Fifth Estate Collective
Tales from the planet

Anarchist Black Cross

At a conference of the Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) (the first in twenty years) held in April 1989 in Bradford, England, member groups decided to activate one of the ABC’s original functions by establishing the Emergency Response Network (ERN) which will mobilize anarchists internationally to respond to immediate crises. A call to action would have demands such as the immediate release of anarchist prisoners, the dropping of charges, the cessation of torture, meeting the demands of hunger strikers or prisoner hostage-takers, etc. The meeting in Bradford decided that the ERN would only be activated in defense of anarchists.


Fifth Estate Collective

The Fifth Estate newspaper (ISSN No. 0015–0800) is published quarterly at 4632 Second Ave., Detroit MI 48201 USA. Phone (3131-831-6800. Subscriptions: $5.00 per year; $7.00 per year foreign including Canada. Second Class postage paid at Detroit, Michigan. No copyright. No paid ads. Postmaster: Send address changes to Fifth Estate, P.O. Box 02548, Detroit MI 48202.


E.B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
300,000 at Pro-choice Demo—Plus Us

On Sunday, November 12, approximately 300,000 pro-choice demonstrators, participating in a “Mobilization for Women’s Lives,” filled the lawn beside the reflecting pool facing the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

At one point during the four hour rally, the folk group, Peter, Paul and Mary sweetly sang choruses from Holly Near’s, “We Are A Gentle, Angry People,” but it was clear that the main sponsor of the event, the National Organization for Women (NOW), wanted the emphasis on “gentle” and not “angry.”


Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

We dedicate this issue to the memory of the 14 women slaughtered in Montreal December 6 at the hand of a patriarchal maniac. As he lined up his victims and methodically shot them, he expressed a hatred for all women and said he wanted “to kill feminists.”

In the memory of these dead sisters, we pledge, “We’re all feminists here!”


George Bradford (David Watson)
Revolution Against the Megamachine Stopping the Industrial Hydra

Staff note: George Bradford was a pseudonym used by name]fe_author&taxo[0][opt]&taxo[0][term]=david-watson][David Watson in these pages.

1. Autopsy of a Petrochemical Disaster

Remember the Exxon Valdez? The ship was the source of the worst oil spill to date in U.S. history, spilling eleven million gallons of oil in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, where it ran aground last March. By the time it had limped into San Diego Harbor in July, it also left at least one other oil slick some eighteen miles long off the California coast.


E.B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Goodbye, Cleveland

When I was a kid, the guys in my crowd used to view changing the oil in our cars as sort of a manly rite of passage on the way to adulthood. We’d dump the used oil down the nearest sewer laughingly, saying, “Hello Cleveland,” knowing that it would travel through the Great Lakes waterways to the cities downstream. That was before the age of ecological awareness, but we still had the realization the oil was going somewhere.


Patrick Lawler

I pull up to the self service gas pumps,

all the clicking numbers, my windows dirty,

stuck. The gallons flowing, the gas arches

into the tank in a gush.

I look at what comes out of the hose—

diving ducks like black drips. Grebes

and cormorants unravel through the hose.

A warm belly

carries the deaths of Valdez.


Various Authors
Bob Brubaker
Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)

Anarchy in San Francisco The 1989 gathering: 3 views


“Without Borders,” this year’s Anarchist Conference and Festival was held in San Francisco from July 20th to 25th. Taking place at the Horace Mann Middle School in the city’s Mission District, the gathering drew somewhere between 1,000 and 3,000 people from North America and around the world. The exact number will never be known since only the lower number “officially” registered as participants, but thousands more took part in the six-day conference and other events which provided opportunities for learning and discussion, direct action, performance, play and celebration.


E.B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
George Bradford (David Watson)
Lynne Clive (Marilynn Rashid)

Fifth Estate/Earth First! The Twain Meet in New Mexico

It already seems like a long time ago, but this past June three of us from the Fifth Estate staff headed out by train to New Mexico for our first Earth First! (EF!) Round River Rendezvous (RRR). This was the tenth annual RRR, which EF! describes as its yearly “tribal celebration.”

Needless to say, after the past couple of years of argument, discussion and heated exchange between Fifth Estate writers and people in EF! (see FE’s Fall 1987 through Spring 1989), we undertook the journey with excitement and a bit of trepidation. We were anxious to meet more of the faces behind the words, and though we had received warm invitations from several EF! individuals, we also received a few not so warm challenges to attend, and we weren’t sure we’d be welcomed by all.


Fifth Estate Collective
Government Attack on EF! Continues

Since the arrest last May of four Earth First! (EF!) activists on charges of attempting to sabotage a nuke plant (see Summer 1989 FE), the federal government has widened its campaign against the radical environmental movement.

Throughout the summer and fall, the FBI fanned out across the Western states interviewing numerous people associated with EF!, and in several areas, grand jury subpoenas were issued, suggesting that more indictments and arrests could follow. On October 4, seven people associated with Wild Rockies EF! were called before a grand jury in Missoula, Montana investigating a tree spiking incident.


Fifth Estate Collective
With Friends Like These...

