Downtown Asheville’s police and business associations encountered yet another outrage on the evening of Wednesday, December 1st. Following a call for solidarity with the Asheville may day defendants, a group of fifty or so anarchists gathered at the notoriously phallic Vance Monument at dusk, holding banners that stated “Police Are the Absolute Enemy” and “We Love the Asheville 11!”. The small crowd, fed up with an abundance of pigs, yuppies, and Obama fans, made the busy Pack Square echo with irregular drumbeats, foghorns, and chants that taunted nearby pigs. The uniformed officers couldn’t help but nod their heads to the catchy beats of “Smash the banks, burn the prisons! Anarchy and communism!” and “Cops! Pigs! Murderers!”. Meanwhile, various parasites of the media encircled the small group as they made their way to the county jail, drooling all over themselves in hope of catching some chaos on film that would guarantee sensational headlines. But the 50 or so people maintained an intelligent restraint on their way to the intended location, taking the streets and disrupting traffic once or twice on the short march.
Upon arriving at the county jail, the group began making noise. Looking up at the cells, silhouettes could be seen at the small rectangular windows and when the crowd got louder, lights began to flick on and off quickly on various parts of the building, which was met with foghorns and cheering. This back and forth of noisy disturbance and flickering lights went on for a few minutes, and although it is unclear if the prisoners were waving sheets in front of lights, or were able to turn them on and off, we would like to believe that there was some sort of communication between their cells and us on the outside. Believing in this possibility made the entire crowd beam with delight, and the debilitating force of repression withered away for just a moment. The march then continued on to Pritchard Park, with police tagging along the whole way, shivering and bored. Shop owners could be seen locking their doors, and curious bystanders took pictures of the anti-cop banners being held. The short event ended at the park without a particular climax, aside from a few small and encouraging speeches against the state that were given before the crown dispersed.
While an event such as this lacks the intensity of conflict that some of us would prefer, its intention was not to enter into combat with police, but to regroup what our enemies have torn apart in the last 7 months. And with that goal in mind, it was a triumph for us to be together, warmed by the presence of one another on a cold night. The effects of MayDay and the steep charges of the 11, as well as too many others around the country, have reached far beyond those individuals’ possible sentences; they have left Asheville and elsewhere paralyzed with a residue of fear, they have been divisive and imposed limitations on the way we fight together. For the people who have felt the emptiness of life after repression, this uneventful march acted as a reminder that we are not alone, and we will not stop fighting.
Solidarity with all prisoners<3