Fifth Estate Collective
Issue intro

Welcome to the fourth Fifth Estate of 2002!!

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We have not published four issues in one year since the late 1980s. As much as any of our magazines this year, this edition represents the contribution of many heads, hearts, and hands in our ever-evolving collective.

Although we love the front cover art of May Thistle, its symbology may threaten the penology of the department of corrections in the state of Oregon. According to notices we’ve received from prison officials, anarchism’s classic circle-A is a dangerous gang symbol!

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Fifth Estate Collective
Masthead

Fifth Estate

FIFTH ESTATE #359, Winter, 2002–2003, Vol. 37, No. 4

The Fifth Estate (FE) is a cooperative, nonprofit project, publishing since 1965. As opposed to professionals who publish to secure wages or invest in the information industry, our collective consists of volunteer writers, artists, and editors—friends who produce the paper as an expression of resistance to an unjust and destructive society.

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MaxZine Weinstein
Remembering Harry Hay

Harry Hay, Father of the Gay rights movement, died this October at the age of 90. Harry founded the Mattachine Society in 1950, the first gay rights organization in the United States. He was kicked out a few years later because of his Communist Party affiliation. In 1979 he co-founded the Radical Faeries, a loose-knit, anarchistic, back-to-the-land spiritual/radical/irreverent movement. We came to know him and love him through our Friendships developed at faerie gatherings.

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Tom Sykes
The Human Life Exchange Rate Mechanism Liberal Rights, Double Binds, the West, & the Rest

In our neoliberal societies, elites like to quantify the worth of human lives in various ways. A telling example is per capita GDP (Gross Domestic Product) that determines the economic contribution each citizen makes to a nation.

Such a view gives succor to Social Darwinists and free-market right-wingers. If some lives are more valuable than others in this formulation then why should those of lower value be aided by the wider community? While few elite figures today would say things like this out loud, similar calculi tacitly inform many political decisions.

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Various Authors
Letters to the editors

We encourage your participation in this project with your comments on the publication & its perspectives. While we will read every letter, we will usually print the most enticing & engaging. E-mail letters or letters sent on disk are appreciated.

Write us! at PO Box 6, Liberty, TN 37095, or 4632 Second Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201, or email FifthEstate@pumpkinhollow.net

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Eric Laursen
Only Change is Permanent

Critical theory is a bit like pornography, as a Supreme Court justice once said when asked to define the latter: “I know it when I see it.”

Critical theory can be defined pretty loosely as well. It’s the multitude of intellectual spin-offs from Marx that began to take flight roughly a hundred years ago, at about the time that Lenin and his acolytes thought they have codified what Orthodox Marxism was, forever.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Briefs

Cheerleaders of the Revolution

Radical cheerleaders give a playful, yet militant, feminist flavor to anti-authoritarian protest. After reading through the third edition of the Radical Cheerleader Handbook, I want to grab a pair of pompoms and take to the streets.

The inspiring cheers and rants throughout this radical handbook prepare wimmin for the front lines and can transform a sober action into a party. Cheers for every occasion from a “Take back the night” rally to the anti-WTO/IMF/World Bank protests are represented in full voice.

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Ellen Carryout
How green is Green Anarchy?

Both the Spring & Summer 2002 editions of Green Anarchy were read and studied for this review. GA is available for $2.00 contact P.O. Box 11331, Eugene, OR 97440.

To join the green of ecology with the black of anarchy is to make transparent something intuitively apparent. To genuinely critique the state and authority is to critique civilization and industrial devastation. The first anarchists-the indigenous gatherers who lived in what Marshall Sahlins dubbed “the original leisure society”-were certainly green anarchists. The theses that create projects like Green Anarchy (GA) are important ones.

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Zack Furness
The Punk Rock Candy Mountain

a review of

Evasion. by CrimethInc ex-workers collective

DIY Guide II by CrimethInc ex-workers collective

Hunter/Gatherer. Journal of folklore and folkwar. CrimethInc ex-workers collective

Editorial note: In the last issue, I began to express my solidarity with the far-flung posse of revolutionary neo-Situ, post-punk poets known as CrimethInc. Now, I’d like to re-state that the CrimethInc (ex)Workers Collective is one of the best and brightest things to happen to N. American anarchism since TAZ hit the streets in 1991.

