Mary McLaughlin
Arthur Miller
Pete Murney

Leonard Peltier and Big Mountain Five hundred years of resistance continues

1992 marks the five hundred year anniversary of the Columbus expedition, which many governments and corporations are celebrating as “An Encounter of Cultures.” To counter this, a loosely organized movement under the banner of “500 Years of Resistance,” seeks to overturn the prevailing mythology about the Columbus voyages. Many people in Europe and the Americas are organizing cultural and educational events toward that end.


Fifth Estate Collective
Bob Brubaker 1952--1992

It was with shock and sadness that we learned of the sudden death of our friend and collaborator Bob Brubaker, of a severe asthma attack at his home in Numazu, Japan. Bob died in the night of April 23–24. Memorials for him were organized by friends, coworkers and his students in Japan; by his family in Pittsburgh; and by friends in Detroit.


Fifth Estate Collective

The Fifth Estate is a cooperative project, published by a group of friends who are in general but not necessarily complete agreement with the articles herein. Each segment of the paper represents the collective effort of writing, typesetting, lay-out and proofreading.

The Fifth Estate Newspaper (ISSN No. 00150800) is published quarterly at 4632 Second Ave., Detroit, Michigan 48201 USA; phone (313) 831–6800. Office hours vary, so please call before visiting. Subscriptions are $6.00 a year; $8.00 foreign including Canada. Second class postage paid at Detroit MI. No copyright. No paid advertisements.


Fifth Estate Collective
Tales from the Planet

Jolt to James Bay

In an era when almost all environmental battles seem doomed to defeat, it was heartening to see Quebec’s energy megaproject at James Bay dealt a crippling blow by the decision of the State of New York to cancel a 20-year power contract.

The giant hydroelectric complex in the Canadian sub-Arctic is devastating the James Bay wilderness and destroying the traditional way of life for thousands of Cree and Inuit who live there. (See FE, Winter 1992.)


Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
404 Willis: Detroit’s Autonomous Zone Anarchy In Action

In May 1992, 404 Willis will celebrate its first anniversary as a collectively-run community center and autonomous zone in Detroit’s Cass Corridor. The evolution of 404 has been the combined effort of many individuals united in their desire to create a gathering place that is an alternative to the bars and spectacular culture as a whole—an all ages, Do-It-Yourself, volunteer-run, inclusive yet anti-authoritarian atmosphere for people to come to and create, share ideas or simply hang out.


Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

Welcome to the Spring 1992 issue of the Fifth Estate (Vol. 27, No. 1, our 339th paper)! As usual, we are later than we had planned, due in part to our worst nightmare: the breakdown, in the heat of production, of our IBM Composer. Most of this issue has been typeset on Macintosh computers by a host of busy friends stealing time at work, home and in school computer labs.


Gary L. Doebler
Berkman’s Tunnel to Freedom History, Not Mystery

Related story: “Tony” Revealed, Fifth Estate #377, March 2008

On July 26, 1900, officials of Western Penitentiary in Woods Run, Pennsylvania, discovered a tunnel which zigzagged some three hundred feet from the basement of the red brick house of 28 Sterling Street, which bordered the southern wall of the prison, to a point just inside the east wall. A superlative feat of engineering, the underground passage was equipped with an ingenious ventilation system as well as an electric warning device.


Romances with Wolves and Birds
AIDS: Sex in the Safe Repression & Treatment

“Safe sex” has put sex in the safe. The three number combination lock reads: heterosexuality (two turns to the right) ultra-monogamy (two more turns to the right)—and condoms (one reluctant turn to the left), unlocking the Final Solution for the far right. Even if AIDS isn’t the result of covert germ warfare testing (see “Did U.S. Cause AIDS?” FE #326, Summer, 1987) the CIA couldn’t have created a better weapon against the subculture of drug use and “deviant” sex. Is it time to raise the white flag of celibacy and wait for science to invent a new pill, or do we have some real choices beyond the modern black plague hysteria?


E.B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Detroit Summer A new city or paint-up, fix-up?

