Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

Threat of War Cancels Plans for Fifth Estate 25-Year Retrospective

That’s as good a reason as any for why the observance of our 25 years of publishing is reduced to a short mention in this column. We had intended more, both self-congratulation and perhaps a deeper discussion about our origins and political evolution. But the idea of a retrospective special issue began to slip as this issue became overwhelmed with articles.

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Estelle Fennell
Redwood Summer Anatomy of an Action

The Concept

Redwood Summer was modeled after the “Mississippi Summer” of the civil rights movement. The conditions were similar to those of Mississippi in 1964. African-American victims of the system needed outside intervention to advocate for them in hostile territory. In Northern California in 1990, it was Redwood ecosystems that needed help.

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Orin Langelle
Shawnee Timber Sale Stopped

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Demonstrators blockade a logging road in Illinois’ Shawnee Nation Forest while a paid agent of repression looks on. —photo: O. Langelle

Beginning on June 20th, a determined group of Earth First!ers (EF!), Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and anarchists, maintained a blockade at the site of the Fairview timber sale area in southern Illinois’ Shawnee National Forest.

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Estelle Fennell
Split in Earth First!

Redwood Summer seems to have sent some Earth First!ers over the edge. Many of the old-line EF! activists stayed away from the summer actions, feeling that “outsiders” had invaded their movement and diluted EF!‘s biocentric vision. Two EF! founders, Dave Foreman and Howie Wolkie, resigned in August (if one can resign from a “non-organization”) and the entire paid staff of the Earth First! Journal, which is closely associated with Foreman, announced in their current issue that they were resigning due to constant criticism of their editorial policies.

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Robert D. Heinl Jr.
The Collapse of the Armed Forces Reprint

FE Note: The article reprinted here first appeared in the Armed Forces Journal, June 7, 1971, and is excerpted here from The Movement Against the War, Ramparts Press, 1972. Col. Heinl’s hawkish military columns were a regular feature in the Detroit News during the 1950s and ‘60s.

From original Introduction to article: When Colonel Robert Heinl published this article in the Armed Forces Journal in June 1971, it drew national attention. Hints of near-mutinous conditions among U.S. combat forces in Vietnam and in the fleet off its coast had occasionally surfaced in the press. There had also been some coverage of the week-long April encampment in Washington of a thousand Vietnam veterans, who had chanted pro-Viet Cong slogans outside the White House and hurled their hundreds of Purple Hearts and combat medals at the Capitol. But relatively few Americans were aware that by this time the anti-war movements at home and within the armed forces were often working in coordination, nor did many think of the U.S. military as close to “collapse.”

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Lynne Clive (Marilynn Rashid)
Detroit: demolished by design Violence, Racism and Collapse of Community

It’s Thursday afternoon, and I’m jogging my two or three miles on the track at the downtown Detroit YMCA overlooking the gym where a group of about sixteen mostly black men are playing basketball. The man and woman who were running when I started have finished, so I’m alone and keeping an eye on the game to fight the boredom of running on an indoor track.

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Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

Quite a Drag

Howdy, Folks!

(That’s the only non-sexist salutation I can think of.)

I’ve been an unaffiliated Anarchist for years. That’s mainly because I’m from a lower-class background and most Anarchists I’ve ever met have either been college students or punk anti-everythingers. It’s good to see that there are some serious people out there who realize the scale of the struggle we have before us.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Masthead

FIFTH ESTATE #335, Winter, 1990–91, Vol. 25, No. 2

Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate is a co-operative project, published by a group of friends who are in general, but not necessarily complete agreement with the articles herein. Each segment of the paper represents the collective effort of writing, typesetting, lay-out and proofreading.