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Peter Lamborn Wilson
Letter: Mrs. Ludd. poems

first

Volunteer to serve the Negation

Never too late for Mrs Ludd

If Bugs Bunny’s a Surrealist

what’s that make Elmer Fudd?

Wherever you are tonight Mrs L

Tiamat Tara river nymph undine

Captain Moonlight & Saint Monday

flaneurs on ancient boulevards of spleen

never complain never explain

our secret society goes back to the Neolithic

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Federico Arcos
Letter to a Friend

Like the stars, the night

Like the sun, the day

The dawn, the morning

The flower, the petal

The bee, the nectar

The beehive, the honey

The lover, the beloved

So one carries the Ideal In one’s thoughts

You ask me if I can define anarchism. It’s very difficult for me to do concretely. Personally, I don’t consider myself good enough to call myself an anarchist because I have always believed that to be one it would be necessary to reach the extreme point of sacrifice and to devote oneself without reservation to doing good, without limit and without cease. I can say that I still find myself tied to those endless commodities that contemporary society has created, and even though I try to limit them as much as I can, it will never be enough. The Tolstoyan spirit that commends the freedom of the isolated individual, I will never be able to attain.

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Unruhlee
An Anti-statist Outlook A New (Jewish) Fascism and its Opposition

Israel, The U.S. in Miniature

Much of the population of Israel, no different from people in the United States, denies its past as an invader/settler nation, is oblivious to the suffering which creates its plentitude, revels in self-generated myths of its goodness and bravery, and cannot fathom why such rage is directed at it.

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Don LaCoss
Benjamin Péret and the Ecological Imagination

Those who believe in a staunch ecological stance that subverts the dominant patterns of objectification, degradation, subordination, and commodification should take time to understand the revolutionary force of poetry.

Among those who can help in this regard are the surrealists. When one scrapes below the surface definitions of surrealism provided by universities, museums, and art dealers, one can begin to sense the insurrectionary thirst for liberty that is the core tenet for which surrealism fights.

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Pono Bonobo
Instead of a Primer on isms, schisms, & anarchisms

What is anarchism? This question continues to crop up as anarchists debate amongst themselves as how to accurately express their perspectives to non-anarchist activists in the antiwar and global justice movements.

Subsequently, a new wave of anarchist primers has appeared in the Summer editions of North American anti-authoritarian periodicals such as Green Anarchy and Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed. Also, anarchist web sites often include glossaries, FAQs, mission statements, constitutions, manifestos, and talking points to explain anarchist principles to the uninitiated. Thus, we are challenged to recognize and celebrate anarchist diversity while seeking the meaningful collaborations needed to influence lasting change on the other.

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Various Authors
Pledges

1.

I pledge obedience

to the flag

of a desecrated America,

and to the multinationals

who let us stand

one nation

of underdogs,

who are exploitable,

with liberty and justice

for sale

—Ron B.

2.

I pledge allegiance

to the bargains of

the United Consumers

at Wal-Mart

and to the stockholders

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Ruth Oppenheim-Rothschild
Subversions of the Body Sex, Sex Work, and Gender in Surrealism

Miserabilist society wants our bodies. It wants docile bodies, controlled by fear, by class, and by silence. As surrealists, we desire absolute control of what we do with our bodies, what we want from our bodies, and how we see and present our bodies.

The institution of marriage must be destroyed. Surrealism has no room for man and wife, missionary-position monogamy, and likewise, no place for mainstream gay culture that wants to be as straight as It can possibly be. We demand the right to fuck who we want to fuck, however we want to fuck them. This means total access to protection against STDs, birth control, and abortion—class should not control sexual possibilities. It means an end to abstinence-only, heterosexist sexual education in schools. It means the destruction of rape culture. It means following our desires. It means being able to verbalize and act on what we want.

