Tag Archives: Occupy Bloomington

Resistance to Police Murder in Evansville


From Where the River Frowns:

PDF of handbill from the vigil:  Thoughts on the Murder of Ricky Ard
More background here.
August 29, 2017:

Evansville residents gathered tonight outside the Winfield K. Denton Federal Building to hold a vigil for Ricky Ard who was murdered earlier today by police.

Approximately sixty people attended the spontaneous vigil, which was organized by word of mouth and social media. Although no centralized group took responsibility for organizing the event, the group appeared unified in their message that Ard’s murder was unjustified.


Poster at the vigil reads “Rest In Power Ricky Ard 8.29.2017” (Photo: Where the River Frowns)

Attendees lit candles, wrote messages in chalk on the sidewalk, talked about their experiences with police brutality, and exchanged contact information throughout the night.

Those who knew Ard shared stories about him. A woman who said she had known Ard her whole life said that he was a good neighbor and a kind man who often helped out elderly people in their neighborhood. She also said that he was physically disabled and suffered from some kind of mental illness.

Another Evansville resident who recently retired from the military shared his experiences as an Iraq War veteran. He said that his “rules of engagement” during active combat in Iraq were more restrictive than those followed by the Evansville Police Department and that, had he been confronted by a man swinging a baseball bat in Iraq, he would have been expected to use non-lethal means of disarming him.

One woman demanded that police release body camera footage of the shooting and led the group in chanting “show me the body cam!”

Those present at the vigil discussed meeting up tomorrow, Wednesday, August 30, at 11 a.m. outside the federal building for a rally in protest of Ricky Ard’s murder.


Sidewalk chalk outside the federal building reads “Bat vs 2 Guns = Excessive Force” (Photo: Where the River Frowns).

Sidewalk chalk outside the federal building calls attention to police murders across the U.S. this year (Photo: Where the River Frowns)


Poster taped to a light post outside the federal building reads “Show me the body cam” (Photo: Where the River Frowns)


Poster taped to a post outside the federal building reads “E is NOT for everyone. RIP Ricky Ard” (Photo: Where the River Frowns)

Community Picnic to Take Back People’s Park!


When: Sunday, June 18th at 4pm

This week, Bloomington Police began to occupy People’s Park, heightening policing and surveillance, harassing community members into leaving the park, and preventing food sharing and basic habitation of the park. This recent increase in police intimidation is part of a larger effort to drive poor people out of public spaces so that commerce can continue without interruption. Meanwhile, new luxury condos are built across the street. The social cleansing process enacted by the BPD aims to eradicate homeless people through constant intimidation, without addressing the root causes of homelessness in Bloomington.

For more than 50 years, People’s Park has been a vital space for political action, historical memory, and struggle in Bloomington. Shortly after the KKK firebombed a black social center, The Black Market, located on the park’s land in 1968, People’s Park was founded as a space of leisure and refuge open to all people, not just to the rich and white. Given this history, we must all do our part to ensure that People’s Park remains available to everyone.

Let’s celebrate the history of People’s Park and our ongoing diversity. Let’s stand together, eat together, and enjoy music together! We won’t allow the police to harass and arrest the most vulnerable members of the Bloomington community. Now’s our time to make sure that People’s Park lives up to its name — a place for everyone, for all people.

Come one, come all: workers, students, people without homes, non-human animal companions! Bring your game faces and your appetites.

Rumored events:
Community Potluck
Arts & Crafts (folks should feel inclined to bring lots of chalk)

Bring a dish/drink/food supplies if you can, and be creative in whatever other materials you feel it would be fun and/or useful to have.

Let’s make sure Bloomington stays the way we like it: full of space for folks with unique needs, creative and experimental.

Please forward widely and share the attached flyer online and in print!