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Various Authors
Prisoners Respond to the Fifth Estate

FE staff note: Last issue we sent out 115 sample copies of the Fifth Estate to prisoners, the result of a listing as a free publication in a prison resource handbook. Rather than automatically granting free subscriptions to those who requested them, we asked that prisoners read and evaluate our publication and let us know if they wanted to be put on our list. Gratifyingly, more than a third responded with positive and strong replies, some of which are printed below.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Tales from the planet

SAVE MUMIA

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s battle to keep from being legally lynched by the state of Pennsylvania has reached a critical point. On October 1, the U.S. Supreme Court denied his petition for a review of his conviction and death sentence. In January 1990, Mumia exhausted his last avenue of appeal in the state (in)justice system. All that remains is for Governor Robert Casey to sign the warrant of execution.

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George Bradford (David Watson)
War in Iraq Imperial Death Trip to Nowhere

The Empire, gorged and sclerotic from its daily gnawing on the marrow of the world, has now called up its armies and declared its “new world order.” Its commander-in-chief, a mediocrity in a civilization of hollow mediocrities, lays aside his golf club and announces a holy war to “defend the American way of life,” its basis in the sacred nectar of capital, the “lifeblood of industry and the Western economies,” oil. Hundreds of thousands of troops, with more on the way, now await their orders to advance to the conflagration. Or perhaps as you read these lines, the armies have already clashed, littering the sand with corpses and industrial junk.

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Fifth Estate Collective
David Porter
Alice Wexler

Emma Goldman and the Russian Revolution an exchange

Dear Fifth Estate:

While I appreciate David Porter’s long and serious review of my book, Emma Goldman in Exile (see FE #333, Winter 1990), I’d like to take issue with some of his points. Porter criticizes my “intrusiveness” for allegedly imposing my own political agenda on Goldman’s life, without making my politics explicit. Possibly he is right that I should have laid out my criteria for judgment more clearly.

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Fifth Estate Collective
FE Bookstore

The FE Bookstore is located at 4632 Second Ave., just south of W. Forest, in Detroit. We share space with the Fifth Estate Newspaper and may be reached at the same phone number: (313) 831–6800. Visitors are welcome, but our hours vary so please call before dropping in.

HOW TO ORDER BY MAIL:

1) List the title of the book, quantity wanted, and the price of each;

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Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

Tornado Warning

Dear Fifth Estate:

We appreciate your kind mention of our group in your last issue (see “300,000 at Pro-Choice Demo—Plus Us,” FE #333, Winter, 1990), but we are not “Storm Warning” as the article identified us.

Our name is Tornado Warning and we are a feminist action group devoted to Womyn’s self-determination, self-help, and self-knowledge.

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Fifth Estate Collective
News and Reviews

When I compare the straight columns, boxed graphics and even type of the Fifth Estate to the graphic wildness and literary adventure of the ‘zine Babyfish Lost Its Momma, it makes me wonder if the FE hasn’t gotten a little bit too straight-edged. Well, I guess you can’t force it, and Babyfish is tied solidly into a music, cultural, and lifestyle scene in Detroit’s Cass Corridor district where everything comes out a bit jagged and experimental. Issue No. 3 is a walloping 80 pages of Poetry, visuals, collages, music and literary reviews, fiction, communal action, radical sexuality and a lot of undefinables. Definitely for, as the lead editorial says, the “outlaws of Amerika.” A steal at $2.00. Available from: Babyfish at P.O. Box 11589, Detroit MI 48211 plus postage, or through FE Books.

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J.G. Eccarius
Writing an Anarchist Novel

FE Note: The anarchist novel that J.G. Eccarius wrote is The Last Days of Christ the Vampire, excerpts from which appear in the box below. It was first published in 1988 with a second edition featuring a new front and back cover which includes a quote from the Fifth Estate describing Last Days...as “one of the most wildly blasphemous books we have seen since the classics of sacrilege.”

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Bob McGlynn
Anarchy in Trieste Anarchists from East & West meet in Italy

The Italian group Germinal sponsored the first-ever large scale planning meeting of anarchists from the East and West in Trieste, Italy from April 14 through 17. Although they did not intend to have a huge gathering, 332 people registered from 23 countries. Among the groups represented from Eastern Europe were the Confederation of Anarcho-Syndicalists (USSR), the Czechoslovakian Anarchist Union, Autonomia (Hungary), Autonomija and A! (Yugoslavia) and Black Aliens and the Polish Anarchist Federation (Poland).

