Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

At the Picnic

Dear Comrades,

At a picnic held July 9 at Los Gatos we received an income of $841 in which we distributed as follows:

Freedom $75; Black Flag $75; Open Road $75; Fifth Estate $75; Rivista A $200; L’Internazionale $150; Volonta $121; Interogation $70.

Some of the contributors were not present—those being: John Vattuone $20; T. Martocchia $20; Peter Puccio $20; Fred Francescutti $20; Dal Fondo Nicola $100; San Vitulli $10; Armando $10; Romeo $10.


Fifth Estate Collective
Staff and Contributors

Claudio Albertani

Angela DiSante

Alan Franklin

Ralph Franklin

Marcus Graham

John Grant

Maynard G. Krebs

E.B. Maple

Tina Nachalo

Mr. Venom

Marilyn Werbe

Peter Werbe

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 sporadic, so call before coming down. Subscriptions are $4.00 for 12 issues; $6 for foreign. Call 259–1888 for retail sales outlets. Second Class postage paid at Detroit, Michigan. No copyright. No paid advertising accepted.

Fifth Estate Collective
About this Issue

The question of what constitutes revolutionary activity is raised again on these pages in two articles; 1) an in-depth analysis of the Italian situation and 2) a review of a book on anarchism in the U.S. Claudio Albertani explodes the mystification surrounding the militancy of the autonomous groups and the fetish of armed struggle held by organizations such as the Red Brigades. The article by Marcus Graham, a long time friend of the Fifth Estate, raises the question in a more subtle way (see FE #293–294, August 21, 1978, page 14). We have had his manuscript for several months, but had declined to print it due to a staff disagreement over his usage of the terms “anarchist” and “anarchism.”


Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen


Well this issue of the FE is a little late in coming out because three-quarters of the staff is off taking a much awaited summer break. This is the last FE you’ll see until September (this issue is a double issue—July/Aug.), when we hope to be back in the swing of things...

As usual, we’re operating the paper by the skin of our teeth and would like to thank all of those people who resubscribed and sent in those much needed donations—it saved us this month. If you received a “renewal” notice in the mail and haven’t re-subscribed yet, we hope that you do so soon since it’s your subscriptions that help us cover costs each month...


Fifth Estate Collective
Pope Perishes


Like a full moon, like the blazing collapse of a bank in an earthquake, like the comedic sinking of an imperial barge, the death of a pope, and the giddy and liberatory revelation that we are now—if only momentarily—living during a time when there is no pope, is a cause for celebration. Firecrackers, stink-bombs, and rockets should be fired in every aisle and nave, on the steps of every church from Rome to St. Clair Shores! Celebrate! The pope is dead!


Lorenzo Komboa Ervin
A Letter from Komboa

Staff Note: The following is a letter that was recently sent to the Fifth Estate by Lorenzo Komboa Ervin. For more information about Komboa, see “Komboa: Anti-Vietnam Warrior,” FE #292, June 19, 1978.

Dear Comrades:

I am an Anarchist political prisoner confined in the infamous Control Unit Behavior Modification Program at the Marion Federal Penitentiary. Ten prisoners have died in the Control Unit In the past few years (3 deaths in 1977 alone!) and hundreds of others have been-driven to self-mutilation or insanity.


Johnny G.
Anarchists Arrested in Britain

Attacking what they call “terrorists” and “idealistic persons” who would take “positive steps” to overthrow society, the British government’s elite Special Branch and Anti-terrorist Squad (ATS) have conducted a series of raids designed to create an atmosphere of conspiracy and suspicion.

The raids, generally directed against leftist groups and anarchists, have proven to be at times little more than acts of sheer buffoonery. One carefully planned foray into an assumed “den of anarchy” on the part of ATS landed the Special Branch in a legally licensed night club in North London which had been occupied by a political group two years earlier. In Highbury the ATS broke into a flat after bashing down the door with a sledge hammer and took three family photo albums; and in Finsbury Park on a raid, they arrested one person for a small quantity of dope.


Fifth Estate Collective
Revolution & Counter-revolution in Italy Introduction to Albertani articles

The following two articles, “The Return of the Social Revolution, Or, Well Dug, Old Mole!” and “Economic Crisis & Revolution. Or, a Propos of Capital and its Contradictions,” were written by a comrade from Milan who took part in revolutionary upsurge which engulfed Italy from the early part of this decade to its peak (so far) in 1977 and the Italian Spring.