As one might expect, paranoia runs high in Earth First! at this moment with much of their boisterous self-confidence muted by the realization of the extent of the government’s attempt to stop their efforts. This is exactly what the intent of the infiltration, arrests and subpoenas are: to rein in a movement that refuses to play by the rules established for “nice” environmental groups. In that regard, it should be seen as an attack on all environmental radicals and defended as such.


Labor of Ludd
The Medium is the Medium “There is no equal”

aborigines anticipate apocalypse...agriculture aggrandizes arable areas and allots acreage, assuming acquisition and alienation...arithmetic adds another abstract axis...authority appreciates art—already accepting abstractions’ ascendancy—as authenticating appearances...by banishing bounty, bureaucracy’s blackmail breeds bitterness between brothers behind benign banality; business believes boundless buying brings back bliss...commodity circulation controls current conditions completely, calculating career compulsions can continue consumption, constantly creating cruel contradictions, colonized consciousness, conveniently corrects...dreams distill dormant desires, darkly divining domestication’s demise...disrupting digital discourse dialectically demonstrates dash, dooming domination’s designer discipline...duplicity defeats double-driveling duplication...equations empower everyday economics, essentially encoding estranged enterprise; elegant ecstasy ebbs...“environment” equals earth?...formula for fusing formally fragments freed from function’s foundation: fully further facsimiles’ fulfilment; feature “forbidden” fantasies fully filmed; finally, fabricate fetishes fascinating feelings for fashion...grammar guards God’s grave...hell, having had heaven’s hallucinatory holiday haunting hearts held history’s hostage has hardly helped humanist hacks humble humanity’s heretical haughtiness...images interpose intermediating influences inside interests; insubordination is interested in insinuating illusion into identifying itself...insolence insists its intelligence is inimitably incendiary, illuminating irony’s impotence...just jeopardize jaded judges’ justice... know krime kan konjure komedy kontaining kommunist kontent...lush laughing lust launches life; lavishly littered likenesses, like, lessen life’s lure ...language licenses lucidity logically; licentious lucidity loosens letters’ lock laughingly, luminously liquidating leaden logic...langorous looting lampoons leisure...modestly managing masso(s)chism(s) mutilates multitudes...matchless money makes mastery meaningless: modern mutiny must make meaning menace mediation: mimickry means mirror’s measure matched...nowadays nihilism’s nothing new...our offense? outwitting our overseers’ overly optimistic overthrow of our original obliquity...private property produces parity—parity portends production’s ponderous planet-punishing progress piss-pure puns parody preyfully...quality’s quintessence quickens...relentlessly replicating reality ripens revolts rigorously resisting representations’ recuperations; rewinding reality readies really radical reversals...school separates subjects, subjecting subjectivity so separations seem sane...scholastic scavengers scrutinize signs showing signification scarcely sustains synthetic scarcity...theory that threatens to transform the totality transgresses tedium; tongue-twisters tend to turn topsy-turvy the tyranny that things talking to themselves typifies...the training that teaches these throngs to trade themselves to time trembles...ultimately, understanding urban upsurges’ unconscious urges uncovers undercurrents undermining uncanily utility’s ugly unwitting velocity vitality, VDT’s vacuous veneer veils vast vulgarities: we wage war with words, withering wage work’s wearying world whenever we wield wit which wickedly widens wild wholeness while working wonders...xamining xiled xistence’ xtraordinary xhaustion xposes xpanding xports xtending xchange, xplicitly xpropriating xtreme xperiences’ xquisite xtasy, xalting xpedience xercised xhaustively; xorcising xtremely xact xpressions xhausts xpedience...your yoke yields yet you yawn...zzzzz...labor of Ludd, po box 11492, eugene, or, 97440, usa

Keith Preston
The RSL is Dead Long Live the RSL

“Anarchist” Newspaper Planned

On November 24–25, 1989 I attended the Continental Anarchist Newspaper Conference in Chicago. Originally, I was a very enthusiastic supporter of this project and still endorse the concept of a continental anarchist newspaper.

However, after attending this particular conference, I have serious doubts as to whether the newspaper launched in Chicago over Thanksgiving weekend is the sort of publication that should serve as any sort of organ for the North American Anarchist movement.


Gabriel Dumont
China: The Mysterious Journey of the Democracy Movement

“Liberty without socialism is privilege and injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality.”

— Michael Bakunin

When more than a million people- visibly break out of forty years of totalitarianism in a relatively spontaneous manner, their opinions, ideas, and fantasies inevitably vary wildly. However, the statements, interviews, and documents of the Chinese students’ and workers’ movements that have gradually become visible in the months after the June 1989 repression reveal distinct patterns and common attitudes among vast numbers of people. Even if this material doesn’t delineate an explicitly “revolutionary” program, the perspective that emerges still. provides a wonderful breath of fresh air in a country long stagnant with authoritarian ideas and practice. Through this we can see a Chinese democracy movement that contains a molten mixture of many different ideas, many half-baked but all of them subordinate to the exhilarating actions of people refusing to be submissive.


