Ron Sakolsky
Anarchist Cabaret

a review of

The Anarchist and the Devil Do Cabaret by Norman Nawrocki, Black Rose Books, 2002, 192 pp., $20

Earlier this year, while rummaging through my collection of oppositional music to find some anti-war material in order to counter Dubya’s lies about the invasion and occupation of Iraq, I started my search by going back to the Gulf War of George I. One of the initial jewels to emerge from that pile of recordings was a 1991 cassette by Rhythm Activism, War Is The Health of the State.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Bookstore in a Barn

an hour east of Nashville

(615) 536–5999

FifthEstate@pumpkinhollow.net

To order, send check, money order, or well-concealed cash to:

Fifth Estate Books

PO Box 6

Liberty, TN 37095

Please add $2 shipping/handling for first item ($1 for the 2nd, $.50 for the third, & so on)

NEW

Franklin Rosemont

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Peter Werbe
Dancing for Our Lives An Introduction to Paul Halmos

The following essay [“The Decline of the Choral Dance,” FE #361, Summer 2003] couldn’t have entered my consciousness at a better time. It was 1962, and I had spent my late teens and early twenties reading intensely in an attempt to discover the fundamental qualities of existence.

Reality seemed pretty bleak. Rigid conformity, compulsory patriotism, fear of atomic annihilation, and a cultural wasteland of had movies and boring music predominated in 1950s mainstream society.

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Julie Herrada
Joe Hill Book Review

a review of

Joe Hill: The IWW & the Making of a Revolutionary Working-class Counterculture, by Franklin Rosemont, Charles H. Kerr, Chicago, 2003, 639 pp. $17.00

“...singing through the hard time for the good times to come...”

—Utah Phillips, IWW storyteller and folk singer

The day I received this book, I also went to see Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony, a documentary about the protest music of Apartheid South Africa. In the film, freedom fighter Lindiwe Zulu told about the reaction when black activists would lose one of their comrades in the struggle.

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Eddan Katz
Revolution is not an AOL Keyword

You will not be able to stay home, dear Netizen.

You will not be able to plug in, log on and opt out.

You will not be able to lose yourself in Final Fantasy,

Or hold your Kazaa download queues,

Because revolution is not an AOL Keyword.

.

Revolution is not an AOL Keyword.

Revolution will not be brought to you on Hi-Def TV

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John Brinker
Running on Emptiness Book review

a review of

Running on Emptiness: The Pathology of Civilization, By John Zerzan, Feral House, Los Angeles, 2002, 214 pp., $12

John Zerzan hardly needs an introduction here; few modern anarchist writers are as well-known, controversial, and divisive. Zerzan is the founder and leading philosopher of what he calls anarcho-primitivism.

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Hakim Bey
Tectum Theatrum

It’s easy to understand how images have come to replace the realities at the heart of our lives. When reality appears to have nothing to offer us half so seductive as images, why not? On the subconscious level, we “know” that the world has little to give in the way of bliss, ecstasy, love, adventure, luxury, joy, etc.—little but work, disappointment, rejection, failure, sickness, isolation, boredom, and death. We “know” this because we learn it at school—it’s the unspoken subtext of nearly all “education” and other forms of therapy.

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Paul Halmos
The Decline of the Choral Dance

FE Note: This is an excerpted version of Halmos’ article which appears in Man Alone: Alienation in Modern Society (Dell 1962)

“One may judge of a King by the state of dancing during his reign.”

—Ancient Chinese maxim.

Artistic expression, even when dilettante, is one of the most satisfactory forms of objectifying and thus projecting inner tensions. The dance is undoubtedly the most ancient form of artistic expression; its unique position among the arts is guaranteed by more than mere seniority: as we have seen, the dance is essentially a cooperative art, an art of the group and not of the solitary individual. Though there are isolated examples of solo and couple dances among primitive peoples, they are not truly solo or couple performances; they presuppose the presence of singing and rhythmically tapping audiences who open the dance or who join in it later. In pre-cultural human society, dance must have been a universal form of expressing strong emotions collectively. Admittedly, there have been reports of some danceless peoples, yet so long as we accept testimonies from observers on animal-dances—e.g., Kohler’s reports that his apes had danced too—we cannot be far wrong in concluding that the dance was a universal play-form in pre-cultural communities.

