Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

Obscene Competition

To the FE:

Let me make some observations regarding the recent debates in the FE on organization, worker’s councils, and so on. I hope you take what I say as friendly criticism rather than as the beginning of a polemic.

First of all, many of the statements in the paper, both by correspondents and by FE staff, display considerable pomposity, as well as a desire to dismiss as idiotic or reactionary the views of opponents. This kind of revolutionary one-upmanship not only fails to clarify the issues; it also risks discouraging the participation of people who doubt their own glibness or literary skill.


Fifth Estate Collective
Staff & Contributors

Millard Berry

Alan Franklin

Ralph Franklin

Pat Halley

Maynard G. Krebs

Angela DiSante

Pat O’Bryan

Kathy Horak

Tina Nachalo

Bob Nirkind

E.B. Maple

Bill McGraw

Stuart Perry

Pete Rachleff

Donna Saffiati

Marilyn Werbe

Peter Werbe

Judith Torres

John Zerzan

Mark Wenson

The Fifth Estate Newspaper, a non-profit Michigan corporation is published monthly at 4403 Second Ave., Detroit MI 48201; phone: (313) 831–6800. Office hours are: 1:00–5:00 P.M., Mondays through Fridays. Subscriptions are $4.00 for 12 issues. Call 842–8888 for retail sales outlets. Second Class postage paid at Detroit, Michigan. No copyright. No commercial advertising.

High Times
Mexican Dope Prisoners Still Held Jailbreaks Called For

A typed “communique” received by alternative publications in the southwest calling on underground groups and Vietnam vets to launch armed attacks and other actions against Mexican jails, according to Zodiac News Service.

The two-page letter—a copy of which was received in February by The Austin Sun accuses Mexican and American government officials of deliberately dragging their heels in adopting an exchange treaty that would send Americans imprisoned in Mexico back to U.S. jails.


Fifth Estate Collective
Protests Planned at 2nd Murray Trial

A weekend of international protest activities has been called to coincide with the opening of the second murder trial of Irish anarchist Marie Murray on April 25 in Dublin, according to the London Black Flag office.

Murray and her husband Noel were convicted last year in a frame-up trial for the slaying of an Irish cop following an unsolved bank robbery in that nation’s capital city.


Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

Good news on the financial front: the Fifth Estate is still cruising on the generosity of our growing list of sustainers and those making one-time contributions. Also, a thank you to all of those subscribers who have been renewing over the past few months. One note though: if you received a letter last month stating that your subscription has expired, this will be the last issue you receive unless we hear from you. (Hate to lose anyone, but...)


Peter Rachleff
The New Family Therapy

“The development of capital is delinquency and madness. Now everything is permitted; there are no longer taboos, bans. But, in living out various ‘perversions, men and women can lose themselves, destroy themselves, and no longer be operational’ for capital; out of this there appears-the necessity of a community which can reinsert them into the community of capital (to be more exact, this takes on the dimension of a therapeutic community). An ensemble of specialists-therapists will serve as the mediators for this reinsertion.”

—Jacques Camatte, in Invariance Serie III, No. 1


John Zerzan
Multinational Unions The transition from union shop to union world is underway, for unions have proven themselves the only integrative force even marginally capable of dealing with the definitive capitalist crisis, the crisis of participation. But “marginal capability” will not be nearly enough.

It has never been more clear that trade unionism is “ absolutely essential to the survival as well as to the stability of world capitalism. The trend toward the consolidation of unions, their closer integration with the state, and, most recently and remarkably, their development into a global network has finally presented, in fact, an unmistakable picture of modern fascism.


The Last SLA Statement

The Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) undertook a series of urban guerrilla actions in 1973 and 1974 that made world-wide headlines. The assassination of a reactionary school official, the kidnapping of a wealthy heiress and a bank appropriation set off a massive search for the small band. Of the original ten SLA members, six were executed by the Los Angeles Police and the remaining four were captured and sentenced to multiple life imprisonments. The latter—Russ Little, Joe Remiro, Bill Harris and Emily Harris—were interviewed last year by the Bay Area Research Collective (BARC, P.O. Box 4344, Berkeley CA 94704) and related their experiences and assessments of the SLA experience. The Fifth Estate has excerpted sections of that interview and although the full text is not presented, we hope that the major thrust of their feelings and ideas is maintained. The entire interview is available from BARC or Ammunition Books for 75 cents.