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M.K. Shibek
Brandon Freels

Subversively Surreal Review

a review of

Ron Sakolsky’s Surrealist Subversions: Rants, Writings, and images by the Surrealist Movement in the United States. Autonomedia 2002. Please see page 55 for details on how to order your copy.

“Surrealism can help us break the constraints of social realism and take us to places where Marxism, Anarchism, and other isms in the name of revolution have rarely dared to venture.”

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May Thistle
Surrealism, Poetry, Anarchy An introduction

This issue’s focus on poetry and surrealism evolved in a surrealist fashion as synchronicity and serendipity weaved this theme into being.

Certainly, our friendship with anarchist writer and anthologist Ron Sakolsky played a part as we anticipated the release of his newest book Surrealist Subversions.

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M.K. Shibek
The Exploding Rose Surrealism in Portland

I first encountered André Breton’s surrealist manifestoes as a young anarchist in the late ‘80s, and was attracted to the ideas within.

Surrealist poetry had a familiar resonance: I recognized how psychic automatism existed in my own experience. The quality of that expressive revelation reminded me of how long sentences, scenes and pictures would unfold before me, independent of conscious direction, as I was near sleep. Breton even mentions such hypnagogic phenomena in the first manifesto. But I had no idea anything like a surrealist movement still existed until I saw a review of Arsenal: Surrealist Subversions in a midwestern anarchist publication.

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Ody Saban
The Feminine Letter Source of Ecstasy

An Open Letter to Alphabets

This story begins in the middle of a long night. I had been reading a tale in which the noted storyteller Baal Shem Tov appears and this was a dream I had in response to this reading.

A Jewish orphan born in Poland in 1698, Baal Shem Tov was a legendary personality of the heretical, Hassidim movement who sublimated in acts and words the aspirations of the medleant and wandering Jews.

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ronni kt
The Mythology of Israel

Israel, The U.S. in Miniature

Much of the population of Israel, no different from people in the United States, denies its past as an invader/settler nation, is oblivious to the suffering which creates its plentitude, revels in self-generated myths of its goodness and bravery, and cannot fathom why such rage is directed at it.

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David Watson
The Sad Truth Milosevic “Crucified”: Counter-Spin as Useful Idiocy

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Milosevic by Richard Mock

Slobodan Milosevic has been at The Hague for a little more than a year, the first head of state to face a war crimes tribunal since the crime of genocide was codified in the UN Charter. The former autocrat stands accused of sixty-six accounts of war crimes, including ethnic cleansing in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosova; the murder of civilians and prisoners; and genocide in Bosnia.

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Situationist International
The Situationists on the Palestinian Question

Israel, The U.S. in Miniature

Much of the population of Israel, no different from people in the United States, denies its past as an invader/settler nation, is oblivious to the suffering which creates its plentitude, revels in self-generated myths of its goodness and bravery, and cannot fathom why such rage is directed at it.

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Fifth Estate Collective
About Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate (FE) is a cooperative, nonprofit project, publishing since 1965. As opposed to professionals who publish to secure wages or invest in the information industry, our collective consists of volunteer writers, artists, and editors—friends who produce the paper as an expression of resistance to an unjust and destructive society.

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Witch Hazel
Anarchist Summer Camp in Kansas Report

On June 6 through 9, this summer’s North American Anarchist Gathering (NAAG) outside Lawrence, Kansas provided quite a contrast to the last one held in August 2000 during the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, amid one of the most intense police security operations in recent history.

Not only was the Kansas gathering more relaxed since there was no mass protest going on, but it was held at a state park rather than in an urban warehouse, and instead of a concrete toxic riverbed running behind the place, a huge recreational lake offered constant relief from the scorching Midwest sun.

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Fortner Anderson
Anarchy (poem)

Anarchy is not Survivor, the X-Files, or the Expos home opener

Anarchy is not Starbucks, the Second Cup, or double lattes at the Croissante Royale

Anarchy is not the Kyota Accords, the World Bank, or the International Monetary Fund

.

Anarchy is not GATT, NAFTA, UNESCO, NATO, or the European Economic Community

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Wayne Price
Anti-Electoralism and William Morris Some Revolutionary History

It is generally a waste of time to argue with individuals about their voting or not voting. Among tens of thousands, one vote either way makes no difference (even when it gets counted).

