communication between the inside and the outside could not be prevented by the shouting of the prison cops. The demo was held without direct contact with cops, and there were no detentions.
During the action the walls of the prison were beautified with anarchist symbols and painted slogans. At the end the people wished the prisoners a happy new year. We hope to have at least showed a small token of solidarity and enriched the lame prison daily routine. Against a society that needs prisons – To the prisons on New Year’s Eve – We will come back, no question.
On October 7th, nearly 25 comrades gathered for about an hour outside the prison of Larissa as a small token of solidarity with comrade Stamboulos, as soon as we were informed that he had been transferred to the same prison (in the A wing). As far as we know, the comrade continues his hunger and thirst strike.
The States are the only terrorists; solidarity with urban guerrilla fighters
After consecutive incidents of suicide and self-harm of detainees in Cyprus prisons, five inmates of Iranian origin and another from Afghanistan, locked up in the Mennogeia detention centre in Larnaca, staged a protest on the roof of the prison building on the morning of August 25th, 2014 to demand the end of their detention. In Cyprus, as elsewhere, asylum seekers and other migrants are held for months on end. The migrant protesters informed supporters on the outside that there are people without criminal conviction who have been inside the same hellhole for 4.5 years.
A group of people in solidarity held a gathering in the proximity of the detention centre, shouting “Freedom” and slogans such as “The passion for freedom is stronger than all prison cells.”
After a 48-hour stay on the rooftop of the detention centre and negotiations with authorities, the migrant protesters were conditionally released.
Click image to read a leaflet handed out at a noise demo outside Holloway prison and at a meeting in solidarity with anti-eviction fighters raided and arrested in Turin, Italy on the 3rd of June (constantly updated list of comrades in prison or house arrest here).
It’s time to act with all means in solidarity with the hunger strikers in Greek prisons!
On Sunday morning, June 29th, some 50 comrades went to Aghios Stefanos prison in Patras, where 550 prisoners are on hunger strike. Local authorities were caught off guard and reacted in panic. Through loudspeakers, the administration ordered the prison staff to lock inmates who had entered the yard back in their cells.
Upon arrival, comrades set up a sound system and read words against maximum security prisons and messages in solidarity with prisoners. They chanted slogans around the outer fence of the prison and then approached the walls near the main entrance, where slogans like “solidarity with the struggles of prisoners” and “fire to the galleys” were painted, while screws and cop cars were going back and forth.
There was a direct line of sight to prisoners, who responded with shouts such as “fuck maximum security prisons” and “we’re gonna continue the strike till victory”.
Solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike
Against maximum security prisons and special conditions of detention
According to rough estimates, nearly 4,000 individuals participated in the anarchist-antiauthoritarian demonstration on the 28th of June in downtown Athens.
People in struggle and in solidarity are obviously not figures in accounting books, nor does any total number equal the desire for freedom. However, the last few days, numbers are those that rudimentarily map one of the most massive mobilizations which have ever occurred within prison walls in Greece, so it is reminded that the participation of prisoners, who are fighting against the bill on inauguration of type C-maximum security prisons and introduction of special conditions of detention and isolation, so far consists of approximately 4,400 hunger strikers in 15 different hellholes, not counting all those who refuse prison meals. Already on the 28th of June, several hunger strikers in Koridallos, including imprisoned anarchist comrades, were transferred to the prison infirmary in need of immediate medical treatment.
At about 12pm solidarity people began to gather in Monastiraki Square, next to the metro station. Along with distribution of texts against the white torture cells and the Greek Guantanamo, there were also people who handed out leaflets about a recent attack by football’s mafia thugs on the Strouga squat, which is located in the district of Nea Filadelfeia (Athens). Shortly after 1.30pm, under a hot sun, anarchists, antiauthoritarians and other protesters (e.g. there was presence of Trotskyists) started to march with organized ‘safeguarding’ lines, taking a familiar route in the city centre: through Athinas Street towards Omonoia Square, and then turning to Stadiou Street on to Syntagma, where the parliament building was guarded by police as usual. Passersby were not that many. But there were plenty of repressive forces that watched closely from parallel streets, while some antiriot squads followed the demo from a distance. Leaving behind the disciplined line of an unsuspecting group of middle-aged tourists with their luggage in tow in the presence of antiriot cops in khaki uniforms, the anarchist-antiauthoritarian march walked on Panepistimiou Street, where it ended at about 2.30pm in front of the Propylaea.