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George Bradford (David Watson)
An Exemplary Life A Memoir of Fredy Perlman

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Fredy Perlman with the cover of Letters of Insurgents at Detroit’s Black and Red Print co-op, 1976

referred to in this article:

Having Little, Being Much: A Chronicle of Fredy Perlman’s Fifty Years, by Lorraine Perlman, Black & Red (Detroit, 1989), 155 pages, $3.50

I cannot say with any certainty what kind of response this perceptive, if rather abbreviated memoir would elicit from a person who did not know Fredy Perlman or his writings. It was written, clearly, for those familiar at least with his work, and they without a doubt will enjoy this glimpse of the man whose voice played such a large role in reviving libertarian traditions and articulating the critical primitivism that has profoundly transformed anti-authoritarian ideas during the last decade.

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Lewis Cannon
Earth Day? We Want a Festival of the Oppressed! The Solution to Pollution is Revolution

Earth Day supplement page 1

1. Earth’s Day or Capital’s Spectacle?

If there was ever a need for an “Earth Day,” “Earth Week,” or “Earth Year” “to get people thinking creatively about the problems we now confront, and looking for new ways to tackle them,” in the words of Earth Day 1970 organizer (and Earth Day 1990 CEO) Denis Hayes, now is certainly the time.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Prisoner Updates The Continuing Cost of COINTELPRO

Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt has been incarcerated in California’s maximum security prisons for almost 20 years. He was recently transferred to Tehachapi, in southern California, far from his growing base of support in the Bay Area.

On July 28, 1972 Pratt—a much-decorated Vietnam veteran and then head of the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP)—was sentenced to a seven-year-to-life term for the “Tennis Court Murder” of a white school teacher in Santa Monica in 1968. FBI infiltrator Melvin “Cotten” Smith, who was then head of Panther security in Los Angeles, has since come forward with details of the FBI/LA red squad plan to frame Geronimo. Now doing a life stretch of his own in Kentucky, Smith described a meeting in which agents and cops sat around trying to figure out which unsolved murder would be the best to pin on Pratt.

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Bert Wirkes-Butuar
Recycling & Liberal Reform

Earth Day supplement page 3

It was perhaps an inappropriate time to ask a question since at that very moment two climbers from Greenpeace were struggling to unfurl a banner describing the pollution which would be emitted from Detroit’s giant trash incinerator. Their problems were compounded by the fact that they were hanging in the girders of the Detroit-Windsor Ambassador Bridge some 150 feet from the water below.

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Allan Foster
Re-Visioning The Strait

a review of

The Strait by Fredy Perlman, Black & Red, Detroit, 1988

I began to make this a conventional review of Fredy Perlman’s book The Strait and it was a mistake. For if you begin reading it as a conventional book with a linear story and a stairway of characters The Strait will fail you and, what is worse for me, will fail Fredy and the leap of imagination which he put into it.

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anon.
Roger, Michael and Me

a review of “Roger and Me,” a film produced and directed by Michael Moore.

“It was like a prison.” So says Deputy Fred, who evicts families that can no longer pay the rent. He is speaking of the auto assembly line, and this is the only direct reference in the entire film “Roger and Me” to the brutal nature of factory “life.” Michael Moore, founder (and loser?) of the Flint Voice, sacked editor of Mother Jones, has now transferred his lukewarm critique of capitalist relations to the silver screen as director and narrator.

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Gabriel Dumont
The Earth Moves Beneath Me

Hello. My name is Car. I am the new world citizen. My arrival in your neighbourhood brings with it a new kind of peace and prosperity.

You now find me, with minor variations in appearance, everywhere in the world. I am possible only because modern technology has been liberated from its historical restraints. The contemporary political and economic climate has fostered an exchange of technical information and an availability of natural resources that all previous national chauvinisms, physical barriers, and antiquated cultural taboos made impractical.

