Various Authors

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No Anarchist?

Congrats on changing anarchist to anti-authoritarian on your front page description. Too much baggage on the word anarchist. It’s glamorous for those with that identity; fear and mistrust for those outside the milieu.

There was that period from about 1880 to 1920 when anarchists were killing people. Like monotheists, they thought they were in touch with the higher moral values of the Universe and thus were free of morals in this world.


Fifth Estate Collective
About This Issue Venezuela, Spain, & Haymarket

Welcome to the first issue in our 41st year of radical publishing. This edition, no different than the preceding 371, takes up our desire for revolution, one that ends the monstrous systems of capitalism and the state. It begins with a critical look at what is billed by the Left as the Bolivarian Revolution. Michael Staudenmaier, with Anne Carlson, describing their month long visit through Venezuela and relates anarchist perspectives on Chavismo. The FE’s Walker Lane writes about the 2006 Caracas World Social Forum (WSF) he attended, and offers critiques of the gathering and the direction the country is taking.


Michael Staudenmaier
Anne Carlson

Venezuela Of Chavistas and Anarquistas

Note: This is a shortened version of an essay that can be found in several locations on the Internet. Some material is likely dated at this point, given the rapidly changing situation in Venezuela. Since the essay primarily has value as a first-hand account, and since we have not returned to Venezuela since it was written, we have not attempted to update this version in any way.


Walker Lane (Peter Werbe)
Venezuela—An Anarchist at the World Social Forum 100,000 gather in Caracas to celebrate Chavismo. But, is it another world, or, just a different version of this one?


Barrel-assing around hair-pin turns at 6am in a crowded bus on a road with no barriers between us and a two thousand foot drop was not the manner in which I anticipated arriving in Venezuela for the Sixth World Social Forum (WSF).

This anus-clenching adventure was made necessary by the fact that a key viaduct on the highway from the airport into Caracas was recently determined to be on the verge of collapse. All traffic was forced to take an old mountain road, so what was normally a 40 minute ride had turned into a gridlocked six-hour nightmare journey.


L.M. Bogad
Monumental Dialectics Staging Haymarket Confrontation... Anarchists brawl with Teamsters, statues walk & talk, and the incident 120 years ago that gave us May Day is contested for meaning

On May 4, 1886, several hundred workers assembled in Chicago’s Haymarket Square to protest the shooting of their comrades on a picket line at the McCormick Reaper Works the day before. The violence happened in the context of a largely successful general strike in support of the eight-hour workday. Anarchist labor organizers and journalists played a key role in the strikes.


Walker Lane (Peter Werbe)
All Wars are Lies! Iraq War Based on Lies: Liberals are Shocked!

War! Uh!

What is it good for?

Absolutely nothing!

--Edwin Starr, “War”

The Motown great Edwin Starr asked and answered this question in his 1970 song that became a best-selling record and the anthem of another in a series of long, hot summers.

By then, tens of millions of people around the world had come to a similar conclusion about the U.S. empire’s brutal war in Vietnam that already had taken the lives of at least two million Indochinese and tens of thousands of those of the invaders. There was wide-spread realization that not only did America’s Asian war have nothing to do with “freedom,” but was about imperial domination of a region far from its shores.


Ron Sakolsky
No More Safety Valves The Government Has Approved Low Power FM Stations, but Resistance Radio Continues

Freedom is a word with many meanings. What makes radio free from an anarchist point of view? In relation to the airwaves, the term commonly refers to a form of direct action broadcasting done without a government-approved license. It is popularly known as pirate radio.

The autonomous broadcasters of the free radio movement actively expand the everyday lived experience of freedom from state regulation by seizing the airwaves from their corporate and government masters, setting up unlicensed stations and helping others to do the same. On the other hand, the Prometheus Radio Project is a non-profit organization created by former radio pirates to facilitate the growth of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program known as Low Power FM (LPFM).


