Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
The Tyranny of Democracy “Consensus is a tricky issue”

Check out the December 15, 1999, San Francisco Bay Guardian (www.sfbg.com). Page 13 is devoted to a debate regarding property destruction in Seattle.

Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange, one of the organizations that formed the Direct Action Network, finally clarifies her position (along with a welcome apology for statements she made regarding calling the police on black bloc activists).

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Jens Bjorneboe
How Professor Arne Ness and I Conquered NATO The History of a Norwegian Nonviolent Action

From Norway, My Norway (1968) Translated by Esther Greenleaf Murer

Jens Bjorneboe (1920–1976) is one of Norway’s most noted post-WW authors; a poet, playwright, essayist and novelist. He was a complex personality embodying a variety of influences from anthroposophy to anarchism, who was both banned and honored in his home country. He is best known for his fiction, particularly the trilogy, The History Of Bestiality: Moment Of Freedom (1966), Powderhouse (1969), and The Silence (1973) and his novel The Sharks (1974). Philosopher Arne Ness is the founder of Deep Ecology.

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Starhawk
How We Really Shut down the WTO In Seattle, training, and organization closed the streets and gives a guide for future actions

It’s been two weeks now since the morning when I awoke before dawn to join the blockade that shut down the opening meeting of the WTO.

Since getting out of jail, I’ve been reading the media coverage and trying to make sense out of the divergence between what I know happened and what has been reported.

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David Watson
A Humble Call to Subvert the Human Empire

“A Humble Call to Subvert the Human Empire” by longtime Fifth Estate collaborator David Watson is from a recent collection of his writing, Against the Megamachine: Essays on empire & its enemies (Autonomedia, 1999); it’s one of a few in this highly recommended volume that has not previously appeared in this newspaper. See Bookstore page for ordering information.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Cops, Press, Politicians Pulling Out All the Stops to Kill Mumia

2000 may be the decisive year in the legal and political battle for the life of Mumia Abu-Jamal. As the campaign to save the falsely imprisoned journalist and ex-Black Panther gathers momentum, the police, politicians and media are stepping up their efforts to have him strapped to the execution gurney.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Death Penalty Cases Riddled with Errors

After years of overwhelming public and political support in this country for the death penalty, the tide may be turning.

Following a string of exonerations for Illinois death row inmates, Governor George Ryan declared a halt to all executions in that state. Since 1977, when Illinois reinstated the death penalty, the state has executed 12 men, but has freed 13, several in the last two years, when they were found to have been convicted in error. One can only wonder, given that the dead-to-freed ratio is less than 50 percent, how many of those killed by the state were also innocent.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

Welcome to our Spring 2000 issue. The last one we published was dated Summer 1999, so subscribers and libraries, please take note; you haven’t missed any intervening papers. This edition is numbered 354, the previous one, 353, so we are trudging along, even if not very quickly.

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We’re grateful to have Maurice Spira’s inspiring and hilarious graphic grace our front page, and are pleased to be able to give extensive space to the discussion regarding tactics and strategies following the Seattle WTO demos. As David Solnit suggests in our page one article, we could very well be on the cusp of a new period of contestation.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Masthead

The Fifth Estate (ISSN No. 0015–0800) is published quarterly at 4632 Second Ave., Detroit, Michigan 48201 USA; Phone (313) 831–6800. Our office hours vary, so please call before visiting. Subscriptions are $10.00 for four issues; $12.00 foreign including Canada. Periodical Mail postage paid at Detroit, Michigan. No copyright. No paid advertisements.

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David Solnit
Seattle much more than a few broken windows

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Some demonstrators wanted more than free trade.

