Plain Words #1

The first issue of Plain Words is here!

[For reading and printing 8.5×11]
[For printing 11×17]
[For printing 11×17 – “prisoner friendly”]

Plain Words is a website and publication that focuses on spreading news and developing analyses of struggles in and around Bloomington, Indiana. As anarchists, we approach these struggles from an anti-state, anti-capitalist perspective. However, we aren’t interested in developing a specific party line – even an anarchist one – and instead value the diverse forms resistance can take. Our anarchism is vibrant, undogmatic, and finds common cause with all others who fight for a world without the state, capital, and all structures of domination.

We actively seek collaboration. If you have news, images, reportbacks of actions and demonstrations, communiques, event information, publications, analyses of local trends and situations, updates on projects and campaigns, or anything else coming from an anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist perspective, please get in touch.

If you have comments on or critiques of anything we’ve printed that you’d like us to publish, feel free to send them our way.

“Revenge! Rainbow Bakery Sabotaged for Feral Pines”
“Anti-Oppression & the Internet”
“New Year’s Eve Reportback”
“Reflections on the September 9th Prison Strike”
“How to Wheatpaste”
“We Have Only Begun to Fight: Reportback from the J20 Bloc”
“What is Anarchism”
Action Chronology


How to: Wheatpaste

Wheatpasting is a simple, dirt-cheap way of spreading ideas, news, analyses, and creative expression outside of (and against) the pacified modes made available by the institutions that control and mangle our lives. Let’s reclaim, together, the means of expression from the media, Facebook, Twitter, smartphones, and everything else that reduces us to mere observers of life. Poetry is in the streets!

Continue reading “How to: Wheatpaste”

February 14: Film Screening – Emma Goldman

From Bloomington Anarchist Black Cross

FEBRUARY 14, 2017
Boxcar Books
408 E. 6th St

Bloomington Anarchist Black Cross presents a documentary on the life of anarchist Emma Goldman. A Russian Jewish immigrant to America, Goldman became a major figure of the US anarchist movement until she was deported for her opposition to WWI. Labor struggles, riots, an assassination attempt on an industrialist, radical newspaper publishing, the killing of President McKinley, anti-militarist organizing, the women’s liberation movement, the Russian revolution and its betrayal by the Bolsheviks, the Spanish revolution and its hope for human freedom are all explored through the life of one woman who lived it all without compromise and with fiery vision.

After the movie, we’ll be writing letters and cards to anarchist prisoner Sean Swain.

The Anarchist Movie Night is a free monthly film series on freedom and subversion. Showing documentaries, features, cult films, and experimental shorts of an anarchic sort.

[Facebook event page]

Bloomington, IN: J20 Reportback

 Reposted from It’s Going Down (original date: 1/21/17)

People worked their way out of the shadows to meet at People’s Park. Participants were handed complimentary gift bags which included a handout on safety in the streets, face and hand coverings, noisemakers, and other fun items for a night out on the town. It feels like a sign of the times that all of these tools were enthusiastically accepted and used by most people who received them. It doesn’t seem hard for people to understand that in order to fight this regime and its “Alt Right” foot soldiers, we need to begin to protect ourselves and each other.

Stickers put over parking meters

Continue reading “Bloomington, IN: J20 Reportback”

January 22: Poetry reading for Marius Mason

From Bloomington Anarchist Black Cross

Boxcar Books
408 E. 6th St

For the annual Trans Prisoner Day of Action initiated by Marius Mason and his supporters last year, we are hosting a poetry reading event in which several local writers will read their own poems and creative writing as well as those of Marius and other trans prisoners. There will be refreshments, cards, and other materials for writing prisoners, and prisoners’ artwork. All money raised will be sent directly to Marius (and split with a couple other prisoners if we raise enough).

January 10: Film Screening – Living Utopia: Anarchism in Spain

From Bloomington Anarchist Black Cross

JANUARY 10, 2016
Boxcar Books
408 E. 6
th St

A documentary film on the anarchist revolution in Spain(1936-39), told through interviews with those who participated in the uprising, subsequent experimentations with freedom, and war against the forces of the State, Church, and Capital. The film explores the attempts at self-management leading up to the popular rebellion of 1936, the place of anti-authoritarian militias in defending against fascism, the betrayal of the revolution by Communists, and, ultimately, the vitality of the anarchist Idea.

Join us after the film for writing birthday cards to anarchist prisoner Marius Mason.

[All ages welcome. In Spanish with English subtitles.]

Prison Strike Retrospective

we receive and transmit:

On September 9 2016, prisoners took action in 46 prisons for a nationally-coordinated prisoner strike. Of those facilities, 31 experienced a lock-down, suspension, or full strike for at least 24 hours, affecting around 57,000 people. By not showing up for work, prisoners shut down the regular operations of prisons like Kinross in Michigan and Holman in Alabama. By rioting and through other combative tactics, they disrupted normalized routines and operations for even longer. It was the largest action ever taken by prisoners in the United States, and anarchists took part both inside and outside the prison walls.

The strike has primarily been framed as a battle against prison slavery, an institution codified into law “as a punishment for crime” in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Prisoners are often employed for pennies an hour, performing not only the various tasks that keep the prison running, but sometimes producing commodities such as Starbucks cups or even putting out wildfires in California. No doubt, people participated in the strike for a variety of reasons, but the element of prison slavery was the narrative that stuck.

In Bloomington and elsewhere, anarchists helped lay down the infrastructure of the strike for a year prior to September’s actions, longer if you consider informal prisoner support and solidarity projects anarchists have been regularly engaging in. We’ve created free zine distros and started correspondences with prisoners directly, organized conferences to facilitate our activities, spread the call for the strike to prisons nation-wide, put up flyers and posters about the strike throughout the cities where we live, and come to the aid of prisoners facing retaliatory repression. Continue reading “Prison Strike Retrospective”