Fifth Estate Collective
Tales from the Planet

For over five years, villagers in Portugal have been battling the mass planting of eucalyptus trees, a “quick money,” fast-growing, drought resistant tree which, according to its advocates, provides a good light fuel and prevents soil erosion.

In reality, the eucalyptus planting is truly life-threatening for what remains of Portugal’s small farming communities. The tree, which drives its roots deep into the ground, robs the villages of their already meager water supplies, quickly drying up the wells and small streams.


Fifth Estate Collective

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Ben Johnson
Report from Korea

The cars, cabs, trucks, and buses of Seoul constitute the worst traffic I’ve ever seen. I didn’t dare jay-walk during the entire week I was there. Students know how to stop traffic though: just use, or threaten to use, Molotovs.

In late October, about two dozen delegates arrived from almost as many countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and elsewhere to attend the first International Seminar for World Peace sponsored by the Federation of Anarchists in Korea (FAK). Rather than trying to recover from severe jet-lag on our first full day in Seoul, a handful of us said to ourselves: “Hey let’s go to a university and meet some student radicals!” While some might have argued this to be a needlein-a-haystack situation, given Seoul’s population of around nine million, we figured that at least it was a good opportunity to see more of the city and less of the hotel we were collectively booked into.


Fifth Estate Collective
1989 Anarchist Gathering in San Francisco

Plans are under way for the 1989 continental anarchist gathering tentatively scheduled for July 30-August 7 in San Francisco. Since the 1986 Haymarket centenary commemoration, there have been yearly anarchist assemblies with a 1987 meeting in Minneapolis and Toronto this year. About 1,000 people attended the 1988 gathering (FE Summer 1988); planners are expecting upwards of 3,000 participants for a variety of political and cultural events. The FE will have a full schedule as soon as it is available.


Howard Besser
Anarchists at Korean Peace Conference

The Korean Anarchist Federation hosted an international peace conference October 28–31 in Seoul. Approximately two dozen delegates from 15 countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America attended, with all expenses paid for by the Korean comrades.

It was a rather formal academic conference held in a hall that resembled a City Council’s chambers. Each delegate presented a paper related to the general topic of international peace, and most of the papers reflected an anarchist perspective. Papers covered the relationship between military technology and capitalism, the necessity of world revolution to assure international peace, the de-radicalization that occurs when peace groups lobby governmental bodies, the necessity of assuring alternative sources of information regarding radical movements, and a number of other topics. [The published complete text of all the talks is available (in english and korean) from: Professor Ha Ki Rak, 706–022 Suseongku, Manchon 2-Dong 990–44, Taegu, Korea.]


Fifth Estate Collective

Although we’ve gotten an excellent response from last issue’s article, “Industrial Domestication” [FE #329, Summer, 1988] which originally appeared in the French magazine Os Cangaceiros, we were informed by the translators that we had inadvertently typeset it from a working, rather than final, version.


Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

We can tell when it’s been a long time between issues when we start getting letters from subscribers asking if they’ve missed an issue or it we’ve stopped publishing. This issue is the third we’ve published this year, which doesn’t meet our official status as a quarterly, but this should not be taken as a measure of our enthusiasm for our project. While this past year has seen both personal and other commitments interrupt our plans for publishing more issues, 1989 could be an improvement. We are simultaneously preparing a special issue along with this one which will feature a further investigation by George Bradford into the philosophy of deep ecology, the grounding of environmental ethics and concepts of wilderness. This will come out hopefully early in February.


George Bradford (David Watson)
Bill Blank

Evergreen 19 Beat Rap As Incinerator Fires Up

A minor victory in the midst of an ongoing major disaster, the “Evergreen 19” have walked free, but only from the stench of a courtroom. After prolonged exposure to exhausting testimony on our disorderly conduct charges and a judge who later admitted he wanted us punished with maximum fines, a sympathetic jury found us not guilty in the May 1988 sit-in demonstration at the construction site of the world’s largest trash incinerator (see FE #328, Summer 1988). But as the defendants cheered and hugged one another, the smoke and ash from test burns floated over our community and the Great Lakes region.


Agnes Stewart
The Misfit Fiction

Dedicated to the Clayoquot people of Meares Island

No one in the small rural village knew exactly how old the fir tree was. To one native old-timer, it was a survivor from the days of his ancestors. The tree had been enormous even in his youth.

