Various Authors
Letters Our readers respond

Send letters to fe — AT — fifthestate — DOT — org or Fifth Estate, POB 201016, Ferndale MI 48220. All formats accepted including typescript & handwritten; letters may be edited for length.

On Self-Defense I

Taking part in protests is an act of defiance which may result in violent retaliation. “In Defense of Self Defense” by Paul Walker in the Fall 2017 Fifth Estate (#399) made this clear.


Fifth Estate Collective

FIFTH ESTATE #400, Spring 2018, Vol. 53 No. 1

Fifth Estate

Radical Publishing since 1965

Vol. 53, No. 1, #400 Spring 2018

The Fifth Estate is an anti-profit, anarchist project published by a volunteer collective of friends and comrades. www.FifthEstate.org

No ads. No copyright. Kopimi — reprint freely

Fifth Estate Collective
FE 400th Issue

Welcome to the 400th issue of the Fifth Estate. Our first issue was published in Detroit in November 1965. It was born in the age of the 1960s New Left, civil rights, anti-war, feminist, and gay rights movements.

The Fifth Estate was soon joined by hundreds of other papers and small magazines locally produced by activists, many barely out of their teens. Together these publications became known as the underground press.


Fifth Estate Collective
Dismantling the Patriarchy

Everyday sexual predation on women by men of power and prestige in the entertainment world, politics, business, and the university has been an open secret that has suddenly gained massive public attention. Women’s words have been listened to and prominent men have experienced almost immediate banishment from their fields after exposure of their abusive actions.


Brian James Schill
Is Trump The “Punk” President? Nothing could be farther from reality

Unbelievably, it has become fashionable among some observers of the American political scene to associate the alt-right with punk rock, lauding Donald Trump for his “punk” presidency.

The liberal magazine, The Atlantic, noted in 2016, that Trump and his supporters “created a space in American politics that is uniquely transgressive, volatile, carnivalesque, and (from a certain angle) punk rock.” Similarly, the New York Post gushed that Trump “is a guy with a safety pin through his nose and a purple mohawk.”


Bill Weinberg
In Defense of Tactical Voting With No Illusions!

My attitude about voting has been like the old Jewish joke about chicken soup when you’ve got a cold—it may not help very much, but it can’t hurt. The more ideological argue that voting legitimizes the system, and they’ve got a point. The more pragmatic counter that such a purist position is an irresponsible luxury in the face of emergency—such as we in the United States are clearly now facing.


Paul J. Comeau
Ursula K. Le Guin 21 October, 1929–22 January, 2018

Ursula K. La Guin, photo by Eileen Gunn

Reprinted from Fifth Estate #382, Spring, 2010. Issues are available as single copies & in bulk.

Related, in this issue: “Le Guin’s Anarchism & Mine” by Andrew William Smith

In a writing career spanning nearly six decades, Ursula K. Le Guin pushed the boundaries of fiction, transcending genre and style conventions to create a unique and distinctive literary voice.


Jesús Sepúlveda
People of the Earth The Mapuche Struggle

During his visit to Chile in January 2018, Pope Francis officiated a mass in the Araucania region—the ancestral territory of the Mapuche people.

The night before, unknown individuals burned three forest company helicopters, three churches, and a school. Fliers demanding the liberation of Mapuche political prisoners were found nearby.


Bill Weinberg
Positively Quilca Street Lima anarchist scene survives official clean up

When Lutxo Rodríguez recalls the local punks and social outcasts of the downtown Lima, Peru district he habituates “dressing in black in the ‘80s,” I smile wryly, remembering the Lower East Side of my own youth. But the urban decay that allowed for the florescence of bohemia and an anarcho-punk scene in this small enclave of a South American capital came “in the context of political violence,” he says.


Political Prisoners Maine shows its solidarity with Jennifer Gann, Eric King, & Herman Bell

It’s a cold Friday night in November in Portland, Maine. Comrades from around the state have gathered at the Aphodian Theater to support our imprisoned friend, Herman Bell. The benefit features bands and speakers, including former political prisoner Ray Luc Lavasseur.

It is organized by our group of friends and family, Maine Anti-Racist Action, in order to raise funds to help pay for Herman’s family visits. We give out organic squash, anarchist papers including the Fifth Estate, and prisoner information.


