Plain Words and Militant Anarchism: A history of the Galleanisti

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August 24, 8pm
Boxcar Books
408 E. 6th St
Bloomington, Indiana

With their roots in an uncompromisingly militant strand of anarchism, the Galleanisti participated in strikes, published widely-read periodicals, attempted assassinations, and initiated bombing campaigns against state figures and wealthy capitalists. Amidst all of this, they created a counter-culture that sought to bring their utopian vision to life immediately, organizing alternative schools and anarchist clubs, theatrical performances and subversive networks.

Join us for a presentation on the history of the Galleanisti – from the silk factories of Paterson, New Jersey to the electric chair of
Charlestown State Prison.

The event is part of the International Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners, a week of action commemorating the execution of Sacco & Vanzetti, and generating solidarity for our imprisoned comrades behind bars now.  Information on anarchist prisoners and prison struggle will be available.

This is the inaugural event of the Lingg-Balagoon history group, which seeks to spread knowledge of anarchist history in non-academic, self-organized ways through talks, discussions and movie showings.

Two Rebellions in Indiana Jails

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From Where the River Frowns:

Inmates in Indiana’s jails have been tearing it up this month, with two rebellions in a week.

The first riot occurred on August 1st in Vanderburgh County Jail in Evansville where, according to the mainstream media, inmates refused to be handcuffed, flooded their jail cell, put soap on the floor to trip the guards when they entered and used bed bunks and mattresses as barricades and shields.

The second occurred in Henry County Jail on August 3rd and 4th where inmates set fire to mattresses and jail uniforms on two subsequent nights. The first fire was set by male inmates and the second, the next night, by female inmates. According to their captors, prisoners were attempting to deactivate the locks on their jail cell.

As usual, the mainstream media made no effort whatsoever to interview the inmates involved in the disturbances or to capture the potential reasons behind their rebellion. For now, we are unfortunately left wondering what may have caused these individuals to choose to fight back against their captors instead of keeping their heads down.


What we do know is that jailers are used to having the monopoly on violence, with at least 815 deaths in jails across the U.S. in the last year. Anyone who has been in jail knows that mistreatment and violence towards inmates is commonplace. For instance, in June of this year, Clinton “Boo” Gilkie was murdered in Monroe County Jail where he’d been held since he was 16 after a failed robbery using a toy gun.

The only thing that stands out in these recent rebellions in Indiana is that people decided to fight back.

Nine prisoners have been charged with various crimes in association with the riot at Vanderburgh County Jail. Please consider taking a moment to drop a line on these folks to show your support. All are still being held at the Vanderburgh County Jail and can be reached by sending a letter or card to: Inmate name and Number, 3500 N. Harlan Ave, Evansville, IN 47711

John Wallace                     3293
Kyndrick Hancock            214025
Kededrique Boyd             250147
Javon Burton                     68659
Brendan Cooper               169196
Robert  Henderson         121129
Stanley Morgan                101653
Cory Pierce                        54101
Seth Wrinkles                   137561

Support Zolo Azania

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Dear Friends,

We are writing to you today on behalf of political prisoner Zolo Azania.  After 35 years of incarceration, 27 of them on death row, Zolo is finally due to be released in February, 2017. Regrettably, this final year has been made difficult for him. Zolo has brought to our attention a number of troubling matters and has requested that concerned individuals contact the Indiana Department of Corrections on his behalf.

It is our understanding that in recent months, violations of Zolo’s basic rights have included:

–Confiscation (or destruction) of his personal property including his Holy Qur’an, dictionary, prayer cap and beads, art supplies, toothbrush and other items.

–Prevention from participation in religious programming: Islamic faith based programs such as Jumu’ah service (Friday prayer) and Taleem (Muslim study class).

–Irregular payment or denial of compensation at his minimum wage prison job, a job guaranteed to him by IDOC Commissioner Lemmon.

Zolo has consistently demonstrated good conduct and has received above average work evaluations. He does not deserve to be treated in this manner.

*Please contact the Indiana Department of Corrections at 317-233-5541 or 232-5755 or email Commissioner Lemmon (*
*blemmon@idoc.in.gov* ) and ask that Zolo’s concerns
be addressed and remedied.*

*You can write Zolo Azania #4969*
*Miami Correctional Facility 3038 West 850 South Bunker Hill, IN 46914-9810*

Tamir Rice Graffiti on the Eve of National Night Out

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tamirrice

Communique reposted from It’s Going Down:

On Monday night, a business that is to host the Bloomington Police Department’s National Night Out on Tuesday evening was spray painted with Tamir Rice’s name. National Night Out is an attempt by police departments to present themselves as friendly protectors, and to encourage community policing in which everyone becomes an arm of the state.

Against police, uniformed and not, there will always be those who choose the path of resistance.

Memory versus Militarism

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Reposted from the H-T:

I hate the Fourth of July. I’d like to tell you why.

It is a celebration that, for me, reeks of rancid, shallow
sentimentality and ignorance of the true cost of war. I hate the cheesy flags, the flowing beer, the breezy one-day fraternity of neighborhood collegiality. Nowhere do I see or hear the reverence for the dead.

You see, I am a combat veteran of the American war in Vietnam, enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1968, at 17. I hate war and everything related to it.