Ann Landers
Beyond Parody

Dear Ann Landers:

Right now I am so mad I could spit tacks.

My husband and I are seniors. We love to watch the soaps. We have come to know the characters so well that they are like members of our own family. Our favorite soaps are “Days of Our Lives” and “General Hospital.”

Recently, at the most critical moment, Peter Jennings cut in with a news bulletin. He reported that the Chinese government was executing students (which we already knew), causing us to miss out on the crisis involving Scorpio, Sean and Frisco in “General Hospital.”


David Porter
Emma Goldman in Exile New Book Distorts History and a Life

a review of

Emma Goldman in Exile: From the Russian Revolution to the Spanish Civil War, Alice Wexler, Beacon Press, Boston, 1989, 301 pp.

The nature and purpose of “doing history” are at stake in Alice Wexler’s new book, Emma Goldman in Exile. America’s best-known anarchist endured numerous personal and political crises from her 1919 deportation to Civil War Russia to her subsequent odyssey throughout Europe and Canada, her immersion in the 1930s Spanish revolution, and her-death in 1940. Based on extensive research, Wexler’s book usefully describes this journey. But the book is more than this. Unfortunately so, since the interpretive voice of the author is usually louder than her subject.


Federico Arcos
José Peirats A Comrade, A Friend

José Peirats Valls (1908–1989)

José Peirats Valls 1908–1989

José Peirats Valls was born March 15, 1908 in the village of Vall d’Uxo, in the province of Castellon, Spain, and he died at the beach near Burriana, a few kilometers south of this village on August 20 of this year. He was 81.

The son of humble parents, Peirats’ family emigrated to Barcelona in search of a better life. At eight years of age, he started working as an apprentice, making thumbtacks for coffins. He then worked other jobs and attended school occasionally until he discovered the Rationalist Ferrer School where a gifted libertarian teacher awoke in him the desire to learn. At fourteen, he started work as a bricklayer’s apprentice, a job he was always very proud to mention, and at that time, he joined the CNT (Confederacion Nacional de Trabajadores), the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist union.


Fifth Estate Collective
More Reviews

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust by Alon Raab is a thoughtful personal account of the struggle to save an old Portland community from demolition and “development.”

“These words are written with rage, sorrow, and amazement. They are brought forth with a fervent desire for a world without ‘developers,’ priests, landlords. They are written with a yearning for a world where a culture of death is replaced with one of life and love.”


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.

How to Order by Mail

1) List the title of the book, quantity wanted, and the price of each; 2) add 10% for mailing costs—not less than $.90 U.S. or $1.34 foreign (minimum for 4th class book rate postage); 3) total; 4)write check or money order to: The Fifth Estate; 5) mail to: The Fifth Estate, P.O. Box 02548, Detroit, MI 48202


Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

A rising new cause of severe brain dammage: Narcotics officers.

Readers may note that the Ron Cobb cartoons we publish each issue often have copyright (ugh!) dates on them of up to twenty years ago. Beyond being a testimony to the wit and creativeness of the cartoonist, the drawings aptly illustrate that neither the hypocrisy nor the oppressiveness of the State has changed much in the intervening twenty years. The cartoon below appeared in the Fifth Estate in 1969.


Fifth Estate Collective
News & Reviews

Both this newspaper in our last issue and Bad Attitude, No. 3 (POB 11589, Detroit Ml 48211) failed to give credit for the poem/ritual, “The Appeal of Anarchy.” It was taken from the compelling pamphlet by John Moore, Anarchy & Ecstasy: Visions of Halcyon Day.

The author states that the text “has been adapted from renderings of ‘The Charge of the Goddess’ by Starhawk and Charles G. Leland...Some maintain that it contains sentiments which have been uninterruptedly passed down the ages from prehistoric times, whilst others aver that it derives wholly from the fertile imagination of Leland, who first published it in 1899.”


Laurie LePain

she had quickly cleaned the house

now she waited

perched nervously on the kitchen stool

as if she were a bird ready to take flight

Finally, he arrives

dressed fashionably in grey and white

he cuts an elegant figure

and the interview begins—

he asks:

which do you prefer

the black enamel finish

or these soft, muted rose-tones

shall we discuss the various

textures of carpets

or do you prefer the sensual earthiness

of a fine wood floor

the stark simplicity of the modern

or the eclectic clutter

of the victorian?


Fifth Estate Collective
Radicalize Earth Day Profits Rise, Nature Dies

As can be seen in this issue’s “Revolution Against the Megamachine” and past Fifth Estate articles, we support the environmental movement becoming a revolutionary movement. Only through such a transformation can it begin to adequately challenge the ecological and social relationships which threaten this planet. To that end, we endorse the idea of radicalizing the 20th anniversary of Earth Week scheduled for April 16 to 22, 1990. The attempt to fashion it as a domesticated spectacle has already begun with every hack politician, mainstream institution and even notorious polluters declaring allegiance to the 1990s as the “Environmental Decade,” all the while planning business as usual. These fakes are preparing to make it a week of festivities celebrating “concern” for the earth and the system’s ability to fix its problems.