Prison Abolition Advocates Rally Outside Federal Prison on NYE

Lakewood, CO As 2020 comes to an end, prison abolition advocates around the world will be continuing an annual tradition of demonstrating outside of prisons on New Year’s Eve.

A call for New Year’s Eve prison solidarity demonstrations was circulated earlier in December by the NYC Anarchist Black Cross (NYC ABC).

In Colorado, advocates from across the state plan to use noise-makers and other party supplies to bring some New Year’s cheer to prisoners inside the Englewood Federal Correctional Institution (FCI Englewood).

Unicorn Riot covered the Englewood noise demonstration, which you can watch below:

FCI Englewood has one of the highest outbreaks of Covid-19 per capita in the federal prison system, with 13% of the inmates infected as of December 30 (118 inmates); over 100 prison staff are also infected. Earlier in December 2020, nearly half of the inmates at FCI Englewood tested positive for coronavirus. Political prisoner Eric King is one of the inmates who was infected, and although he is no longer testing positive, he has chronic symptoms.

Local prison abolition advocates intend to highlight the COVID-19 outbreak, while also showing solidarity and support for all those inside, particularly King.

King has been incarcerated since his arrest on September 16, 2014 after he attempted a molotov cocktail attack on a congressional office in Kansas City, MO five days prior.

On June 28, 2016, King was sentenced to ten years in prison for the charge of “use of explosive materials to commit arson of property used in or affecting interstate commerce”(18 U.S.C. § 844[h]).

After his sentencing, King spoke on the phone to his support crew:

“I stand by my actions. After seeing what happened in Ferguson, so close down the road, I was disgusted by the lack of mobilization in my city. Three hours away people were fighting for their lives and we weren’t even taking to the streets. We were doing nothing. My act as a very personal display of my anger and rage toward the state as well as an act of solidarity to everyone in Ferguson. We never know our own strength until we are tested and even with my ridiculous sentence I feel at least proud to have been able to stand strong and refuse to cooperate with the state.”

-Eric King

With his 1.5 years served prior to sentencing counted toward the 10, King has about 4 more years left in prison for his original charges. However during his time behind bars, King has served in multiple Federal Bureau of Prison’s facilities, including one where a corrections officer took him to a mop closet and beat him.

Because of that incident on August 17, 2018, King is facing additional charges and potentially 20 more years in prison.

He shared his experiences and treatment in the Englewood facility, where he has been living for almost a year and a half, to Solitary Watch:

“Let me tell you about my physical existence. It is not pretty. The cells here are the smallest I have ever experienced. I am not certain they could literally get any smaller. 6 x 8 feet—double bunked. These cells were built for troubled children in the 1930s. This is not supposed to be a long term segregation unit, and it only becomes such for people like myself. Then it gets really overwhelming and mentally exhausting. That’s the Bureau’s game plan; shatter spirit, disrupt, dissent, blame you for the horrors of this SHU, then expect lapdog loyalty when they give out small comforts.”

-Eric King 

The NYC ABC call-out mentions how noise demos are used to “break the loneliness and isolation” those inside prison walls feel.

“We know that prison is beyond reform and must be completely abolished. It is a mechanism of repression used by the state to maintain a social order rooted in white supremacy, patriarchy, and heteronormativity. To come together outside of the sites of repression is to also stand in defiance of what they represent.

The logic of the state and capital—of punishment and imprisonment, must be replaced by a rejection of oppression and exploitation. This call is one step in that direction.”


The Eric King Support Crew is not part of the organizing efforts of the FCI Englewood noise demo, however they say they are not in opposition to it.

We will provide live updates outside the Englewood Prison. Stay tuned.

*Note from the author: We first published this story stating the FCI Englewood facility was in Englewood, however it is in Lakewood. We made the necessary edits.

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