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S. Flynn
Dispatch from Exarchia A Summer of Unrest in Athens

On July 9, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s ruling New Democracy party pushed through an opportunistic law restricting public protest.

This is part of a larger assault on Exarchia, the Athens neighborhood that is home to autonomous anarchist projects, migrant communities, and self-managed squats.

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Various Authors
Letters

Send letters to fe AT fifthestate DOT org or Fifth Estate, P.O. Box 201016, Ferndale, MI 48220.

All formats accepted including typescript & handwritten.

Letters may be edited for length.

Naming people

Rob Blurton’s article, “Anarchy in the Midwest,” [FE #406, Spring 2020] uses the term Native American to describe the people living in the lands invaded by Europeans.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Masthead

Fifth Estate

Radical Publishing since 1965

Vol. 55, No. 2, #407, Fall 2020

The Fifth Estate is an anti-profit, anarchist project published by a volunteer collective of friends and comrades.

No ads. No copyright. Kopimi — reprint freely

www.FIFTHESTATE.org

Fifth Estate Collective
Now We All Know What Matters

The summary execution of George Floyd by a defender of white supremacy has its antecedents in the contact of Europeans with Africans in the early 17th century. Since then, black people have been killed when any resistance was offered or even suspected.

In villages in Gambia, on slave ships, in Charleston Harbor, on plantations, in small towns and on back roads of the South, on the streets of any city in America today at the hands of police, unchronicled violence was and is practiced as terror and punishment against black people for not accepting their assigned lowly status. Few ever had their names said the way George floyd’s has all over the world.

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Steven Cline
Minneapolis Athanor

Beautiful, marvelous weeks.

America is on fire, america is shining, america is a flower of joyful rage. A dead tree, bearing unexpected fruit.

A fresh batch of lynchings by repulsive pigs and pig wannabes earlier in May. Yet this time it felt different. The wound had a stronger sting to it. Patience already worn thin. It was too much, too much.

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Frank Joyce
A Right Wing Man Named Cotton from the Land of Cotton Tells the Truth About Racialized Capitalism

As the story goes, Abraham Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the bestselling and game changing Uncle Tom’s Cabin. “So,” he said, “you’re the little lady who started all the trouble.”

Historian Gerald Horne started some trouble too. His book, The Counter Revolution of 1776, published in 2014, brought into the light of day the long suppressed truth about the so called revolution. More recently, the 1619 Project featured in The New York Times expanded awareness of how much the commitment to enslavement drove the violent secession from British colonial rule.

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Rui Preti
Life in an Autonomous Zone Seattle’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest

The lynching of a black man, George Floyd, by a white Minneapolis policeman on May 25, sparked widespread and sustained protests, some escalating to uprisings, across the country and the world. They began as a cry against police killings of Black and Brown people, and many grew to include broader demands such as the abolition of the police and prisons and the widespread surveillance and control of daily life. Many also identified with demands for eliminating racial oppression, de-colonization and reparations for past wrongs.

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Cara Hoffman
Seeing Seattle An Interview with Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is an author and queer anti-assimilationist activist living in the Capitol Hill district of Seattle. She spoke with Fifth Estate on July 2, the day CHOP, the district’s autonomous zone, was demolished by police. Sycamore’s latest novel The Freezer Door is in part about the stranglehold the suburban imagination has on city life; a meditation on the trauma and possibility of searching for connection in a world that enforces bland norms of gender, sexual, and social conformity.

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Wayne Price
The Need for a Revolutionary Anarchist Movement Has Never Been Greater

Anarchism is everywhere in the media recently. Anarchists are blamed and denounced by a wide spectrum of politicians. Trump and his followers denounce anarchists and antifa as being the central figures in the Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

Democrats make a distinction between those they designate as peaceful protesters and bad, violent anarchists who, echoing the Republicans, they charge are responsible for property damage and engage in looting.

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Bryan Tucker
Pushing on What’s Falling Uprisings in a Crumbling Empire

Before the global pandemic and waves of insurrection, gaps in the empire’s dominion were already widening. The culture wars were escalating, tensions between older and younger generations mounting, the health care system showing its serious inadequacies, psychiatric problems becoming ubiquitous, and environmental devastation rapidly accelerating.

