Various Authors
Letters Our Readers Respond

Send letters to fe@fifthestate.org or Fifth Estate, POB 201016, Ferndale MI 48220. All formats accepted including typescript & handwritten; letters may be edited for length.


Thank you to the comrades of the Fifth Estate for publishing John Clark’s review and remembering my father so fondly. (See Winter 2017 FE, “Sam Dolgoff: A life at the center of American anarchism for seventy years.”)


Fifth Estate Collective
Contents of print edition

Cover: Occupy Wall Street, Zuccotti Park, NYC 2011, MTT mttphoto.com

4 Seattle Shooting


6 A Fascist by Any Other Name

Bill Weinberg

8 The Struggle to Get Back to Zero

Peter Werbe

10 Veil of the Vile

Jesús Sepúlveda

12 Eat Your President

The Mormyrids

14 The Russian Revolution Unfinished


Fifth Estate Collective
It’s all connected

Growing numbers of people compelled to flee their homes because of ongoing devastations of wars, cataclysmic climate change, and intractable environmental crises! It’s not a Hollywood sci-fi horror movie—it’s the world of industrialization and capitalism. As the system grinds on, it continues to multiply threats to all living creatures on the planet.


Fifth Estate Collective
Revolting! Issue intro

We took on the theme of Revolution, Revolts, Riots, and Rebellions even before the candidates were chosen by the major parties for the US election.

As we say in these pages, social explosions are generated by the oppressive nature of the state itself, and of the economies it has always protected—from early slave society, through feudalism, and into capitalism.



An Anarchist is Shot in Seattle How will it be resolved? By the State or with Restorative Justice?

An unarmed protester is shot by a right-winger and the wounded anarchist does not want to rely on the punitive power of the state. What are the alternatives?

On the night of Donald Trump’s inauguration, January 20, Hex, an IWW organizer, street medic and anarchist, was shot and severely wounded at a protest against Milo Yiannopoulos’s speaking engagement at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle.


Bill Weinberg
A Fascist by Any Other Name Donald Trump

In the streets of Washington DC on Inauguration Day, Black Bloc protesters notoriously smashed windows and set a limousine on fire. Fortunately, I wound up on the other side of the police lines when the cops sealed off the area and herded some 200 into pens of metal barricades, where they were kept waiting in the cold for hours before being hauled off to jail.


Peter Werbe
The Struggle to Get Back to Zero The day before the 2016 election

There have been long standing political and theoretical debates about whether a particular political movement or leader is fascist. In the article before this one, as Bill Weinberg attests in the previous pages, it can come down to hairsplitting. Is Trump a fascist? Was the Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco? Or, Argentina’s Juan Peron? Or, is the term fascist applied indiscriminately to any oppressive government and politician?


Jesús Sepúlveda
Pulling Back the Veil of the Vile Social Revolt & the End of Dictatorship

In Memoriam Luis Ortiz Puppo*

Populism is the manifestation of political demagogy that combines financial power and indoctrinated populations. Propaganda is used to indoctrinate the mob.

This social base can amount to a significant percentage of the population—as in Mussolini’s Italy or Nazi Germany—or a small but highly-visible group effusively cheering on their defiant and confrontational leader. Such a leader carries out a plan to revise history and accommodate reality to his own ideology


The Mormyrids
Eat Your President for Breakfast

The long and tiresome electoral campaign of President Posterior revealed to home audiences (we can hardly call the unmobilized American masses anything else) the dyspeptic underbelly of the liberal-democratic fantasy.

Locked within the confines of their curated Internet timelines and baseless feel-good truisms about voting, clueless pseudorationalists speak about waking up to a new epoch. We cannot call it an awakening. Perhaps it is more like a fit of hypnopompic sleep paralysis and its accompanying suite of horrible hallucinations.


Fifth Estate Collective
The Refusal to Be Ruled Theme intro

Revolutions, Revolts, Riots, and Rebellions have been a constant in human affairs since the emergence of the state 8,000 years ago. They are popular responses to life being administered by a political apparatus which governs on behalf of a class of rulers. They are sometimes planned; other times, spontaneous.


The Russian Revolution Unfinished

“Whether one chooses to examine the opening phases of the French Revolution of 1789, the revolutions of 1848, the Paris Commune, the 1905 revolution in Russia, the overthrow of the Tsar in 1917, the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the French general strike of 1968, the opening stages are generally the same: a period of ferment that explodes spontaneously into a mass upsurge.”

—Murray Bookchin, “Myth of the Party: Bolshevik Mystification and Counter-Revolution,” Fifth Estate #272, May 1976 and in our anti-Marx issue, #393, Spring 2015.


Fifth Estate Collective
1967: Detroit Explodes


The 1967 Detroit Rebellion began unexpectedly. Still, it should have been anticipated. At 3:45 a.m. on a still scorching hot early morning on July 23, 1967, cops raided an all black, after-hours drinking spot, locally called a blind pig, and began roughly herding patrons into police wagons.

