Fifth Estate Collective
Contents of Print Edition



FIFTH ESTATE #385 Fall, 2011, Vol. 46, #2, page 1

Print Edition Contents







Various Authors
Letters Our readers respond

Send letters to fe — AT — fifthestate.org or Fifth Estate, POB 201016, Ferndale MI 48220

All formats accepted including typescript & handwritten; letters may be edited for length.

The Fifth Estate/Support Marie Mason table at the 5th annual New York City Anarchist Book Fair, April 8–10. Several FE staff members and friends from Detroit and New York distributed 300 copies of the new FE, sold books, and back issues, and raised funds for Marie. The fair featured dozens of exhibitors, a film festival, workshops, children’s programs, and the 3rd Annual NYC Anarchist Art Festival PAnarko Lab” and art exhibit, including a Living Theatre performance. Hundreds of attendees crowded Judson Memorial Church.


Walker Lane (Peter Werbe)
Copyright or Wrong? Should anarchists, who oppose private property and the state, want copyright protection for their work? What if they get it whether they want it or not?

Most everyone knows that the small encircled, lower case letter “c” indicates that a piece of work is copyrighted, and that it designates legal protection of creative work and intellectual property. Perhaps the key word for this discussion is the last one in the sentence--property.

How copyrights are applied and the protection they provide for work that is intended as property within the commercial marketplace, on the face of it, wouldn’t seem to need much elaboration. However, its definitions and applications are quite complex, but fortunately aren’t what will be under discussion here. This article will center on how anti-statists can or should relate to state protection.


Fifth Estate Collective
June 11 International Day of Solidarity with Eric McDavid & Marie Mason

World-wide events organized to show solidarity with Marie Mason and Eric McDavid, the two longest sentenced environmental prisoners, were an overwhelming success.

Events took place in at least 30 cities across the world including two in New York City, ones in Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, and San Francisco, but also in places such as Fresno, Calif, Worcester, Mass., Salt Lake City, and Asheville, NC. Internationally, people responded in Toronto, Guelph, Ontario, Montreal, Melbourne, Barcelona, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv.


Jim Feast
Vietnam: Where the Political is Still Personal


a review of

In the Crossfire: Adventures of a Vietnamese Revolutionary, by Ngo Van; Eds. Ken Knabb and Helene Fleury; Trans. Helene Fleury, Hillary Horrocks, Ken Knabb, and Naomi Sager; AK Press; 2010; $19.95

There is a sub-genre of science fiction called alternative history, which consists of works such as Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, in which Germany wins World War II, and Hitler becomes the ruler of the U.S. Works of this type offer a counterfactual version of past events, allowing readers to think along different lines about how the world has developed.


Ron Sakolsky
Thin Ice, Deep Water The Vancouver Hockey Riots

The surging waters of the collective unconscious that were unleashed in the Vancouver “Hockey” Riot of June 2011 made it abundantly clear just how fragile the artificial ice age of industrial civilization can be when it comes in contact with the searing heat of the moment.

Faced with the nagging miserabilism of daily life, the emotional dam of mutual acquiescence finally burst its walls and a tidal wave of repressed desire obliterated the illusion of social peace.


Margaret Killjoy
A Brief History of Anarchist Fiction

People sometimes inquire what form of government is most suitable for an artist to live under. To this question there is only one answer. The form of government that is most suitable to the artist is no government at all

-- Oscar Wilde

I used to see my interests in anarchism and fiction as wholly separate things, because I didn’t know there was any overlap. None of my activist friends were writing stories--at least that they told me about--and I hadn’t yet realized how rich the history of anarchist fiction is. But there are anarchists, philosophical and active alike, in mainstream fiction--it’s just that their politics are rarely shown to the world. There are writers among the activists, but their writing is rarely distributed. And there is a remarkable, broad history of multilingual anarchist culture from around the world, although most of it is hidden by obscurity or time.


Brien O’shea
The Nacirema

A protester raises a black flag during the Pittsburgh G20

A voice says, “Step Forward,” and we do.

We stand one heel touching the other. We are haggard. We have slept coiled next to and on top of one another for weeks, maybe months, it’s impossible to know.

“Remove your clothing.“The voice says.

We do. Our bones jut, poke, and hang from our skins. We are not fed. The woman in front of me, my forward toe touching her back heel, is my wife. We are twenty-eight and will remain twenty-eight for eternity. At this point, I can’t care. I haven’t seen my wife naked in so long I don’t recognize her anymore. There are others behind me, five total.


Alan Franklin
Excerpts from Lives of the Saints



And what happens when you don’t take

the medication?