Memorial service for Glenn Carter, a comrade much-loved and always present in struggle


G. Glenn Carter, 51 JUNE 18, 1963—DEC. 9, 2014

G. Glenn Carter, 51, died at his home in Bloomington on December 9, 2014. He was born in Indianapolis on June 18, 1963, to Earl and Jeanette (Neal) Carter. He was a graduate of Park Tudor School and Wabash College and did graduate work in American Studies at Indiana University. He is survived by his parents, his sister Elizabeth Carter Grissom and her husband Erik Grissom, nieces Amelia and Clara, and his uncle Fritz Neal. Glenn was exceptionally articulate and a lifelong lover of books and learning, a free spirit with a wonderful sense of humor, a great friend, son and brother. He will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by many in the Bloomington and Indianapolis communities.

Glenn was an accomplished artist and metal sculptor and a member of Hoosier Artist Gallery in Nashville. His sculptures were primarily inspired by nature, which fascinated him since childhood, especially fishing and outdoor exploration. He evolved from tinkering and trading tools to self-taught mastery of the principles of metallurgy and advanced metal working techniques. Glenn made metal renditions of creatures he invented, as well as anatomically accurate replicas of various species, earning commissions from scientists at Indiana University. He also participated in local art shows, especially the annual Déjá Vu Recycled Art show in Columbus, Indiana.

He was a community activist who worked tirelessly for social justice. Glenn was a constant presence at community meetings, marches, demonstrations, and other advocacy events, especially on issues relating to homelessness and addiction. He spoke the truth to any who would listen, and to many who would not, but always did so with a sense of humor, and a sense of the absurd, while respecting persons on all sides of the issue. Glenn was dedicated to the search for workable solutions to problems of social inequality, and was once nominated for the Channel 6 Jefferson Award for community service.

He was a beloved member of the recovery community in Bloomington and Indianapolis, and patiently helped countless people across the addiction spectrum over many years. Glenn was always available to anybody who needed him, and he spent many hours helping others and building a safe community for those in need of help. Toward the end of his life, he advocated and agitated constantly for a permanent detoxification and rehabilitation center in Bloomington for those battling addiction. Rest in power, Glenn, and those you inspired will carry on.

A memorial service and celebration of Glenn’s life and work will take place on Saturday, January 17, 2015, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church on Grant Street downtown. In the spirit of Glenn’s life, the service and celebration are open to all, and all are welcome to participate. Those wishing to contribute can contact Joe Varga at vargj892@gmail.com or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1498019007154534/.


A comrade of Glenn’s sends along this addendum:

I think it’s worth putting out there that public events aren’t the only place memorial can happen and that perhaps another meaningful memorial is to take inspiration for further struggle against the things that enforce homelessness and also the forces that make poisons that our bodies can’t get enough of a part of our daily lives, and most importantly to continue building communities to support each other in our struggle to fight and survive against the forces of capital.

Microphone Demo Against Repression this Tuesday, May 15th


We’re calling for a public demonstration in response to the series of arrests at Occupy demonstrations, of anarchist comrades, and those involved in various local struggles.  Rather than accept this flurry of legal cases and police harassment or shift responsibility to those individuals facing charges, we believe it’s vital to socially contest state repression.

Meet at noon at People’s Park (Kirkwood and Grant) for music, hanging out, and flyering.

Court dates are at 1.30 and 2 pm at the Courthouse.

A new poster and two-sided flyer about the recent repression and examining the police strategy can be found here and here.

May Day 2012 Recap


A little rain didn’t stop May Day from popping off here in our little town.  All day long events and teach-ins culminated in a festive parade that snaked around downtown during the late afternoon, ending in a picnic-cum-dance party on the courthouse lawn.

How did you celebrate Mayday in Bloomington this year?  Send stories, pictures and write ups to rififi (A) riseup.net .  Remember to use safer internet protocol if your story involves illegal activity such as workplace sabotage.  See: Tor

Looks like the façade of Urban Outfitters got a little Mayday love… anyone got pics?


