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Showdown at the youth jail: Seattle NYE noise demo kicks off

After a long period of inactivity and darkness, some of us in the Pacific Northwest ended 2013 with a bang. A call-out was issued in late November for a noise demo at the youth jail at 12th and Alder, and fliers were wheatpasted all over Seattle and downtown Olympia.
After a long period of inactivity and darkness, some of us in the Pacific Northwest ended 2013 with a bang. A call-out was issued in late November for a noise demo at the youth jail at 12th and Alder, and fliers were wheatpasted all over Seattle and downtown Olympia.

Autonomous individuals and affinity groups converged at the jail at around 8pm before starting a rowdy march that circled the prison block. Fliers containing the following text were widely distributed:

"The City of Seattle is currently in the planning stages of a new 'Children and Family Justice Center' to replace the current jail at 12th and Alder. While this new jail is proposed to have fewer beds, it integrates seamlessly with new methods of soft policing and diffuse control. When the alternatives to incarceration are ankle bracelets, a parole officer and mandated social services, the jail is not shrinking, but simply expanding its boundaries outside the prison walls. The prison before us is quickly becoming the social prison that surrounds us. Let's destroy this world of domination instead dressing it up in new clothing."

Momentum gathered as people in black bloc, a marching band, and others made as much noise as possible. After about 30 minutes of standing in one spot and making noise, we began marching around the jail. Smoke bombs and fireworks were set off (on that note, people should be more careful of friendly-fire in the future!). Paint bombs were thrown at the jail and at the police cruisers tailing the march. Graffiti was spraypainted in the area around the building. We circled the jail three times and spent a significant amount of time in the street, the whole time being followed by many pig cars, sirens wailing. The excitement in the street was palpable; the march turned into the rowdiest conflict anarchists in Seattle had incited in some time.

We left the site of the jail to march along 12th street. At this point fireworks were fired directly at pig cars as the tone of the moment intensified. A banner was used strategically to keep the cruisers back from the people in the march. Dumpsters, newspaper boxes, trash cans, road signs, and other objects were dragged into the street in an attempt to block the trailing swine. Rocks and paint bombs were thrown at marked and unmarked SPD cars as the march thinned.

Eventually the cops attacked the demonstration. Many people fled down side streets and into Seattle University (unfortunately into the paths of many university pigs on bikes and segways!). Five people were arrested in total, all but one of whom have been released.

New Year's Eve marked a new form of coherence among anarchists from different cities in the PNW. As the new year progresses, we mean to continue this momentum towards an intentional and informal network of anarchist conflict against prisons and the society which constructs them.