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Mike Davis
The Ray Charles Riots

FE Note: Mike Davis’s captivating new collection of essays, Dead Cities, and Other Tales (New Press) chronicles many facets of the long-running anti-authoritarian struggles to reclaim public spaces. The book includes a 2001 article for on teenage riots in California before 1965, “As Bad as the H-Bomb.” Police, professional Red baiters, and Hearst’s newspapers warned that California’s teenage riots, illegal drag races, beatniks, and heavy petting at drive-ins was a dangerous pattern of subversion orchestrated by ingeniously sinister Communists.

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Oh No Bonobo
An introduction to music & dance The Revolution will be a mix tape

Articles in this section

Jazz. Funk. Folk. Punk. Trance. Hip Hop. Old Time. Blues. Electric. Acoustic. Recorded. Live. When we decided to do an issue on “Music and Dance,” we knew that we could not devote too much time to any one genre or artist.

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Don LaCoss
Paul Garon

Devil’s Music A conversation with Paul Garon

Interview by Don LaCoss, April 2003, Chicago

Poet, storyteller, and cultural critic Paul Garon co-founded Living Blues, a periodical that, from its origins in the early 1970s, documented and supported blues music as an innovative and revolutionary African-American response to discrimination, abuse, and injustice by whites.

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Apollo
Sacred, Sweet, Wicked Ecstasy Electronic Dance Music & Social Liberation

Editors’ note: Thanks to some typically sleazy last-minute conniving by Democratic Senator Joseph Biden, the “Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstasy” (R.A.V.E.) Act was signed into Federal law by Bush on April 30, 2003.

The bill’s introduction says in no uncertain terms that raves are “drug dens” where promoters sell illegal drugs and charge exorbitant prices for Ecstasy paraphernalia, such as bottled water, massage oil, and glow sticks. Under the law’s measures, property owners/renters/leasers and event promoters are criminally liable for drug use on their premises and may he fined up to $250,000 and nine years in prison. The effect, of course, is to discourage the electronic music events since the actions of just one dancer could result in a fine or jail time for event organizers.

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Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
The revolution will be a festival

“Free festivals are a threat to mainstream capitalist society in amerika. Anyone questioning the commodification of our public lands and national forests, anyone who believes in the right to peaceably assemble, or anyone supporting a worldview where human rights come before property rights will be seen as a threat.”

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MaxZine Weinstein
Resistance Begins at Home

While working as a human rights activist in Guatemala, I learned some of the most profound lessons of resistance. There, I experienced some of the greatest despair imaginable and some of the greatest hope.

In the 1950s, reformers and an indigenous majority—who wanted to end hunger and virtual enslavement on fruit and coffee plantations—challenged generations of neo-colonial rule. Their pleas for freedom were met by a CIA/US corporate directed coup, a series of military dictators and a scorched earth campaign against Mayan villages. Death squads committed a notorious crime against Guatemalans, the torture and murder of desaparecidos thought to be subversives—tens of thousands have been disappeared and never heard from again. The targets: union organizers, students, human rights supporters, and anyone in the wrong place at the wrong time. When people spoke out against these horrors they, too, would disappear, ensuring a frightened public would not organize effective resistance.

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Don LaCoss
Spooky’s Furious & Funky Audiophonic Collage

REVIEW: Various artists remixed by DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, Live Without Dead Time. From Adbusters #47 “Nightmares of Reason,” May/June 2003.

The Live Without Dead Time CD can be found in the anti-consumerist art magazine Adbusters; it highlights DJ Spooky’s uncanny skill in crafting deep sonic climates with up-front agitprop intentions. Paul D. Miller grew up in DC and now works as a conceptual artist, writer, and musician in NYC where he is best known as “DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid” collaborating with the likes of ex-Rage Against the Machine vocalist Zach de la Rocha in a blistering anti-war shout called “March of Death.” Rather than cobbling together tracks for the dance floor, DJ Spooky welds together seamless and densely-detailed collective hallucinations better suited for headphones.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Dedication

We dedicate this Issue to the World-Wide Peace Movement & to Rachel Corrie: Martyr for Justice.

