Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank

July 13, 2008

The following is an excerpt from the new book Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, published this month by AK Press. The book has two chapters on Indiana, both of which appeared in The Bloomington Alternative: “Young and radical” by Steven Higgs and "Criticize Cheney, go to jail" by John Blair.


We are not supposed to exist.

According to the political Steinberg map of the nation, we come from no man's land, fly-over country, the unredeemable middle, where political progressives are as rare as a Hooters in Provo, Utah.

We are children of the wasteland. The rural outback. Where folks carry guns and use them. Where fenced compounds and utopian communes exist side-by-side with a cyanide heap-leach gold mine. Out here cell phones don't work. Not yet, anyway. And some of us would like to keep it that way.

Frank grew up on the wheated plains of eastern Montana. St. Clair hails from the humid cornfields of central Indiana. These states span the glaciated heart of the continent, a region carved and ground smooth by the weight of ice. From a distance, the terrain of the Great Plains appears homogeneous..

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