Also, are you still slaving away for finals?  Come take a break in the Wells Library in 5 minutes to eat bagels, hang out and talk about the University from 10pm – midnight! FREE (duh)

IU Art Auditorium OCCUPIED – Get over here!



IU Art Auditorium is currently being Occupied, get down here ASAP!  There will be food, hanging out, movies, discussions, and anything else your heart desires.

The auditorium is located in the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts, the building on your left when you come into the traffic circle at the dead-end of 7th st on campus.  The auditorium is the first room on your left when you walk in the front door.

For blow-by-blow action, follow @OccupyIU

We’re having an indoor demo!

Tweets from IU Student Detained in Egypt


It sucks that these tweets will probably be used against Luke Gates, an IU student studying abroad in Cairo who was recently detained by Egyptian police for allegedly participating in recent riots, but they sure are great.  The detention of these three Americans seems like a weak attempt on the part of the Egyptian military to de-legitimize the protests, or blame the riots on “outside agitators.”  We’d like to subvert their intentions by using this opportunity to draw connections between the struggles in Egypt and our struggles here in Indiana and the U.S. more broadly.  Total solidarity with the accused!

From CBS news:

In his Twitter account, one of the three U.S. students detained by Egyptian military admits throwing rocks during the Tahrir Square protests and complains about his eyes stinging from tear gas, the shock of seeing dead bodies and hurting his knee and arm in a crowd surge.

Luke Gates, 21, an exchange student from Bloomington, Indiana, is one of three U.S. students detained by Egyptian military for allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails during the protests at Egypt’s Tahrir Square. Gates is a junior with a double major in political science and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.

In his tweets, which ended Nov. 21, Gates runs the gamut of youthful anguish – “College is such a joke,” “What are you doing seriously?” and “I just don’t want to feel anymore.”

He also appears to get swept up in the excitement of the protests:

    • Nov. 21: reports of tear gas being fired from AUC campus on Tahrir, university officials have started investigating
    • Nov. 20: back to tahrir tonight, as police set fires to everything, no doubt they will blame it on protesters
    • Nov. 20: earlier tonight rubber bullets a charge and then a retreat, my knee and elbow are f***ed up #toolegit seeing all of this #tahrir
    • Nov. 19: 6 hours at tahrir, enough tear gas for tonight
    • Nov. 19: we were throwing rocks and one guy accidentally threw his phone =(
    • Nov. 19: now class? ugh. my arm is sore and my eyes still burn a little
    • Nov. 19: saw them hanging from the bridge, and you realize death is the only thing thats immortal
    • Nov. 19: its only scary cuz i feel so reckless
    • Nov. 19: yes live bullets we have the shells, i was here!!
    • Nov. 19: wish the protests in new york looked like the ones in tahrir. #pu***es

The three Americans attend the American University in Cairo as exchange students. The school, which sits on Tahrir Square, the central protest site, confirmed the students’ arrest. In addition to Gates, the other two students are Derrik Sweeney, from Georgetown University and Greg Porter from Drexel University.

99 Problems


Pronoun note: “We” here refers to us (the authors) and you (if you so choose to include yourself). “We” is NOT the occupation, the “movement,” or you (if you don’t choose to include yourself).

When Tea Partiers bad-mouth “welfare queens” or “border jumpers,” folks are quick to point out their racist stigmatizations, and that’s a good thing. However, everyone could do best to question their own assumptions as well, especially around the 99% rhetoric that large swaths of the occupy movement have claimed as a starting point. This rhetoric is antisemitic (definition: hatred or discrimination of Jews) and deserves to be called into question just as much as racist Tea Party rhetoric, and to be taken just as seriously as any other form of racism.

We’re not calling anyone out for personal acts of antisemitism, although we are concerned about these more broadly. Personal antisemitism does run rampant in this country; my own grandfather denies the holocaust happened, and we’ve had to correct co-workers who claim they’ve just been “jewed.” What we are concerned about here at the Bloomington Occupation (and the Occupy movement more broadly) is the underlying antisemitism that is laced through the “99% v. 1%” rhetoric and the critique of financial capital. We can say that this antisemitism is structural or institutional because is is part of a larger cultural phenomenon that has been in place for thousands of years.