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Fifth Estate Collective
What’s Happening Next Earth Day actions

Earth Day supplement page 8

DECLARE THE DEATH OF THE CAR!

GM WORLD HEADQUARTERS

W. GRAND BLVD. AT SECOND AVE.

THURSDAY, APRIL 19, NOON

Assemble at WSU Gullen Mall

Call 831–6800 for more info.

WIN THE LOTTO

1 CHANCE IN 10 MILLION

DIE FROM THE INCINERATOR

38 CHANCES IN 1 MILLION

Demonstrate Against the Detroit Trash Incinerator!

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Rudolf Bahro
Who Can Stop the Apocalypse?

Earth Day supplement page 5

A Note on Rudolf Bahro

In 1977, East German dissident Rudolph Bahro was arrested and accused of publishing “state secrets” in a book entitled The Alternative in Eastern Europe, in which he used a Marxist critique buoyed by the principles of Rosa Luxembourg to scrutinize the socialist system of his time. After more than two years in prison, he was released to West Germany where his profound preoccupation with the ecology crisis led him to become immersed in the green movement, and he eventually became a leading figure in the Green Party. Bahro’s association was, however, marred by conflicts in which his constant insistence on fundamental precepts of freedom, peace and ecological balance made him an irritating thorn in the side of the Party’s more compromising elements. He resigned from the Greens in June 1985, pointing out that through parliamentary and electoral politics, the group had sold out to the system, and that an inherent error had been made in deciding to become a political party in the first place.

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Luba
Bombing won’t stop Redwood Summer

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(Ieft) Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney, victims of an assassin’s bomb, playing earlier at a Redwood Summer benefit. (right) The car they were driving when the bomb exploded.

In a doubly bizarre set of circumstances, two California environmentalists experienced an assassination attempt followed by their arrest for “possessing” the device that almost killed them.

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Eddie Sabot
Death of the Car Earth Day Action

In a rite of spring, a festive gathering of zeks celebrated the biosphere—that fine layer of rust that covers the earth which gives and supports life. This rite was bizarre because it wasn’t happening around the wild fruit trees or among the paw and hoof prints of the wolf, brown bear and white-tailed deer, but in the land which did once support these sisters but now is transformed into the great Babylonian city of Detroit. It was also bizarre for it was a rite of de-structuring of this city’s greatest idol, its golden calf of black hooves which travels at incredible speeds. It was the rite called “Death of the Car.”

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Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

According to our staff box, this newspaper is officially a quarterly, but in reality, we have become an “episodic,” corning out between or in conjunction with our political, cultural and environmental projects. It has been common practice in this space to offer explanations for our long printing delays and infrequent publishing schedule which is now about three issues a year. That is contrasted to twenty years ago when the Fifth Estate appeared weekly. It is perhaps time to formally declare that three-four times a year will be it for a while and devote this column to matters other than apologia.

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David Porter
Emma Goldman: An Appreciation 50 Years After Her Death

Emma Goldman (June 27, 1869-May 14, 1940) was known as “the most dangerous woman in America” by the press in such articles as those to the right which chronicled a visit by her to Windsor, Ontario, across the border from Detroit, in 1939. She certainly was this country’s most famous anarchist in the early years of this century.

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anon.
FBI War on the Black Panthers

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was formed in Oakland, California in 1966. Within two years it had dropped self-defense from its title and spread throughout the country, particularly in California and the northern ghettos. It also came under tremendous pressure as federal and state repression of the movement intensified.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Remember: we’re still here Support anarchist & class war prisoners

Attention prisoners!

Throughout our 25-year history, this newspaper has maintained a policy of offering free subscriptions, through a special fund provided by our readers, to those held captive by the political state—prisoners and GIs. This is not done as an act of charity or social work, but as an expression of solidarity with those suffering in two of class society’s most authoritarian and key institutions—prison and the armed forces.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Riot Cops Keep Wall Street Open

On Monday, April 23, almost 2,000 demonstrators converged on New York’s Wall street and attempted to close this bastion of capitalism. Over 200 were arrested in the action which brought together a coalition of 60 or so groups.

