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Fifth Estate Collective
Contents of print edition

FIFTH ESTATE #363, Winter, 2003/2004, Vol. 38, No. 4, page 3

NEWS

Miami: The War Comes Home 5

APOC Report 11

Tales From The Planet 12

Lessons From Cancun 13

Against the Wall 14

Uprising in Bolivia 16

Sex and Lies in Cuba 18

FEATURES

Intro 22

Pencils Like Daggers 23

Anarchist Panther’s Journey 26

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Fifth Estate Collective
Masthead, Subscriptions

“Anarchists creating anarchy for the sake of anarchy”

In November 2003, the media took the myths about anarchists, anarchism, and anarchy to new heights.

The above quote comes directly from’ the multifaceted misinformation machine peddling out anti-protester propaganda. In this attempt to stigmatize the traveling radicals who went to Florida to resist the FTAA, the mainstream finally figured us out. Of course we desire anarchy for its own sake!

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Karen Elliot Jr.
Resolve to Evolve Miami and the Future of Resistance

Introduction

Recently, the rulers of the Western Hemisphere met in Miami to continue negotiations on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) treaty, another blatant power grab by the corporate oligarchy. At the summit, Nov. 17–21, trade ministers signed a watered-down compromise that again blunted US plans for hemispheric domination. This version, dubbed FTAA Lite by critics, allows nations to opt out of provisions they don’t care for, or in the case of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, provisions that the outraged citizenry won’t stand for. With the collapse of the WTO talks in Cancun, the North American elite desperately needed to keep the FTAA alive, even if in a compromised form. As might have been expected, this conciliatory agreement has been spun as a victory by both negotiators and resisters alike.

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Walker Lane
Let Them Eat GMOs Capitalism’s Counter-revolution

MIAMI—The vicious and unprovoked police assault on demonstrators during the recent Miami Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) talks produced waves of indignation and anger among both participants and observers. Witnessing Kevlar-armored, weapon-laden RoboCops kick the crap out of teenagers (and some middle-aged people, as well), it’s easy to focus solely on these despicable acts of brutality rather than what generated them.

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Jennifer Holbrook
The War Comes Home Timoney, Miami & Demonizing Protest

The State’s response to the protests in Miami reveals the stark similarities between war, counter-terrorism, and the suppression of dissent at home. Congress slipped $8.5 million to security in Miami from a recent appropriation earmarked for the “war on terror” in Iraq, ostensibly to rebuild that shattered nation.

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M. Mayuran Tiruchelvam
APOC Rocks Detroit People of color explored anarchism as a movement towards self-sustainability

Descending on Detroit from all parts of the nation and the globe, nearly 150 people attended the Anarchist People of Color Conference from October 3 to 5. Anarchists and anti-authoritarians drove over 20 hours from Texas, flew in from Seattle and rode the rails from the Northeast. Over a dozen activists from Canada made their way across the border, while others hailed from Brazil, Colombia, Bhutan, Jamaica and Korea.

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Fifth Estate Collective
NYPD Attacks APOC Benefit

Up to 100 people attending a private benefit for APOC attendees in Brooklyn were shocked early on the morning of November 16 [2003] by an unprovoked and violent assault at the hands of the NYPD. Attendees were indiscriminately sprayed with chemical agents, beaten with nightsticks, and harassed by a throng of police officers.

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Fifth Estate Collective
john johnson

Tales from the Planet

Compiled by john johnson

KKK Does the Job for Us

In November 2003, a bullet fired in the air during a Ku Klux Klan initiation ceremony near Johnson City, Tennessee came down and struck a participant in the head, critically injuring him. Gregory Allen Freeman, 45, was charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment in the incident that wounded Jeffery S. Murr, 24. About 10 people, including two children, had gathered for the ceremony. The man who was being initiated was blindfolded, tied with a noose to a tree, and shot with paintball guns as Freeman fired a pistol in the air to provide the sound of real gunfire.

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Mouse
Lessons from Cancun Report on the Fifth Ministerial of the WTO

“...[A] small number of big WTO Members are leading an undesirable globalization that is inhumane, environmentally degrading, farmer-killing, and undemocratic. It should be stopped immediately. Otherwise the false logic of neo-liberalism will wipe out the diversity of global agriculture and be disastrous to all human beings.”

—Lee Kyung Hae, Korean farmer & activist who took his own life on the barricades

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Fifth Estate Collective
Up Against The Wall

November 9—the fourteenth anniversary of the popular uprising that destroyed the Berlin Wall—was also an international day of protest against the more than 400 miles of wall being built by the Israeli government around and through Palestinian communities in the West Bank. All over the globe, special events and actions took place in solidarity against this construction project.