Following the Empire’s triumphal march to Baghdad, it seems appropriate to express our deep regret at being unable to stop Bush’s long-planned war to control Middle East oil, while simultaneously celebrating our participation in history’s largest mass movement for peace.

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Fifth Estate Collective
CrimethInc.

Join us in the Streets Before it’s Too Late...

The demonstrations against the war, though they were probably the biggest and most widespread demonstrations in the history of the world, were ignored by our so-called representatives. That’s right: neither our votes, nor our letters to our congressmen, nor the opinions of our allies, nor our efforts to show our numbers in the streets have had any influence on their decisions.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Masthead

3-s-361-summer-2003-2-masthead-1.png

Fifth Estate

North America’s Oldest Anti-Authoritarian Periodical

Promoting rebellion since 1965

FIFTH ESTATE #361, Summer 2003, Vol. 38 No. 2, page 2

The Fifth Estate (ISSN # 00-15-800) is published quarterly.

Subscriptions: $10 for four issues; $20 for international, including Canada and Mexico

No Copyright. No Paid Staff. No Paid Advertising

...

Sandy Feldheim
Montreal Bookfair Mixes Theory with Practice

MONTREAL—In the narrow street outside the building where the fourth annual Montreal Anarchist Bookfair had taken place, May 17–18, people milled around—chatting about the workshops and thanking us for a well organized weekend The members of the collective ‘were wired, tired, and relieved following the weeks of activity.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Not our Troops Not our Flag, Not our Empire

They Create a Desert & Call it Peace: Welcome to the Occupation

With the horrible invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq threatening to expand to one or more of the other fifty-nine countries on the White House hit list, it’s tempting to compare the imperialist lust of the Bush-Cheney regime to that of the Roman Empire in its earliest days.

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Arundhati Roy
“Refuse the Victory Parade”

Our freedoms were not granted to us by any governments. They were wrested from them by us. And once we surrender them, the battle to retrieve them is called a revolution. It is a battle that must range across continents and countries. It must not acknowledge national boundaries but, if it is to succeed, it has to begin here. In America. The only institution more powerful than the US government is American civil society.

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Michael Staudenmaier
Strange Bedfellows?

From a talk given at the Fourth Annual Montreal Anarchist Bookfair, May 18, 2003

Think back to the Great Depression and World War II and envision the odd alliances that developed around the world in the face of capitalist crisis and rising fascism: the Hitler-Stalin pact, for instance, or syndicalist support for Mussolini. Or, imagine militant anti-fascists in the underground resistance (often dominated by Stalinists) building ties with US and British military forces. Radicals in North America split between those who encouraged enrollment in the fight against fascism and those who did time in prison for refusing the draft. Think of the strange permutations of Peronism in Argentina, the “green” and “left” wings of the Nazi Party, the failure of the European left in the face of Italian occupation in Ethiopia, or the twists and turns of East Asian resistance to Japanese occupation.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Tales from the Police State

In early April, the Oakland Police Department (OPD) fired on non-violent anti-war demonstrators without cause or provocation.

No police were hurt. The protesters conducted themselves in an organized, dignified, and calm manner at all times, even while being fired upon.

Many demonstrators were shot and wounded. Almost all were shot in the back while retreating from advancing police. A concussion grenade exploded inches from protesters. Not only did OPD fire directly on non-violent protesters, they appeared to deliberately turn to fire on longshore workers who were clearly standing to the side and not involved in the protest.

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Ngu Thi Yen
A Red Country (poem)

My country’s red, long so I was told

Victories, a star glows

Flag crimson, glorious so

Vanguard leads, the people follow.

.

Red in sight, we have traded lives

Beat armies, lay siege to empires.

Red in mind, we have triumphed fights

Bathed rivals in blood and plight.

.

Why today I see but grey

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Sean Alan Cleary
1984 Still Knocking at Our Door George Orwell’s haunting tale takes on new power in this graphic novel

a review of

1984: The Graphic Novel: George Orwell, Adapted & illustrated by Fido Nesti. HMH 2021

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It might be that everyone has something to say about George Orwell’s 1984. It’s not only a perennial favorite among curriculum builders in American high schools, but also a ubiquitous shortcut for political meaning.