This was no different an occurrence than had happened numerous times previously. The Detroit police were roundly hated by black people as a white occupation force staffed by corrupt and brutal racists who routinely made life even more miserable for a mostly impoverished community. Normally, arrests and police harassment went unanswered.


Frank H. Joyce
How White Supremacy Progresses Fifty Years of Lessons from Detroit 1967

The almost all white Michigan National Guard charges down Detroit’s 12th Street where the 1967 Rebellion began.

Frank Joyce, was the Fifth Estate News Editor 50 years ago, and rejoins us with reflections on the 1967 events.

“I calmed the tremor in my gut. I was in close quarters with some representative specimens of the most dangerous creatures in the history of the world, the white man in a suit.”


Various Authors
Excerpts from a Rebellion How the Fifth Estate Reported It

The following are excerpts from stories published in the Fifth Estate immediately following the July 1967 events.

Reading them a half century later, one is saddened and angered by the fact that the causes of the Rebellion—police brutality, racial discrimination, and wealth inequality—remain virulent and unresolved.



Barcelona’s Can Vies social center saved How Solidarity & Mutual Aid Saved Barcelona’s Can Vies Squat from Eviction & Destruction

The Can Vies social centre in Barcelona made headlines around the world when its eviction led to five consecutive nights of rioting in late May 2014. But the social center has a longer history than this.

Can Vies, originally built in 1879 to stock construction materials for the city’s subway, became the headquarters of the anarcho-syndicalist CNT transport union during the 1930s Spanish Revolution. Following Franco’s victory in 1939, the building became the center for a fascist, hierarchal labor union.


Amanda Schemkes
Free the Cleveland 4 Entrapped Activists Need Movement Support


The Cleveland 4 need continued movement support as they deal with harsh sentences resulting from the interest that the government has in orchestrating terrorism convictions.

The Cleveland 4 are Brandon Baxter, Connor Stevens, Doug Wright, and Joshua Stafford, a group of young Occupy activists who were entrapped into a government-created terrorism plot to blow up a bridge in 2012.


Fifth Estate Collective
The Revolted! Show

A Political Art Show—January 22-February 12, 2017

Produced by 333 Midland at their Annex Gallery,

Highland Park, Michigan www.333Midland.com

Cary Loren, found urinal, gold paint, stickers

Curator: Rick Cronn

33 Artists; 66 works

333 Midland is located in a complex of abandoned postindustrial factories brought back to life by a renaissance of Detroit artists.


Eric Laursen
The War on the Elderly Republican attacks on social insurance open the door to anarchist solutions

Poster: Ernesto Yrena. One of many available for free download at theamplifierfoundation.org. Hundreds of them were put up all over Washington for the Trump inauguration.

Now that Donald J. Trump has brought bogus right-wing populism back to the White House and Congress is under firm Republican control, serious talk about gutting Social Security and Medicare is again coursing through Washington.


Gary Ives
This Is BioMorph Fiction

Welcome to BioMorph. I’m Herb Fanley. You’ve read the brochures and watched our holograms I see. Please have a seat and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.” “Would you care for coffee? Good. We can relax a little before we get to your questions and take the opportunity to have a good look at a C-Drone.”


Luis Chávez
(Re)Thinking Music & Revolution

Consider destroying (or purposefully forgetting) your headphones.

Whether you live in a city or rural area, the daily use of headphones physically and aurally blocks your connection to the surrounding sonic environment. Listening as a way of knowing is lost to listening as a way of consuming.

An SFGate news story, “Absorbed Device Users Oblivious to Danger,” recounts a 2013 incident on a San Francisco light rail train that illustrates one of the many dangerous consequences of alienation created by industrial, technological society.


Mateo Pimentel
Social Technologies & Politics Police Body Cams: How they hurt those who are supposed to be helped

As the importance of social technologies increases, many users fail to pay sufficient critical attention to the political incursions that such technologies invite.

Millions who cannot fathom life without social technologies are, in all likelihood, the same demographic that is most willing to excuse the political transgressions these technologies engender—particularly if the consequent harm affects people other than themselves.


Bryan Tucker
Virtuality, Sociopathy & Hyperabsence The time is ripe for resistance

The work/sleep, shop/discard, lose/win, simulated existence that is thrust upon us is fundamentally forced participation in an electro-sociopathic process.

With computer mediation steadily consuming discourse life is increasingly lived behind, and for, a screen. As contemporary civilization continues this conversion into omnipresent, digitized drudgery, antisocial propensities mushroom, a listless insatiability abounds, while feelings and insight are left behind.


Fifth Estate Collective
Black & Red Books Now Out-of-Print Influenced the Fifth Estate Reprinting of them urged

Although many of the influential radical titles from Black & Red Books, printed at the Detroit-based Detroit Printing Co-op between 1970 and 1980 are out of print, their relevance hasn’t lessened with the passing years. It is hoped there is interest in republishing them.

The books contain repressed histories, critiques from ultra-left, council communist, and anarchist sources. Discovering the works of Fredy Perlman, Jacques Camatte, Guy Debord, and others through B&R books contained the ideas that energized this publication to continue printing at a time of political quietism.