On November 30, 1999, a citizen uprising shut down the World Trade Organization and took over downtown Seattle, transforming it into a festival of resistance. Tens of thousands of people joined the nonviolent direct action blockade which encircled the WTO conference site, keeping the most powerful and undemocratic institution on earth shut down from dawn till dusk, despite an army of federal, state and local police, using tear gas, pepper spray, rubber, plastic and wooden bullets, concussion grenades and armored tanks in an attempt to control the crowds. However, people continued to resist throughout the week despite the clampdown which included mass arrests of nearly 600 people and government suspension of any pretense of civil rights.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Tales From The Planet

Silvia Baraldini, an Italian national, imprisoned in the U.S. for nearly 17 years for a series of armored car holdups in support of the Black Liberation Army (BLA), an urban guerrilla group, was released in August 1999.

She was given a hero’s welcome in Rome, after arriving on a private jet arranged for her by Italy’s leftist government. Several Italian cities offered Baraldini honorary citizenship, calling her a victim of American injustice.

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Voltairine De Cleyre
Robert Helms

Voltairine de Cleyre On Woman Power: a lost article rediscovered

Introduction by Robert Helms

As interest in the history of anarchism increases with each passing year, we stumble across more lost gold mines of sources. I recently discovered one in Philadelphia which connects Voltairine de Cleyre, the celebrated anarchist speaker, poet, essayist and activist, with an anonymously published feminist article “The Political Equality of Woman.” Publishing it here for the first time in 105 years is cause for a small celebration.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Desert Storm A War Against the Earth

“Oil is industrial capitalism’s ‘crack.’”

—anti-war placard

In the late 1980s, it became increasingly and undeniably obvious that modern civilization was undermining the complex ecological web sustaining life on the planet. The earth’s “vital signs” were becoming seriously stressed by industrial activity, and global responses would be necessary to reverse some of the dangerous trends. Yet there was an inertia among the world powers capable of responding. As French President Francois Mitterand said at a summit on the environment in 1989, there seemed to be “no political authority capable of making decisions on a global scale.”

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Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

Victor D. Schumacher January 27, 1922 — January 28, 1991
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Victor D. Schumacher
January 27, 1922 — January 28, 1991

This issue of the FE is dedicated to Victor Schumacher, a mainstay of the Detroit antiwar movement and activist community, who was killed by a car late in January during his morning jog. Vic was a pacifist and a member of the War Resisters League whose resistance to militarism dated back to the time he spent in prison for refusing to serve in the U.S. armed forces during World War II. Vic refused to do alternative service as well. While working in a New York hospital tending many war victims, he saw wards cleared of war wounded for security reasons so that Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, the wife of the Chinese Nationalist dictator, could have cosmetic surgery. Seeing the soldiers lying in gurneys in the hallways to make room for the privileged, he vowed to resist the system of injustice in every way he could.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Earth First! Split Final Yearly Gathering Set

Earth First! is dead! Long live Earth First!

The irreconcilable differences within the dispute-plagued, radical environmental group finally led to what one of its founders, Dave Foreman, who is often at the center of the controversies, has long called for—a “no-fault divorce.” Although there is much behind-the-scenes acrimony among the leading figures on all sides, the public stance has been that each should go in peace and continue defending the environment in their own way.

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Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

Critique of Totality

Dear FE folks,

Congratulations on the 25th anniversary.

I found the four-person exchange [“Environmentalism and Revolution: A Challenge to the Fifth Estate and Responses,” FE #335, Winter, 1991] a good one, and I’d like to see more of that. Although at this time I don’t have anything to add that hasn’t been said. These issues are what I had in mind for a “rethinking anarchy.”

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M.R.
Mapping Distance

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Lynne Clive

A stone’s throw away—

here, behind the pane, housed,

relatively safe.

But you, you draw me out,

outside my house, outside myself,

you, homeless one,

urban nomad.

I think some sleepless nights

to join you,

to close this box and break

my pane, to move, walk

away, walk about.

.

But I romanticize you with daydreams

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Fifth Estate Collective
News & Reviews

We never could figure out which faction was responsible for the auto-destruction of New York City’s Sabotage Bookstore (the pamphlets published by either side casting blame are definitely not recommended reading), but we had the same sensation one does when watching a once loving couple rage at one another. Fortunately, people close to the excellent Shadow newspaper (PO Box 20298, New York NY 10009) have established the city’s only “underground anarchist bookstore” featuring publications, records, tapes and books, as well as pins, t-shirts, posters and the like. A-Central Books is located at 208 E. 7th St., phone (212) 674–0581, and also contains a People’s Switchboard with information on local, national and international anarchist events.

