Happy New Year Fuck the System!
On NYE in Philly about 20 anarchist gathered for a march and noise demo at the Federal Detention Center Downtown. At the meet up, after an overview of what to expect, what was planned, and flyers of potential chants were handed out, we set off toward the prison. Marching with a banner, we kept it tight and let people in the streets know what we were doing.
We walked on the sidewalk until we realized we didn’t need to. A federal building and indigo bike rental kiosk were tagged by the time we arrived at the prison. Once there, someone tagged ‘Burn Prisons’ on the FDC lolol! We lit off fireworks, smoke bombs, banged flags and pots and sang and shouted solidarity to the prisoners inside, and insults to the cops gathered around us. It was really cool this year to interact with those inside, to see them flashing lights and hear them banging on windows. After 30-45 minutes we took our leave, throwing fliers in our wake.
The cops, who had started gathering at the prison, followed us. We had planned for a group fare evasion at the subway as our exit, but with the police breathing down our necks we dispersed in the street instead. Eventually we lost the trails of the cops and made our ways home safely. Some of us even had a funny serendipitous group fare evasion with some strangers, who in seeing us not pay decided they wouldn’t pay either! Yay for the spread of anarchy!
Compared to last year we feel a lot has improved. Whereas last year we were rushed out of our meetup by the appearance of a park cop, this time we had a chance to discuss the action together and share supplies. Security felt tighter also, people’s outfits were secretive and no one was taking photos. Also this year we could really feel a shift in group morale. There was a lot more laughter and joy. We though our chants were funnier and more on point (rather than empty flexes). Maybe most importantly we were able to see and be seen by the people locked up, we saw lights and silhouttes in the windows and could hear them clearing lulls in the noise.
The things we wish went different were: our speaker wasn’t loud enough to play music, our dispersal was sloppy (we feel like it is always hard to predict dispersals/exits but could be worthwhile have multiple plans/multiple backup plans and discuss them in advance), and we could have took the streets a little harder. Overall though, we thought it went well.
We hope this report back is helpful in forming even better strategies in the future. It’s cool to reflect on our strengths and weaknesses and make adjustments over the years.
Happy 2020 lets fuck shit uP!!