Peter Werbe
History of the Fifth Estate Part I: The Early Years

“The Fifth Estate supports the cause of revolution everywhere.”

—FBI Report

In my estimation, the above twelve-word summary by the nation’s secret police serves adequately as an abbreviated history of this paper on the occasion of its 30th anniversary.

However, it will definitely not satisfy my friends and comrades on the FE staff who urged me on our 20th and 25th anniversaries to write a comprehensive account of the newspaper’s long existence as a radical publication.


Fifth Estate Collective
Tales from the Planet

The British libel proceeding brought by McDonald’s against two activists with Greenpeace London over their fact sheet, “What’s Wrong With McDonald’s,” continued into the new year with no end in sight. The $26 billion a year junk food giant objects to the leaflet’s characterization of them as abusing animals, destroying the rain forest, conning kids, creating mountains of waste, and being anti-labor.


Fifth Estate Collective

The Fifth Estate is a cooperative, nonprofit project, publishing since 1965. The people who produce it are a group of friends who do so neither to secure wages nor as an investment in the newspaper industry, but to encourage resistance and rebellion to this society.

The Fifth Estate (ISSN No. 0015–0800) is published quarterly at 4632 Second Ave., Detroit, Michigan 48201 USA; Phone (313) 831–6800. Our office hours vary, so please call before visiting. Subscriptions are $6.00 for four issues; $8.00 foreign including Canada. Second Class postage paid at Detroit, Michigan. No copyright. No paid advertisements.


E.B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
I’m Sticking with the Union? The battle of Detroit

“Hey! What are you guys doing here? You hate unions!”

—A strike supporter

The labor militant who aimed this question at us was surprised, almost shocked, to see a group whom she considers anarchists critical of unions, shoulder-to-shoulder with striking Teamsters and newspaper reporters, squaring off against the cops at a suburban Detroit printing plant late one night last summer.


Fifth Estate Collective
Pura Arcos, 1919–1995 “She never stopped thinking, questioning, and learning.”

Pura Arcos (1919–1995)

On October 12, 1995, our community lost another elder and member of a generation of anarchist revolutionary veterans now passing into history.

Purificación Pérez Benavent (Pura Arcos), companion of FE staff member Federico Arcos, was born June 26, 1919 in Valencia, Spain. She later moved to Barcelona.


Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

Welcome to our 30th anniversary issue—although you are reading this as we are already into our 31st year. 1965 seems like ancient history or just a heartbeat away, depending on your current age. The cover logo on page one over our chronicle comes from our 1968–71 period.

As always we would like to express our gratitude to each reader, each Sustainer, each contributor. On the occasion of this anniversary, we feel this sense of gratitude even more deeply. Without your support, none of this would happen. We appreciate the patience with which all of you tolerate our sporadic publishing schedule although we have given up promising to appear more frequently.


Fifth Estate Collective
Mumia Saved from the Electric Chair But Still In Danger of Execution

When Mumia Abu-Jamal’s date with Pennsylvania’s executioner was indefinitely postponed Aug. 7, 1995, ten days before scheduled, it came as a surprise to the ex-Black Panther’s defense team. Judge Albert Sabo, who displayed gross prejudice at both the original trial and the current hearing, had never before granted a stay in the 32 death sentences he has handed out to Philadelphia murder defendants.


Jeremy Kilar
The Michigan Roots of Leon Czolgosz

At the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York on September 6, 1901 Leon Czolgosz became America’s third presidential assassin when he shot William McKinley with a.32-caliber revolver hidden in his handkerchief-wrapped hand. The president died eight days later. Apprehended at the scene, Czolgosz (pronounced chol-gosh) was tried, found guilty and executed on October 29, less than two months later.


Joe Hollis
Paradise Gardening

We want to save the world, and we want to save ourselves. It’s the same thing. The problems confronting us are enormous and at every level: personal, social, planetary. I will spare you a list. My aim is to suggest they are all symptoms of one problem, and to propose a solution.

The problem: to find a way to live on earth which promotes our health and happiness, is conducive to the full development of our innate potential and at the same time democratic; that is, available to all—which does not use more than our share, and is harmonious with the biosphere’s evident drive toward increasing diversity, complexity and stability.


Fifth Estate Collective
Statistics About Our ZIP Code

The December North Cass Community Union Newsletter gave some startling statistics about the 48201 ZIP Code the FE office is in.

Its population is a scant 13,010 and falling.

The median income is $10,001, the lowest of the 192 metro ZIP Codes. and the racial composition is 69 percent black.

Michael William
The Plague of Nationalism Continues in the Quebec Referendum A “Yes” Vote for Quebec or a “No” vote for Canada Affirmed the Nation State

“Nationalism offers them something concrete, something that has been tried and tested and is known to work.”

—Fredy Perlman, The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism

On the corner of my block lies an empty lot. One day fifty trees, mainly conifers, each set into a metal container, appeared in the space.


Fifth Estate Collective
Next Issue: Contra Bookchin

Last summer at Goddard College, social ecology luminary Murray Bookchin denounced the FE as “toilet literature flooding into the ecology movement and polluting it,” and a “manifestation of a middle class, petit bourgeois yuppie perspective.

AK Press recently published Bookchin’s diatribe, Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism: An Unbridgeable Chasm, which excoriates this paper and others for—among other crimes—being both lumpen rebels and privileged yuppies. and even (horror of horrors), accomplices of a “Neo-Heideggerian reaction.”


International Friends of Wei Jingsheng
Would You Let this Man Stand in the Way of Your Bottom Line?