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Sunfrog
Operation Gender Blur Book review

a review of

Bisexuality: A Reader and Sourcebook edited by Thomas Geller (available for $10.95 from Times Change Press c/o Publishers Services, Box 2510, Novato, CA 94948 or the FE Bookstore)

We are sometimes afraid of the risks which must be taken when we integrate discussions of sexuality and gender into the life of our activist community. It’s rather dangerous to try to define a “politically correct” sexuality for anti-authoritarians. The gay vs. straight or monogamy vs. non-monogamy discussions (and a huge list of other related discussions) should be most familiar to those of us whose lives, identified with communities of resistance, transcend (or defy) a purely political involvement. Discussions of gender and sexuality do have serious implications for our politics (or anti-politics).

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Primitivo Solis (David Watson)
Peering into the Abyss

discussed in this article:

Encyclopaedia of Nuisances: Dictionary of the irrational in the sciences, trades and industrial arts, April 1989, “Abyss.” Author anonymous, no price listed. Available from Boite postale 188, 75665 Paris Cedex 14 France

“It seems somewhat ridiculous to talk of revolution...But everything else is even more ridiculous, since it implies accepting the existing order in one way or another.”

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Fifth Estate Collective
FE Books

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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Os Cangaceiros
French Radicals Sabotage Prison Project

[Translator’s note: Recently, a voluminous dossier began to circulate in France. The dossier, sent by Os Cangaceiros, included stolen prison plans and documents and a chronology outlining Os Cangaceiros’s campaign of sabotage against the “13,000 project” (new maximum security penitentiaries with room for 13,000 prisoners), as well as reproductions of communiques sent to those who were targeted. Interestingly, the police and companies which were attacked have been very discreet about this campaign, apparently wishing to give it as little publicity as possible. The following excerpts from the dossier have been translated from Mordicus, B.P. 11, 75622 Paris cedex 13, France, and Le Monde Libertaire, 145 rue Amelot, 75011 Paris, France].

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Murray Bookchin
Myth of the Party Bolshevik Mystification and Counter-Revolution

See Fifth Estate introduction in this issue.

Social revolutions are not “made” by parties, groups, or cadres; they occur as a result of deep-seated historic forces and contradictions that activate large sections of the population. They occur not merely (as Trotsky argued) because the “masses” find the existing society intolerable, but also because of the tension between the actual and the possible, between “what is” and “what could be.”

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anon.
The Lessons of Vietnam The government spat on Vietnam vets, not the anti-war movement

Although the phrase, “The first casualty in war is truth,” has been aptly realized in the media coverage of the Persian Gulf war, the truth is often the last casualty as well. In the case of America’s military adventure in Vietnam, numerous Big Lies about that conflict continue sixteen years after the U.S. defeat.

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Bill Blear
Battle of the Bullhorn

On Malcolm X Day, February 21, in Detroit, members of two rival leftist sects slugged it out for control of a microphone following an anti-war march organized as part of nationwide protests against the Gulf war.

The demonstration of 125 people was sponsored by a local anti-war coalition, but those calling the shots all seemed to be from the trotskyist Socialist Workers Party (SWP). The brawl occurred at the protest after-glow on the Wayne State University campus where about half the marchers gathered to discuss what to do next.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Introduction to “The Myth of the Party”

The article appearing on the following two pages, “The Myth of the Party,” by Murray Bookchin (from his essay “Listen Marxist”) was first excerpted in FE #272, May 1976. We reprint it hoping it will be of interest to a new generation of anti-war and social activists who find themselves beset by the return of the living dead—marxist-leninist parties.

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Fifth Estate Collective
On (don’t spell it backwards) Anarchist Organization

FE Note: There continues to be a sometimes rancorous debate within the anarchist movement about how best to combat the system. What follows is meant to be critical but comradely. We in no way doubt the spirit of those we criticize in this article, only their judgment.