Bryan Tucker
Authoritarian Character Structure The Negation of Imagination

Radical psychologists Wilhelm Reich and Eric Fromm answered the question of why people submit willingly to authority

While most of us were watching the 2016 presidential election with disgust, someone I’m very close to, looked at me with a fiendish grin and announced, “I’m voting for Donald Trump.”

This was perplexing. How could they be captivated by a racist, xenophobic, homophobic narcissist? Having starkly contrasting reactions towards the object of their affinity, I realized a lot of futile and draining arguments were likely to follow. Rifts, drama, and cut-offs between friends and family have become ubiquitous in American society over the past year, with many left bewildered by the resurgent appeal of authoritarianism.


Xavi Alcalde
Esperanto & Anarchism A universal language

“Paroli Esperanton estis iam esenca parto de anarkiismo.”

(There was a time when speaking Esperanto was an essential part of being an anarchist.)

When 97-year-old, Barcelona-born Eduardo Vivancos walks down the streets of Toronto where he has lived as an exile since 1954, he never comes across another Esperanto speaker.


Fifth Estate Collective
Media News

Unicorn Riot premiered its free documentary, “Black Snake Killaz: a #NoDAPL Story” in November at Minneapolis’ Parkway Theater. The screening was followed by a question and answer session and an after-party featured performances by the punk folk band, Ungrateful Little String Band, Indigenous hip-hop artist, Alas, and DJ MOTHER t ReSA.


Shannon Parez-Darby
The Thing After Making Sense of Sex & Consent

Reprinted from Learning Good Consent: On Healthy Relationships and Survivor Support Edited by Cindy Crabb. AK Press, akpress.org 2016

FE Note: With people today left adrift to face conflicting social cues coming from every direction, this collection looks directly at the complications which arise from sex, consent, abuse, and survivor support. This, and the other essays in Learning Good Consent, is a guide to preventing sexual violence, helping survivors heal, and creating lives which correspond to our ideals. This essay has been shortened by the Fifth Estate editors.


Slowly They Go

I expected click-click-click

of handcuffs binding wrists,

eyes red with pepper spray,

a haze of tear gas fogging streets,

black ‘copters rotoring the sky,

and cellphone vids of troubled days.

Too late I realized the cunning gist

of protests that shimmer on-screen.

Slowly they disappear from the net-


Fifth Estate Collective
Hong Kong’s Black Book Fair Under China’s Radar

Hong Kong’s Black Book Fair took place November 17–19, 2017 in the lecture theatre of the Visual Arts Centre, close to the Admiralty area where the Umbrella Movement was ignited by a police attack on demonstrators three years earlier.

Collective members from a vegan restaurant in a working class community with a “pay what you feel is ight” free/autonomoous pricing operation presenting at the Hong Kong book fair.


This is Jail Nothing can prepare you for life behind bars

Last spring, I became a prisoner in a rural California county jail for 90 days having been sentenced for a non-political offense.

I did some research before surrendering to the authorities, so in many ways I knew what to expect when I arrived. Nothing, however, can really prepare you for the full range of indignity and repression you experience.


Matthew Lucas
Movie Review New Blade Runner Still Misses Philip K. Dick’s Radical Vision

a review of

“Blade Runner 2049.” Director: Denis Villeneuve 146 min. (2017)

“Blade Runner 2049” slightly recalibrates the social dimensions of Ridley Scott’s 1982 android rebellion tale, “Blade Runner”—based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?—tailoring it for a new generation.


Matthew Lucas
No Popcorn ...But Portland’s DIY Church of Film Shows What Others Don’t

Church of Film is a small volunteer film collective in Portland, Ore., whose mission is to provide accessible and free cinema, especially to communities where access to movies is limited. The program was founded in 2013 at the North Star Ballroom in North Portland.

There are no theaters of any kind in the area, and neighborhoods were hurting from a rapidly encroaching influx of development and gentrification. Since that time, the collective has expanded to other venues and parts of the city, most notably the Clinton Street Theater in Southeast Portland, and has shown one or more screenings weekly. Screenings have always been free and donations based.


