This report-back was originally sent to TORCHLIGHT — an anarchist news site based here Pittsburgh. It was published on January 5th, 2020.
Torchlight has been pretty much moribund for the last few months, but we pledge to make a comeback in 2020! To kick the new year off, here is a reportback from an anarchist who went to the noise demo at Allegheny County Jail on New Years Eve. Get in touch with us at torchlight[at]riseup[dot]net.
I got to the jail a little late, so a few folks were already chanting and making noise in front when I arrived. More people trickled in behind me, but I don’t think we ever had more than 20 total. We damn sure made a lot of noise though. There were drums, pots and pans, and one person even brought an electric keyboard.
After spending some time at the jail front entrance, we marched around to the lower level, in front of the courthouse. This is where it really picked up, because we could see prisoners flashing their lights on and off, while dancing and cheering us on. A couple of people brought out a banner, but unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of it (Ed note: We’ll let it go this once…). Cops coming in and out of the courthouse gave us dirty looks, but they never really bothered us. After almost an hour, we marched again, this time to the back of the building along the bike trail. There’s a guard rail back there that makes a really loud noise when you bang on it.
Not too long after that a few folks clustered up to sing a song, but I was hoarse from chanting, and starting to get really chilly, so I left. I think anarchists in Pittsburgh have been scared of noise demos since the one where a bunch of people got arrested, so I was glad this one happened. Hopefully they will become a regular thing again.