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Jeff McClellend
Bolivia Militant Civil Disobedience Brings Down Government

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“La protesta es una fiera mujer sin partido ni caudillo” “The protest is a fierce woman without party or leaders.”

Teeming with tens of thousands of angry protesters and shaking from the resounding blasts of dynamite, the streets of La Paz on October 18th were the scene of a dramatic climax to six weeks of mounting protests. The universal demand was nothing less than the resignation of Bolivia’s president, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada. Later that afternoon, President Sanchez, his family, and remaining ministers fled to the United States.

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Citizen Cane
Sex, Lies, & Tourism Is Cuba really prostituting her teenagers, or is this another cynical manipulation by the Bush Administration?

Let me say right off that the subject of Cuba is extremely polarizing. This makes it difficult to have a discussion without the people involved, from the political left or right, simply going deaf and repeating familiar good-vs-evil litanies. After years of visiting and studying the island, I have found it to be anything but simple to figure out. On the contrary, like most places one gets to know well, it’s endlessly complex and nuanced. Hence, my rule of thumb when checking out Cuba analysis is to look for this complexity. The moment I hear tripe peddled by self-deluded leftoids of Cuba-as-socialist-utopia—or the Miami Mafia’s more repugnant portrayal of it as a dirty third-world basket case—I start looking for the exit.

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anon.
An Open Letter From Cuban Anarchists

Dear comrades,

As you might be aware, the Castroist crackdown on dissent has been stepped up and toughened up over these past few months in Cuba. Even so, transition from dictatorship to bourgeois democracy seems increasingly inevitable, albeit that, as in the Spanish precedent, there is every indication that this Transition will not be fully activated until after the physical demise of the dictator. As you will appreciate, until such time as that happens, the prospects for an opening-up and liberalisation of the regime are virtually nil, so the opposition (excepting that segment relying upon institutional support abroad) will have to grapple with enormous risks and difficulties. Especially Cuban libertarians and any who are open about their opposition to authoritarianism in any guise.

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Fifth Estate Collective
An Introduction to Race and Culture

Over the years, our special features addressing identity politics—from the 1971 women’s issue to the queer edition of 1993—have both appealed to and tested our readers for the challenging exchanges these topics inevitably generate. This issue on Race and Culture has inspired both an unprecedented quantity of contributions and stimulating controversy within the Fifth Estate (FE) collective.

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tomás
Pencils Like Daggers

It starts with a story: My grandma, worried that her 3-year-old son had not spoken a word yet, had him chase down a grasshopper. Diligently, without complaint, the boy did and returned with a smile. Open she said; confused and scared, he did. She shoved it in and closed his mouth. Hablas, mijo, hablas. He spit it out crying. Crying and yelling. He has not stopped either since she says and smiles thinking of her now 50 year old son talking his time away in a New Mexican state penitentiary.

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Ashanti Alston
One Journey into and out of the Anarchist...Black!

Anarchy as a journey in the human story has a long and crazy road. In fact, it is where the Human Story begins. It is the story of human life before the advent, the institutionalization of the Muthafuckas. (Eldridge Cleaverian definition, ha).

Increasingly, anthropologists, archeologists, etc., have been finding pieces to a fantastic set of puzzles. And notice that I used the plural! As they begin to lay these pieces down, pictures are forming of our social beginnings that will shock, surprise and amaze many. Most of us may even find them revolting because these pictures go so extremely contrary to all that we’ve been raised to believe about the stories of the human species on this planet.

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Ron Sakolsky
Anarchy in a Diasporic Key

Imagine diasporic anarchy! While not all diasporas are African, I would like to focus upon the affinities between the African diaspora and anarchy using music as a touchstone.

I use the term “diaspora” in Paul Gilroy’s dynamic sense of the “plural richness of black cultures in different parts of the world in counterpoint to their common sensibilities—both those residually inherited from Africa and those generated from the special bitterness of new world racial slavery” (Gilroy, The Black Atlantic).

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Ron Sakolsky
Where are You, Arnold Shultz?

Though he never recorded, his spirit hovers over the American musical imagination, whispering his hidden secret worldwide to all those with ears to listen to the interraciality of what is typically portrayed as racially separate.