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Fifth Estate Collective
2003 Radical Calendar

Please send calendar events to the Fifth Estate, keeping in mind our quarterly schedule.

Deadline for the summer 2003 edition is May 1.

fifthestatenewspaper@yahoo.com

PO Box 6, Liberty, TN 37095

April 4–6—New Orleans, LA Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex: Critical Resistance South. Regional conference and Strategy Session.

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Tanya Z. Solomon
Are survivalists and anarchists distant cousins?

a review of Dancing at Armageddon by Richard G. Mitchell (University of Chicago Press, 2002)

In sociologist Richard G. Mitchell’s Dancing at Armageddon (University of Chicago Press, 2002) we meet Zillah, dressed in home-patched camouflage, who has come to a weekend retreat with a sheaf of photocopied fliers detailing her vision of localized radical democracy. Sound like a familiar character? Well, you’ll never find Zillah at an infoshop or an anti-WTO action. She’s on a different FBI list: not an “anarchist” but a “survivalist,” and hence a subject for Mitchell, whose book is subtitled Survivalism and Chaos in Modern Times.

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Starhawk
Dirt, passion, rage on spirituality, peace, & the politics of “NO!”

Editor’s note: Last issue, we printed a review of Starhawk’s new book Webs of Power in the context of our spirituality feature. [See “The Spirit of Global Justice,” FE #359, Winter, 2002–2003.] The following piece comes from a post Starhawk made to an e-mail list devoted to discussing issues raised by that book. It offers a compelling critique of those elements in the peace and justice movement that seek to censor anger and conflict.

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Jesse McCloud
Slingshot Turns 15!

Slingshot, 3124 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705; 510-540-0751 slingshot@tao.ca

Slingshot’s 15th birthday makes me feel kind of old, because I was in on it from just about its beginning. I was an English grad student at Berkeley when I became “Experienced,” to use Jimi Hendrix’s term. I was working on my dissertation, serving as Coordinator of the ASUC Recycling Project, where I met members of the Slingshot Collective. Most of us were Berkeley students. At the time, U.C. Berkeley was hardly radical. Despite the university’s reputation as a hotbed of dissent, a legacy of the ‘60s, there was a need for a leftist voice, and Slingshot filled that need. Those first issues were printed on white paper, sometimes subversively copied on university copiers, and funded by the A.S.U.C.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Help the oldest anarchist ‘zine in America stay young!

The FE HQ in rural Tennessee seeks volunteers and interns for extended visits of one to three months.

Help maintain our Bistro. Participate in every aspect of magazine production. Learn new skills and meet interesting people. Live in a rural intentional community.

Applicants must be willing to live rustically, pay for own expenses, and share basic chores. Please submit letter of introduction with writing samples and activist references.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Infoshop, Gallery, & Mail Order

BOOKSTORE IN A BARN

(615) 536–5999

an hour east of Nashville; call, write, or email for directions

FifthEstate@pumpkinhollow.net

Read more

WORDS

Dr. Ben Reitman, Sister of the Road: the Autobiography of Boxcar Bertha (2002) $15.00

Dark Star

Beneath the Paving Stones (2001) $15.00

Hakim Bey

Immediatism (1992) $10.00

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Fifth Estate Collective
Police State America book review

a review of Police State America: U.S. Military ‘Civil Disturbance’ Planning, edited by Tom Burghardt. April 2002 Arm the Spirit/Solidarity: Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco. Contributions by Frank Morales, Michael Novick, Ron Ridenhour, Arthur Lubow, Mitzi Waltz, Douglas Valentine, and Tom Burghardt.

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Richard Tate
More Debate on the Balkans

Dear Citizens:

David Watson’s piece criticizing the Alternative Press Review’s (APR) coverage of the show trial of Slobodan Milosevic in FE #358, Fall 2002 [“The Sad Truth: Milosevic ‘Crucified’: Counter-Spin as Useful Idiocy”] should be rewarded with a job at Human Rights Watch.

