For the second year in a row, anarchists and our friends in Southern Ontario went on a New Year's Eve anti-prison road trip. Starting off at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, about 60 of us set off fireworks and called out greetings to the women inside; many of whom happened to be out on the yard or were able to open their windows and send some noise back our way. Despite what screws at this prison have said at noise demos past, it very much seemed like the women appreciated the visit, with those outside dancing to beats that were being pumped out by our portable sound system and drum squad, and those inside screaming out kind wishes and whoops. Grand Valley is the same prison where guards recently were found to be exchanging drugs for sex with inmates and where Ashley Smith was killed .
We then hit the road and arrived in Hamilton for the fifth annual noise demonstration outside Barton Jail. About 30 of us set off the remainder of our fireworks stash, spraypainted walls, and threw snow- and paintballs at the prison's vehicles. As has become commonplace at demonstrations outside Barton, the sounds of prisoners banging on their windows reverberated through the neighborhood, filling this participant with both joy - that we could provide a break in the daily misery of prison - and rage - that those windows and walls exist in the first place.
After embarrassing a sad cadre of police officers who "just wanted to talk" after the demonstration had ended, we returned to the warmth of home and each other, dancing until sunrise.
To the undercovers who were apparently waiting for us in Milton - not to worry, we'll be seeing you soon
Southern Ontario Anarchist Roadwarriors