I’m a danger to myself and others.

Is that your opinion, or someone else’s?

I think we’re in agreement on this one.

What happened before you had the


I would eviscerate things with my teeth.

What kinds of things?

Moles. Voles. Shrews.


Ron Sakolsky
Sean Woods

Hoppin’ Aboard the Underground Railroad Fiction


The first night after leaving their hide-out in the Vancouver Island woods, Jerry and Max climbed the drawbridge off the last ferry of the day onto what they hoped would be the safety of Inner Island and headed down the beach to avoid meeting anyone.

Inner Island bobbed comfortably in the calm waters between the mountainous spine of Vancouver Island and the mainland Coast. After the indigenous Pentlatch had been decimated by lethal doses of smallpox and colonialism, it had- been settled for the past half century by an assortment of old-time pioneer families, hippie dropouts, draft dodgers, and a scattering of retired criminals.


Zeraph Dylan Moore
Coiled Rope Haikus inspired by Ursula K. Le Guin’s “Newton’s Sleep”



flat gray surfaces

curved metal architecture a cold sphere in space

the earth died screaming

epidemics, plagues

starvation, dead ground

above, we orbit

clean children, good water

Caucasian intellectuals

the holograms of

vermont skies or florida

glades o’er white steeples

til one day the burned


Phillip Norbury
It Will be Like This


My father had strong ideas about heaven. He would share them with his congregation like sweets for good behaviour. ‘There will be no gravity,’ he would say with irresistible certainty. ‘And no sun or moon. God’s love is all the light we need.’

At home on grim, rainy Saturdays he would stand looking out of the window for long durations while I lounged around reading comics. ‘We won’t have to endure this for much longer,’ he would say, looking up to the continents of clouds overhead. His eyes would close and a serene smile form in his mouth; and I, just a boy, would look up in wonder knowing that in those moments he was not thinking of this life, of me, but of paradise.


Alex Hooks
A Morning at the Library


For the past five years I have been a reference librarian at a small public library in Florida. Today I pulled into the parking lot at my usual time of eight-thirty. The Library did not open until ten, but people often lined up early at the front doors. The library was the most impressive building in town. It was big, modern and well lit. It really stood out among the small rental houses and grungy bars that make up the rest of the area. The only person waiting when I arrived was Marco. Marco sat at his usual morning post on the green bench next to the main glass doors of the library. He got there every morning hours before the library opened. Marco was in his fifties. He described himself as a special forces killing machine created by the United States government. He did not look like much of a killing machine. He was an overweight guy with a dazed facial expression. His dazed expression may have been caused by the prescription medications he got from the veteran’s administration or perhaps that was just his natural state. I did not know. He always wore black and had a collection of crosses hanging around his neck. These were the kinds of crosses they sell at the flea market for bikers and metal heads. Because of these decorations Marco was known to the young teens who hang out at the library as Ozzy. My car was the only car in the parking lot except for a big black Escalade. I knew it was not Marco’s. Marco rode the bus.


Penelope Rosemont

a review of Subversions: Anarchist Short Stories Ed. Anarchist Writers Bloc, Les Pages Noires 2011, Montreal 115 pages, Softcover, $14.95 U.S.

This collection is the first ever in English or French of new anarchist fiction. These sixteen stories, offer something for everyone: If you like action, there is plenty of action, as well as surprise endings and thought provoking parables. This is a great idea for a collection of stories and it is wonderful that it exists as an accomplished fact. Pulled together with lots of hard work and inspiration--expressing self-organization, self actualization and cooperation at its best--the publication of this book is a do-it-yourself revolutionary action that means to make a difference in this world.


Fifth Estate Collective
Activists Get $50,000 for FBI & Police Raid Prior to 2008 Republican Convention Preemptive, politically motivated raids are the police tactics used to suppress dissent

St. Paul, Minn. — Three activists and their attorneys won a $50,000 settlement May 23 in a lawsuit that challenged an August 30, 2008 police raid on a St. Paul home before that year’s Republican National Convention (RNC).

The plaintiffs in the case, Sarah Coffey (who wrote the FE’s Detroit anarchist convergence article in the Spring 2011 edition), Erin Stalnaker and Kris Hermes, are giving most of the award to the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, the Institute for Anarchist Studies, and the formation of a national legal defense fund for political activists.