At their National Gathering last August, the U.S. Greens decided to embark upon a project they called “Detroit Summer” as one of their three major campaigns for 1992.

The idea was to express an urban consciousness for ecological issues through the establishment of a “Green alternative” for an economically and socially disintegrating urban environment. Part of this ambitious project involved the recruitment of Youth Greens, many of whom constitute the most radical and even anarchist wing of the Greens, to come to this city for the summer.


George Bradford (David Watson)
The Triumph of Capital


“Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control.”

—George Orwell, 1984

Although Orwell’s intent in writing 1984 was to shatter illusions held by stalinists and liberals about the Soviet Union, his book quickly became a metaphor for all modern bureaucratic societies, including the U.S.—and, with recent events in mind, perhaps especially the U.S.


Mary Wildwood
4th World War Against Native Peoples More arguments for the elimination of technology

a review of

In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology & the Survival of the Indian Nations. Jerry Mander. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco. 1991. $25.00. 446 pp.

From my window overlooking Detroit’s entropic landscape, no earth is visible. The ground is comprised of layers of pavement spread through eras over an anonymous “fill,”—dirt, roots, decimated bits of life systems, ripped out and hauled in long ago from some other abused place on Earth. This is the true landscape of the western spirit.


David Porter
Free Women of Spain The Roots of Anarcha-Feminism

a review of

Free Women of Spain: Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women, by Martha A. Ackelsberg (Indiana University Press, 1991)

I write this review on the day George Bush officially declares his intent to run again for president. Against the backdrop of this obscene, insulting non-event, the positive image of grassroots politics evoked by Free Women of Spain stands out all the more. Obviously, envisioning and struggling toward fulfillment of people’s fullest capacities is far removed from the media’s image of politics.


Madame X
Bioregionalism: A Sense of Place Book review

a review of

HOME! A Bioregional Reader edited by Van Andruss, Christopher Plant, Judith Plant, and Eleanor Wright. New Society Publishers, Santa Cruz, CA. 1990, 181 pgs. $14.95.

This collection of thirty-one essays is a stimulating introduction to the notion of bioregionalism. Bioregionalism presents a model for a conscious transition from a late industrial society to a society which values community as well as freedom and diversity, a society which emphasizes the limits as well as the regenerative powers of the earth.


Jack Straw
JFK: Cold Warrior Debunking Oliver Stone’s Mythology

“I shall never be able to forget where I was standing on that dramatic day when President John Fitzgerald Kennedy nearly killed me. It was during the nuclear confrontation that arose out of his war on Cuba.”

—Christopher Hitchens in The Nation, Feb. 3, 1992

John Kennedy has been described as a popular president who stood up to powerful business interests and was ready to pull U.S. troops out of Vietnam. His assassination, assert many, including Oliver Stone in his latest film JFK, resulted from his impending shift of Indochina policies; it marked the end of democracy in the U.S. and the beginning of a military dictatorship dominated by military-oil interests and executed by the CIA.


Fifth Estate Collective
FE Bookstore

LIVING MY LIFE by Emma Goldman

The turbulent autobiography of a woman at the—center of the century’s major events. Although her life intersected with the famous figures of the era, it is the day-to-day struggles for anarchy which make this account come alive. This is the original two-volume edition first published in 1931.


Fifth Estate Collective
News & Reviews

James Koehnline’s inventive collages often grace our pages including this issue. His mixture of the ancient with the modern, sacred idols with the banal, and the improbable alongside the ordinary, are often ominously unsettling. The jarring juxtaposition creates a combination of images which reveals much more than the constituent parts.


Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

Money, Money, Money


In his review of Counterfeit Currency, E.B. Maple asserted that gold has served as money because of arbitrary human assignation, an analysis which treats money in general as a mere sign. (See Winter 1992 Fifth Estate.)

In actuality, processed gold assured its role because, like other commodities, it is (even in its rawest form, sifted flakes) the product of human labor. But unlike other commodities, it is chemically stable, compact, and generally useless except as a medium of exchange.