Receiving his slave name from Revolutionary War veteran and slavemaster Mathias Shultz of the Green River region of western Kentucky, Arnold was the child of the last of his ancestors to have once lived in slavery. He began as a songster playing guitar around the turn of the twentieth century. At this time in isolated mountain communities, those of African-American and European-American descent made music together at square dances, picnics, and other occasions calling for string bands.

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Andy Sunfrog
Anything But White

This essay grew like Tennessee weeds out of the animated discussions the Fifth Estate collective members have been having about the topics related to our issue’s theme. Part memoir, part meditation, part rant—the following concerns itself primarily with two threads within a much larger debate (one that I speculate mirrors similar exchanges in other radical communities). I begin by discussing my personal struggle with and against identity, particularly as it relates to the debates around cultural appropriation. In the second section, I address the larger question of race itself within radical movements and further explain why I choose not to identify as white. While I’ve written this essay with other Euro-American activists in mind, I trust that the content has implications for all.

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J. Murray
Anarchy and the Abolition of Whiteness

“[America] would be a fine country if only every Irishman would kill a Negro and be hanged for it.”

— Edward A. Freeman (1881)

To learn how to take a state apart we study how a state was put together.

The United States is a purely artificial creation; an experiment in nation-building that was engineered by European colonists. The Old World societies from which these colonists descended were solid caste systems with many centuries of history. The elite strata among these colonists attempted to replicate the Old World societies in the New World of wilderness.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
George Bradford (David Watson)

Blood and Soil Ideologies Reprint

In our effort to bring readers important reprints from the FE archive, we offer the following excerpt from an article by George Bradford and E.B. Maple regarding the 1993 Palestine Liberation Organization/Israel peace agreement, “The PLO/Israeli Treaty: Another Defeat for the Palestinians.” This is the last section of the article.

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David Rovics
Return

i can’t help it.

i don’t care how far you think the analogy extends itself.

when i see you making that bus driver climb up and down

on and off the roof of his bus

for your amusement

for hours in the hot sun

i think of how we once had to dance and sing for them

while they shot our parents.

when i see you keep that woman

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Don LaCoss
Potlatch Ritual Resistance to Capitalism

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Before becoming Situationists and involving themselves in the business of social war and cultural revolution in 1960s Europe, Guy Debord and his friends were active in the Lettrist International. They read too much Baudelaire and Marx, drank too much cheap Beaujolais, and aimlessly prowled the streets of Cold War Paris seeking liberty, love, the supersession of art, and an escape from post-Marshall Plan consumer culture while staying one step ahead of the cops. From 1954 to 1957, the Lettrists published a free periodical called Potlatch, which later became the Situationist International’s internal newsletter. Debord explained the choice of title for the publication in an essay in 1959: The goods that a free bulletin such as this distributes are non-salable. Only the further elaboration of these new desires and problems by others can constitute the corresponding return gift.” As would be seen later in Debord’s thinking on the spectacle, Potlatch was meant as a way to critically assess the vicious cultural logic of capitalism, the dead world of commodities, and the ways in which the accepted dynamics of the modern exchange economy had neutralized classical working-class Marxism. Instead, the Lettrists were hearkening to an alternative to the capitalist exchange of equivalence. This alternative was practiced by the aboriginal peoples of the Pacific Northwest famously described by late nineteenth century ethnographer Franz Boas and pre-World War II anthropologist Marcel Mauss.

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Peter Lamborn Wilson
Roses and Nightingales Looking for traditional anarchism in Iran

Introduction

The military dictator Reza’ Shah Pahlavi changed the name of Persia to Iran in 1935. This move was part of a broader effort to craft a nation through the celebration of a largely imaginary Indo-Aryan past at a time the territory was dealing with a century’s worth of British and Russian imperialist interference, as well as the increasing power of foreign oil companies.

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T. Fulano (David Watson)
Patriot Songs

‘I hear America singing’

“—so what.”

— D. Campion

1. TALK SHOW HOST

I’ve been pissed ever since the President’s announcement—

so let’s get it on, let’s go to war!

I’m tired of the same old betrayals, I want betrayals I can believe in!

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I’m sick of outsiders ruining my country, we need a Real Leader!

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the Curious George Brigade
The Abolition of Outreach

The following is an excerpt from Anarchy in the Age of Dinosaurs by the Curious George Brigade (see facing page for a review). For more information, see www.ageofdinosaurs.net or contact yellowjack@ageofdinosaurs.net

Race is an issue that has long scared and perplexed radicals in the US. White anarchists today are especially dismayed by a lack of racial diversity, especially of blacks, among the folks who join them in the streets and collective work.

