On New Year’s Eve we gathered with around 35 friends to hold a noise demonstration outside the Hogan Street Regional Youth Center in St. Louis. Just before midnight, a torch lit procession made its way to the former school turned prison where for a brief moment the night was illuminated by fireworks and the exuberant joy of children’s smiling faces. Jumping silhouettes behind the dormitory windows echoed our exhilaration in the street below. A resounding cry of “Our passion for freedom is stronger than their prisons!” filled the air as two banners were hung on the fence of the youth detention center – “Every jail is an abuse” and “2011: Year of the breakout.”
This particular place of confinement has seen several successful escape attempts in recent years, one of which involved nine rebellious and freedom loving kids.
In St. Louis city jails, which have also been the sites of individual and collective escapes, the pigs have been callously denying needed medical attention resulting in several deaths. This fact was on all of our minds that night along side the unprecedented five day state wide prisoner strike in Georgia last month; the former pointing toward the necessity and the latter to the potential of a renewed collective struggle against prisons and the society that produces them.
A text circulated around the demonstration called for just such a struggle while acknowledging the divisions between us (both the physical walls separating inside and out and the social boundaries isolating us from each other) and the need to overcome those divisions through a common fight against our common misery. Graffiti, spotted in the neighborhood of the kid prison, suggested a few directions in which to channel our collective rage:
BURN THE BANKS, DESTROY THE PRISONS
AGAINST ALL PRISONS (A) and POTOSI WILL BURN (A)
Although lasting only four or five minutes, this small action and its recognition by the kids inside was a step towards re-building our confidence and creating momentum in the streets. We hope to continue taking such steps and find others walking with us in the months and years to come.
For Iole, Davide and the twins.
- some anarchists