William R. Boyer (Bill Boyer)
Absolutely Marie Suite

You seldom wavered

You always questioned

When we never trusted

the smoke, the steam, the fog

or more precisely

the cooling towers

and modern chimneys

and their endless denials

in the names of our children;

Can you still detect the distant battle drums

beyond their crude walls

The silica source of our glass embrace

The contrast against concrete monuments

of their unrestricted restrictions,

Bringing us closer to fermented red serenities

and the eventual savoring

of the fresh water’s edge,

Long after the shareholder meetings we disrupted

We recall your robin song voice

and better futures

with frank sense and mirth

Respecting zebra mussels

and mocking invasive authorities

Toasting unnamed friends

and unimaginable foes;


Fifth Estate Collective
Minneapolis report Police state emerges further at Republican Convention... Organizers Face “Terrorism” Charges


During four days in September, the Republican Party held its national convention in the Excel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In the style of 21st century capitalism, these party conventions are almost entirely virtual: media spectacles complete with bright lights, hokey sets, and lots of the red, white, and blue; an imaginary world occupied by creepy mannequins with stiff smiles.


Fifth Estate Collective
The Green Scare Goes On ...a punitive campaign to bring outrageous sentences

The Green Scare continues with the plea-bargain and imprisonment of Fifth Estate writer Marie Mason, three new arrests in Wisconsin, grand jury appearances by activists Kevin Tucker and already-imprisoned Daniel McGowan, and the sentencing of Briana Waters.

The “Green Scare” refers to a series of recent arrests of earth and animal liberation activists (and the ongoing investigation and intimidation of the same) who have engaged in acts of property damage in which no one was hurt. The arrests have been marked by outrageous charges (activists often face life in prison), as well as the public and legal labeling of these acts as “terrorism.”


Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

Send letters to

fe — at — fifthestate — dot — org


Fifth Estate

P.O.B. 201016,

Ferndale MI 48220

All formats accepted including typescript & handwritten; letters may be edited for length.

Counterfeiting Mischief

I’ve been taking my time enjoying the Summer 2008 issue of Fifth Estate and just read “Counterfeiting Sovereignty” by Don LaCoss. The story about the superdollar in the last paragraph of column 1 and then the top of col. 2, p. 20 is amazing. Given the reported cases where people (like Iraq proconsul Paul Bremer) have gone into hot spots and started handing out money, the counterfeit idea makes a certain sense. I suppose the stuff keeps a certain value, as long as it keeps circulating abroad, causing who knows what sort of mischief.


William R. Boyer (Bill Boyer)
Nest Defense for Marie Mason

The savage crimes of civilization cannot mute the cries of the savage. But the voice of the savage is not the machine buzz of chainsaws in the forest or the clank of garbage trucks in the ghetto. Her savage voice mirrors an angel, an angel wailing one last song of protest before the last bulldozer takes out the last wild place.


Fifth Estate Collective
Party Like It’s 1929! Editorial

Common radical wisdom suggests that capitalism won’t crumble on its own, so imagine the ironically comforting confidence with which we have watched the system convulse over the last few months. But as Don LaCoss reminds us in “The Disasters of Disaster Capitalism,” it’s not a good idea to expect the system to just wither away. The cruel nature of corporations and the state suggests that the forces of domination will continue to profit from the people’s misery and punish anyone who gets in the way.


Don LaCoss
The Disasters of Disaster Capitalism

In an airport recently, I idly watched the 24-hour cable TV news that they pipe into the waiting lounges. A big report on the current financial market smashup noted that the US stock market had tumbled 40% in less than 365 days; this, the telegenic blonde woman on the screen told me in her “No, I’m really serious, now” voice.


D. Sands
Fifth Estate interview with Chilean anarchists

Despite years of dictatorship and no-holds-barred neoliberal economics, Chile has proved to be fertile ground for anarchism in recent years. What has emerged is a socially-engaged class-conscious movement, active in both student and worker struggles that is determined to remake society from below.

Two members of this movement recently visited Detroit to talk about the current situation in their home country. Gabriel Ascuai is a biology student involved with the Libertarian Student Front (FEL in Spanish). Pablo Abufom is a translator and philosophy researcher who works with the bookstore Librería Proyección and the newspaper, Solidaridad in Santiago.


Fifth Estate Collective
Mutual Aid Saves Fifth Estate

We came close to a disaster during preparation of this edition, but due to the incredible mutual aid offered by readers and supporters, we have come out stronger than ever. We were very close to our publication deadline when our computer crashed! We could have lost all of our work, plus, we needed to spend almost a thousand dollars on a new machine.