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Egg Syntax
John Brinker

Anarchy in the Age of Dinosaurs Review

a review of

Anarchy in the Age of Dinosaurs by the Curious George Brigade, Mosinee, WI, 2003, 154 pp, $6. See pages 63–64 to order.

For a few years, the CrimethInc. collective has been willfully monkeying around with our assumptions about anarchism. Most recently, the CrimethInc. mantle has been taken up by a collective calling itself the Curious George Brigade. With Anarchy in the Age of Dinosaurs (AAD), the Brigade romps on the jungle gym of anarchism with an innocence both inspiring and exasperating.

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Don LaCoss
Freedom Dreams Book review

a review of

Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination, by Robin D.G. Kelley, Beacon Press, Boston, 2002.

The word “dreams” in the title of this book is both a plural noun and a present-tense verb. In his compelling, daring book from last year (now available in paperback), historian and cultural critic, Robin D.G. Kelley, refuses to be forced to choose between the dreams of last night and the constant process of the awakened imagination now. This makes for an unruly read—the book is equal parts historical narrative, utopian conjecture, and prescriptive plan for rethinking what it means to be Black and what revolutionary transformation would look like from new perspectives.

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Luna C.
Fugitive Days Book review

a review of

Fugitive Days: A Memoir by Bill Ayers. 2001, Beacon Press. 289 pages.

For activists born after the Vietnam War, the common folklore of the 1960s and ‘70s usually centers around Woodstock, Jimi and Janis, flower children, going back to the land, and burning draft cards. We certainly don’t learn about the militant resistance movements from popular media or in American high schools.

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Bill Boyer
Whither the Underground? Film review

The rather quiet release of “The Weather Underground,” the new documentary of this late 1960s bomb-toting, clandestine splinter group, presents us with a fascinatingly decisive (and divisive) historical moment, a collision within call-and-response activism still relevant today. This is simply an inspiring film, even if much of the Weathermen’s more repulsive politics remains hidden in the smoke of their detonations.

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Fifth Estate Collective
News and Reviews

David Rovics. “Return” (Available from FE books for $10)

reviewed by Ellen Carryout

David Rovics is a dynamic troubadour, an American Billy Bragg, a Phil Ochs for our time, a folk music MC making revolution accessible. A collaboration with Ever Reviled Records, this latest collection contains classic Rovics musical rants focusing on the struggle for an independent Palestine. As the poetic lyrics chronicle the horrors of life in the occupied territories, some listeners will experience a chilling combination of tears and rage. But Rovics touches on other themes as well.

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Fifth Estate Collective
The Barn Infoshop, bookstore and clubhouse

In the hills of Tennessee, about an hour east of Nashville, on the outskirts of Dismal (population zero), there exists a barn. It’s an ordinary old barn from all outward appearances—except for a few anti war banners and the buzzing, whirring hum of electricity. Inside, the scene is anything but what Ma and Pa Kettle would have intended.

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Various Authors
Letters to Fifth Estate

FIFTH ESTATE LETTERS POLICY

We welcome letters commenting on our articles, ones stating opinions, or reports from your area. We can’t print every letter we receive, but each is read by our staff and considered for publication.

Letters via email or on disk are appreciated, but type- or hand-written ones are acceptable. Length should not exceed two, double spaced pages. If you are interested in writing a longer response, please contact us: POB 6, Liberty TN 37095. fifthestatenewspaper@yahoo.com

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Michael Staudenmaier
Pedrito Peligro

Defining and Debating Fascism An exchange

FE note: Although we generally dislike back and forths in our letters column, we thought the issues raised by our two comrades below are worthy of continuing the discussion raised about combating fascism begun in our Summer 2003 edition (see “Strange Bedfellows?”) and then commented upon in the letters section of the subsequent issue. We welcome readers’ thoughts as well.

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Slingshot
2004 is a leap year... Excerpted from Slingshot

2004 is a leap year—a fantastic opportunity to leap into something new. Are you gonna use your extra day like you use so many other days—using up more of the earth’s resources while the forests, the oceans, and tree communities wither and die? Watching it all go on around you—an “information consumer”—feeling helpless to do anything to resist it?

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Fifth Estate Collective
Which one is the Real Tool?

Fueled by the massive international antiwar demonstrations of February 2003, people have increasingly turned to the Internet, lured by the hype of a global virtual community, to organize resistance against the murderous plans of the corporate state. Yet in most cases, the results have been demoralizing. Like the empty promise of television’s “global village,” the seductive power of computers is having a destructive effect on human community.

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