Shortly before midnight on July 8 around 35 of us gathered to hold a noise demonstration outside the Hogan Street Regional Youth Center, the same location as the New Years Eve noise demo seven months ago. As the group approached the kid prison, we began yelling “our passion for freedom is stronger than their prisons” and setting off roman candles and smoke bombs. A banner was held up for those inside to read that said “STRIKE FOR FREEDOM.”
The bold initiative of the striking prisoners at Pelican Bay inspired this action, along with those who have (inside and outside) continued and amplified the strike. Also on our minds was yet another death in the St. Louis city jails, this time caused by guards refusing to give a dying Scott Perry his ulcer medication. His family has been having a weekly presence outside the jail at the time of his death since he was killed five weeks ago.
Most of all, our motivation for this action was the response we received from inside the prison on New Years. The jumping, cheering silhouettes of the locked-up youth had made it clear that despite all the imposed isolation, we had shared a moment of clear communication.
This time, two teenagers (who’d seen us a few blocks from the prison and asked what we were doing) decided to join us, saying that a friend of theirs was currently inside the prison. The neon-glow of roman candles bursting on the prison’s brick surface was moving and the over-all feel of the group seemed to be up-beat.
Solidarity with Pelican Bay, Collins Bay and anyone who refuses the conditions of this prison society.