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On December 31, 2012, a group of about a dozen anarchists met near the Burnaby Youth Detention Centre for the annual jail solidarity noize demo. These noise demos happen around the world on December 31, and those in the streets yell to remind those locked inside the oppressive prison walls that they have not been forgotten and that the systems that oppress them are not unshakeable. It's a tradition that has largely been adopted by anarchists, who see the injustice of not just the prison system, but of all systems of oppression that are imposed upon us against our will. There is no hope in reform, and while it may seem like an impossible task, we fight to dismantle the prison industrial complex that bathes the rich in money and locks up the poor.
The evening was freezing but when masked up we all felt a little bit warmer. The excitement of what was about to happen also warmed us, and after grabbing pots, pans and black flags from the trunk of one of the cars, we headed toward the jail.
We marched quietly to a parking lot nearest the cells where the youth are held, and started making a ruckus. Many fireworks were shot in the direction of the jail, and pots and pans created a cacophony. Messages were yelled towards the prisoners, supportive messages to the prisoners and the opposite to the guards.
After about twenty minutes, we packed up and headed back to the cars. This was the first year there was no obvious interaction with those on the inside. It was a bit disheartening to have to wonder if they heard us, but with the fireworks and the loud ass siren on the bullhorn, and with the fire in our voices, it seems impossible that we weren't heard.
It was suggested that perhaps, because the cops and screws expected us, the prisoners were taken out of their cells for the night (and maybe given a movie night or something). This led us to wonder if the demo last year may have caused some shit in the jail, when so many prisoners were flicking their lights on and off, banging on their windows, and yelling from their cells to the anarchists.
For an end to a racist, colonialist, genocidal culture of prisons everywhere!
See you next year!