It’s as if he’s trying to respond to the increasing ranks of its readers who say the Fifth Estate has become a liberal publication by saying, “Look—I’m not a liberal—I don’t even support the concept of innocent until proven guilty!” His only criticism of the NATO Tribunal in the Hague is that it appears to require the prosecution to prove its case.

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David Watson
On Keeping Our Critical Faculties a response to an ultra-left critic

I wonder if anyone else feels the same nausea and despair I experience when reading missives like R. Tate’s [see in this issue “More Debate on the Balkans,” FE #360, Spring, 2003]. Apparently, such jumbled, simple-minded invective, with its breathless disregard for the requirement to present serious evidence to support an argument, is what now passes for debate, for reasoning, in the so-called anti-authoritarian milieu. Was it always like this? Do any of these people even bother to learn anything about a subject anymore before applying their one-size-fits-all template?

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Octavio Alberola
Cuba: The Economy Changes The Authoritarian State Remains the Same

The Cuban state has usually been able to keep a tight lid on protests. Generally, it only allows demonstrations that have been organized by government ministries. However, during the fall and winter of 2020–21 the dissident San Isidro Movement in Havana began publicly defying the rules by demonstrating for freedom of expression for artists. The government responded with intimidation and even arrests.

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Max Cafard
Deserving the Best The Continuing Appeal of Surrealism

a review of

Surrealism: Inside the Magnetic Fields by Penelope Rosemont. City Lights Books 2020

I used to know an amazing old working-class philosopher (an electrician) and practical utopian who had a wonderful phrase to sum up his inspired anarchism: “We deserve the best.”

“The best” means, as Penelope Rosemont shows in this book, what the surrealists call “the marvelous,” a world of beauty, joy, and goodness. “We,” means everybody, of course.

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Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

Fifth Estate Letters Policy

We welcome letters commenting on our articles or other topics, but can’t print every one we receive. Each, however, is read and considered for publication.

Letters via email or on disk are appreciated, but typewritten and legibly handwritten ones are acceptable. Length should not exceed two double-spaced pages. All submissions must have a name and return address, which will be withheld upon request.

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Fifth Estate Collective
The Spectre of Terrorism Haunts the World poster text

THE SPECTRE OF TERRORISM HAUNTS THE WORLD

CAUTION! There are terrorists among us.

3-s-360-spring-2003-the-spectre-of-terrorism-haunt-1.png

THEY infest this planet from Washington to New York, from Baghdad to London, from Moscow to Jerusalem.

THEY detain millions of hostages every day and give them the ultimatum—become a slave to the state or an enemy.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Anarchist Communitarian Network

The Anarchist Communitarian Network (ACN) is in its second year of existence. In that time, some changes within the network have greatly transformed the goals of the project. At this point, we wish to reintroduce the ACN and make a call for participation in our newsletter and in the network in general. Our hope is that a renewed level of communication of ideas and experience will help generate new connections and facilitate more projects consistent with the aims of anarchist communitarians.

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William Manson
Biophilia

As techno-urbanism extends its dominion, imposing mechanized regimentation on all modes of experience, human nature with-as for want of living sustenance. Deprived of the life-enhancing conditions for expressive self-development, humans in the megamachine become self-alienated rather than self-actualized. The world as mechanized marketplace: calculable “market-values” almost entirely replace experiential values (revering, loving, wondering, feeling). The individual increasingly perceives herself as a commodity to-be trained and sold to the highest bidder.

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CrimethInc.
Wasted, Indeed Anarchy and Alcohol

Excerpt from CrimethInc.

This is a painfully truncated version of a significantly longer text, which includes a thorough consideration of alcohol’s roles throughout the history of civilization, as well as several important disclaimers. The full version, in all its glory, can be obtained from the CrimethInc. chapter of Alcoholics Autonomous at 2695 Rangewood Drive, Atlanta, GA 30345 U.S.A. (cyberspace cadets: www.crimethinc.com)

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David Watson
Two Ecological Fancies

The Miraculous Birth

Only later did some say that the first of what were to be many miraculous births was presaged in signs. Only much later did a long list of the omens appear. Some could not resist applying the veneer of old myths to circumstances that seemed entirely novel. Someone had reported a two-headed comet, but that was predictable. It had been done before. Different indeed and widely reported was the experience of being awakened from troubled sleep to the sound of a woman laughing, laughing, saying, “Oh my children, my beautiful children!”

