Plain Words #4

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The Winter 2017/2018 issue of Plain Words is here! This time around, we present articles on anarchist prisoners and grand jury resistance, social media and television as obstacles to revolt, local eco-action, animal resistance to techno-society, and memory as a weapon.

CONTENTS
– “Mirror, Kaleidoscope, Dagger: What is Anarchism?”
– Solidarity with Michael Kimble
– “Fuck Your Selfie: On the Spectacle of Resistance from Bloomington to Hamburg”
– “Destitution & Trolling”
– Solidarity with Grand Jury Resisters
– “Good TV as a Roadblock to Becoming Ungovernable”
– To a Trodden Pansy: Remembering Louis Lingg
– Night Owls Disrupt Yellowwood State Forest Timber Sale
– Deer: 1, Computers: 0
– Black December

To a Trodden Pansy: Remembering Louis Lingg

Louis Lingg was born on September 9, 1864 in Mannheim, Germany. Early in his life, he began working as a carpenter, eventually involving himself in revolutionary struggles. His politicization compelled him to evade military service, so he fled Germany for Switzerland, only to be expelled in 1885. That summer, Lingg immigrated to the United States, settling in Chicago, one of the epicenters of the vibrant German-American anarchist movement.

On May 3, 1886, police attacked a strike at the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company plant, killing two workers. The following day, during a rally against this brutal repression, police attacked demonstrators. In the melee that followed, an unidentified person threw a bomb into the crowd of police, killing seven of them and injuring many others. At least four other people were killed in the ensuing firefight between police and demonstrators.

In response, police, with little evidence, began rounding up anarchists who they claimed played a part in the bombing. Eight prominent anarchists – among them organizers, orators, and editors of popular anarchist newspapers – were sought by police: August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Adolph Fischer, Albert Parsons, Michael Schwab, George Engel, Oscar Neebe, and Louis Lingg. Initially evading capture, Lingg was discovered in hiding on May 14. Not one for willing submission to the state, Lingg fought the two police who tried to arrest him – first with a gun, then with fists.

While Lingg was not present at the Haymarket the day of the bombing, the state’s dogs claimed he was involved in making the bomb. Though no evidence links him to the bomb thrower – whose identity remains a mystery to this day – Lingg was a prolific producer of bombs and an intransigent enemy of authority. In a search of Lingg’s apartment, investigators discovered two spherical and four pipe bombs.

After a notoriously prejudiced trial, the judge sentenced seven of the Haymarket defendants to death by hanging and Oscar Neebe to 15 years in prison. At his sentencing, Lingg remained defiant, proclaiming “I die happy on the gallows, so confident am I that the hundreds and thousands to whom I have spoken will remember my words. When you shall have hanged us, then they will do the bombthrowing! In this hope do I say to you, I despise you, I despise your order, your laws, your force propped authority. Hang me for it.”

On November 10, 1887, the day before their execution date, the Governor of Illinois commuted Samuel Fielden’s and Michael Schwab’s sentences to life in prison (Fielden, Schwab, and Neebe would all be released six years later after being pardoned by Governor John Altgeld). Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engel, and Adolph Fischer were murdered by the state on November 11, 1887.

Louis Lingg chose a different response to his impending execution. Days after four bombs were discovered in his cell, Lingg placed a lit blasting cap in his mouth, blowing off his lower jaw. Before the guards could enter his cell, he scrawled “Hoch die anarchie!” (“Hurrah for anarchy!”) on the prison cell stones in his own blood. Lingg died six hours later, refusing with his own suicide state authority’s control over his life.

For more information on Louis Lingg and the Haymarket, read Paul Avrich’s exhaustive and engaging book The Haymarket Tragedy.

***

To honor Louis Lingg’s rebellious life, we present an unpublished poem he wrote in 1886, discovered in the Labadie Collection.

TO A TRODDEN PANSY
A broken stem, a pansy blossom crushed
In dirt, yet naught in all of Nature’s store
Revels in scorn at what we all deplore
In it. Wert thou where careless footsteps rushed?
‘Neath wanton lust wert thy fair petals brushed
E’en when thou smiled thy loveliest, before
Dark destiny had rolled its shadow o’er,
Ere yet thy innocence for cause had blushed?
Canst we read naught not writ in Custom’s scroll?
Living and human, cast in a finer mold,
E’en while we mouthing boast a ‘deathless soul,’
Yet still more wise than Nature, far more bold—
Regarding what in Nature is no loss
E’en while Hope’s brightest mintage we call dross!

Plain Words #3

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Plain Words is back with issue three, featuring news of resistance in Bloomington; reportbacks from efforts of solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoners, imprisoned anarchist comrade Eric King, and those arrested on the January 20th demonstrations against the inauguration of Donald Trump; a look back at the 2013 strike at Indiana University; and an introductory essay on self-organization via affinity groups.

CONTENTS
“Introduction to the Affinity Group”
June 11th International Day of Solidarity with Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners
Noise Demonstration Against Social Cleansing
Interview on the 2013 Indiana University Strike
Banner Drop in Solidarity with Eric King
Solidarity with the J20 Anti-Inauguration Demonstrators
A chronology of action and solidarity

June 11th reportback

We receive and transmit:

In the month leading up to the June 11th International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason & All Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners, we set up two tables at Boxcar Books with an array of free zines, stickers, and posters for June 11th and about anarchist prisoners.