Bill Blank
Busking behind the Barricades Book review

a review of

A Busker’s Adventure by David Rovics. Various e-book formats at davidrovics.com/

David Rovics hails from a long lineage of gifted topical American folk guitar singers originally birthed by Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, and Pete Seeger, with blazing torches passed on through its most notable stepchildren, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton and, of course, Bob Dylan, at least before he “went electric” (as alarmingly noted in that 1965 first issue of the Fifth Estate).


Ron Sakolsky
Surrealism on the Barricades


excerpt from

Breaking Loose: Mutual Acquiescence or Mutual Aid? LBC Books, 2015, lbcbooks.org

Back in 1995, as the banlieues burned, the Paris Surrealist group put out a tract entitled Warning Lights: A Surrealist Statement on the Recent Riots in France, delineating the unrealized potential of such multi-racial uprisings in the inner suburban immigrant quarters to spread across the country.


Human-like Robots

Äkta Människor (Real Humans)

SVT 1 Sweden, 2012. Syndicated in 50 countries including U.S.

After watching twenty episodes from two seasons of the Swedish TV series, “Real Humans,” I am left with several questions. It’s terrifying to know that there are scientists, particularly in Japan, who are working on creating robots to be both intelligent and human-like.


Peter Werbe
James Baldwin 3 Friends & Race in America

James Baldwin, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Jr.

a film review of

“I Am Not Your Negro” (2016). Director: Raoul Peck; Writer: James Baldwin; Narration: Samuel L. Jackson. 135 min.

The title of this documentary about novelist, playwright, poet, and essayist James Baldwin is not spoken as such in the film. Where the line is uttered in this excellent film by Haitian-born director, Raoul Peck, Baldwin tells a British audience, “I am not your...” and uses the “N” word to complete his sentence.


Learning from the Complexities of History More than one way to query the past, many questions to ask

a review of

Unruly Equality: U.S. Anarchism in the Twentieth Century by Andrew Cornell. University of California Press, 2016

Nonviolence Ain’t What It Used To Be: Unarmed Insurrection and the Rhetoric of Resistance by Shon Meckfessel. AK Press, 2016

Reading about history with anarchist ideas in mind can often be inspiring and sometimes even lead to insights useful in present-day situations. Andrew Cornell and Shon Meckfessel have written books that are treasure-troves of information about the multifaceted 20th century North American radical movements for societal change. They are helpful companions to the various memoirs and retrospectives on anarchist groups of the period published during the past decade by Anatole Dolgoff, Penelope Rosemont, Franklin Rosemont, Larry Gambone, Ben Morea, and others.


Fifth Estate Collective
Texas Anti-Prison Gathering Set for June

A second Convergence Against Toxic Prisons will take place June 2–5, 2017 in Fort Worth, Tex., the city where the Carswell Federal Medical Center is located. The gathering will feature speakers, panels, workshops, protests and cultural activities, including an art show and hip-hop performances, and demonstrations.


Marius Mason
Some Thoughts on Alexander Berkman’s Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist by an Imprisoned Anarchist

a review of

Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist by Alexander Berkman. Annotated and Introduction by Jessica Moran & Barry Pateman. AK Press, 2017, (Originally published: 1912), 550 pp. akpress.org

“Thick clouds of smoke over cast the sky, shrouding the morning with somber gray. The air is heavy with soot and cinders; the smell is nauseating. In the distance, giant furnaces vomit pillars of fire, the lurid flashes accentuating a line of frame structures, dilapidated and miserable...The sight fills me with hatred of the perverse social order that turns the needs of mankind into an Inferno of brutalizing toil (that) grinds flesh and blood into iron and steel, transmutes human lives into gold, gold, countless gold.”


Bill Meyer
Sasha on an iPhone Abigail Child’s New Emma Goldman Film Merges Anarchist History with Present Struggles

a review of

“Acts and Intermissions: Emma Goldman in America.” 2017. USA. Directed by Abigail Child; 57 min. abigailchild.com

Abigail Child is a prolific and active visual artist whose works have appeared in prestigious international galleries; an author of five poetry books, including a book of critical writings on film; and a professor of video/film production and history.


Fifth Estate Collective
Black & Green Celebrates 17th Anniversary with New Issue of Its Review

a review of

Black and Green Review #4, Winter 2016 BlackAndGreenPress.org, 214 pp., $10

Kevin Tucker started the Black and Green Network in 2000 to create a centralized place where green anarchist and anarcho-primitivist projects, both nationally and internationally, could connect. After years of successful gatherings, Tucker launched Black and Green Review (BGAR) which he co-edits with five others.


David Rovics
Robb Johnson A Singer/Songwriter You May Never Have Heard Of, But Should

a review of

“A Reasonable History of Impossible Demands: The Damage to Date 1986–2013.” Robb Johnson, 92 songs on 5 CDs with 64-page booklet. PM Press, 2015, pmpress.org

At a time when independent publishers and record labels are going out of business at a rapid rate, PM Press keeps on putting out books, pamphlets, videos, and various other things—including CDs.