Fifth Estate Collective
Anarchist Publications The Raging Pelican, A Journal of Gulf Coast Resistance; The Anvil Review; Psychic Swamp #1

Three new ones: The Raging Pelican; The Anvil Review; Psychic Swamp #1

The Raging Pelican, A Journal of Gulf Coast Resistance, published by a group of “blue collar New Orleans residents,” who are understandably pissed about what’s been done to their piece of planet. Their first issue came out in the weeks following the BP oil spill and they’ve broadened their focus to include a whole range of the worst abuses of cops, bureaucrats, politicians, and principals. Reach them at ragingpelican.com and on Facebook.


Gaza Youth Breaks Out
Gazan Youth’s Manifesto for Change

Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community! We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference like the Israeli F16’s breaking the wall of sound; scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in; we are like lice between two nails living a nightmare inside a nightmare, no room for hope, no space for freedom. We are sick of being caught in this political struggle; sick of coal dark nights with airplanes circling above our homes; sick of innocent farmers getting shot in the buffer zone because they are taking care of their lands; sick of bearded guys walking around with their guns abusing their power, beating up or incarcerating young people demonstrating for what they believe in; sick of the wall of shame that separates us from the rest of our country and keeps us imprisoned in a stamp-sized piece of land; sick of being portrayed as terrorists, homemade fanatics with explosives in our pockets and evil in our eyes; sick of the indifference we meet from the international community, the so-called experts in expressing concerns and drafting resolutions but cowards in enforcing anything they agree on; we are sick and tired of living a shitty life, being kept in jail by Israel, beaten up by Hamas and completely ignored by the rest of the world.


Dan Georgakas
Hell No, We Won’t Pay Uprisings in Greece

The international press is constantly writing about the economic crisis in Greece. Economic pundits speculate less about whether or not Greece will default but in what manner and when. Absent from these considerations is the massive popular revolt in Greece against the Draconian measures already in place. Totally absent from mainstream commentary is the effect on European stability the mass resistance developing in Greece might have if replicated in other EU nations. The massive marches in Greece have gotten considerable coverage, but far more significant are the unreported successes of the I Won’t Pay movement and the communal revolt in Keratea, a small seaside town 25 miles southeast of Athens.


J.E. Hamilton
“We are sleeping, let’s wake up” The uprising of the Indignadxs in Spain

On the left: a white-haired shoemaker in checkered shirt and brown khakis, casting uneasy glances at the circle of people surrounding him. A smirk settles on his lips as he prepares a witty rejoinder; perhaps he’s amused by the tourists, too.

To the right: a tan young man with a single dreadlocked braid hanging from the back of his scalp, tattered pajama pants, dirty fingernails. His hands move in front of him as though describing a box, and the words come slowly, ineloquently. His eyes evince a friendly conviction.


Fifth Estate Collective
Philip Levine An anarchist is America’s Poet Laureate


Detroit-born and raised, and self-described anarchist, Philip Levine was named the U.S. Poet Laureate by the Library of Congress in August. The post, whose task entails raising “the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry,” may take on a different than usual dimension during Levine’s tenure given his politics.


Fifth Estate Collective
Larry Portis In Memorium

Larry Portis (1943–2011)

Larry:Portis grew up in a working-class family in Seattle, Washington and Billings, Montana. His father was a sheet metal worker and city fireman. His mother was an occasional secretary. At the age of 18 he married and quickly had two children. In 1968 he graduated from Montana State University Billings where he was active in university and local politics, wrote (1965 through 1968) weekly articles on politics for the university- newspaper (The Retort) and created an underground newspaper (The Free Student Press) in addition to working for a living. Before leaving the area he participated in organizing the municipal water workers in Billings.


Fifth Estate Collective
Call for Submissions For FE #386, Theme: “Revolution”

The Fifth Estate has always proudly displayed the FBI’s description of this publication as “supporting revolution everywhere,” but the world has greatly changed since the U.S. secret police prowled around our offices and kept tabs on staff members in the 1960s.

Those evil gumshoes knew little about what constitutes an authentic overthrow of the current misery and the restructuring of its causes along revolutionary principles. But, perhaps the armored toadies of the state intuited something important: that society perpetuates itself through people’s habit of submission to authority, and that even the smallest act of rebellion contains the seeds of total revolt.


Max Cafard
“The Politics of the Imagination” (excerpt)

[The] utopia of domination is utopia as escapism. This danger is especially real for those utopians who have been frustrated in their efforts to realize their dreams, or who do not even reach the level of praxis. Utopia as escapism remains in the vacuous realm of what Hegel called the Beautiful Soul, of those Dreamers of Moral Perfection who are unable to cope with the ugliness and ambiguity of the world, and therefore cling to a bloodless ideal.