Joe Nolan
Movie Review No Gods; No Masters brings the history of anarchism to video

a review of

No Gods; No Masters: A History of Anarchism (2017) (Originally: Ni dieu, ni maitre. Une histoire de l’anarchisme) Writer/Director: Tancrede Ramonet. 156 min. Color/B&W (French, German with English subtitles) Available from Icarus Films icarusfilms.com/if-nogods

For average Americans, the word anarchy calls to mind chaos, destruction, lawlessness, and violence. Most modern Westerners know little about the people, philosophies, and history that make up the broader political and cultural movement we identify under the term anarchism.


Rebecca Lee
The Something Fiction

In a town with no law, in a far away land, there lived people without protection. In square, boxed houses, they made sections out of walls to shield them from something unknown. It was the something that drove them to worry.

“Do you think it will happen tomorrow?” One asked.

“What do you think it could be?”


Norman Nawrocki
An Anarchist in Poland In One Gulp! Poland Swallowed Up by Consumer Capitalism

During a recent 10 day visit to Western Poland (Wielkopolska) to do research for a novel based on my family history, I spoke with many people in the street, in bars, cafes, on trains and buses trying to understand the new realities of Central Europe.

“Poznan not for developers; Rozbrat (squat) not for sale”


Peter Werbe
Jordan Flaherty

No Heroes Needed an interview with Jordan Flaherty

The Fifth Estate spoke with journalist and author, Jordan Flaherty, at Detroit’s Source Booksellers. His latest book, No More Heroes: Grassroots Challenges to the Savior Mentality, examines how often people of privilege makes things worse when they try to help oppressed or marginalized communities.


Fifth Estate Collective
New Distro Points for the Fifth Estate

There are many retail outlets which sell the Fifth Estate, but it is the indy projects and infoshops that are dearest to our hearts. Here’s a couple of new ones. Visit them; support them.

The Big Idea Cooperative Bookstore

Big Idea is one of the few independent bookstores in the Pittsburgh area. They do readings/signings, potlucks, prisoner letter writing events, reading groups, film screenings, fundraiser brunches for arrested anti-fascists, and anything related to anarchism.


We don’t Forget A year of healing & resistance for Seattle shooting victim & community


January 20, 2017, the day Trump officially became President of the United States, was filled with many acts of defiance as well as foreboding.

This day had an additional sinister meaning for anarchists in Seattle. In the name of the liberal concept of free speech, and ignoring months of warnings and protests by students, workers, and faculty, the University of Washington’s administration permitted an appearance by the vicious arch troll and bigot, Milo Yiannopoulos. Previous appearances elsewhere clearly indicated that the worst was to be expected from him and his supporters.


Peter Werbe
Clinton Greater Danger to Peace Why Was Trump Putin’s Favorite?

It’s hard not to be distracted by the right wing Shit Show presently playing in the White House with its daily exposures of corruption, racism, xenophobia, and discrimination.

The most glittering of all the baubles dangled for our horror and enjoyment is Russian interference in the 2016 election and the collusion of the Trump campaign with President Vladimir Putin’s operatives. The accuracy of this charge is strengthened almost daily and denied only by the Trump camp, Fox News, and a surprising number of leftists and news sites like CounterPunch.


Fifth Estate Collective

J20 Defendants Despite Court Defeat, Government Plans to Continue Trials for Fifty-nine

Federal prosecutors announced in January the dismissal of charges against 129 J20 defendants for actions against the Trump inauguration in Washington DC on January 20, 2017.


Fifty-nine people are still facing seven felony charges each, punishable by over 60 years in prison. While the government alleges that these people damaged property, planned the protests, or had knowledge of the black bloc tactic, the case has always been about political repression and expanding the state’s ability to stifle resistance.


