Showing solidarity to the prisoner Dimitris Koufontinas' just request does not require identification with his ideas or his actions.. It places us in a position of securing self-governance for everyone, of protecting freedom, and of creating supportive systems for all beings who are currently harmed on earth..
Georgia Sagri: Stage of Recovery. Divided Publishing 2021. p142
00:40 1 JAN 2022.
you went to a demo at Brixton prison. after standing at you stood by the entrance beating pots and pans. s played the melodica. p hit a big steel soup pot with a rubber mallet.
hkw hit a small saucepan with a wooden spoon. you made a recording. 2 ex-prisoners made speeches, then somebody from UNITE made a speech. after a while, somebody with an amplifier on wheels led the group off around the perimeter of the prison w — following along its high smooth brick walls. a block of flats faces the prison across a road along one wall. people could be seen through the lighted windows or on the balconies of the fire escape, watching the group of protesters walking chanting, carrying a long banner and a small sign. you came to an area with tall gates clad in corrugated steel sheet. everybody started to xx kick the gates, making xx xxx loud clangs. the gates were push-
ed open — it seems they were not chained shut. you entered a yard with gravel on the ground, facing a further wall, with the prison building rising above on the other side. the yard concentrated the sound. more people arrived. it got louder. you started to see people at the windows and hear them making sounds back - shouting or beating on the window bars. after a while some prison security arrived and told you to leave the yard. they locked the gate and stood in front of it. you heard about this demo from hkw, who was told about it by the jester from COP26, who came on As if radio..
Annual new year's eve event, called by Prisoner Solidarity Nework, London.
The Prisoner Solidarity Network is a group of people committed to dismantling the criminal justice system and building a society based on collective care.
Notes on a very small prison protest
You are the group outside. Time passes through, along, meditating on that divide — being in a former exercise yard, which is now a car park — a place formerly inhabited by detained people from inside the prison — a gravel yard with scrubby vegetation around the edges.
When Duchamps says infrathin, we can also take it to mean a sense left through a space by detained persons who have been temporarily released into an area and withdrawn — a tidal sense — a sense of overlapping, out of synch.
2 of you have also done time inside, you remember, watching them waving — reaching out with their arm in the direction of the lighted windows where heads and hands can be seen at the bars — those gestures have an extra dimension — one person calls out: 'mates'.
Others of you may have family members, partners or others inside there — you don't know. Nobody else is saying anything about that out loud.
You are in solidarity with and you are separated from. The gesture or act or the position of being with is not to elide, erase over-write or dissolve stark lines of difference. If anything it is to point to the hard, crafted shapes of internal borders which are set back inconspicuously from the main road. Unlike on a map, a wall appears quite different depending which side you are coming to it from. Its stamp is not neutral. The high wall of the prison incorporates structural details — slanting ledges in the place of coping stones, smooth rounded caps to supporting buttresses - designed to hinder scaling or grappling. The surrounding roads, as at Strangeways in Manchester, skirt the prison precinct, bending nearly imperceptibly so you hardly notice you are being taken on a detour. The mechanics of incarceration are simple. They travel through time.
For some of you this is the first time at a PSN demo. For others it is an annual event. The annual event (festival, anniversary) marks change and continuity, through remembrance. Those of you outside are there to show solidarity with those inside: the small sign says: you are not forgotten.
Even if up to this moment we have forgotten, that is not true now. Forgive us - we forgot ourselves — momentarily.
Every December in Tanzania, a Day of Freedom (Siku ya Uhuru) remembers the arrival of self-governance and independence from British Rule on 9th December 1966. On 9th December 2011 you made the piece: Free Flock. This year was the 60th anniversary. People have a day off. They can visit relatives or rest.
Through remembrance you re-double your efforts to enact freedoms in the day to day, together with / in isolation from those among us who are now unfree. Inhabiting this patch of free time in commemoration of a collective past, you are reminded how long it has been since freedom was declared. At the same time, you consider how unfree you still are, how far from free you have become.
On 10th March of this year, Georgia Sagri wrote: As Dimitris Koufontinas is between life and death I choose to end my hunger strike so that I can now meet with everyone else..
The year is coming to a close.
Beating on the gates (activating the perimeter) is the most compelling sound / action in this demonstration.
Kicking the gates, playing portable instruments, beating pots and pans creates sound in-between — it opens a channel between and it thickens the air in-between with shared material, across a divide.
It creates feedback.
In that sense, sound crosses over and back and between. In that sense it creates an (impossible) assembly (out of nothing).