Mary Wildwood
Detroit—High Tech and the Widening Gyre Living in a city already bombed

For us, here in inner-city Detroit, the crumbling of a “progress” oriented society is very real and present. Its tangible effects are concentrated here. Its evidence—ragged empty shells of concrete, lining streets leading to their untimely ends, amputated by expressways or isolated corporate megaliths, the occasional pathetic charades of well-being, the razed and desolate spaces—pervades everything we do, even attempts to distract ourselves from the ruin. Everyone living here is profoundly aware of the failure. It is bred in our bones, as during our lives we’ve witnessed, not just this city’s demise, but the cumulative result of misdeeds performed through history by an increasingly urban society impelled by a limitless want of power brought to self-destruction.

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Mary Wildwood
Detroit’s People Mover The train to nowhere

For all those world-weary visionaries fed up with ever doleful tones and anxious to hear something concrete and uplifting—didja hear the one about the Detroit People Mover?

It’s this big snakey rail on cement poles that winds around downtown Detroit and looks sort of like MGM’s yellow brick road except it’s not yellow (except in rusty streaks down the sides) and it won’t take you to Kansas. It only trails in a series of question marks back to the Renaissance Center (a maze-like fortress of glass and poured concrete, barricading the river) to which you may have come from Kansas, or to the new “Millender Center Luxury Hotel and Apartments” across the street (which, and this is the truth, prides itself on being “the Tallest Prefab Building in the World” and during construction had signs hanging off each floor, boasting for instance, “13th floor—completed in 1-1/2 days!”). As things stand now, however, the People Mover won’t take you or anybody else anywhere and possibly, hopefully for everybody’s sake, never will.

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Mary Wildwood
An Other Storee

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That breakup wuz a long time ago.

Wich breakup are you talking about? There bin so many and they keep getting more.

I’m talking about the first wun.

O. that wun. Yes. It wuz a long long time ago.

* * *

Wunce the people saw that Each Thing like Each rock or Each tree or Each bird or Each wind or Each fear or Each love wuz Diferent and hid its Name inside itself. If you looked inside it deep enuf or long enuf the Name wood come threw. If you did it with Each and Every thing and fit all the Names all together they wood make wun Name and that wood be the ansir. Wun Hole Thing. It wuz called Re Member.

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Mary Wildwood
Yikes! We Shut It Down! Detroit Burner Closes Temporarily

Sometimes we have arguments about whether it is appropriate for anarchist-types to be participating in officially sanctioned political events with double-speak names like “public hearing” held before bogus, paid-off boards with Ministry of Truth names like “Michigan Air Pollution Control Commission.” Like the one held April 17th to validate a backroom deal between the City of Detroit and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) called a “consent order,” made to allow the Detroit trash incinerator to keep burning even though they couldn’t come up with a test result that didn’t grossly violate emissions standards—standards which consider 79 deaths per million residents an acceptable risk.

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Bert Wirkes-Butuar (Peter Werbe)
Mary Wildwood
Lewis Cannon

Environmentalism and Revolution A Challenge to the Fifth Estate and Responses

Dear Friends at the Fifth Estate:

I was a bit disappointed with the Summer 1990 FE. Since when have the FE staff and paper become boosters for sacrificial reformist protest politics? There seems to be wholehearted support for “Redwood Summer, “ anti-nuke civil disobedience and rather unanarchistic (not even particularly “militant”) anti-incinerator protests to politicians.

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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.

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Mary Wildwood
Dogbane Campion (David Watson)

Puppets Against Pollution Earth Council Condemns Incinerator

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Some 200 local residents turned out to show their opposition to the Detroit incinerator and the ongoing destruction of planetary life systems in early June. Following a dormant phase, this demonstration did much to clear away a pall hanging over our community since the incinerator restarted in 1990 and the Gulf War damaged our spirit.

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Mary Wildwood
Living in A City Already Bombed reprint from FE #313, Summer 1983

For us, here in inner-city Detroit, the crumbling of a “progress-oriented society” is very real and present. Its evidence--ragged empty shells of concrete-lined streets leading to their untimely ends, amputated by expressways or isolated corporate megaliths, the occasional pathetic charades of well-being, the razed and desolate spaces--pervades everything we do, even attempts to distract ourselves from the ruin. Everyone living here is profoundly aware of the failure. It is bred in our bones, as during our lives we’ve witnessed not just this city’s demise, but the cumulative result of misdeeds performed throughout history by an increasingly urban society impelled by a limitless want of power brought to self-destruction.

...