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


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”