New Years Eve Noise Demo

Action report from the New Years Eve Noise Demo on 12/31/23:

They emerged from the shadows of the streets of so called Eugene Oregon one by one or in groups of 2 or 3, on bikes, on foot, or on skateboards. Almost everyone donned masks and hoods, with all matter of noise makers in hand. It was 8:15pm and the spirit in the air was jovial despite the fact that 2023 was marked by much hardship locally and across the globe. By that time there were approximately 25 people. Someone brought out a portable speaker to get a beat going, but soon no music could be heard from it as the noise of the people drowned it out. Soon after we began to see the silhouettes of our intended audience emerge in the translucent windows above. Some came to see the commotion right away and some after 10 or 20 minutes of the din of clanging pots. The lights in other windows flickered with the sound of the beat. Sometimes the light of a tablet danced through the windows, or the shape of a heart was made by the hands of the people inside. All of this in turn made our noise making even louder. People beat the sidewalk with cookie sheets, or threw firecrackers into the road behind us. Some had referee whistles, other people had air horns, or good old pots beat with ladles. Even a nearby truck joined in the noise making when its car alarm went off. The jail staff had left the gate open in the fence they constructed during 2020. Inside was the courtyard and soon a few brave souls wandered into the courtyard and stood on park benches to get the noise just a little closer to our comrades imprisoned inside. But as soon as the courtyard was clear the gates swung shut remotely which riled us up even more. We transitioned from beating our pots to beating the wrought iron fence with our pots. Walking back and forth in order to make a chatter similar to a playing card in a child’s bicycle spokes but 10 times louder. Some pressed the intercom button to get a bored guard’s response only to blow a whistle right into the mic. The noise went on for at least an hour and a half. And when our ears were ringing and our wooden spoons had been reduced to a short wooden nub the noise ended as quickly as it had begun and the crowd dispersed with no contact with pigs. We went away pleased that we were able to bring some warmth to our friends inside for at least a little while. We hope for freedom for all prisoners in 2024!

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