The question is what large social forces should do in elections. Such forces include the labor unions, the African-American communities, Latino communities, the organized feminist movement, Gay and Lesbian organizations, organized environmentalists, and the network of anti-globalization/anti-corporate activists.

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Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
Summer on Fire In 1967, it was the Summer of Love in San Francisco. In Detroit, it was a Summer on Fire.

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a review of

Summer on Fire: A Detroit Novel by Peter Werbe. Black & Red 2021

Summer on Fire, a debut novel from long time Fifth Estate staff member, Peter Werbe, takes place during seven weeks in 1967, the year I was born, during the months I lived in my radical mama’s belly. So, I definitely need the narrator’s front seat to those tumultuous times.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Fight the empire, not its wars A Call to Action

As we go to press, the Empire is preparing for war against Iraq, and as you read this, the war may have already commenced. Or perhaps the saber rattling will continue until the mighty technological imperial blade falls as an October surprise to enhance the electoral fortunes of the ruling party. Or, maybe the bloody, high altitude rampage against that already-destroyed land will come the day after the election, as some have suggested, or, by January of next year, or, at some other date convenient to the needs of oil and politics.

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Diane DiPrima
William Blake

Page of poetry

The morning comes, the night decays, the watchmen leave their stations

The grave is burst, the spices shed, the linen wrapped up;

The bones of death, the covering clay, the sinews shrunk & dry’d

Reviving shake, inspiring move, breathing! awakening!

Spring like redeemed captives when their bonds & bars are burst;

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Don LaCoss
Phantoms of Lost Liberty

Down the street, there’s a park about half the size of a city block. Tucked away in the corner is a four-foot granite monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments, the core credo of a 3,000-year-old eastern Mediterranean cult started by sun-stroked nomads.

For the last year, that monument has been at the center of controversy because of a lawsuit to get it removed from the park. According to plaintiffs, its presence violates the supposed guarantee of governmental neutrality in matters of mythology. But the loud God-fearing folk of this town have mobilized to “save” the Ten Commandments on the grounds that only good can come from having these writings on permanent display in the public arena, presumably for the same reasons given by those who thought that posting the Ten Commandments in public schools would magically prevent another Columbine High School-style outburst of murderous alienation and rage.

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MaxZine Weinstein
Plan Z builds bridges in Tennessee

Plan Z: A Strategy Conference for Radical Wimmin and Trannies rolled into our radical queer community, IDA, this past June. (“Tranny,” by the way, is a common, chosen term for the transgendered.) The week-long gathering brought together activists from around the country and beyond to the secluded woods of Tennessee. We were happy to open up our home and gardens to enthusiastic agents of social change.

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William Rivers Pitt
We are not the enemy Police Attack Protests in Portland

Saturday, 24 August 2002

(www.truthout.org)

The image is chilling. A middle-aged woman, plainly dressed, with a puff of auburn hair, is clutched in a hammerlock by a Portland police officer dressed in full riot gear. His riot baton is jammed high under her chin. Around her, three more armor-clad police officers swarm in, face-masks down. The woman’s face is contorted in terror. In her hand is a sign protesting George W. Bush.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Jason Kohser

Abandon Automobile

poems like distilled scenes from the grey of a city whose lettuce days are just stories of a drunk at a vet’s bar

poems whose hope defies common sense

poems like old friends loves memories that haunt with each page turned

poems that pull threads out of the collective conscience of a place

this is Abandon Automobile Detroit City Poetry 2001

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Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
News & Reviews

We welcome free literature, news, & announcements at: PO Box 6, Liberty, TN 37095 or fifthesatenewspaper — AT — yahoo — DOT — com.

Drawing Resistance

Back in November, I had the privilege to see the Drawing Resistance traveling exhibition at Detroit’s Trumbullplex. This compelling collection addresses the anti-globalization movement, working class rights, the destruction of the environment, corporate control, police brutality, homelessness, gentrification, and the Zapatista liberation movement in Mexico.