The ‘pulse’ of protesters was not lively at all times, nonetheless those who chose to take to the streets were understandably conscious of the critical nature of this struggle, but also of the symbolic-vital character of the protest itself in major arteries of the city. Demonstrators carried various anti-prison banners (the most visible one, due to its height, being one by the Rocinante anarchosyndicalist initiative). Many fliers were thrown, numerous leaflets were shared informing people about the ongoing struggle of prisoners, and a pet store that sells nonhuman animals packed into cages was spontaneously attacked, while lots of stencils against the maximum security prisons and various slogans and A in a circle were painted along the route. At the end of the Stadiou street, demonstrators exchanged greetings with laid-off workers (cleaning ladies formerly employed by the finance ministry) who stood on the sidewalk holding their own protest banner. Finally, some of the slogans that were shouted during the demo are: “neither penal nor political prisoners, explosives and fire to every prison,” “all the values of this society are maximum security prisons,” “solidarity is people’s weapon, war against the bosses’ war,” “the prisoners from the galleys and we from the streets, together we will abolish the State and the laws,” “the passion for freedom is stronger than all prisons,” “listen up you humanguards, hands off the combatants,” “the States are the only terrorists, solidarity with urban guerrilla fighters,” “hunger strike inside the prison cells, struggle for life and for freedom,” “Greece of Greek policepeople, of snitches, murderers and torturers,” “the State is calling the fighters scumbags, scumbags are the antiriot squads and plainclothes cops,” “the State and the Capital are the only terrorists, solidarity with urban guerrilla fighters,” “free-free-freedom for those who are in prison cells”…
Last night, June 26th, around 20 individuals carried out a solidarity intervention outside Corfu prison, which was met with a big and touching response from inside the walls, with prisoners responding immediately to shouts and slogans. The last update refers to 120 hunger strikers in the hellhole of Corfu.
Comrades threw anti-repression leaflets in the streets and shouted slogans such as:
Listen up you humanguards, hands off the fighters!
The State is calling the fighters scumbags – Scumbags are the anti-riot squadrons and plainclothes cops!
The State and the Capital are the only terrorists – Solidarity with urban guerrilla fighters.
Terrorism is the wage slavery – No peace with the bosses.
Solidarity is people’s weapon – War against the bosses’ war!
All the values of this society are maximum security prisons.
The passion for freedom is stronger than all prisons!
Soon they were surrounded by forces of MAT anti-riot squadron and DELTA motorcycle cops. The detained comrades were transferred to GADA (the police headquarters on Alexandras Avenue, in the centre of Athens).
The Open Assembly of Anarchists/Antiauthoritarians against Special Detention Conditions, alongside other collectives like the VOX squat, urgently called for a gathering outside GADA, which was attended by 300 people in solidarity. Late at night, the 57 detainees were gradually released, without charges.
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.
Comrades gathered in front of the local juvenile prison in the city of Volos and spent New Year’s Eve close to the prisoners. Demonstrators shouted slogans amid fireworks; “The passion for freedom is stronger than all prisons”; “Fire and blast at this brothel”, and more.
At this year’s demo, solidarity was powerfully expressed both from the inside and the outside of Koridallos prisons. Nearly a thousand people in solidarity turned up to the gathering before midnight, and started to chant loud slogans. Several comrades set off fireworks while prisoners were making noise and throwing flaming objects out of cell windows. Shortly after the crowd moved from the park across the men’s prison to a parking lot opposite the women’s prison, anti-riot cops used tear gas to quell the large demonstration, and chased protesters into nearby streets. Four detentions were reported.