André Naffis-Sahely
Maybe the People Don’t Want to Live and Let Live In memoriam, Arthur Lee (1945–2006)

Sun-drunk I roll

along the streets of Los Angeles

while the radio rewrites

the world as I know it: the Sahara,

it seems, is no longer a desert:

it is a graveyard, while the Mediterranean

they add, is no longer a sea—it too

is now a graveyard...strung out, I stare

at hummingbirds high on sugar

and switch over to Love. I try to picture you,

Arthur Lee, a jazz-talking child

of redlined south central. You were a prince


Andrew William Smith
Le Guin’s Anarchism & Mine

The idea of an “anarchist saint” might seem kind of silly at first, but that did not stop Autonomedia publishers from starting its annual jubilee calendars of radical saints, now in its 26th year. If anyone who has recently died qualifies for the status of anti-authoritarian saint, I would nominate the author, Ursula K. Le Guin, who is featured on the calendar with prominent and lesser known anarchists.


Fifth Estate Collective
Montreal Anarchist Theatre Festival 2018

The 13th annual Montreal International Anarchist Theatre Festival (MIATF), May 22–24 will present an eclectic program of international acts. The only such event in the world, it will feature theatre written by anarchists, about anarchists, or plays that reflect anarchist values. They challenge authority, racism, the Patriarchy, capitalism, treat some form of social injustice, and they may offer anarchist alternatives. Some troupes are professional; others amateur. Some present in English; others in French.


Peter Werbe
Lena Kafka

Anarchy on the printed page A long tradition

Newspapers and magazines have been a part of the anarchist movement since its inception.

They contain daily agitation for ongoing struggles and are excellent sources of the history of a movement that is usually ignored by other left tendencies and historians alike.

They keep the flame of anarchy alive and depend on readers for their solidarity and mutual aid. Take a look at the sampling we have here and consider ordering them to assure their survival.


Cody Constructor
Anti-Fascism 101 Book review

a review of

Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook by Mark Bray. Melville House Books 2017

It’s hard to shake the feeling that we haven’t all wandered into a particularly demented time warp in the last year or so since that Nazi-sympathizer, Donald Trump, bumbled and ranted his way into the White House.


Paul Walker (Peter Werbe)
Antifa Author Mark Bray Meets the Professors

Related: see “Anti-Fascism 101,” FE #400, Spring, 2018.

About 100 people filled a small auditorium at Detroit’s Wayne State University, October 17, to hear a talk by Mark Bray, a Dartmouth College lecturer on human rights and author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook.

Bray’s lecture followed the lines of his book, that fascism was and is an authentic threat which should be confronted by means appropriate to the dangers it poses. Tactically, he advocates alliances between anarchists, a tradition with which Bray identifies, and sectors of the left, without consideration of their authoritarian nature.


Lisiunia (Lisa) A. Romanienko
Grief to Resistance

a review of

Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief, ed. Cindy Milstein. 37 essays, 412 pp. with 32-page color insert. AK Press, 2017

Rebellious Mourning is an ambitious edited volume by Cindy Milstein with enormous depth and breadth of highly relevant and timely cross-cultural case studies. This work by Milstein (sole author of Anarchism and Its Aspirations, AK Press) represents her third edited book project.


Peter Werbe
Russia Revolution Books – Review From Adulation of Christ to Adulation of the Leader

a review of

Bloodstained: One Hundred Years of Leninist Counterrevolution eds. Friends of Aron Baron; Luigi Fabbri, Rudolf Rocker, Nestor Makhno, Iain McKay, Alexander Berkman, Maurice Brinton, Ida Mett, Otto Wile, Emma Goldman, et al. AK Press akpress.org, 2017

The Kronstadt Uprising by Ida Mett. Theory and Practice, 2017 theoryandpractice.org.uk


Josefine W.W. Parker (Voyager)
Millennials A Generation Born in Captivity

a review of

Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials. Little, Brown and Company 2017

In 2002, my girlfriend and I communicated entirely online over AOL Instant Messenger. We shared seventh grade classes and lived two blocks away, yet we hardly spoke in person, let alone hung out.


Between myth and reality: The Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War

The International Brigades came to Spain to fight fascism, but helped crush the anarchist social revolution.

In recent years, many leftists and even anarchists glowingly cite the communist-organized International Brigades (IB) that went to Spain to fight fascism during the late 1930s as an example relevant to many of today’s struggles. Men and women came from around the world to join forces with the army of the liberal Republican Spanish government in its civil war against a military-fascist rebellion that began in July 1936 led by Gen. Francisco Franco, who was aided by Hitler and Mussolini’s governments. The authoritarian right was finally triumphant in 1939.