It stood, tall and majestic, a solitary tree near the edge of a cliff in a small park. From the foot of the tree, its roots went deep into the earth. Surrounding the tree at its trunk was soft, thick grass where many generations of children had played. Below the cliff, on the sea, people in their small boats sought it as an infallible landmark. To the young, it symbolized romance; to the old, it gave peace.


Le Brise-Glace
Palestine The Future of a Rebellion

from Le Brise-Glace, No. 1, translated by Lorraine Perlman

However repressive it may have been from its very origins, Zionism represented a movement of emancipation for many oppressed Jews. Once Israel was established, Zionism—whether left or right—has been nothing more than a project to defend a state which, to survive, is condemned to practice a policy of apartheid internally and imperialism externally, where the constant recollection of past adversity serves as a justification for present coercion.


Lynne Clive (Marilynn Rashid)
Stopping the Incinerator, Starting the Movement A Response

From photography collection ‘Resistance to the Detroit Incinerator, 1986–1990.’ All black and white images: Millard Berry.

There were a number of inaccurate and misleading statements made in E. B. Maple’s both congratulatory and critical article on the Evergreen Alliance and its May Mobilization to Save the Great Lakes in the last issue [FE #329, Summer, 1988].


Mikal Jakubal
Live Wild Or Die The Other EF!


FE NOTE: When we first published a critique of the deep ecology movement last fall (“How Deep Is Deep Ecology? A Challenge to Radical Environmentalism,” [FE #327, Fall, 1987] available through our book service for $.75 plus postage), we did so not simply to criticize, but also to connect with people in that movement (outside the handful of “leaders” and stars) who might share or at least be open to a vision that recognizes the interrelated character of the industrial-capitalist (work-commodity) system, mass technics, statism and empire, and the destruction of nature and human societies. The articles printed here are a result of such connections (which is not to imply that the writers agree entirely with us, either). We hope to continue our dialogue and collaboration with EF! people where possible while furthering our discussion of environmental politics.


Randall Restless
The Yellowstone Fires Burn, Baby, Burn!

Outside my window a dusting of snow frosts the ground and an October moon illuminates a wintry night. It is hard to believe that, little more than a month ago, the air was acrid with woodsmoke, hot, dry winds raked the baked earth, and the town hummed with hysteria like an over-stoked furnace. Yellowstone was afire.


“The Decadence of Capital” An Alibi For “Progress”?

FE Note: The essay below explores and criticizes the theory of the “decadence of capitalism,” a view held by several ultra-left sects here and in Europe. This view contends (a la Marx) that capital once had a dynamic phase in which it created the material base for a transition to socialism, but since the advent of World War I in 1914 has entered a decadent phase marked by cycles of war, reconstruction, depression and war again.


Maurice Spira
His-story Lesson

Maurice Spira, “His-story Lesson,” 1983, acrylic on paper

I conceived of “His-story Lesson” as being like a little lecture, demonstrating the development that can be observed as a central tendency, throughout all of human history. Our lecturer is holding his spray can, which is a symbol of hostile technology: it could be destroying the ozone layer or it could be for graffiti, or it could be poison, some toxic substance, it could be mace, whatever comes in a can, it could be hairspray or some hideous perfume out of the drugstore. He’s wrapped in a map of the world to emphasize the essential underpinning of human development and progress on this planet which has always been conquest and domination...in effect colonialism, colonial expansion. Up on the wall to the right you have the factory system, you have the pyramids which represent the ancient bureaucratic state, you have some other little motifs which have to do with the pillars of society—the judiciary, the church and so on. To the left of the lecturer is Roman time, symbolized by a clock with no hands, and below it is our lethal contemporary obsession with cybernetic time and the so-called information revolution which is nothing but an insane and obnoxious plot to fill up all us empty vessels—apparently we’re all empty vessels to be filled up with all this worthless bullshit that technocratic civilization deems purposeful, which I reject out of hand.


Mick Vranich
Willie Williams
Kim Derrick Hunter
Marie Stephens
Christina Pacosz
Ron Allen

Poetry centerfold feature

Chains Across The Trees

by Mick Vranich

America’s totem is the hamburger

don’t look at me look at tv

chains across the trees

generations bread on cheap meat

glass cars with flashy decals

x this z that magnum force

for minute sight

name a town where the demons

don’t lurk lead heads zapped on crack


Fifth Estate Collective
The 1988 Election Nobody Won!