At dawn demonstrators blockaded the entrances to Wall Street but were broken up by a massive show of riot police.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Tales from the Planet

While nonviolent action in China and Central Europe last year grabbed headlines around the globe, North American media seems to have all but forgotten the ongoing nonviolent direct action campaign for a nuclear-free future. Yet in 1989, nearly 5,500 arrests for anti-nuclear protest in the US and Canada—more than any other previous year—were reported in The Nuclear Resister newsletter.

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Rob R. History
Twenty years later State Murder of a Black Panther

Without much fanfare, another of those 20th anniversaries of the 1960s passed by recently. At 4:45 a.m. on December 4, 1969, a detail of fourteen Chicago and Illinois State’s Attorney’s police raided a modest apartment in the all-black near West Side ghetto, a crash pad for Black Panther Party (BPP) members.

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Mary Wildwood
Yikes! We Shut It Down! Detroit Burner Closes Temporarily

Sometimes we have arguments about whether it is appropriate for anarchist-types to be participating in officially sanctioned political events with double-speak names like “public hearing” held before bogus, paid-off boards with Ministry of Truth names like “Michigan Air Pollution Control Commission.” Like the one held April 17th to validate a backroom deal between the City of Detroit and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) called a “consent order,” made to allow the Detroit trash incinerator to keep burning even though they couldn’t come up with a test result that didn’t grossly violate emissions standards—standards which consider 79 deaths per million residents an acceptable risk.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Innu People Resist NATO

Canada is illegally renting out the territory of the Innu people to the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) countries so that their bombers can practice bombing and surprise attacks. The establishment of a permanent NATO base could be announced soon. [see FE note at end of article]

The Innu people (sometimes called the Montagnais or the Naskapi) refer to their ancestral territories as the Nitassinan, literally our land, in their native language. The area was never ceded by treaty or otherwise by the original inhabitants. The presence of the Innu in this remote part of the world goes back at least 9,000 years. This area extends from Sept-Iles, to Lac St. Jean, Quebec, to the west; to Fort Cains, Quebec, to the north; and down to St. Augustine, Quebec, and Goose Bay, Labradore, to the east.

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Dave Hanson
Sing Your Song

Allowed freedom, we are enchanted beings. The enchantment begins with our human, personal song, which discovered, cracks open a window into the cosmos, enabling us to experience reality with fewer boundaries.

The song, first personally and then communally, is the primary tool that unlocks our apprehension of deeper reality, and allows us to act from that vision. This process is deeply connected, integrated and anarchistic.

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Steven Kirk
The Continuing Colonialism of Climate Change Solutions Radical Slogans, Militant Actions, but Their Solution is the Market

Climate change, global warming, the undeniable and irreversible global-scale reconfiguration of global chemistry, from the land, to the water, to the sky, we are awash in a multitude of changes. Each one compounds and codevelops with the other crises of civilization. Loss of ecosystems, extinction of species, obliteration of the land that runs in tandem with production weaves with the consequences of hydrocarbon use.

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Rich Dana (Ricardo Feral)
The Politics of Fandom Science Fiction’s Historic Struggle over the Future

A dedicated band of idealistic working-class teenagers crash a meeting of techno-fascists at a New York hotel, confronting the group’s dictatorial leaders.

It sounds like an Antifa adventure plucked from today’s headlines—but in fact, this plot unfolded at the first ever World Science Fiction Convention in 1939. Despite its reputation for campy story-telling and escapist plots, science fiction (SF) has always been highly political at its core, and this story began when Dave Kyle, a member of a fan club known as The Futurians, attempted to distribute a pamphlet criticizing the convention organizers.

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Frank Joyce
1492, 1513, 1619, 2019 It’s all connected: On the Origins of the So-called United States of America

Many are marking 2019 as the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first captured Africans in Jamestown. So, even more than usual, we will hear chattel slavery referred to as the nation’s original sin.

It isn’t.

That framing is itself a window into the white way of thinking. It’s meant to perpetuate the mythologies of Christianity That doctrine incorporates the belief that humans are flawed, weak and often badly behaved. And, since that’s God given, it will always be true.

