At 2:30pm on Sunday August 14th, over 30 people gathered in front of the huge max-security men’s Central Prison in Raleigh, NC to stand in solidarity with the the thousands of California prisoners on hunger strike. We we were also there to express our continued support for our brutalized and arrested comrades in Seattle, the victims of the recent spate of killings by police in California, local prison resisters such as the 10-15 death row inmates who staged a cafeteria protest on July 14th inside Central Prison to condemn the beating of fellow death row inmate William Bowie by prison guard Sergeant Soucier, and James Graham, a Lanesboro, NC prisoner who succeeded in getting most of his demands met after a week-long hunger strike last month. We timed this demonstration to coincide with the latest block of visiting-hours for that day, so that prisoners’ friends and loved ones might see us and relay our messages to the inside.
A number of passing motorists honked, waved, yelled in support and shot us thumbs-up as we held banners, banged on drums, chanted and darted into the street to distribute handbills through open car windows. After about 45 minutes we migrated to a side of the property that lay a bit closer and within clearer sight of the prison’s housing units, came up to the metal fence and for about 2 minutes yelled and beat on drums and cookware as loud as we could while facing our banners and signs toward the prison’s windows, hoping that prisoners could briefly see or at least hear us in those last few moments.
Out of all the locations in NC’s capital city that sustain the functioning of the prison-industrial complex, we chose this particular correctional facility to demonstrate in front of for its proximity to a major boulevard and thus, high visibility to passing traffic, and its particularly loathsome status as the state of North Carolina’s “execution prison,” currently housing over 150 death row inmates set to be murdered by the State within those very walls.
This demonstration followed on the heels of similar events held in front of the Guilford County Jail in downtown Greensboro on Sunday July 24th, and Sunday August 7th in front of the downtown Durham jail.
As a climate of nationwide and international resistance against correctional systems and law enforcement continues to develop, we will maintain our support for all prisoners and victims of police violence and harassment, to demonstrate affinity with those trapped behind bars, and to lend solidarity to those who disrupt business-as-usual in the prison system.
-some NC anarchists against prisons