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Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
Think Brown the politics of poop and the planet

Discussed in this article

Joe Jenkins, The Humanure Handbook. Jenkins Publishing: PO Box 607, Grove City, PA 16127 (jenkinspublishing.com). To order, call the distributor (1–800) 639–4099.

First published in the mid-1990s, Joe Jenkins’ Humanure Handbook—now in a second printing and a revised, expanded version—is already a classic among the down-to-earth, back-to-the-land crowd. The book’s premise is simple: composting crap can create a better world; in other words, recycling human excrement is part of a larger spiritual, scientific, and social program to redeem the biosphere and curb humanity’s role as an ecological parasite and cultural pathogen. Without changing our waste management policies and philosophies, Jenkins knows we are on the path to pooping up the planet with pollutants. until the former paradise is soiled beyond repair. picking up where many hippy-type r composters left off in the 1970s, Jenkins wants the shit to hit the fan concerning our attitudes towards the stuff that comes out of our collective assholes. While dozens of new-age, self-help, and green-living manuals are cranked out each year to peddle paradigm shifts and lifestyle tweaking; Jenkins’ manure manifesto distinguishes itself from so much touchy-feely gobbledygook due to the precise manner in which he makes his arguments. He combines humor and humility, extensive empirical research and compelling unpretentious rhetoric to dispel myths about—and create an appreciation for-our doo-doo. That is, while many books of the eco-living genre read as though their writers are full of shit, Jenkins clearly has his shit together.

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Bill Weinberg
Anarchy in Belarus Anti-authoritarian Voices in Uprising Against the Dictatorship

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The former Soviet republic of Belarus exploded into angry protests last August in the wake of contested presidential elections resulting in a totally implausible landslide victory for long-ruling strongman Alexander Lukashenko. Police, riot squads and army troops unleashed harsh repression, using rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades and water-hoses against demonstrators who objected to the results in the capital of Minsk and other cities.

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Emma Goldman
A New Declaration of Independence

(Originally published in Mother Earth, July 1909.)

When, in the course of human development, existing institutions prove inadequate to the needs of man, when they serve merely to enslave, rob, and oppress mankind, the people have the eternal right to rebel against, and overthrow these institutions.

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Alix Kates Shulman
Dances with Feminists

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“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your revolution,” said Emma Goldman (1869–1940), feminist heroine, anarchist activist, editor, writer, teacher, jailbird, and general troublemaker. Or did she?

Perhaps she said, “If I can’t dance I don’t want to be part of your revolution,” as my purple T-shirt claims under a picture of Emma looking demure in a wide-brimmed hat. Or was it rather, “If I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution,” as the quote appears in a 1983 “non-sexist yet traditional” Passover Haggadah?

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Fifth Estate Collective
Issue intro

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This issue’s theme, “What’s Next? Demand the Impossible,” is a challenge to all our imaginations.

We live in a world faced with the scourge of a plague, and in a country that is an armed madhouse with a good portion of its population seemingly gone off the rails with fascist rage and white fear.

What appears in these pages is nothing like a blueprint for where or how to focus our energies. We know well what we don’t want and what doesn’t work. In general, we know that creating alternative communities of resistance is what brings results and can provide a model of the world we desire.

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Various Authors
Letters

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

All formats accepted including typescript & handwritten.

Letters may be edited for length.

SEXUALLY DIMORPHIC

My partner brought home a copy of The Anarchist Review of Books and I wanted so much to love it.

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Peter Lippman
Readers respond (I) While Yugoslavia Burned, the Left Looked the Other Way

Editors’ note: In the following pages, we feature two essays by readers. The first is Peter Lippman’s “While Yugoslavia Burned the Left Looked the Other Way,” a response to Bob Myers’ “Ethnic Cleansing in the Former Yugoslavia” (published in FE #356, Spring 2002).

Second, we’re printing “Marcos: The Zapatistas’ Unknown Icon” by a subscriber in England. Written last year, this piece may appear dated, but those of us who read it found it inspiring. From time to time, we hope to feature more writing by our readers—when space allows it and the quality of your work demands it.

