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.
– “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
On the morning of Thursday Nov. 9th, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR)’s Division of Forestry sold the timber rights to 299 acres of the Yellowwood State Forest Back Country Areas that are some of the oldest and most diverse in the state. Nearly 2000 trees were sold to Hamilton Logging, who have a long history of shady business practices and timber theft.
Despite over 200 people showing up to protest the sale, months of organizing against the planned logging, and a recent protest encampment being established on private property adjacent to the public land to be logged, the DNR insisted on selling another piece of some of the most wild and beautiful land in the state – for a mere $108,000.
So during the weekend following the sale, we painted hundreds of additional trees to match those the DNR had marked for removal in two of three tracts on the chopping block. We did this to obscure the trees Hamilton Logging bought, and to force the DNR Division of Forestry to redo the work of marking these tracts, thus delaying when logging can start.
We understand there is a risk that these additional trees could be cut down, but only if the DNR Division of Forestry and Hamilton Logging show unprecedented, intentional negligence, by letting a group of pranksters mark the trees for them. Logging all currently-marked trees would be a violation of the contract between the two parties, which only includes the trees the DNR chose to mark, not the hundreds more we marked with identical paint and markings. We hope that by painting these additional trees we can stop them from taking any of them – or at least slow them down.
To other defenders of Yellowwood: there are many more trees left untouched. All it takes it red or blue marking paint, and some careful navigation. We wish you luck and look forward to all the other creative and inspiring ways you’ll think of to protect the land.
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.
“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”
Last night we tagged a Duke Energy office with words “James Marker, #NoSabalTrail.” This was done in memory of James Leroy Marker, who was killed by Florida police after using a high powered rifle to sabotage the Sabal Trail Pipeline. Duke Energy is heavily invested in this pipeline and is therefore complicit in James Marker’s murder.
This fracked methane pipeline threatens unique ecosystems associated with the Floridan aquifer, including countless rivers, lakes and streams and the associated flora and fauna. Though this was but a small act, it serves as a reminder that pipeline resistance isn’t limited to construction sites or public rallies.
Vengeance for James Leroy Marker! Down with the pipeline and its world!
By now it is a platitude to speak of the isolation and silence that prisons strive to impose. Every week another one of our imprisoned friends tells us that their mail is getting fucked with, the phones on their unit are “broken,” or that our publications are being rejected with no recourse.
For us, one of the most exciting elements of June 11, 2016 was the proliferation of words and ideas shared between and from anarchist prisoners. Along with spreading material solidarity internationally and keeping the names of our comrades on our lips, our contribution to facilitating that communication is one of our most important tasks. While the starting point of our project was support for Marius Mason and Eric McDavid (the first of whom remains imprisoned in an extremely restrictive unit, while the latter has been freed!), it has been through a spreading web of communications that we have expanded the scope of our project to solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoners around the world. This year, we are seeking to emphasize this communication.
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.
This month we’ll be writing to members of the MOVE Organization, a group formed in Philadelphia in the 70s fighting for black liberation, experimenting with communal living, and publicly demonstrating against racism, police brutality, and many other issues. In 1985 the city of Philadelphia bombed the MOVE house, killing 11 people including 5 children and destroying over 65 homes. 9 MOVE members were sentenced to 30-100 in prison following a previous attack on MOVE by the city. Four of them – Charles, Delbert, Janet, and Janine – have birthdays coming up in April. We will be learning more about the MOVE Organization, state repression against them, and writing letters to its still-imprisoned members.
This month we’ll be writing letters to Krow, an environmental activist and water protector recently arrested fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Andrew Mickel, on death row for killing a California cop in order to bring attention to and stop police repression.
Plus: news of prison rebellion, updates on court cases, notes of revolt against prison society.
Breaking away from the jail demo tradition, we kicked off the new year with something fresh and exciting. At the stroke of midnight we dropped four banners and let five thousand fliers rain down from two downtown parking garages. United with friends, we reveled in the togetherness we will carry with us into the new year. 2016 was shitty and we expect that 2017 will be as well; however, we recognize the need to continue fighting. With these modest acts, we sharpened coordination practices that we will need in the coming months and years. Each of the banners reflects an element of our revolt we intend to strengthen and spread over the next year – combative memory for our fallen fighters, solidarity with our imprisoned comrades, determination to continue fighting no matter what is thrown at us, and struggle against immediate manifestations of power.
As December ends, we also take time to remember the lives of our fallen warriors. William Avalon Rodgers was an Earth liberationist who took his own life on December 21, 2005 while in jail awaiting trial on arson charges. Kuwasi Balagoon was a former Black Panther, fighter in the Black Liberation Army, bisexual, and anarchist who died in prison from medical neglect due to AIDS-related illness on December 13, 1986.
December 2016 marks 11 years since Avalon’s death and 30 since Kuwasi’s. We will not allow those who sacrificed everything for freedom to be forgotten. As we continue our struggles against Power, we keep alive the memory of Kuwasi, Avalon, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, Sebastián Oversluij, Lambros Foundas, Mauricio Morales, Feral Pines, and all of our other comrades who have passed on. Memory, like fire, burns our enemies and keeps us warm.
We are consistently inspired by Marius Mason’s spirit and take strength from each of his paintings, poems, and letters. In an attempt to return the favor, we also chose to highlight his acts this New Year’s Eve. For many years, Marius lived and took action in Bloomington and we intend to maintain the passion and fighting spirit that he once embodied here.
As a quaint college town and liberal bastion in a red state, Bloomington’s iteration of state violence often takes the form of closing off public space to undesirable populations to maintain a sterile, commerce-friendly environment. One of the primary targets of this cleansing is the sizable homeless population. The city has deployed social worker cops, signs discouraging giving money to people on the street, and several new security cameras in popular hangouts like People’s Park. Despite their language of safety and compassion, we know that the city government has no interest in genuine solutions to the problems of poverty, unaffordable housing, and addiction; in reality, it exists to manage and police the conditions that create these problems. We have made a choice to not fall for the soft policing of the non-profits and charities that are in the pocket of the city.
Bloomington People’s History is an ongoing project by local individuals that highlights the legacy of repression and resistance in and around Bloomington, Indiana. All of the posters can be found on to our poster page.
We encourage anyone who is interested to create their own People’s History posters and email them to us. Let’s keep the history of revolt alive!