I was not overly bothered by the egoists carrying the machine guns and other killing accoutrements in this year’s parade. Those weapons are precisely what combat is about — showing vicious and deadly intent to control and kill. My only complaint about their float entry was that it was a stunt for showing off their macho egos, but the weapons they were carrying are precisely the weapons used to kill. And, that is what war does — kill. The minute we ignore that, we are refusing to face reality. And, it is such a blatant lie to profess concern for your children seeing those weapons when we are the most warring nation on the face of the earth. War can not be made pretty—no matter what technology Crane employees try to hide it in.

My combat turned me from an 18-year-old naive Marine into an emotionally crippled 80-year-old man by the day I turned 19. I have never recovered. I never will. I live with post-traumatic stress daily. I had to leave IU in 2013 because of it; I am now on Social Security disability and 70 percent VA disability. I am so committed against war that it is all that I think of. I went to Crane to protest war on the day Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter visited and was kicked off the property within 23 minutes by Navy security.

We praise the military like it is some kind of religious icon, calling
all of them “heroes” and cheaply thanking them “for their service.”
Then, we wring our hands when the violence comes home with them.

A headline in a recent USA Today article (July 19) states: “Army seeks balm for veterans’ rage.” Really? The Army does know why veterans rage. They rage, as I do, because we were and are brainwashed in boot camp into the easiness of killing another human being, and then we receive zero re-socialization upon our return and discharge. The military does not want to see this very visible one-on-one relationship because it does not want to stop teaching soldiers, sailors and Marines how to kill. That —simply, simply, simply — is why the military exists. To kill.

I deeply resent the easy pseudo-patriotism exhibited by Bloomingtonians and all other Americans who are uncritical of their own complicit and complacent behavior and the behavior of our government. We can stop war, but to do so we must put our body, mind, money and spirit against the profiteers’ wheels. Until we do that, nothing will change.

-Tim Bagwell

In Memory of Clinton “Boo” Gilkie, A Premature Death

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Printable PDF: InMemoryofBoo

In Memory of Clinton “Boo” Gilkie, A Premature Death

Clinton “Boo” Gilkie was held in the Monroe County Jail since he was 16 after a failed robbery using a toy gun. He was set to be released from jail in late June. After sitting for 22 months, he was finally being offered a plea deal for time served. He qualified for bail – just $1,000 – the entire time he was imprisoned, but was too poor to get out. On June 7th, 2016, less than two weeks before his release date, Boo died inside the Monroe County Jail. His incarceration was absurd, his death, murder.

Even though Boo’s death was quieter than that of the Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge or Philando Castile outside St. Paul, who were both cut down by cops, it follows the same pattern – the premature death coldly dealt out to those who are poor and/or black in this society, whether by bullet, coercion or neglect.

Because Boo’s family was poor he was considered “indigent” which means the state would be forced to pay for his medication as long as he had no money on his books. When his family was able to put $10 a month on it was immediately taken by the jail to cover the cost of his medication. The only way Boo had enough money on his commissary to pay for necessary food that met his dietary restrictions and calorie needs was to refuse his medication. This means he was given the choice between access to food or access to medication.

The immediate cause of death was an aortic aneurysm, the result of the jail’s failure to treat a pre-existing heart condition called Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder. The jail was aware of Boo’s diagnosis and family medical history. Medicine and routine tests can manage the condition but the jail denied Boo access to these basic resources. When he died, the guards tried to claim it was an overdose and immediately isolated all of his blockmates, interrogating them and ransacking their dorm. Ex-prisoners who were released shortly after his death and other recent deaths reported that they were blamed, mistreated, and had no substantial support for trauma and loss. Counseling for survivors wasn’t made available, even at their request. While jail staff targeted and attempted to incriminate Boo’s blockmates, we know who the real killers are: the jail medical staff, the jail administration, and an institution that criminalizes race and poverty.

Boo’s premature death comes close on the heels of two suicides and countless suicide attempts in the jail over the last year and a half. These deaths have been under a new administration and jail-appointed medical provider. A suicide had not taken place in the jail for more than 30 years before this. A rise in jail overcrowding, minors tried and held as adults, incarceration for illness and poverty, and an increasing disregard for human life also mark an escalation beyond the last three, already miserable, decades of incarceration.

The system assumes it can keep failing our communities. This assumption relies on our hopelessness and complacency. The people in charge know that many of us get angry when teenagers are left to rot and die inside wretched cells, but they think we’ll stay quiet or take it out on each other. The rebels in Ferguson have demonstrated, though, that the only practical response is to find each other, combine our rage, and fight back against the enemy that cages or kills our friends, family, and loved ones. The legal system offers no protection to the poor, let alone to black teenagers. Our only protection, our best weapon is solidarity – what limits their violence and neglect is fear of our collective power.

If you miss Boo or are angry about his loss:

*Spread the word about Boo’s death. Fight against the media’s effort to sanitize the murder – they are simply acting as the mouthpiece of the jail and the cops.

*Revolt against his murder, against the next murder by law enforcement, and against the daily oppression across this society that mirrors and exceeds that of the prison. Remember that the Ferguson cop who murdered Michael Brown would not have faced any repercussions at all if a rebellion hadn’t broken out.

*Organize now in our communities to solve problems for ourselves and be prepared to address harm instead of calling cops. Stop snitching. If you’ve ever considered testifying against someone, remember that you might not just be sending them to jail but to their death.