Report back on banner drop in solidarity with five people facing serious charges following a New Year’s Eve noise demonstration in so-called Minneapolis.
This evening, we dropped a banner over highway 403 going towards Toronto in solidarity with the five people in Minneapolis facing serious felony charges in connection to a New Year’s eve noise demo in that city. Although we’re glad all five are out on bail, the arrests and charges mark a significant escalation of repression against an international anarchist tradition.
In our region, New Year’s noise demos started in 2009 in response to a hunger strike campaign by anarchist prisoners, and we have kept doing them every year since. These demos let us a share a moment of celebration with prisoners, breaking the alienation through direct action. As an international tradition, they are also a thread that connects us to anarchists elsewhere, allowing us to exchange ideas and tactics with people whose contexts are quite different than ours.
We can only imagine how the context in Minneapolis has shifted following the uprising. Struggle can seem so slow sometimes, building little by little, year by year. But then you get periods like this summer. It seems calmer now, but the same kind of state violence and impunity continues: we read about how there was another police murder in south Minneapolis this past week, and how the cop who murdered Jacob Blake in Kenosha was not charged.
As anarchists, our hostility towards police and prisons doesn’t wait for the streets to fill. Conflict with those institutions is permanent and we engage on our own terms. Going out on a freezing winter night to set off fire works for prisoners is unlikely to ever be very popular, but we all do it because it’s a meaningful expression of our values. Even if it means that repression often falls heaviest on those who don’t wait for movements to act and who don’t stop acting when they fade.
Massive movements like this summer’s are incredibly powerful though, and struggling alongside others is the best way to learn and grow. This is why international exchanges are so important, because for us here in Hamilton, if we were waiting for the streets to fill, we would be waiting a long time. And relationships of solidarity also mean you’re not alone in the hard times.
Reading reflections from like-minded people in the Twin Cities about the George Floyd rebellion has given us incredible inspiration. Although dropping a banner isn’t much, we hope to send a bit of that strength and courage back your way.
Always Against Prison!
From Hami to Mpls:
For a Fiery 2021!