Various Authors
Letters Our readers respond

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Sorry to hear about your financial situation. As vile and evil as it is, money is still the life force of the modern world. Without proper funds to sustain a project, more often than not, it will all come tumbling down.


Henry Read
Between Orwell And Mccarthy: The Crucifixion Of Marie Mason



Fifth Estate</em> contributor Marie Mason was sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison on February 5 in a Lansing, Michigan federal courtroom, after pleading guilty to two acts of eco-sabotage.

(See also Summer and Fall 2008 Fifth Estate.) Mason is now serving the longest sentence of any environmental activist in the US; an appeal is currently underway. Her sentence was one of the latest in a string of recent arrests and convictions of environmental and animal liberation activists, which has been dubbed the Green Scare. Throughout the Green Scare, environmental and animal liberation activists have been charged with inflated sentences (often Life in prison), and have been publicly and legally labeled “terrorists”--though no one has been hurt in their acts of economic sabotage. The term Green Scare is an allusion to the Red Scare of the ’50s, when Communists were persecuted on the basis of new laws targeting them for their beliefs and not their actions, and creating a climate of panic and hysteria in an attempt to intimidate supporters and sympathizers.


The Green Scare Rolls On

Besides the sentencing of Marie Mason, there have been developments in a number of other Green Scare cases in the Midwest and beyond.


The Rhinelander case has affected a number of activists. Five hundred genetically-modified research trees were destroyed at a federal research facility in Rhinelander, WI in 2000. Activist-turned-government-collaborater Ian Wallace pled guilty in October 2008 to this action, as well as an attempt to damage two buildings at Michigan Technological University. In March 2009 he received three years.


Cara Hoffman
Joe Ricker

The Jumper

Often when I say “she” or “you” I mean me.

I mean me when I tell you this story but I will say “you.”

I will generalize. I will refer to the broad category that fits my body. The broad category to which my body belongs, in which it has been placed or can be seen from above. The specifics have long been beside the point. I do not agree to be myself.


Ambrose Nurra
Miscarriage (poem)

white blades of light sift through the

stripes hugging the crumpled form

of an empire of

stars crowded together

for warmth

row upon row upon row

sow the earth with shades of

beaten red beaten blue


the greedy glow of the pipe


fireflies comb that brain straight


taper out in twin coal kill pits


Gavin Grindon
Second-Wave Situationism

Last year saw, at least here in London, a plethora of commemorative events to mark the 40-year anniversary of the events of 1968, with pundits and talking heads emerging from everywhere to offer their accounts and experiences of that year, in which a multitude of movements remade and reclaimed the terrain of everyday life in a variety of ways from the jaws of capitalism.


Jason Cook

Train sounds.

Stars are showing and the sun is down, and high above us the sky is crested with an even, purple glow. All around us are trees ripened with green leaves, and vesper bats course fireflies while I stand on the edge of the woods with Apple kneeling before me, obscuring herself with wry branches jutting in all directions.


Jacob A. Bennett
An Elegy for Malachi Ritscher


Malachi, born Mark David,

wrote his own obituary. “Reportedly,”

he says, “his last words were


but what he means

is that he lived his life

like a saucer-faced magnolia flower,

a quick burst of bloom and

perfume early each spring

before the pink things wilt away,

falling to the fiery asphalt


Jack Bratich
Subjectivity Rosa Undercurrent Affairs

Over the past two years, various actors have ruminated over the perceived loss of the “movement” (specifically referring to the counterglobalization movement, but also referring to a sense of momentum, coordinated actions, targeted purpose, and most importantly a sense of effectivity).

Like a drug, Seattle99 was a vehicle that became confused with its effects. The enthusiasm and infectious power of that moment became a lost object of desire, a model whose failure to reappear seemed to diminish possibilities (for more on this see my previous article “Becoming-Seattle” in Fifth Estate #374, Winter 2007).


Bianca Shannon

The long line of lights flickered above where the train passed in the dark tunnel. It was four am and Maggie sat on the wooden seats that were placed about five feet from the platform. Her feet were pressed flat on the cement floor, palms resting on the two seats on either side of her. She was feeling for the vibration the train made when getting nearer.