Unfortunately, even for a small number of those who espouse the ideas of anarchy, the modern form of organization (which both the left and the right employ) holds an allure as a seemingly efficient manner in which to confront the state and capitalism. However, when adopted by anarchists, the formal organizational mode has been no more successful than it has for leninists.

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George Bradford (David Watson)
Civilization in Bulk Empire & Ecological Destruction: Part I

Having had the privilege of living for a time among stone age peoples of Brazil, a very civilized European of considerable erudition wrote afterwards, “Civilization is no longer a fragile flower, to be carefully preserved and reared with great difficulty here and there in sheltered corners...All that is over: humanity has taken to monoculture, once and for all, and is preparing to produce civilization in bulk, as if it were sugar-beet. The same dish will be served to us every day.” [1]

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Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Resists the War

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Participants in the 400-person anarchist contingent carry banners from the New York-based Autonomous Anarchist Action group at the Jan. 26 Washington DC march. —photo/Mitch

The following is a brief summary of the many anti-war actions which occurred in the Detroit area since just before the January 16 U.S. air assault on Iraq. The numbers involved here were considerably lower than anti-war actions in other large metropolitan areas such as San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, Chicago and New York, where tens, and even hundreds, of thousands participated. Reasons for the small numbers in Detroit are linked to racial, geographical and political patterns of our city (a story best told another time), but we did what we could with the people we had to impede the war machine and express the depth of our rage against the government.

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Rob Recidivist
Marked Cards in the Middle East a short history

“Clemenceau, Lloyd George, Woodrow Wilson. Three old men shuffling the pack, dealing out the cards: The Rhineland, Danzig, the Polish Corridor, the Ruhr, self-determination of small nations, the Saar, League of Nations, mandates, the Mespot, Freedom of the Seas, Trans-Jordania, Shantung, Fiume, and the Island of Yap: machinegun fire and arson, starvation, lice, cholera, typhus, oil was trumps.”

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Fifth Estate Collective
Masthead

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.

The Fifth Estate Newspaper (ISSN No. 0015–0800) is published quarterly at 4632 Second Ave., Detroit, Michigan 48201 USA; phone (313) 831–6800. Office hours vary, so please call before visiting. Subscriptions are $6.00 a year; $8.00 foreign including Canada. Second class postage paid at Detroit MI. No copyright. No paid advertisements.

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anon.
Why the U.S. Destroyed Iraq

At 6:46 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on January 16, 1991, George Bush, Commander-in-Chief of the Empire’s armed forces, announced in Washington DC, “The liberation of Kuwait has begun.” And, at that moment half a world away in Iraq, the most furious air assault in history commenced against a nation which fit perfectly into the larger schemes of the United States.

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George Bradford (David Watson)
These Are Not our Troops This Is Not Our Country

[three_fifth padding=“0 20px 0 0”]In George Orwell’s 1984, protagonist Winston Smith has acquired a copy of the arch-traitor Emmanuel Goldstein’s manual for totalitarian domination, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchic Collectivism, in which he reads that the ideal party member “should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war.” The novel functions in great part through ironic reversals (the subversive conspiracy is contrived by the police, etc.); it should come as no surprise, then, that the reality it illuminates is not so much the otherness of the state socialist dictatorships that it originally resembled, but rather the oligarchic collectivism of modern corporate capital and its military-industrial garrison states—those states waging their brutal crusade against “Eurasia,” now that former enemies appear to be vanquished and incorporated into the empire.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Marius Mason painting

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“Helmeted Hornbill” Marius Mason 2019

MARIUS MASON, AN ANARCHIST TRANS PRISONER serving 22-years for environmental sabotage, has been moved to a low security prison in Danbury, Conn.

The painting above will be one of two dozen as part of an exhibit of Marius’s work at the Maine Film Center in Waterville, Maine on Sept. 20. Fifth Estate staff member, Peter Werbe, will speak and singer/songwriter, David Rovics will perform. Check the Fifth Estate web site and Facebook page for more info.