The 1988 Presidential electoral farce was all over by midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Vice-President George Bush victoriously declared, “The people have spoken.”

Bush was right in one regard: the people had spoken but in a manner reported virtually nowhere. Those eligible to vote avoided the polls in record numbers to the point where Nobody won an absolute majority among the potential electorate for the first time in 64 years.


Ana Coluthon
Mike Gunderloy

A Debate on Tactics Anarchy in Washington

FE Note: About 100 anarchists joined an Oct. 17th demonstration at the Pentagon to protest U.S. intervention in El Salvador which has resulted in 65,000 deaths to date. The action entitled “Blockade the Pentagon,” resulted in 200 protesters being arrested in civil disobedience actions and a raging controversy over the more militant activities of the anti-authoritarian contingent.


Bob Brubaker
Comments on John Zerzan’s Critique of Agriculture

John Zerzan’s essay, “Agriculture: Essence of Civilization,” appeared in FE #329, Summer 1988 and is available for one dollar from 4632 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48201. It is also part of a collection of John’s essays entitled Elements of Refusal and can be obtained through our book service for $9.00.


Nothing Less than Totality


3-panel cartoon From P.O. Box 11492, Eugene, OR 97440

Panel 1 Text: Agriculture has been and remains a “catastrophe” at all levels, the one which underpins the entire material and spiritual culture of alienation now destroying us. Liberation is impossible without its dissolution.

Description: Drawing of a woman in a bed waking up at 6 o’clock. Speech balloon contains the panel text.


John Zerzan
Zerzan Replies “If we reach ‘alarming’ conclusions, then we do.”

Bob Brubaker’s defense of agriculture [this issue, FE #330, Winter, 1988–89] seems to have two main components, one in which agriculture itself recedes in favor of “symbolic exchange.” Here it is argued that “symbolism, not agriculture, was the sun around which primitive life revolved,” and that “where there is symbolic interaction with nature, ecological destruction doesn’t take place.” But while it is more pleasant to hear the voices of ceremonials and rituals than to contemplate the ravages of agriculture, reality must also be encountered.


Elizabeth Kemp
The Next Generation of Autonome?

WEST BERLIN—Situated on 3 acres of land in Kreuzberg, West Berlin, between the colorful graffiti art on exhibit at the Berlin Wall and a hundred year old building, there exist some of the last remains of the West Berlin squatter hey-day of the ‘eighties—a small trailer village of squatters and a children’s farm, both founded in the spring of 1981.


George Bradford (David Watson)


In the FE report of the July ’88 Toronto @ Un-convention [FE #329, Summer, 1988], the description of a workshop that I gave, “Empire and Ecological Destruction,” contained a misleading inaccuracy. Since I was not in town when the FE was produced, I wasn’t able to clear it up then but would like to do so now.


Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

In the Streets

Dear Folks,

Re: Toronto Anarchist Gathering coverage (FE #329, Summer 1988): I am trying to scrape together a ‘zine to write about, among other things, The Gathering. Time is running on and it’s almost old news now but I still think it’s important that there be an ongoing discussion about the events surrounding the July 4 Day of Action.


Fifth Estate Collective
FE Bookstore

The FE Bookstore is located at 4632 Second Ave., just south of W. Forest, in Detroit. We share space with the Fifth Estate Newspaper and may be reached at the same phone number: (313) 831–6800. Visitors are welcome, but our hours vary so please call before dropping in.


1) List the title of the book, quantity wanted, and the price of each;


Fifth Estate Collective
News & Reviews

Boa No. 2 (June 1988), a publication of the Bevy of Anarchist-Feminists from Vancouver and Montreal, is a wild, provocative, angry, often depressing but also humorous collection of poems, graphics, short essays and stories (some in French) covering a wide range of topics: Voltarine De Cleyre, women’s prison, AIDS, prostitution, poverty, consumerism, institutionalized medicine, work, lesbianism, romantic love, heterosexual love, repression, militarism, the stereotyping of women in literature, women and theory and more. There are personal accounts of rape, child abuse, abortion and a number of bitingly satiric and sardonic graphics.


Fifth Estate Collective
The South End insert

Adamany Resigns (John Hollings)
“Most hated man on campus”

As striking university workers joined forces with Detroit’s labor community at the annual Labor Day Parade, WSU president David Adamany took the Board of Governors by surprise when he called an emergency meeting to give notice of his immediate resignation.