Peter Dudink
Our Revolution Religion as impediment

Today we live in a psychopathic civilization. It’s not a pleasant conclusion to arrive at, but perhaps it can spur us to build an alternative a thousand times better than the current planetary disaster. Why not? It’s within our reach. All we need is a concerted effort to revolutionize every aspect of life.


Jonny Ball
Hypocrisies of the Left In their search for leaders to revere, socialist sects defend the worst dictators, but they’ve done this since the days of Stalin & Mao

The hypocrisies of hierarchical political organizations know no bounds. Of this we can be certain. However, we shouldn’t be cajoled into thinking that the political right have a monopoly on contradiction and duplicity.

As far as it plays the game of modern power politics, the inconsistencies and follies of The Left (comprised of communists and socialists) rival those of any rightist grouping. The modern-day disciples of the dead men with beards are by no means immune to the worst effects of dogmatism and myopia.


Jim Feast
Making the Impossible Community Possible How do we create new eco-communitarian anarchist structures? What current models exist?

a review of

The Impossible Community: Realizing Communitarian Anarchism by John P. Clark. Bloomsbury, 2013, 272 pp., $30 paper; $120 hardback; bloomsbury.com

John Clark’s The Impossible Community is something of a mixed bag or should I say a treasure trove? Clark describes himself as an eco-communitarian anarchist theorist and activist. He lives and works in New Orleans where his family has been for twelve generations.


John Zerzan
A History of Agriculture Misses the Mark

a review of

A History of Agriculture: From the Neolithic Age to the Current Crisis by Marcel Mazoyer & Laurence Roudart. Monthly Review Press, 2006, 528 pp., $50 paperback

Monthly Review was established in 1949 as a Marxist, Soviet-oriented Stalinist journal. In recent years it has changed its stripes somewhat, now pushing, for example, a green/eco Marx (!) and a reformist outlook. The latter outlook typifies Mazoyer and Roudart’s History of Agriculture which bills itself as “a path breaking and panoramic work.”


Mike Peters
Ken Kesey & the Merry Pranksters 50 Years On Weird Load

Ken Kesey in 1997, with his bus “further,” a descendant of the vehicle that carried him and the Merry Pranksters on their 1964 trip across the U.S.

Fifty years ago, July 1964, a 1939 school bus furnished with bunk beds, basic kitchen facilities, and wired-up audio equipment, sets out from Palo Alto, California to journey across America. It is painted in bright psychedelic colors with the destination sign of, “Further,” on the front and, “Caution: Weird Load,” on the rear. It carries on board ten or so 60s drop-outs from various walks of life, as the bus makes its erratic way towards Route 60 and the road to New York.


Grand Jury Resister Jerry Koch Freed!

On January 28, a guard woke anarchist grand jury resister Jerry Koch in his cell and told him to get ready for court. They handed him some thin prison sweats and cotton slippers, then kicked him out in downtown New York City without even a phone call. He had to run six blocks in fifteen-degree weather to his lawyers’ office.


Wholly Shit Church reviews from a serious punk

Last September, I started going to church every Sunday. I go to a different one every time, often of wildly different denominations. I usually go with a friend or two and then write a church review for my blog. I’m not religious, and so extremely far from spiritual, but my goal isn’t to prove that christianity is a load of bullshit. If that’s your trip, ok, but that’s just too easy, and ultimately boring.


Dave Meesters
Bizarre Gnostic Science Fiction from the Author of Bolo’bolo

A review of

AKIBA: A Gnostic Novel, by p.m. Autonomedia, 2007

AKIBA, the new novel from Swiss writer p.m., belongs to a long tradition of utopian activist novels: it is not so much a work of art as a vehicle to illustrate the author’s political vision. Fans of p.m. will recognize the ideas, but might be surprised by the new sci-fi futurism that drives them.


Fifth Estate Collective
Montreal’s Fourth International Anarchist Theatre Festival May 13 & 14, 2009 With ‘The Living Theatre’

It’s the biggest and only anarchist theatre festival in the world, and it’s happening again during the month-long May 2009 Festival of Anarchy in North America’s favourite anarchist playground, Montreal, Quebec.

The fourth annual Montreal International Anarchist Theatre Festival (MIATF) takes place May 13 and 14, 2009, at Concordia University’s 400 seat D.B. Clarke Theatre, where last year, almost 800 people attended spectacular performances by The Bread & Puppet Theatre and other anarchist artists.