Fifth Estate Collective
About this Issue

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As opposed to the mechanistic, cold, pseudo-scientific dogma of Marxists and others, we know that the urge for revolution has to come from a deeper place in our lives. The Spanish anarchists said they had “a new world in their hearts,” which provided a vision for their struggles. The idea of re-enchantment of the world mirrors that longing as a prefiguring of what we want. We dedicate this issue to those in the past who have fought for a new world and to those today who continue in their footsteps.

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Various Authors
Letters

Send letters to fe [@] fifthestate [dot] org or Fifth Estate, POB 201016, Ferndale MI 48220

All formats accepted including typescript & handwritten.

Letters may be edited for length.

Fifth Estate note: We usually don’t print letters of this length, but thought this encapsulated the sexual immiseration suffered by many. We don’t offer advice in this matter, but invite others to suggest how best to navigate sex and partnering.

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Jesús Sepúlveda
Anti-authoritarian Portugal Germinating Anarchy

Last June, I was invited by the anarchist publisher, Textos Subterraneos, to speak about the newly-published Portuguese edition of my book, The Garden of Peculiarities, in Lisbon and Oporto. Of interest to FE readers, TS has also put out an anthology of Fredy Perlman’s work, A Reprodugio da Vida Quotidian e Outros Escritos.

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Fifth Estate Collective
FE Bookstore

The FE BOOKSERVICE is located in the same place as the Fifth Estate Newspaper, both of which are located at 4403 Second Avenue, Detroit MI 48201—telephone (313) 831–6800. The hours we are open vary considerably, so it’s always best to give us a call before coming down.

HOW TO ORDER BY MAIL:

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

...

Connor Stevens
How Pleasure is Revolutionary

a review of

Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, adrienne maree brown, Editor. AK Press, 2019 AKpress.org

This book is about creation, the act of re-creating the world; about a new world, a new language, a new flesh. Politics based around healing and happiness. adrienne maree brown and her fellow contributors offer a gift of unspeakable value by way of this sturdy, hilarious, tragic book. By helping to reinvigorate the world with magick and remembrance of the ancestors, it is more revolutionary than any text I can recall reading in years.

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Fifth Estate Collective
News & Reviews

In the last issue of the FE, we reported that Cienfuegos in the United Kingdom had closed up shop. What we failed to mention was that the U.S. branch, Cienfuegos/Soil of Liberty, is still going strong publishing their own books and distributing Cienfuegos books. This group has two new publications, the latest Anarchist Review, and a book entitled With the Peasants of Aragon, by Augustin Souchy. Both are available from Cienfuegos Distribution, 3512 12th Avenue S., Minneapolis Minnesota 55407. Cienfuegos UK will continue under the name REFRAC. For more information, write REFRAC Publications, BCM Refract, London WC1N 3XX, United Kingdom...

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Anti-Authoritarians Anonymous
The Enchantment of Nuclear Destruction

The possibility of total destruction through nuclear war corresponds to a condition of ruin everywhere that makes such destruction attractive. And in the absence of opposition that contests everything about the existing social order, only the eruption of nuclear war can be expected to put an end to our present flattened lives.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Anarchist Radio in France

One of the 28 or so Radios Libres (Free Radios) broadcasting in Paris is Radio Libertaire. “La Voix Sans Maitre” (The Voice Without Master) sponsored by the Fédération Anarchiste Française (The French Anarchist Federation). The FAF is comprised of 120 French anarchist groups and began transmission of the underground station in September 1981.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
L.S.D.

Book Reviews

B. Traven, The White Rose, Lawrence Hill & Co., Westport, CT, 1979, 209 pages, ($5.95, available from Fifth Estate Bookstore)

reviewed by L.S.D.

The White Rose by B. Traven is the story of the destruction of the pearl that was the most beautiful of all, the Rosa-Blanca, The White Rose, and its transformation into an industrial wasteland. This Mexican hacienda was almost entirely surrounded by land rich in oil owned by the Condor Oil Co., where rich wells poured forth thick streams of black gold. The richest of these wells bordered Rosa Blanca where Jacinto Yanez, owner of the hacienda, and sixty Totonac Indian families lived and had lived in almost the same manner for generations past, for Rosa Blanca was their ancestral home.