Antisemitic arguments from the middle ages (ostensibly that Jews control the money / banks / world) have been in play continuously since then; the personification of the “rich banker” or “Wall Street trader” as class enemy #1 plays into this and proves that these arguments have moved through history seamlessly. This populist rage against Wall Street for “betraying” or “selling out” America amounts to a contemporary redux of the “stab in the back myth,” a staple of nazi lore that blames “Jews and other subversives” for the betrayal of the German people, the loss of WWI and subsequent floundering of the German economy. Just as there was no conspiracy that was singlehandedly responsible for undermining the German war effort (it was already done in), there isn’t a cabal of Wall Street bankers to blame for selfishly wrecking the economy for their own gain.

The left here is just as culpable as the extreme right, with popular criticism of the Israeli State, the IDF or Zionism manifesting as completely indistinguishable from antisemitism – CounterPunch’s article “Israeli Organ Harvesting- the New Blood Libel?” is just one particularly glaring example. Not to mention the postwar-Left’s nearly wholesale adoption of conspiracy theory – notably 9/11 truth – often explicitly or subtly antisemitic in it’s ludicrous claims that Jews completely control the U.S. government, media and business interests. We point these things out to challenge the idea that, because antisemitism is systemic, that it is out of our control or is just semantic; contrarily, these threads work their way into our language, our assumptions, and our movements in quite sinister and penetrative ways.

To accept the thesis that banks, the circulation of money, or “the rich” are the problem only accepts a halfway-critique of capitalism (remember, the National Socialists are anti-capitalist as well; the German Marxist August Bebel famously referred to antisemitism as “the socialism of fools”). Banks and “bankers” are an easy target because they stand as the visible monetary centers, but this analysis completely ignores the primary functions of capitalism: the production of commodities, the exploitation of human labor, and the extraction of surplus value. Capitalism is not a conspiracy.

And thus the sinister overtones of the 99% vs. 1% logic emerges; it becomes clear that historically, national bodies (Germany, for instance) have mobilized popular antagonism against constructed sociological minorities to strengthen their own positions. Needless to say, a political analysis based solely on this construction is deeply troubling in it’s implications.

Positively, we want to participate in an articulate, complex and multi-faceted struggle, one that does not fall into the traps of populist rhetoric for lowest-common-denominator sake. The simplification of the class struggle to asinine statistics and percentages completely steamrollers all the different complexities and forces at play, and ignores the subtle interplay of power that exists everywhere and between us all. We agree that the problems of environmental devastation, poverty, racism, militarization, patriarchy, education cuts, and austerity are serious ones, but we reject the idea that these misfortunes are thrust upon us from above, that we are somehow pure or that we have no part in perpetuating these things among ourselves; denying our own agency would be shooting ourselves in the proverbial foot. Hopefully, armed with solid critique, we can get past the consideration of who is or isn’t “part of the 99%” and begin to consider our relationships to one another in more personal and specific terms.

Solidarity, Some Anarchist Occupiers

Any thoughts about #OccupyBloomington?


In case you haven’t noticed, the Occupation of People’s Park in downtown Bloomington Indiana is still going on!  The park is completely filled with tents at this point, and lots of interesting discussions are floating around.

If you haven’t yet, it’s worth popping by to check it out; there’s a general assembly (GA) at 6.30 pm each evening, so that’s always a good time to come and hear what people are talking about.

If you’ve been around Occupy Bloomington (or any other Occupations in Southern Indiana) and have any thoughts or anti-capitalist analysis of the occupation, please feel free to submit them to:

rififi [at] riseup [dot] net. 

(And, in general, we love tip-offs about Indiana-specific demonstrations, moments of rupture and exciting criminal capers.  Please send stuff!)