Walker Lane (Peter Werbe)
Nope to Hope False capital & the spectacle triumphant

ANNOUNCER: The leader’s coming. He approaches. He’s bending. He’s unbending. He’s jumping. He’s crossed the river. ‘They’re shaking his hand. He sticks out his thumb.

Can you hear? They’re laughing... Ah ... ! he’s signing autographs. The leader is stroking a hedgehog, a superb hedgehog! The crowd applauds. He’s dancing with the hedgehog in his hand. He’s embracing his dancer. Hurrah! Hurrah! He’s being photographed, with his dancer on one hand and the hedgehog on the other... He greets the crowd ... He spits a tremendous distance.

--from The Leader, Eugene Ionesco (1953)


Peter Lamborn Wilson
Seven Subversive instasonnets


Captain Nemo the SciFi Stirnerite

lurks beneath our waves of text like

a semantic barracuda. If God

won’t be dead till we kill grammar

as Nietzsche said then Chomsky must be

at least the Pope (Papa not dada)--

scarcely the “brainless luddism” to which

we all aspire. Scorpions ate our


Don LaCoss

Last summer, I was talking to a carnival-ride operator at one of those small, itinerant outfits that was crisscrossing its way across the Midwest. The carny looked to be in his mid-50s and said that he had worked all sorts of jobs with different wandering funfair amusement shows since his first gig as a travelling circus roustabout at age 14.


Cara Hoffman
Rachel Pollack is Willing to Change Everything

Rachel Pollack is the author of six novels, two collections of short stories, and 21 works of nonfiction, including the classic 78 Degrees of Wisdom, one of the most important contemporary guides to interpreting the tarot. She is the recipient of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for her novel Unquenchable Fire and the World Fantasy Award for Godmother Night.


Kristian Williams
Sexual Liberation and the Possibilities of Friendship Foucauldian Proposals and Anarchist Elaborations

The philosopher and historian Michel Foucault was not known for offering practical advice. But in a series of interviews from 1981 and 1982 he focused on the major questions then facing the gay liberation movement.

His remarks from that time offer prescient guidance--and pose substantive challenges--for those concerned with sexual liberation today. Though he spoke from his position as a gay man and addressed his comments primarily to a gay audience,


Fifth Estate Collective
Our Hearts Never Hibernate, Neither Does The State An Update on the RNC 8

The RNC 8 are eight activists from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota charged with four felony counts of conspiracy, two with “Terrorism Enhancements,” in the first known use of the Minnesota Anti Terrorism Act of 2002 (dubbed the MN PATRIOT Act), for their organizing in response to the 2008 Republican National Convention (RNC).


John Gibler
“We Will Continue”: Street Art In Oaxaca


You pick up the newspaper and it tells you that the governor has just inaugurated a new school in a far-off rural town. You turn on the television and you see a “reality” show where six men compete for the attention of one woman amidst unfathomable luxury on the beaches of Ibiza.

And then you walk out into the street and watch the walls as you walk and the walls tell you that the police assassinate, that 22 murders of activists in your town remain in impunity, and that people keep organizing, people rise up, people fight hack.


Charles Hale
Solidarity In Slowmotion

Between sips of Miller High Life I glance down the length of the bar: there is a twenty-six-year-old PhD candidate in mathematics; the assistant to the dean of the graduate school in her early thirties; a girl with more tattoos than fingers; our 53-year-old elder statesmen, and me a window cleaner.


Fifth Estate Collective
Periodicals Received

Anarchist Studies vol. 16 #1 (2008)

c/o Lawrence & Wishart,

99a Wallis Rd,

London E9 5LN, UK


£20.00 subscription

Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed #66 (Winter/Fall 2008)

PO Box 3488,

Berkeley, CA 94703


$20 / 5 issue subscription


Jim Feast
“The People’s Luck” Anti-authoritarian China


For the past two summers, I accompanied my wife, who speaks Cantonese and Mandarin, to China so we could tour part of the country before she started summer school in a master’s program in Chinese literature in Nanjing, a city famed not only for being pillaged by Japan in World War II, but also as the country’s center of teacher education.