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Peter Werbe
But It All Falls Apart A Leftist Guide for Seizing the Power of the State

a review of

Seizure of State Power, Part 3 of Manual for Revolutionary Leaders by Michael Velli. Sources of Velli’s thought annotated by Fredy Perlman. Black & Red (2019) BlackandRed.org

Spoiler alert: This text is not well-intentioned advice for those seeking to lead the working class and seize the power of the state. Quite the opposite. It is a polemic against those who seek such a role.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Elections Still Avoided

Those of us who include abstention from voting as part of our libertarian or anarchist principles can look back at the November elections and smugly state the obvious, “Nobody won.” As usual, less than half of the eligible electorate bothered to participate in the fraud of “democracy,” i.e., which crook will represent our lives to the political expression of capital.

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Andrew Mehall
Interest v. Principal A brief review of a book about Banksy

a review of

This Is Not a Photo Opportunity: The Street Art of Banksy

Artist: Banksy, Photographs by Martin Bull. PM Press, 2014 pmpress.org

Anonymous England-based vandal Banksy, most known for graffiti-like works across the planet recently made news with his latest prank, by destroying it, or rather by it destroying itself. Upon selling at Sotheby’s, an art auction in London, Girl with Red Balloon, autonomously shredded itself before bidders. This was a departure from previous works, which are displayed in Martin Bull’s 2014 book, This Is Not a Photo Opportunity. There is a problem with Bull’s book. You discover the issue when you approach the text more critically than you would a coffee table book, which might be all that this is.

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Eric Thomas Chester
The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919

On May Day 1919, in the immediate aftermath of World War I, a general strike began that shut down all economic activity in Winnipeg, Canada. The general strikes that took place in Glasgow, Scotland in January 1919, in Seattle in February 1919, along with the Winnipeg strike remain some of the high watermarks in North American working class history.

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Peter Werbe
Comics, Graphic Novels, & the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike

a review of

1919: A Graphic History of the Winnipeg General Strike. Graphic History Collective and David Lester. Between The Lines (2019)

Although the term graphic novel may seem used simply to gussie up what many would call a comic book, the phrase generally describes a publication with more serious content than what you find in Marvel’s superhero tales of Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, Spider-Man, and the rest.

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Fredy Perlman
Against Leviathan Community vs. the State

This article, which began as a review of Frederick Turner’s inspiring work of intuitive history, Beyond Geography: The Western Spirit Against the Wilderness, is now the introductory section of a book in progress treating similar and related questions—the origins of the state, the destruction of myth-centered, communitarian, free societies by authoritarian machines and economic social relations, the varied forms of resistance to and flight from the state, and other seminal and provocative problems.

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Ann Hanson
A Woman Against the Mega-Machine Film review

a review of

Woman at War

Director: Benedikt Erlingsson

104 min. (2018)

You might be surprised to find the protagonist in this action-packed movie about a saboteur, Woman at War, is not a buxom blonde nor a dark-skinned foreign terrorist, but a white, middle-aged woman with a few visible wrinkles that appear around the eyes.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Resistance Remains Widespread Government continues efforts to enforce registration

During October, two non-registrants in contact with the Fifth Estate received warning letters from the Selective Service System (SSS) regarding their failure to report. This broke an almost two year silence on the part of the government during which the two men had heard nothing on their status. Both initially assumed that the government was now on to their “delinquent” status and that, due to the recent prosecution of resisters taking place, a confrontation was in the making. This seemingly purposeful notification is probably due to the expanded efforts of the SSS to identify those who have failed to register by matching up registration forms with social security numbers, Internal Revenue Service computer printouts and some state Motor Vehicle Department lists. Still, other resisters known to the Fifth Estate have yet to receive any notification whatsoever, which indicates that the SSS process for identifying offenders remains haphazard.

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