A festive march took the streets of Bloomington, Indiana on Sunday afternoon, June 10th. This event was for the June 11th day of solidarity with Marie Mason and Eric McDavid, as well as longterm anarchist prisoners in the U.S. and internationally. The parade (complete with a drum line and banners) marched through downtown, making a stop at the Jail to make a ton of noise and try and communicate solidarity with those trapped inside.
The group proceeded to take over all three lanes of traffic on one side of the main square downtown. Couches were pulled into the street, caution tape was strung across all lanes of traffic and barbeque grills were lit. A water balloon fight ensued, and a cop-car-shaped piñata was hoisted. The space was held for about 15 minutes without incident when the pigs, who had passively tailed the march for its duration, got out of their cars and began to encroach upon the revelers.
When the party crashers threatened to wreck our shit, the group moved to take over the adjacent lawn of the old courthouse building for a party that lasted into the early evening. Some highlights of the party included several live bands and dj’d music, more piñatas (one shaped like a jail with pictures of Marie and Eric in the windows, to be broken free), fireworks, BBQ and picnic foods, parlour games, and temporarily erected graffiti walls. A banner was dropped off a building across the street reading “FREE MARIE MASON, FREE ERIC MCDAVID, EARTH FIRST!”).
Solidarity statements periodically read over the P.A. were loud enough to be heard through all of downtown. These statements expressed solidarity with Eric and Marie, gave information and history about June 11th, discussed locally relevant cases such as the Tinley Park 5, and read excerpts from Down, a new book about long-term prison rebels in Indiana state prisons. A statement was also read expressing solidarity with prisoners of the Greek state who are being held and charged as terrorists, just as Eric and Marie are. We also acted in solidarity with comrades in Turkey from Yeryüzüne Özgürlük Derneği (Freedom to Earth Association), British prison rebel John Bowden, as well as Andrzej Mazurek, the last remaining imprisoned comrade from the Greek riots of December 2008, who will appear before the court tomorrow to appeal an 11-year sentence, as well as many other comrades who are imprisoned across the U.S. and the globe.
Here in Bloomington, ensuring lasting support for Marie feels especially important– Marie was a member of the radical environmental and anarchist communities here for many years, and her absence is palpable here as in many other places. I-69, a superhighway project she fought against, is currently in the first stages of construction, after a 20+ year battle against it’s existence. Marie’s continuing struggle inside prison informs and strengthens the struggles we carry on outside, and vice versa- we stand adverse to the daily and systemic violence of capitalism, which creates both the environmental devastation that Marie fought against and the prison walls that hold her captive. The state has taken her away from us for now, but they will never erase her from our hearts and minds.
We can’t wait for tomorrow!