Not if you want to succeed in business today. In the modern international marketplace, competition is tough. If the corporations which have brought us the standard of living we have recently come to enjoy are to continue doing so against an increasing foreign challenge, the killing field must be made level. The only way to do that is to do business with the Peoples’ Republic of China.


Mitchel Cohen
Murder In Nigeria Ordered by Shell & IMF, Paid for by the U.S. Government

In the old days, when the state hung somebody and the braided rope broke or the gallows came crashing to the ground it was taken by God-fearing men as a sign that a mistake had been made and the condemned soul was no longer theirs to take; the prisoner was reprieved.

Today’s wisdom, however, will abide no such mythology. Steeped in the profane religion of the New World Order, whose merchants of death trade haughtily in the machinery of holocausts, the only spirits that count are those that, indeed, count. Justice resides in the maintenance of profits, in preventing even for a moment the removal of pump from soil, head from noose.


Max Cafard
The Dragons of Brno Fredy Perlman against History’s Leviathan

Hanging above the entrance way to the Town Hall of Brno, the capital of Moravia, is a Dragon. The famous Dragon of Brno. The Monster, which stares down through glassy eyes upon all who enter this seat of political power, was brought back long ago from a strange and distant land.

Some might call this awe-inspiring beast a mere “crocodile.” But to the good citizens of Brno of an earlier age, it must have represented everything exotic and remote. In all probability, it was precisely such a creature that was called “Leviathan” in Biblical times.


Rob Blurton
Clampdown! Repression of Dissent in America during World War I

The confluence of circumstances that creates openings for profound social transformation in America are few. Research reveals a pattern of repressive behavior by power structures in the United States when these rare historical opportunities for change occur. Extreme personalities such as J. Edgar Hoover become convenient scapegoats for the excesses of American political policing. In fact, the “reaction” of an organization like the FBI is more of an institutional knee-jerk dutifully carried out by a structure’s current billet-holders, combined with the more-or-less significant influences of historical personages.


Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
Passionate Mudplay Piercing the Membrane of the Mundane

Every day for a week I peruse the crumpled quarter-page announcement I’ve been carrying around in my wallet. “MUDPEOPLE: 10th Anniversary...We supply mud. Wear as little as possible. Bring drinks, food, towels, friends, wildness. Finally, the day is here.

Mudpeople confront the rich, Detroit Athletic Club, 1991 (Photo: Mike)


Neither East Nor West/NYC
On Gogol Boulevard

About This Section

On Gogol Boulevard is produced for the Fifth Estate by New York City/Neither East Nor West, which links alternative oppositions in the East and West, and prints news and documents unavailable in the corporate or left media. OGB sometimes involves Third and Fourth World activists in these efforts.


Marilynn Rashid
An Artistry of Dissent

a review of

Poetry Like Bread: Poets of the Political Imagination, edited by Martin Espada. Curbstone Press (Willimantic CT. 1994). 282 pages.

In his forward to this anthology of 37 poets, all of whom have published or are soon to publish collections with Curbstone Press, the poet and editor Martin Espada defines the political imagination as a matter of both vision and language which “goes beyond protest to articulate an artistry of dissent.”


Paul E. Morfis
Bi All Means Bisexuality Hits The Mainstream

a review of

Vice Versa: Bisexuality and The Eroticism of Everyday Life, Marjorie Garber, Simon and Schuster, 1995, 606 pp., $30.

Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries and Visions, Edited by Naomi Tucker with Liz Highleyman and Rebecca Kaplan. Haworth Publishers, 1995, 358 pp., $14.95 paper (available from FE Books).


Gina Aranki
Getting Beyond Grape Leaves Arab-American women tell their stories

a review of

Food for our Grandmothers: Writings by Arab-American and Arab-Canadian Feminists, Edited by Joanna Kadi, South End Press, Boston, 1994, $16.00

There’s sand in the pages of my edition of Food for our Grandmothers: Writings by Arab-American and Arab-Canadian Feminists. This is not a derogatory reference to those named in the title, but rather because I am reviewing the anthology of poetry and essays at Makena Beach, on Maui in Hawaii.


Fifth Estate Collective
Fifth Estate Books

BI ANY OTHER NAME: BISEXUAL PEOPLE SPEAK OUT edited by Loraine Hutchins and Lani Kaahumanu

Rejected by both Gay and Straight worlds, bisexuals have been a community in exile. With this rich and varied collection, however, bisexual women and men step forward into their own historical spotlight. The writing here can only deepen our discussion about passion and politics.


Fifth Estate Collective
News & Reviews

The prolific III Publishing group, PO Box 1581, Guala CA 95445, recently released two new books. Saab Lofton’s A.D. is set in 2410 where society is organized according to libertarian principles, but a menace from the past threatens the future. J.G. Eccarius, author of the blasphemous The Last Days of Christ the Vampire, latest book. Resurrection 2027, is a post-apocalyptic thriller set in the year of the title where rebellion is the only way out for children resurrected from the dead. III is also publishing Anti-Christ magazine, formerly The Stake, and wants to exchange ads with other zines.


Various Authors
Letters to the FE

Fifth Estate Letters Policy

The Fifth Estate always welcomes letters commenting on our articles, stating opinions, or giving reports of events in local areas. We don’t guarantee we will print everything we receive, but all letters are read by our staff and considered.

Typed letters or ones on disk are appreciated, but not required. Length should not exceed two double-spaced pages. If you are interested in Writing a longer response, please contact us.