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john johnson
Feral Forager #1 A guide to living off nature’s bounty in urban, rural and wilderness areas

Feral Forager is a wild 30-page zine coming out of the outskirts of the not-so-wild, hippie mecca of Asheville in the heart of the Southern Appalachian mountains in North Carolina.

It contains all sorts of very practical and easy to follow methods of gathering and eating wild foods. After a nice intro to scavenging and foraging ethics and a nod to anarchy, the zine dives into what will probably remain the most controversial section —Scavenging Roadkill! This section explores the authors’ philosophies and entry into the world of roadkill feasting and then gets into the nitty gritty details of skinning, cleaning, cooking and then using the leftovers. Included are great original and lifted illustrations.

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Ania Aizman
From Tolstoy to Pussy Riot Teaching the History of Anarchism at the University of Michigan

In the fall of 2019, I taught a course at the University of Michigan: “Art and Anarchism: from Tolstoy to Pussy Riot.” The curriculum at the Ann Arbor, Michigan college concentrated on Russian anarchists, historic and contemporary, and was designed to be as accessible as possible even for those students with little knowledge of art, or Russia, or history, let alone anarchism.

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Peter Lamborn Wilson
Grange Appeal

“The work we are going about is this, to dig up Georges Hill and the waste grounds thereabouts, and to sow corn, and to eat our bread together by the sweat of our brows.

“And the first reason is this, that we may work in righteousness, and lay the Foundation of making the Earth a Common Treasury for All, both Rich and Poor, that everyone That is born in the Land may be fed by the Earth his Mother that brought him forth, according to the Reason that rules in the Creation.”

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Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
Someday the power will die

“Someday the power will die

the lights will fade...

the stars will shine...

WE ALREADY LIVE IN RUINS”

I recently sat down to a dinner of roadkill venison. As an ex-vegetarian who occasionally eats fish or poultry, I did not approach this culinary choice lightly. However, I love an adventure, and I savored each succulent morsel as it emanated wood-smoke and blood.

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Martha Ackelsberg
Then and now The Spanish Revolution of 1936

July 19 marks the 85th anniversary of the Spanish Revolution.

This seems an opportune time, then, to reflect on multiple aspects of that revolution. It began as a response to an attempted right-wing military coup against the legally-elected left-wing government, unfolded in the midst of a brutal civil war, and came to an end with the victory of fascist armies in the spring of 1939.

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Witch Hazel
Against agriculture

Related: see “Anarchy, food and sustainability” (theme intro) in this issue.

It doesn’t take a health food nut to see that modern society has a dysfunctional relationship with food. As in almost every other arena of life, our priorities are elsewhere--if not in wage slavery and staying out of debt, then in escapist entertainment or self-numbing addictions. Even among radicals and anarchists, healthy and mindful dietary practices are often considered a luxury reserved for that mythical post-revolutionary era that we are supposedly laying the groundwork for, when our children’s children, or their children, can enjoy safe, pure, nutritious food. Sounds like a plan. Except for a few things...

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Neo Bonobo
Against the global godzilla

The deportations, detentions, and disappearances have begun. Matched only by mass denial among Babylon’s denizens, the brave new empire has struck back. The many-headed capitalist dragon is licking its lips for an Easter dinner of Iraqi children. No, it shouldn’t be news that someone’s stolen the century. Clearly, the global Godzilla of geopolitical, techno-industrial trauma has treated us all to a gory preview of hell.

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john johnson
Anarchy, food and sustainability Theme Introduction

In this section:

Grow Food or Die! exclaims the headline from Live Wild or Die! (an eco-anarchist “breakaway” zine circulating in the Earth First! milieu in the ‘90s). The message rings true today. How will food be dealt with before, during, and after a potential catastrophe or our anarchist revolution? With farmers making up less than two percent of the US’s population and farmland giving way to generic subdivisions, we must wonder what and how we are going to eat after a crisis or in our future Utopia.

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