Fifth Estate Collective

We dedicate this Issue to the World-Wide Peace Movement & to Rachel Corrie: Martyr for Justice.

Following the Empire’s triumphal march to Baghdad, it seems appropriate to express our deep regret at being unable to stop Bush’s long-planned war to control Middle East oil, while simultaneously celebrating our participation in history’s largest mass movement for peace.


Fifth Estate Collective


Fifth Estate

North America’s Oldest Anti-Authoritarian Periodical

Promoting rebellion since 1965

FIFTH ESTATE #361, Summer 2003, Vol. 38 No. 2, page 2

The Fifth Estate (ISSN # 00-15-800) is published quarterly.

Subscriptions: $10 for four issues; $20 for international, including Canada and Mexico

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Arundhati Roy
“Refuse the Victory Parade”

Our freedoms were not granted to us by any governments. They were wrested from them by us. And once we surrender them, the battle to retrieve them is called a revolution. It is a battle that must range across continents and countries. It must not acknowledge national boundaries but, if it is to succeed, it has to begin here. In America. The only institution more powerful than the US government is American civil society.


Fifth Estate Collective
Not our Troops Not our Flag, Not our Empire

They Create a Desert & Call it Peace: Welcome to the Occupation

With the horrible invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq threatening to expand to one or more of the other fifty-nine countries on the White House hit list, it’s tempting to compare the imperialist lust of the Bush-Cheney regime to that of the Roman Empire in its earliest days.


Fifth Estate Collective

Join us in the Streets Before it’s Too Late...

The demonstrations against the war, though they were probably the biggest and most widespread demonstrations in the history of the world, were ignored by our so-called representatives. That’s right: neither our votes, nor our letters to our congressmen, nor the opinions of our allies, nor our efforts to show our numbers in the streets have had any influence on their decisions.


Fifth Estate Collective
Tales from the Police State

In early April, the Oakland Police Department (OPD) fired on non-violent anti-war demonstrators without cause or provocation.

No police were hurt. The protesters conducted themselves in an organized, dignified, and calm manner at all times, even while being fired upon.

Many demonstrators were shot and wounded. Almost all were shot in the back while retreating from advancing police. A concussion grenade exploded inches from protesters. Not only did OPD fire directly on non-violent protesters, they appeared to deliberately turn to fire on longshore workers who were clearly standing to the side and not involved in the protest.


Michael Staudenmaier
Strange Bedfellows?

From a talk given at the Fourth Annual Montreal Anarchist Bookfair, May 18, 2003

Think back to the Great Depression and World War II and envision the odd alliances that developed around the world in the face of capitalist crisis and rising fascism: the Hitler-Stalin pact, for instance, or syndicalist support for Mussolini. Or, imagine militant anti-fascists in the underground resistance (often dominated by Stalinists) building ties with US and British military forces. Radicals in North America split between those who encouraged enrollment in the fight against fascism and those who did time in prison for refusing the draft. Think of the strange permutations of Peronism in Argentina, the “green” and “left” wings of the Nazi Party, the failure of the European left in the face of Italian occupation in Ethiopia, or the twists and turns of East Asian resistance to Japanese occupation.


Sandy Feldheim
Montreal Bookfair Mixes Theory with Practice

MONTREAL—In the narrow street outside the building where the fourth annual Montreal Anarchist Bookfair had taken place, May 17–18, people milled around—chatting about the workshops and thanking us for a well organized weekend The members of the collective ‘were wired, tired, and relieved following the weeks of activity.


MaxZine Weinstein
Resistance Begins at Home

While working as a human rights activist in Guatemala, I learned some of the most profound lessons of resistance. There, I experienced some of the greatest despair imaginable and some of the greatest hope.

In the 1950s, reformers and an indigenous majority—who wanted to end hunger and virtual enslavement on fruit and coffee plantations—challenged generations of neo-colonial rule. Their pleas for freedom were met by a CIA/US corporate directed coup, a series of military dictators and a scorched earth campaign against Mayan villages. Death squads committed a notorious crime against Guatemalans, the torture and murder of desaparecidos thought to be subversives—tens of thousands have been disappeared and never heard from again. The targets: union organizers, students, human rights supporters, and anyone in the wrong place at the wrong time. When people spoke out against these horrors they, too, would disappear, ensuring a frightened public would not organize effective resistance.


Don LaCoss
Spooky’s Furious & Funky Audiophonic Collage

REVIEW: Various artists remixed by DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, Live Without Dead Time. From Adbusters #47 “Nightmares of Reason,” May/June 2003.

The Live Without Dead Time CD can be found in the anti-consumerist art magazine Adbusters; it highlights DJ Spooky’s uncanny skill in crafting deep sonic climates with up-front agitprop intentions. Paul D. Miller grew up in DC and now works as a conceptual artist, writer, and musician in NYC where he is best known as “DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid” collaborating with the likes of ex-Rage Against the Machine vocalist Zach de la Rocha in a blistering anti-war shout called “March of Death.” Rather than cobbling together tracks for the dance floor, DJ Spooky welds together seamless and densely-detailed collective hallucinations better suited for headphones.


Oh No Bonobo
An introduction to music & dance The Revolution will be a mix tape

Articles in this section

Jazz. Funk. Folk. Punk. Trance. Hip Hop. Old Time. Blues. Electric. Acoustic. Recorded. Live. When we decided to do an issue on “Music and Dance,” we knew that we could not devote too much time to any one genre or artist.


Don LaCoss
Paul Garon

Devil’s Music A conversation with Paul Garon

Interview by Don LaCoss, April 2003, Chicago

Poet, storyteller, and cultural critic Paul Garon co-founded Living Blues, a periodical that, from its origins in the early 1970s, documented and supported blues music as an innovative and revolutionary African-American response to discrimination, abuse, and injustice by whites.


Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
The revolution will be a festival

“Free festivals are a threat to mainstream capitalist society in amerika. Anyone questioning the commodification of our public lands and national forests, anyone who believes in the right to peaceably assemble, or anyone supporting a worldview where human rights come before property rights will be seen as a threat.”


Sacred, Sweet, Wicked Ecstasy Electronic Dance Music & Social Liberation

Editors’ note: Thanks to some typically sleazy last-minute conniving by Democratic Senator Joseph Biden, the “Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstasy” (R.A.V.E.) Act was signed into Federal law by Bush on April 30, 2003.

The bill’s introduction says in no uncertain terms that raves are “drug dens” where promoters sell illegal drugs and charge exorbitant prices for Ecstasy paraphernalia, such as bottled water, massage oil, and glow sticks. Under the law’s measures, property owners/renters/leasers and event promoters are criminally liable for drug use on their premises and may he fined up to $250,000 and nine years in prison. The effect, of course, is to discourage the electronic music events since the actions of just one dancer could result in a fine or jail time for event organizers.


Julie Herrada
Joe Hill Book Review

a review of

Joe Hill: The IWW & the Making of a Revolutionary Working-class Counterculture, by Franklin Rosemont, Charles H. Kerr, Chicago, 2003, 639 pp. $17.00

“...singing through the hard time for the good times to come...”

—Utah Phillips, IWW storyteller and folk singer

The day I received this book, I also went to see Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony, a documentary about the protest music of Apartheid South Africa. In the film, freedom fighter Lindiwe Zulu told about the reaction when black activists would lose one of their comrades in the struggle.


Peter Werbe
Dancing for Our Lives An Introduction to Paul Halmos

The following essay [“The Decline of the Choral Dance,” FE #361, Summer 2003] couldn’t have entered my consciousness at a better time. It was 1962, and I had spent my late teens and early twenties reading intensely in an attempt to discover the fundamental qualities of existence.

Reality seemed pretty bleak. Rigid conformity, compulsory patriotism, fear of atomic annihilation, and a cultural wasteland of had movies and boring music predominated in 1950s mainstream society.


Paul Halmos
The Decline of the Choral Dance

FE Note: This is an excerpted version of Halmos’ article which appears in Man Alone: Alienation in Modern Society (Dell 1962)

“One may judge of a King by the state of dancing during his reign.”

—Ancient Chinese maxim.

Artistic expression, even when dilettante, is one of the most satisfactory forms of objectifying and thus projecting inner tensions. The dance is undoubtedly the most ancient form of artistic expression; its unique position among the arts is guaranteed by more than mere seniority: as we have seen, the dance is essentially a cooperative art, an art of the group and not of the solitary individual. Though there are isolated examples of solo and couple dances among primitive peoples, they are not truly solo or couple performances; they presuppose the presence of singing and rhythmically tapping audiences who open the dance or who join in it later. In pre-cultural human society, dance must have been a universal form of expressing strong emotions collectively. Admittedly, there have been reports of some danceless peoples, yet so long as we accept testimonies from observers on animal-dances—e.g., Kohler’s reports that his apes had danced too—we cannot be far wrong in concluding that the dance was a universal play-form in pre-cultural communities.


Hakim Bey
Tectum Theatrum

It’s easy to understand how images have come to replace the realities at the heart of our lives. When reality appears to have nothing to offer us half so seductive as images, why not? On the subconscious level, we “know” that the world has little to give in the way of bliss, ecstasy, love, adventure, luxury, joy, etc.—little but work, disappointment, rejection, failure, sickness, isolation, boredom, and death. We “know” this because we learn it at school—it’s the unspoken subtext of nearly all “education” and other forms of therapy.


Mike Davis
The Ray Charles Riots

FE Note: Mike Davis’s captivating new collection of essays, Dead Cities, and Other Tales (New Press) chronicles many facets of the long-running anti-authoritarian struggles to reclaim public spaces. The book includes a 2001 article for on teenage riots in California before 1965, “As Bad as the H-Bomb.” Police, professional Red baiters, and Hearst’s newspapers warned that California’s teenage riots, illegal drag races, beatniks, and heavy petting at drive-ins was a dangerous pattern of subversion orchestrated by ingeniously sinister Communists.


Eddan Katz
Revolution is not an AOL Keyword

You will not be able to stay home, dear Netizen.

You will not be able to plug in, log on and opt out.

You will not be able to lose yourself in Final Fantasy,

Or hold your Kazaa download queues,

Because revolution is not an AOL Keyword.


Revolution is not an AOL Keyword.

Revolution will not be brought to you on Hi-Def TV


John Brinker
Running on Emptiness Book review

a review of

Running on Emptiness: The Pathology of Civilization, By John Zerzan, Feral House, Los Angeles, 2002, 214 pp., $12

John Zerzan hardly needs an introduction here; few modern anarchist writers are as well-known, controversial, and divisive. Zerzan is the founder and leading philosopher of what he calls anarcho-primitivism.


Ron Sakolsky
Anarchist Cabaret

a review of

The Anarchist and the Devil Do Cabaret by Norman Nawrocki, Black Rose Books, 2002, 192 pp., $20

Earlier this year, while rummaging through my collection of oppositional music to find some anti-war material in order to counter Dubya’s lies about the invasion and occupation of Iraq, I started my search by going back to the Gulf War of George I. One of the initial jewels to emerge from that pile of recordings was a 1991 cassette by Rhythm Activism, War Is The Health of the State.


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Franklin Rosemont