Peter Lamborn Wilson
Partly Genius, Partly Quite Mad

a review of

Cyclonopedia: Complicity with anonymous materials, by Reza Negarestani. re.press, 2008

This book appears to be (but might not be) a treatise on Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the Nomadic War Machine, written by someone (said to be an Iranian philosopher) who’s bitten off a bit more French Theory than I can chew. It’s thinly disguised as a SciFi novel as written by or about a brilliant Iranian philosopher named Parsani (“the Persian”) who’s on the verge of paranoid schizophrenic breakdown, in which is embedded a commentary on H.P. Lovecraft and other pulp-horror mashers, in the light of Zoroastrian and Mesopotamian religion and myth (this part is so clever it transcends mere parody), using diagrams of bizarre topology and non-Euclidian geometry, creating fake sources and mixing them with real (but very obscure and erudite) sources--all aimed at an elaborate allegorization of Middle East oil politics and the War on Terror--and analysis that strikes me as partly the work of a genius and partly quite mad, although this is probably the author’s intention, if there is in fact an author.


Don LaCoss
Like a Thief in the Night

a review of

Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark, edited by Paul Bogard. University of Nevada Press, 2008

The “Reconsidering Primitivism” issue of Fifth Estate #365 (Summer 2004) carried a short article called “Support for the Forces of Darkness” by Luci Williams that lamented the poisonous infection of the nighttime skies by industrial-commercial lighting and called for “direct action in defense of the dark” against “selfish aggressors waging perpetual war against the night.” Ringing with manifesto-like intentions in that same issue of FE was a piece by Peter Lamborn Wilson warning against electricity: “Some people like Black-Outs: consciously because they enjoy seeing things fucked up, perhaps unconsciously because the filth of dead light and noise suddenly dies with a moan. Other people fear Black-Outs for the same reasons. It depends on your relation with night, with darkness and primitivity.”


Jim Feast
“The People’s Luck” Anti-authoritarian China


For the past two summers, I accompanied my wife, who speaks Cantonese and Mandarin, to China so we could tour part of the country before she started summer school in a master’s program in Chinese literature in Nanjing, a city famed not only for being pillaged by Japan in World War II, but also as the country’s center of teacher education.


Stevphen Shukaitis
Workers’ Inquiry Militant research and the business school

The autonomist political theorist and strategist Mario Tronti in his classic book Operai e capital argued that weapons for working class revolt have always been taken from the bosses’ arsenal.

At first glance this easily can come off as a kind of hyperbole or even a contradiction. Has not it often been argued, to use feminist writer Audre Lorde’s phrasing, that it is not possible to take apart the master’s house with the master’s tools? Despite the contradictions and tensions contained within his argument, Tronti said this with good reason, for he was writing from a social and historical context where this is just what was taking place. Autonomous politics in Italy emerging at this time greatly benefited from borrowing ideas and methods from bourgeois sociology and social sciences, as well as tools of management theory and industrial relations. And using these tools proceeded to build massive cycles of struggle that vastly changed the grounds of politics in the country and from which people have drawn much inspiration since then.


Fifth Estate Collective
Periodicals Received

Anarchist Studies vol. 16 #1 (2008)

c/o Lawrence & Wishart,

99a Wallis Rd,

London E9 5LN, UK


£20.00 subscription

Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed #66 (Winter/Fall 2008)

PO Box 3488,

Berkeley, CA 94703


$20 / 5 issue subscription


Charles Hale
Solidarity In Slowmotion

Between sips of Miller High Life I glance down the length of the bar: there is a twenty-six-year-old PhD candidate in mathematics; the assistant to the dean of the graduate school in her early thirties; a girl with more tattoos than fingers; our 53-year-old elder statesmen, and me a window cleaner.


John Gibler
“We Will Continue”: Street Art In Oaxaca


You pick up the newspaper and it tells you that the governor has just inaugurated a new school in a far-off rural town. You turn on the television and you see a “reality” show where six men compete for the attention of one woman amidst unfathomable luxury on the beaches of Ibiza.

And then you walk out into the street and watch the walls as you walk and the walls tell you that the police assassinate, that 22 murders of activists in your town remain in impunity, and that people keep organizing, people rise up, people fight hack.


Walker Lane (Peter Werbe)
Nope to Hope False capital & the spectacle triumphant

ANNOUNCER: The leader’s coming. He approaches. He’s bending. He’s unbending. He’s jumping. He’s crossed the river. ‘They’re shaking his hand. He sticks out his thumb.

Can you hear? They’re laughing... Ah ... ! he’s signing autographs. The leader is stroking a hedgehog, a superb hedgehog! The crowd applauds. He’s dancing with the hedgehog in his hand. He’s embracing his dancer. Hurrah! Hurrah! He’s being photographed, with his dancer on one hand and the hedgehog on the other... He greets the crowd ... He spits a tremendous distance.

