Reportback from yesterday’s prisoner solidarity action

Continuing a tradition of confrontational noise demonstrations at correctional facilities in Atlanta, GA, dozens of people converged last night on the DeKalb County Jail to offer a small gesture of support, disruption, and solidarity with all those struggling against the American prison nightmare.

We do this for our friends, family and loved ones currently facing repression, in anticipation of the national prison strike set to occur on September 9th, and to show our comrades currently in revolt in Alabama and elsewhere that they are not alone in the fight against slavery and domination.

With banners reading “Burn the American Plantation: Holman to Milwaukee” and “End Prison Slavery: Attica to Holman,” we entered the jail’s vestibule and attempted to pass into the lobby, but were prevented by an exceptionally heavy police presence. This is not the first time there’s been a noise demonstration at this facility, and the correctional officers there were eager to settle the score. When fireworks started going off in the doors of the detention center, corrections officers responded immediately by tackling and arresting one demonstrator, and aggressively pushing others out of the vestibule. We made sure to litter the lobby with confetti reading “SOLIDARITY,” “FUCK THE POLICE,” and advertising for the national prison strike before we left.

Back outside, we set off more fireworks and banged on drums, light poles, bus stations, and anything else that resonated. We shined powerful LED lights into cell windows and police cameras, and sang songs and chanted amidst the mounting DeKalb County Police presence. Dozens of prisoners banged their fists against the windows, some rhythmically bashing their mattresses against them to the sound of our drums.

The vast and open terrain at this facility was particularly unfavorable to us, and while our confrontational energy created space between us and the officers, it proved highly difficult to disperse safely without being followed. At the close of the night, some demonstrators returning to their cars found their only exit blocked off by police cruisers. After a small group was detained by almost twenty deputies, one protester was ultimately singled out and arrested on a prior warrant.

It is only in the space of revolt that we gain the strategic intelligence necessary to actually disrupt the systems of oppression that govern our lives. While our spirits were joyful and rebellious throughout the night, the arrests of two of our comrades confirm our need for more numbers, deeper organization, and more tactical experience together in the streets.

We condemn the DeKalb Police Department and the entire Justice system for maintaining and enforcing the racial and economic ordering of society.

We demand the immediate release of those incarcerated for their participation in this demonstration, as well as the immediate release of all persons held in isolation and bondage by the American prison system.

Support is still needed for those arrested. One comrade has been bailed out, and is facing misdemeanor charges of Simple Assault and Obstruction. The second comrade is still in custody awaiting arraignment, and is facing charges of felony Criminal Damage to Property and Simple Assault. To support, please contribute to the bail fundraiser, and consider organizing actions in your own area.

It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.

-Some participants in the demonstration

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