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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Police State and Prisons
Communique from a Noise Demonstration against the proposed new Jail in San Francisco
On the night Friday, March 21st, a rowdy noise demonstration marched to 850 Bryant, the current jail in San Francisco, as well as the site of a proposed jail expansion. We participated in this demonstration both to express our disgust for the proposed jail expansion, but also to express solidarity with current prisoners. Around 100 people marched behind banners reading 'no new jail, no old jail', and 'smash patriarchy, burn the prisons: a jail is a jail is a jail'. Upon reaching the jail, fireworks were lit for those inside. Police vehicles and the jail itself were vandalized with rocks, spray paint and paintbombs.
For months we've been hearing talk about the San Francisco Sheriffs Department's plans to build a new jail to replace the one at 850 Bryant. An effort lead by sheriff Mirkarimi, who claims that a new jail is necessary to address the uninhabitable conditions of the current one. Opposition to the new jail has focused on the fiscal irresponsibility of building a whole new corrections center right now. And while we don't disagree with the fact that spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a
new jail is downright ridiculous, we whole-heartedly reject the implications of this argument. Many currently imprisoned in the monstrosity at 850 Bryant have already voiced their opposition to a new construction project which would supposedly be built on their behalf. We don't think that there will ever be an appropriate time for a newer, "safer" jail no matter how financially sound the project is because every cell is uninhabitable. The heart of the matter is that the jails and prisons are institutions wherein broke people, especially broke black people, are forcefully subjugated; they are factories meant to continuously reproduce white-supremacist and logic and violence. How does the city account for the fact that San Francisco's black population is a mere 7% but more that 50% of the people in county are black? We understand that the city's push for a new jail, the expansion of policing in neighborhoods like the mission are all a response to the ever-rising levels of wealth in San Francisco. All this money comes in the pockets of scared yuppies and technocrats and these are the communities that the city wants to protect. So we say fuck that!
When the choices presented are only about the size of an ever expanding prison society, our only option is revolt. Clearly, any meaningful struggle against the construction of a new jail will involve countless acts of resistance and subversion, both inside and out. We acknowledge that this demonstration pales in comparison to the amount of force necessary to stop the construction of a new jail, but we have to start somewhere. This demonstration was a humble contribution to that array, and an invitation to others. We invite anyone who detests this prison world to find others or strike out alone. Instead of the false choices (offered by the sheriff's department, SFPD, city council and the DA) we need a wave of conflict against this development.
Free the imprisoned and burn what's left.