Claudio Albertani
Economic Crisis and Revolution A propos of Capital and its contradictions

FE note: See our introduction, “Revolution & Counter-revolution in Italy,” [FE#293–294, August 21, 1978] in this issue.

Author’s Introduction

A conspiracy of silence and careful distortion of what doesn’t fit the picture of Italy as a panting country trying to catch up with the other industrial “democracies” have mystified the Italian events in the past year. If one believes the American press, the only problem is to know how long the Carter Administration will succeed in keeping the so-called Communist Party out of the government: however, another much more dangerous reality, whose lineaments we will attempt to trace, seems to threaten the management of the crisis and the project of integration of the country into the new international economic order.


Claudio Albertani
The Return of the Social Revolution Or, Well Dug, Old Mole!

“Bread and roses.”

(Paterson, N.J., 1912, slogan of the revolutionary women)

“Molotov, Champagne!”

(Milan, 1977)

For all those who, due to opportunism or congenital idiocy, believe it impossible that the communist movement should ever reappear, the Italian events of the past year have demonstrated that the capitalist project of domesticating humanity has encountered insoluble contradictions. If after the days of May the Situationists could write of the mouvement des occupations that it was “the refusal of all authority, of all specialization, of all hierarchical alienation; the refusal of the state and thus of parties and unions as well as sociologists and professors, of repressive morality and of medicine” (Internationale Situationniste No. 12, September 1969), we perceive in the 1977 riots of the “Italian Spring” a continuity with the modern revolutionary project contra the real domination of capital, a project which, having announced itself near the end of the ‘60s, having been suppressed and recuperated afterwards, is now returning to express itself with renewed radicalism in one of the weakest spots in the whole precarious world economy.


Fifth Estate Collective
Rules & Regulations...Who needs them?

Nov. 7, 1976

On Sunday, November 7, 3,000 people had descended on the Piazza Vetra, Milan, taking the police, who were prepared for a routine operation, completely by surprise. Bursting into four cinemas, they soon mounted a demonstration some 4,000 strong. Following this, a price reduction was proposed for (movie) matinee performances. The response was a new demonstration, this time involving 52 of Milan’s “youth circles,” with their banners decorated with garish colors and drawings. The Apache emblem (a hatchet) in the forefront, flags, guitars, the pink and flowered flags of the feminist and gay groups.


Marcus Graham
An Unusual Study In American Anarchism A review

During the last two score of years anarchism and its movements have witnessed a sort of re-discovery due to the disillusionment of the intellectual world that has for a long time supported the Marxian Government of Russia and all its allied Marxian Governments in other countries. This, in turn, has led to the appearance of quite a few volumes dealing with anarchism and its movements, along with reprints of most of the works of its theoreticians.


Fifth Estate Collective
Ammunition Books

Ammunition Books shares space with the Fifth Estate Newspaper (?) [sic] and can be found at 4403 Second Ave, (telephone (313) 831–6800. Our hours vary quite a bit, so it’s always best to give us a telephone call before coming down.


1) List the title of the book(s), amount wanted and price of each;


Fifth Estate Collective
Free Readers’ Ads

Though we do not accept commercial advertising, this Unclassified ad space is free for our readers’ use. We do not accept ads over the telephone, so please send your ads in writing to our office at: 4403 Second Ave., Detroit, Michigan 48201.

MELEN LUAN, we found your letter (last FE) highly stimulating. Would like to be in touch. Direct dialog with others equally encouraged. John and Paula Zerzan at UPSHOT, P.O. Box 40256, S.F. 94110


Police Attack MOVE

As the 1,000 Philadelphia cops assembled outside the home of the anti-government, anti-technology group called MOVE on Aug. 8, they must have thought it was going to be like shooting fish in a barrel. The forces of state terror were in full battle gear and were assisted by a large contingent of city firemen preparing to evict the group for what really amounted to housekeeping standards that offended the city’s vicious mayor, Frank Rizzo.


Fifth Estate Collective
Give This Man A Second Chance Text with back page graphic

In November of 1970, Benjamin Mendoza y Amor attempted to assassinate Pope Paul VI at Manila’s International Airport. Unfortunately, Mendoza made one mistake—-he was caught. Give this man a second chance!

Free Benjamin Mendoza y Amor

In what ranks among the finest assertions of life over death in human history, Benjamin Mendoza y Amor, a Bolivian surrealist, stated that he had made an attempt on the Pope’s life because “There is no God” and that Pope Paul “represents the kind of superstition which must be destroyed by removing him.