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Dana Williams
Hope Springs Forth From Fire Mutual Aid & Disaster Response to California’s Deadliest Wild Fire

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The Camp Fire was also a health and environmental disaster. Smoke from the deadly fire resulted in widespread air pollution throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Valley.

On November 8, 2018, a deadly wildfire—called the Camp Fire because it began on Camp Creek Road—swept the western Sierra Nevada foothills in northern California. The fire’s spark originated with Pacific Gas & Electric power transmission lines that ignited dry vegetation on a particularly windy day.

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Thomas Haroldson
Hank Malone

Barbarella Two film reviews

1. Thomas Haroldson

“Barbarella” is a gas. No doubt about it. In fact, it is one of the most enjoyable and imaginative movies ever made.

The picture, in a sense, takes Candy to the year 40,000 and drops her off somewhere just this side of surrealism. And all in all it’s a damn fine trip.

Since Barbarella, like other masturbatory heroines, is a product of pure imagination, it is only proper that she is at last free from the mundane restrictions of earthly reality.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Digger Digs In

Digger O’Dell, world famous stunt man, will be buried in Detroit October 26th, at 1 pm at 13505 Grand River east of Schaefer. Mr. O’Dell will be buried alive.

He will arrive on October 21 to begin construction of his concrete casket six feet beneath an abandoned gas station.

Digger estimates he has spent 6-1/2 of his 54 years buried in a self made grave and has been buried 93 times before. O’Dell, who earns his living either sitting on flagpoles or going to the other extreme of being buried alive, holds the present World Record of 78 days 20 minutes and 10 seconds for staying under six feet of dirt.

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Judie Davis
Eat It

Easy Chicken Cacciatore:

butter

medium onion

few pieces garlic

2 oz. salt pork (few pieces cut up bacon will do)

2 to 3 lbs. frying chicken

1 sm. can tomato sauce

seasoning: pinches of parsley, rosemary, oregano and basil (or a couple teaspoons Italian seasoning which is all of the above in a more expensive bottle).

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Fifth Estate Collective
Observer Censored

“I’m tired. I’m tired of being tired. White man, devil, don’t bother me. No, bastard, I’m going to keep my cool. I won’t give you an easy way. I’m going to kick your ass at your own rigged-up game. When I do it you’ll probably be too cold to feel it. Honky, I’ll never get as cold and as inhuman as you. I wouldn’t want to be as cold and inhuman as you. I wouldn’t want to be your Goddamned imitation. I’ve got better things to do.”

—“Painted Black”

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Fifth Estate Collective
Events Calendar

Fri. Oct. 18

GRANDE BALLROOM fun with the Kensington Market and the fantastic MC-5. All sorts of psychedelic bullshit happening. Don’t forget to check out Barry Kramer’s groovy counter, he has a very complete assortment of English records, hippie Bob Stark is the head salesman. You gotta be 17. Grand River & Beverly.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Feds Bug Chi Vets

DETROIT—Veterans of the Chicago battle have been approached by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in an attempt to get detailed information on Movement activities during the Democratic National Convention.

At least four local residents who were busted in Chicago have since been approached by FBI agents who said “Mr. Hoover wants to get all the facts about this business. he’s very concerned about it.”

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Guy M. Mendes
Freeks for Wallace?

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by an associate editor of the Kentucky Kernel and was first published by the College Press Service.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LNS) — George Wallace, a man who has contributed greatly to the political polarization of this country, visited the University of Kentucky recently and was greeted by a complete reversal of the polar stereotypes.

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Julius Lester
From the Other Side of the Tracks

Reprinted with permission of The Guardian, independent radical weekly, NYC

The very different nature of the problems facing the white and black communities necessitated a white radical movement and a black radical movement. In no organic way could these two movements merge, although they were both fighting the same enemy. That situation still exists, except the black and white radical movements have a common problem for the first time, a problem which can be more effectively fought if the two movements formally align with each other.

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