Open Road
State Plays “Musical Dungeons” With SLA

This article first appeared in Open Road newspaper, Box 6135, Station G, Vancouver, Canada.

The long and complicated saga of the now defunct Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) is still unfolding in the courtrooms and prisons of California. Russ Little, Joe Remiro, Bill and Emily Harris, the group’s four surviving members, are all now serving one or more life sentences each and the Harrises face even more trials growing out of their urban guerrilla activities in 1974.


Fifth Estate Collective
Ammunition Books

PORTUGAL: The Impossible Revolution? Phil Mailer

The still unfinished story of the Portuguese upsurge of 1974–75. An eye-witness account of a deeply involved spectator. A new type of historiography with the view from different groups vying for power and the workers fighting for a new life.

London Solidarity, $5.00 (also available in hardback, upon request $10.00)


Poland: 1970–71 There’s no light quite so bright as the glow from a burning government building

a review of

Poland: 1970–71; Capitalism and Class Struggle, Informations Correspondence Ourvrieres (ICO), 117 pages; illustrated, Black & Red, Detroit, 1977.

“Nothing draws a crowd like a burning cop car!”

—late 1960s political graffiti

Really just one other thing does—a burning government building—and the cover picture of this pamphlet showing the blazing Communist Party headquarters in the Polish city of Szczecin graphically illustrates what this pamphlet is really all about: the hatred of the people for their rulers and the accessibility of the oppressors. The violent class combat that shook Poland over six years ago is recounted here from both Polish and other European sources and details the massive worker counter-offensive to a price hike and wage freeze.


Fifth Estate Collective
Events Calendar


Cass City Cinema-1st Unitarian Church (Cass & Forest—red door), 7:30 & 10 pm Adm. $1.50. Sundays films at 7:30 only.

4–29 & 30 “Blow for Blow” 1970 Karmitz. (France)

5–6 & 7 “Womens Film Festival Weekend”.

5–13 & 14 “Hearts and Minds” 1974 (Peter Davis).

5–27 & 28 “The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse” 1960 (Fritz Lang).


Fifth Estate Collective
Criticism/Self-Criticism Germany 1936, China 1977


George Orwell’s 1984, in which he potently describes a totalitarian society of the future, has been used by both capitalists and communists in describing each other’s society. The saddest thing of all is that they’re both right.

The photos on this page show the military forces of Germany (1936) and China (1977) practicing the art of criticism/self-criticism in attempts to clear the nation state of unwanted elements.


Fifth Estate Collective
Canada Hides Slayer Murderer of Laureano Cerrada Santos permitted to immigrate

On the front page of the latest issue of Black Flag (organ of the Anarchist Black Cross) is the picture of Spanish anarchist Laureano Cerrada Santos with the word MURDERED printed under it in large type.

According to Black Flag, Cerrada, who fought in the Spanish revolution and later became a skilled forger in passports and Spanish food rationing coupons, was shot to death in the streets of a Paris suburb by a Spanish secret agent last October.


China Supports US on Taiwan

Now that the Hua Kuo-feng faction of the Chinese Communist party is firmly in control of the People’s Republic any number of Maoist concepts have been slated for the waste basket of history.

One of the most recent to go is the late Chairman’s guerrilla strategy of “people’s war” which long insisted that men, not weapons, were the key factor in war and had China preparing for a guerrilla defense against an invader.


Terrorists’ Revenge

While waiting at a traffic light in the city of Karlsruhe, West Germany, Chief Prosecutor Siegfried Buback was assassinated just as the light turned green.

Along with his chauffer and a bodyguard, Buback was killed by two people riding a stolen motorcycle, when they drove up to the right side of his limousine and emptied more than thirteen shots into the car with a submachine-gun.