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David E. Findlay
Readers respond (II) Marcos: The Zapatistas’ Unknown Icon

“We do not want others, more or less of the right, center or left, to decide for us. We want to participate directly in the decisions which concern us, to control those who govern us, without regard to their political affiliation, and oblige them to “rule by obeying.” We do not struggle to take power, we struggle for democracy, liberty, and justice. Our political proposal is the most radical in Mexico (perhaps in the world, but it is still too soon to say). It is so radical that all the traditional political spectrum (right, center left and those of one or the other extreme) criticize us and walk away from our delirium.

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Peter Lamborn Wilson
My Summer Vacation in Afghanistan

First time in Afghanistan, late winter 1968/9, making the Overland Trail fast as possible through howling cold of Central Asian steppes. Minibus from Mashhad to Herat, arriving at the border crossing: dark, dusty, cold and bleak. (Later, I was to discover that somehow Afghan border-crossings were always dark dusty cold bleak, even on nice summer days.) Bus-load of hippies pulls up at the checkpoint. Suddenly a huge Afghan officer with bristling mustaches and fierce scowl thrusts himself into the bus: “Any you got hashish?!” he screamed.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Remember Sacco & Vanzetti Immigrant anarchists executed by the state 75 years ago on August 23, 1927

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The Martyrs’ Farewell
That we lost and have to die, does not diminish our appreciation and gratitude for your great solidarity with us and our families. Friends and Comrades, now that the tragedy of this trial is at an end, be all as of one heart. Only two of us will die. Our ideal, you our comrades, will live by millions. We have won. We are not vanquished. Just treasure our suffering, our sorrow, our mistakes, our defeats, our passion for future battles and for the great emancipation.
Be all as of one heart in this blackest hour of our tragedy. And we have heart. Salute for us all the Friends and Comrades on the earth.
We embrace you all and bid you our extreme good-bye with our hearts filled with love and affection.
Now and ever, long life to you all, long life to liberty.
Yours for life and death.
--Nicola Sacco, Bartolomeo Vanzetti (Death House, August 21, 1927)

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Julie Herrada
What can we say? First-hand reflections from the Middle East

By the time most of you see this, you will have already read dozens of disturbing and horrifying accounts from international peace activists, solidarity workers, and others who have recently traveled to Palestine to participate in, observe, and learn about the situation that has grabbed the world’s attention for the past few months. That fact troubled me while sitting down to write. What more could I say about my journey that would interest anyone? My hope is that I can convey my experience in such a way that does not simply echo what others have already said or written, and that you don’t glance at this article with indifference (“not another article about the Middle East crisis.”)

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Sheila Nopper
Alien(h)ated

In this country, I am called a “permanent resident alien” or, more to the point, a “non-citizen.” What that means in the patriotic war frenzy that has taken hold of the minds of the American populace following the tragedy of 9/11, is that the few legal rights I was entitled to as an immigrant prior to that day of reckoning have now been effectively eliminated, and my human rights are increasingly under assault.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Hardlines, Richard Mock book

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Richard Mock: The American Voter

The Plains Art Museum (in Fargo, ND) has produced a book called Hardlines. The book is the result of classes taught by Richard Mock of New York. Hardlines features social commentary linocut prints from each of the participants ages ten; through adult who worked with Richard Mock. The themes presented in each artwork represent social commentary about present day issues, personal points of view, experiences, or memories.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Masthead

The Fifth Estate (FE) is a cooperative, nonprofit project, publishing since 1965. As opposed to professionals who publish to secure wages Or invest in the information industry, our collective consists of volunteer writers, artists, and editors—friends who produce the paper as an expression of resistance to an unjust and destructive society.

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Fifth Estate Collective
On the covers

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Richard Mock (front)

I contribute my social commentary linocut images to the FE to add weight to the humanist argument against fear and power mongers taking over the world. The activities of large collective organizations like corporations and governments create a constant barrage of false information and phantoms to justify their controlling structures and systematic programmed removal of the earth’s natural resources that in truth are the outer body of all of us who are on this planet.

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