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Bruce Trigg
Liberating Public Health from the State Anarchist Solutions in the Age of COVID

Most public health concerns are ultimately local. Mutual aid projects and autonomous zones from New York City to Seattle, and from Chiapas and Rojava have shown how democratically controlled, non-hierarchical communities provide not only food and shelter but also health education, training and tools for people to care for themselves and their communities, families and comrades.

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Gabriel Rosenstock
Haiku

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is áille ná bratacha an domhain é ...

an níochán

ar an líne

.

more beautiful

than the flags of all nations ...

washing on the line

A haiku in Irish and English by Gabriel Rosenstock (Ireland) with artwork by Masood Hussain (Kashmir) whose first book together, Walk with Gandhi, commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Mahatma’s birth. More bilingual haiku posters from them are available at

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Fran Shor
Solidarity in the Time of a Virus Albert Camus’ The Plague

As a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, there is renewed interest in Albert Camus’ 1947 novel, The Plague. While providing a fictional confrontation with a life-threatening infectious disease, the novel also reflects Camus’ perspectives on solidarity. Those expressions of solidarity convey meanings that have resonance for our present situation in relation to Covid-19.

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John Zerzan
Death & the Zeitgeist

We are in mass society’s Age of Pandemics. At this stage of civilization nothing is stable or secure. The Age of Pandemics is also the Age of Extinction, as in no longer existing.

Death as an existential, ontological matter.

Nursing homes, prisons, meat packing factories—where humans and other animals are warehoused under the sign of Death. Meanwhile, life continues at the extremes of representation, the time of the virtual spectacle. Digital validation is the norm in hypermodernity. What exists is what is on the screen, displayed on the display screen and not elsewhere.

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Steve Kirk
Life & Rewilding in the Pandemic

“Sridevi and her relatives collected nine types of Dioscorea tubers; some extended deep underground. The ease and flow of the work, and the general lack of rules governing the way spouses cooperated in doing this job, struck me.”

—Nurit Bird-David, Us, Relatives: Scaling and Plural Life in a Forager World

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Panos Papadimitropoulos
George Sotiropoulos

Collective Action in the Time of Covid-19 Reflections from Greece

As the Covid-19 epidemic spread through the world at the beginning of 2020, the governments of many countries, including Greece, enacted emergency quarantine and stringent lock-down measures. There was a fear among social activists that collective action would be stifled.

Nonetheless, collective action emerged in Greece, mainly on two fronts. There was a mobilization of health workers against the government’s inadequate funding of public health care, as well as grassroots forms of mutual aid. The latter took shape mainly in Athens through two distinct networks.

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Bill Weinberg
Two Faces of Fascism COVID-19 New Normal and Trump Backlash Pose Grave Threats to Freedom

Around Lower Manhattan, storefronts have been boarded up since the looting in June. The plywood has been covered with murals and graffiti art on the theme of Black Lives Matter. Throughout June, angry protests were a daily affair, as in cities across the country.

Since the murder of George Floyd, the moment seems ripe with potential for a truly revolutionary situation. Anarchist ideas like abolishing the police are entering mainstream discourse with astonishing rapidity.

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Charlie Ebert
Questions we Have to Ask Planning Living Spaces for a Revolutionary Future

Over the past year, on the streets of Santiago, I witnessed a movement that has transformed my perspective on anarchism coming to Chile shortly after its revolt began.

Officially a response to a minor hike in the metro fare, the popular wave of rebellion was, in reality, the result of fifteen years of revolutionary ferment.

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Various Authors
A Spark In Search of a Powder Keg International surrealist declaration

Rebellion is its own justification, completely independent of the chance it has to modify the state of affairs that gives rise to it. It’s a spark in the wind, but a spark in search of a powder keg.

—André Breton

If only one thing has brought me joy in the last few weeks, it began when the matriarchs at Unist’ot’en burned the Canadian flag and declared reconciliation is dead. Like wildfire, it swept through the hearts of youth across the territories. Reconciliation was a distraction, a way for them to dangle a carrot in front of us and trick us into behaving. Do we not have a right to the land stolen from our ancestors? It’s time to shut everything the fuck down!

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