Julie Herrada
Paul Avrich (1931–2006) A Passionate Chronicler of Anarchism

Paul Avrich (left) with Federico Arcos at Emma Goldman’s grave site, Waldheim Cemetery, Chicago, 1998. Photo: Julie Herrada

A beloved comrade and renowned scholar of 19th and 20th century anarchism passed away on February 17 at his home in New York City. Paul Avrich was author and editor of dozens of influential books and articles on the history of anarchism, including The Haymarket Tragedy; The Modern School Movement: Anarchism and Education in the United States; An American Anarchist: The Life of Voltairine de Cleyre; Anarchist Portraits; Sacco and Vanzetti: The Anarchist Background, and Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America.


Al McKee
An American POW In America Torture Didn’t Begin In Abu Ghraib. Try a Marine Brig 30 years ago.

US Marine Corp brig. Corpus Christi, Texas, 1964. “ON THE WALL! GET ON THE WALL, PRIDNER!” I had just been marched inside the sally port by two armed MP’s. The heavy barred gate slammed shut. My partner, Duke, was right behind me, flanked by two more MP’s.

“YOU DEAF, PRIDNER! I SAID--GET ON THE WALL!” Yellow handprints, greatly spaced, were spray-painted on the wall. Corresponding footprints, also widely-spaced, below me on the spit-shined sally port deck. I stared at the yellow prints on the deck. My face was rammed into the concrete bulkhead by one of the brig guards.


Anu Bonobo
‘Nothing Can Prepare You for New Orleans’

Nothing can prepare you for New Orleans. All the dramatic rhetoric, righteous anger, extravagant allegory, profligate tears, and urgent broadcasts of need have not been wasted.

If some well-intentioned money has been squandered in a vortex of government and charity bureaucracy, all the love, prayer, intention, direct action, and indignation could not be better spent than on saving this amazing spiritual and cultural homeland.


Fifth Estate Collective
Upcoming Events

New England Anarchist Bookfair. April 21–22. Boston

Friday, 7pm-11pm, Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston St.

Mitchell Verter, editor of Dreams of Freedom, on Mexican anarchist Ricardo Flores Magon and contemporary Magonism, a video and music.

The Bookfair. Saturday, 10am-7pm. Massachusetts College of Art, Pozen Center, 621 Huntington Ave. Tables from distros, radical bookstores, Info-shops, and publishers. Speakers, workshops, panel discussions, and films.


H. Read
The ELF/ALF Arrests The Issues They Present for Environmental Activists

On December 7, the sudden arrest of six individuals rocked the activist community. All were accused of arsons claimed by the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and/or Animal Liberation Front (ALF). Since then, the cases have taken many twists and turns: one of those arrested died in custody in an apparent suicide; six more activists were indicted (although three have not been apprehended); then, on January 20, a 65-count indictment against the remaining 11 arrestees blamed them for every major ELF action between 1996 and 2001, with a trial set for October 31. In February, two more activists were arrested and charged with some of the same arsons in Oregon.


Barry Pateman
The Spanish Revolution 70 years later

And, so we return to Spain. Nearly 70 years after the people’s response to a right-wing military uprising, those events remain a source of wonder, optimism, confusion, strife and tragedy. It was a high mark of personal and social possibility that has yet to be matched. It was a real revolution of everyday life that shattered the patterns and relationships created by the agencies that constituted a growing capitalism.


Martha Ackelsberg
Lessons from Spain’s Mujeres Libres Anarchism & the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women

In 1936, groups of women in Madrid and Barcelona founded Mujeres Libres, an organization dedicated to liberation from their “triple enslavement to ignorance, as women, and as producers.” While it lasted for less than three years (its activities in Spain were brought to an abrupt halt by the victory of Franco’s forces in February 1939), Mujeres Libres mobilized over 20,000 women, and developed an extensive network of activities designed to empower individual women while building a sense of community.