On June 6th, the bi-monthly Read & Revolt anarchist reading group met at Boxcar Books to discuss “The Sun Still Rises,” a text written by imprisoned fighters of the Conspiracy Cells of Fire (CCF) urban guerrilla group in Greece. It had been nominated by regular attendees of Read & Revolt and, given that it was written by long-term anarchist prisoners, was scheduled for discussion the week before June 11th. Those in attendance for this session seemed to appreciate how concisely it was written, how clear the authors’ intentions were, and how it was written passionately yet without unnecessary flair. The conversation bounced between topics relevant to local conditions, while various ideas throughout the text acted as conduits for people to discuss ideas related to their own personal problematics.

On June 9th, we showed Sacco & Vanzetti, a 2006 documentary on the two militant anarchists. Without falling back on idolization and martyrdom, we want to affirm our history. As we continue on a path as anarchists of action, as enemies of this and all states, we carry with us the spirit of those who have, before us, carved out their own path of defiance. After the movie, folks wrote 25 cards and letters to long-term anarchist prisoners in the US.

On June 11th, we held a picnic in a public park as a celebration of anarchist action and in honor of our imprisoned fighters. Beneath black flags, people talked, wrote cards to anarchist prisoners, and shared food. Some comrades prepared a songbook and performance of classic anarchist songs. Anarchists in the early 20th century often held picnics on holidays of their own creation, and we hoped to carry on this tradition. As the world becomes increasingly dominated by the technological mediation of the internet, it is imperative that we create spaces in which we can be together, face-to-face, without the noise of alienated chatter. There is, for us, a clear connection between the walls that separate us from our imprisoned comrades and the walls that separate us all from each other. We celebrate, with joy, the crumbling of both.

Earlier that day, anonymous individuals dropped two banners in solidarity with Marius Mason and against social control:

As a small, anonymous gesture of complicity, we hung two banners to honor June 11, day of solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoners. These banners are on the main north/south roads into and out of Bloomington. No matter how long he is held at FMC Carswell or in any other cage, we will make sure Marius isn’t forgotten here, especially given the vital role he played in defending the land and building a community of resistance in our region.

On the evening of June 11th, anonymous individuals wheatpasted dozens of posters and put up stickers about imprisoned comrades.

While our efforts this year were modest, they exist within a continuum of action for our imprisoned comrades that manifests every day. We take time on June 11th to remember and act for imprisoned anarchists, but this does not stop when the clock strikes midnight. For us, solidarity is not a one-off event, an act of charity, or something removed from our daily lives – it is an inseparable part of our existence as anarchists, a tension affirmed through action. Solidarity is the word in our mouths, the rock in our hand, and the blood in our veins.. The prison walls cannot break us.

Plain Words #2

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The second issue of Plain Words is here, featuring continued analysis of the poverty of social media and the internet, instructions on keeping yourself safe from enemy eyes, a look at the Aachen bank robbery case in Germany, a contribution by anarchist prisoner Sean Swain, information on Marius Mason, some communiques from actions undertaken in memory of anarchist and ecological fighters, news of general unruliness around town, and a glimpse at earth liberation actions of the past.

CONTENTS
“Express Yourself: Liberal Democracy’s Trap”
“How to Mask Up”
“Sabotage in Memory of Lambros Foundas”
“Graffiti in Memory of James Marker”
“So What If They Did Rob the Banks?”
“Floodgates: The Urge to Obey, A Flight from Initiative, and Identity Politics”
“Professor’s Office Sabotaged”
“A Message from Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain to Bloomington Zinefest”
“Free Marius Mason”
“Blast from the Past: Earth Liberation Front Attacks Wal-Mart in Martinsville”
Action Chronology

June 11, 2017: Communication is a Weapon

From June 11: International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason & All Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners

New publication: Animal & Earth Liberation in Indiana, 2000-2003

Animal & Earth Liberation in Indiana, 2000-2003

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The following is a collection of communiqués from the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and Animal Liberation Front (ALF) in Indiana.

We publish this simply to show that, even in pacified places like Bloomington, it is possible to carry out audacious attacks on the forces that destroy the life around us and reduce our own lives to meaningless activity in the service of the state and economy.

We also wish to keep the spirit of these actions alive, to not forget those who risked everything to defend the earth and animals, make their desires real, and create moments of freedom in this open-air prison called civilization.

We dedicate this to Marius Mason, currently serving a 22-year sentence for acts of sabotage against ecocide and animal exploitation, and for anarchy. As part of his sentencing, Marius admitted to committing some of the actions listed in this publication. Our love and solidarity with Marius is unflinching and will continue until he is free.

Sabotage in memory of Lambros Foundas

Reposted from It’s Going Down

A few nights ago we sabotaged about 50 parking meters by gluing their locks, coin slots, and card readers. This was a simple act which took no specialized skill. Get some superglue, cover your face, keep your eyes peeled for cops or loyal citizens, and act.

These parking meters were targeted because they fund the Bloomington Police Department and because they force people to pay to be downtown. We hate the police and we hate gentrification and class society, so we chose to attack them.

We act as a gesture of combative memory for Lambros Foundas, anarchist of Revolutionary Struggle killed by the forces of the Greek state on March 10, 2010. Our memory is not one of passive mourning or martyrdom, but of active struggle against the state, capital, and domination in all of its forms. The flame of Lambros’ life kept us warm as we walked through the winter night, and we will carry that flame with us in all parts of our lives, which are lived at war with this society of masters and slaves.

We send strength to all anarchist combatants held captive in the dungeons of the Greek state.

We send solidarity to all those facing the state’s latest attacks against squatters, anarchists, and refugees: we are inspired by your refusal to be paralyzed.

For Lambros

Long live anarchy