Stevphen Shukaitis
Workers’ Inquiry Militant research and the business school

The autonomist political theorist and strategist Mario Tronti in his classic book Operai e capital argued that weapons for working class revolt have always been taken from the bosses’ arsenal.

At first glance this easily can come off as a kind of hyperbole or even a contradiction. Has not it often been argued, to use feminist writer Audre Lorde’s phrasing, that it is not possible to take apart the master’s house with the master’s tools? Despite the contradictions and tensions contained within his argument, Tronti said this with good reason, for he was writing from a social and historical context where this is just what was taking place. Autonomous politics in Italy emerging at this time greatly benefited from borrowing ideas and methods from bourgeois sociology and social sciences, as well as tools of management theory and industrial relations. And using these tools proceeded to build massive cycles of struggle that vastly changed the grounds of politics in the country and from which people have drawn much inspiration since then.


Don LaCoss
Like a Thief in the Night

a review of

Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark, edited by Paul Bogard. University of Nevada Press, 2008

The “Reconsidering Primitivism” issue of Fifth Estate #365 (Summer 2004) carried a short article called “Support for the Forces of Darkness” by Luci Williams that lamented the poisonous infection of the nighttime skies by industrial-commercial lighting and called for “direct action in defense of the dark” against “selfish aggressors waging perpetual war against the night.” Ringing with manifesto-like intentions in that same issue of FE was a piece by Peter Lamborn Wilson warning against electricity: “Some people like Black-Outs: consciously because they enjoy seeing things fucked up, perhaps unconsciously because the filth of dead light and noise suddenly dies with a moan. Other people fear Black-Outs for the same reasons. It depends on your relation with night, with darkness and primitivity.”


Dave Meesters
Bizarre Gnostic Science Fiction from the Author of Bolo’bolo

A review of

AKIBA: A Gnostic Novel, by p.m. Autonomedia, 2007

AKIBA, the new novel from Swiss writer p.m., belongs to a long tradition of utopian activist novels: it is not so much a work of art as a vehicle to illustrate the author’s political vision. Fans of p.m. will recognize the ideas, but might be surprised by the new sci-fi futurism that drives them.


Peter Lamborn Wilson
Partly Genius, Partly Quite Mad

a review of

Cyclonopedia: Complicity with anonymous materials, by Reza Negarestani. re.press, 2008

This book appears to be (but might not be) a treatise on Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the Nomadic War Machine, written by someone (said to be an Iranian philosopher) who’s bitten off a bit more French Theory than I can chew. It’s thinly disguised as a SciFi novel as written by or about a brilliant Iranian philosopher named Parsani (“the Persian”) who’s on the verge of paranoid schizophrenic breakdown, in which is embedded a commentary on H.P. Lovecraft and other pulp-horror mashers, in the light of Zoroastrian and Mesopotamian religion and myth (this part is so clever it transcends mere parody), using diagrams of bizarre topology and non-Euclidian geometry, creating fake sources and mixing them with real (but very obscure and erudite) sources--all aimed at an elaborate allegorization of Middle East oil politics and the War on Terror--and analysis that strikes me as partly the work of a genius and partly quite mad, although this is probably the author’s intention, if there is in fact an author.


Fifth Estate Collective
Montreal’s Fourth International Anarchist Theatre Festival May 13 & 14, 2009 With ‘The Living Theatre’

It’s the biggest and only anarchist theatre festival in the world, and it’s happening again during the month-long May 2009 Festival of Anarchy in North America’s favourite anarchist playground, Montreal, Quebec.

The fourth annual Montreal International Anarchist Theatre Festival (MIATF) takes place May 13 and 14, 2009, at Concordia University’s 400 seat D.B. Clarke Theatre, where last year, almost 800 people attended spectacular performances by The Bread & Puppet Theatre and other anarchist artists.