Larry Talbot
Who Killed Durruti? Review

a review of

The Man Who Killed Durruti, Pedro de Paz, Translated from Spanish by Paul Sharkie, Postscript by Stuart Christie, Illustrations by Richard Warren. Christie Books (Read and Noir, PO Box 35, Hastings, East Sussex, U.K.), 2005, 135


In a book that’s both fiction and history, Pedro de Paz and Stuart Christie have combined to look once again at the question of who killed the anarchist militia leader, Buenaventura Durruti.


Fifth Estate Collective
Spanish Revolution Bibliography

José Peirats, The CNT in the Spanish Revolution, published by The Meltzer Press (Vol. 1) and Christie Books (Vol. 2). They are essential reading.

Stuart Christie, We, The Anarchists, The Meltzer Press. A telling and thorough look at the FAI.

Much of our knowledge of the anarchist resistance to Franco comes from the work of Antonio Tellez and Miguel Garcia. All of the above publications are available from AK Press akpress.org and deserve close reading.


Fifth Estate Collective
Hate Mao; Hate Maoists Chinese State Destroys Paint Bomber


A Chinese journalist was freed in February after spending nearly 17 years in prison for splattering paint on a portrait of Mao during the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square.

Yu Dongyue, now 38, and two friends, hurled eggs filled with red paint at the famous painting of Mao, which still stares at the Square from across the street. Yu and his family are expected to reunite in Hunan Province, but his younger brother said the family was deeply concerned about Yu’s mental health.


Peter Lamborn Wilson
Secular Antinomian Anabaptist Neo-Luddism What can anarchists and anarcho-primitivists learn from Old Order religious groups about living beyond technology?

“By banning the telephone from the home, Old Order Amish...try to maintain the primacy of communication within the context of community.”

--D.Z. Umble

“Church splits are bad, some things are worse, and one of them is to keep on compromising with something we know is sinful.”

--Anon., Separated Unto Christ (Old Order Mennonite tract, circa 1995)


Rafael Uzcategui
WSF Caracas: Shroud for Venezuela’s social movements Excerpt

FE Note: The following is taken from the El Libertario web site. See the above article on this page for their URL.

In the last four years Venezuela has undergone a polarization induced by the top players vying for power: the old “punto fijista” bureaucracy (Fedecamaras, CTV, political parties) against the new Chavez bureaucracy that has supplanted the previous one. This antagonism, false as much as real vs. pretended exercise of power, sustained and amplified by the media, has benefited those who have cast themselves as legitimate voices of the sector of Venezuelan society they claim to represent.


Mike of South Chicago ABC
Voices from the Inside

The two publications to the right [in the print edition] and dozens more anarchist, feminist, abolitionist and prisoner zines are available from: South Chicago ABC Zine Distro, P.O. Box 721, Homewood, IL 60430; write for a catalog.

They Will Never Get us All — Harold Thompson

They Will Never Get Us All!, Harold H. Thompson, 2006, 50 pp., order from: Friends of Harold H. Thompson, 711 E. Holly St. PMB #748, Bellingham, WA 98225, send $3–7 (sliding scale) well concealed cash


Fifth Estate Collective
Art in this issue

Cover: http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/speccoll/visfront/index.html

Page 13: Peter Kuper, peterkuper.com

Page 21: Nik Moore, maladroitdrone.org

Page 24, 25, 32, 36: Private collection, Federico Arcos

Page 26, 34, 35: 1936: The Spanish Revolution, by The Ex


Page 30 & 31: Richard Warren from The Man Who Killed Durruti by Pedro De Paz, christiebooks.com


Fifth Estate Collective
Books from The Barn Fifth Estate bookstore


Bush League Spectacles: Empire, Politics, and Culture in Bushwhacked America by Fran Shor (Factory School 2005) $13

“In the aftermath of 9/11, many of us looked to the Internet for the desperately needed analysis that was pushed out of the corporate media, and it’s there that we found writers such as Fran Shor. Combining an academic’s careful research and a political activist’s quest for justice, Shor speaks plainly and speaks with passion in these essays that analyze the political and cultural crisis of the contemporary United States.”