ATTACK poster series is an attempt to keep acts of revolt alive. In a time of technological alienation and lobotomization by media, rebellious acts become just another entry in the police blotter or subject of social media temper tantrums. With this poster series, we seek to bring these acts into dialogue with our daily lives, allowing them to resonate beyond their initial moment.
Posters can be emailed to: plainwordsbloomington [at] riseup [dot] net
General Gelina was a revolutionary, urban guerrilla, and graduate of IU. Born Angela Atwood in North Haledon, New Jersey, Gelina attended IU, majoring in education and singing in the Pickers, a musical group in the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. After moving to California and leaving her husband in 1973, she joined the Symbionese Liberation Army with two other IU graduates, Bill Harris and Emily Montague.
The SLA was an armed struggle group springing from relationships between rebellious prisoners and revolutionaries on the outside. They developed clandestine networks with prison rebels, executed a prison break, robbed banks to fund their activities, and carried out attacks on state and capitalist institutions and those who protect them. In their most memorable act, they kidnapped newspaper heiress Patty Hearst, forcing her father to fund a massive distribution of free food to poor people throughout California. Gelina and five other SLA fighters were murdered by the FBI and Los Angeles police on May 17, 1974. The six refused to submit, only ceasing their fight when the house they were in burned down around them.
Gelina may be gone, but the revolutionary force of life continues: joyous, unrelenting, armed.
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.
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”
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.
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).
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”
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.