Over 100 in the streets for NYC ABC NYE Noise Demo
2015 started strong as we welcomed home Eric McDavid and Norberto González Claudio. Throughout the year, we saw more comrades released. And yet, as more elders age behind the wall, we lost two true warriors, Phil Africa and Hugo Pinell. To close the year, NYC ABC organized a noise demo outside of Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), in order to protest, celebrate, and let folks on the inside know they are not forgotten.
We got there a little after 8:30 and others were there waiting. We greeted old comrades and folks we’d yet to meet and by 9:00pm, a decent crowd had formed. The night was relatively warm by winter standards, but friends showed up with five gallons of hot chocolate to make sure everyone’s vocal cords stayed nice and toasty as we yelled and sang upward, into the steel and cement monolith that is MCC.
We supplied all manner of noise makers, but most folks brought their own. Hell, we even had a full-blown marching band roll through to keep this noise demo lit. The Rude Mechanical Orchestra kicked out the jams and the mood was jovial.
And while folks were there to celebrate and reach through the walls, signs and banners also expressed the brimming rage of the crowd. A crew from The Base showed up with black flags and banners to make sure all inside knew there were anarchists organizing in solidarity with them.
We were in full-blown Y2K-era tech mode when unveiling the shimmering magnificence that is the electronic “End Prison” sign. As it turns out, we may have stepped into a banner war.
The demo lasted a couple of hours, but not before folks broke out sparklers and fireworks. And then Ripper came up to one of our crew. We’d never met before, but Ripper told us about where he was the prior New Year’s Eve. He was on the 11th floor of MCC, his first time in prison. He was separated from his family, not unlike most of the others imprisoned at MCC. He told us that he thought about how, watching out of his window, the folks outside could have been anywhere in the city and they chose to be there and how that kept his spirits up. He told himself that if he got out, he would be with those folks the next year. And there he was.
We’ve been told before, by comrades who were once held in MCC, that the noise demos light up the whole place and get through to the prisoners, but we’d never experienced anything like meeting Ripper. If you’re thinking about organizing a noise demo in your town, do it.
Shortly before the crowd started to break up and head out, the following statement was read as a call and response, ensuring that our comrades inside could hear it:
“To many it feels like we live in a time like no other with surveillance and repression at every turn, but also resistance, rebellion, and open revolt. This is neither the new golden nor dark age, it is simply another moment in time where we can collectively force conflict with a fucked up system.
Every day there are revolts of varying scale, most of which you never hear about. For those captured in revolt, we come together in protest and celebration. Through the din of revelry and rage, we tie ourselves to those who suffer systematized white supremacy and war against the working class, behind steel bars and safety glass.
Prison is a means of social control to be absolutely destroyed.
Here’s to the total destruction of a prison-based society!
Tonight we bring with us the courage of Sundiata Acoli, the ferocity of Joe-Joe Bowen, the wisdom of Russell Maroon Shoatz.
We remember in every act of rebellion against the state, our deceased comrades Phil Africa and Hugo Pinell— your legacy will never be forgotten.
We hold in our hearts comrades soon to be or recently imprisoned.
Post Office Box 110034
Brooklyn, New York 11211
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