Monday, March 14, 2011

Anti-Prison Demo Targets Windsor, NC

March 13, 2011 Anarchist News

On Saturday, March 12th, the same day as a national call-in to the NC
Division of Prisons, about two dozen anarchists amassed outside Bertie CI
in Windsor, NC, a prison facing a tense upswing in radical thought and
action. Facing two layers of barbed wire fencing and a row of solitary
confinement cells, we banged on drums, blew whistles, screamed chants, and
held up several gigantic banners reading “Against Prisons” and “Hands Off
James Graham.” (Graham is one of several prisoners in Windsor facing
punishment for his role in organizing there.)

We managed to stay at the rural prison for over a half an hour before
being warned that we were trespassing and would soon be arrested. Over the
course of our time there, many family members who were exiting the prison
at the end of visitation hours ended smiled and gave encouraging words,
asking us to keep it up.

This demo was a small part of a larger trajectory of recent anti-prison
activity in NC, including demos at the Buncombe County Jail and Central
Prison in Raleigh, as well as a number of prisoner support and publishing
endeavors, reading groups, and hunger strikes. It is also the product of
specific relationships between anarchists and other radicals on both sides
of the wall; folks on the inside at Windsor have called for outside
support specifically, and demos like these are part of that. These demos
tie in to a longer history of prisoner struggles in North Carolina, going
back to the massive six-day riot and strike at Raleigh's Women's
Correctional in 1975, as well as the more recent riot at the Polk Youth
Center in the late 90's.

As we left the prison property, the words “Cops, Pigs, Murderers!”
reverberated off of the prison walls in time to a heavy drum beat. That
sound continues ringing in our ears as we go home and think about those we
left behind. We'll be back.

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