--from The Leader, Eugene Ionesco (1953)


Fifth Estate Collective
Our Hearts Never Hibernate, Neither Does The State An Update on the RNC 8

The RNC 8 are eight activists from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota charged with four felony counts of conspiracy, two with “Terrorism Enhancements,” in the first known use of the Minnesota Anti Terrorism Act of 2002 (dubbed the MN PATRIOT Act), for their organizing in response to the 2008 Republican National Convention (RNC).


Cara Hoffman
Rachel Pollack is Willing to Change Everything

Rachel Pollack is the author of six novels, two collections of short stories, and 21 works of nonfiction, including the classic 78 Degrees of Wisdom, one of the most important contemporary guides to interpreting the tarot. She is the recipient of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for her novel Unquenchable Fire and the World Fantasy Award for Godmother Night.


Peter Lamborn Wilson
Seven Subversive instasonnets


Captain Nemo the SciFi Stirnerite

lurks beneath our waves of text like

a semantic barracuda. If God

won’t be dead till we kill grammar

as Nietzsche said then Chomsky must be

at least the Pope (Papa not dada)--

scarcely the “brainless luddism” to which

we all aspire. Scorpions ate our


Kristian Williams
Sexual Liberation and the Possibilities of Friendship Foucauldian Proposals and Anarchist Elaborations

The philosopher and historian Michel Foucault was not known for offering practical advice. But in a series of interviews from 1981 and 1982 he focused on the major questions then facing the gay liberation movement.

His remarks from that time offer prescient guidance--and pose substantive challenges--for those concerned with sexual liberation today. Though he spoke from his position as a gay man and addressed his comments primarily to a gay audience,


Don LaCoss

Last summer, I was talking to a carnival-ride operator at one of those small, itinerant outfits that was crisscrossing its way across the Midwest. The carny looked to be in his mid-50s and said that he had worked all sorts of jobs with different wandering funfair amusement shows since his first gig as a travelling circus roustabout at age 14.


Bianca Shannon

The long line of lights flickered above where the train passed in the dark tunnel. It was four am and Maggie sat on the wooden seats that were placed about five feet from the platform. Her feet were pressed flat on the cement floor, palms resting on the two seats on either side of her. She was feeling for the vibration the train made when getting nearer.


Jacob A. Bennett
An Elegy for Malachi Ritscher


Malachi, born Mark David,

wrote his own obituary. “Reportedly,”

he says, “his last words were


but what he means

is that he lived his life

like a saucer-faced magnolia flower,

a quick burst of bloom and

perfume early each spring

before the pink things wilt away,

falling to the fiery asphalt


Jason Cook

Train sounds.

Stars are showing and the sun is down, and high above us the sky is crested with an even, purple glow. All around us are trees ripened with green leaves, and vesper bats course fireflies while I stand on the edge of the woods with Apple kneeling before me, obscuring herself with wry branches jutting in all directions.


Fifth Estate Collective
Gary Grimshaw 1946–2014


The passing of graphic artist, Gary Grimshaw, is mourned by his family and all those who knew him, as well as the rock and art community.

Gary was internationally known for his rock posters that began with those he created for Detroit’s Grande Ballroom in the late 1960s and early 70s. A friend of Detroit’s influential MC5 band and the Fifth Estate, he designed logos for both including the one for our then tabloid newspaper on the opposite page.


Gavin Grindon
Second-Wave Situationism

Last year saw, at least here in London, a plethora of commemorative events to mark the 40-year anniversary of the events of 1968, with pundits and talking heads emerging from everywhere to offer their accounts and experiences of that year, in which a multitude of movements remade and reclaimed the terrain of everyday life in a variety of ways from the jaws of capitalism.


Jack Bratich
Subjectivity Rosa Undercurrent Affairs

Over the past two years, various actors have ruminated over the perceived loss of the “movement” (specifically referring to the counterglobalization movement, but also referring to a sense of momentum, coordinated actions, targeted purpose, and most importantly a sense of effectivity).

Like a drug, Seattle99 was a vehicle that became confused with its effects. The enthusiasm and infectious power of that moment became a lost object of desire, a model whose failure to reappear seemed to diminish possibilities (for more on this see my previous article “Becoming-Seattle” in Fifth Estate #374, Winter 2007).


Leave Your Hat On! Stylish protection against surveillance


Someday, it’s possible that surveillance technology may become sophisticated enough to read your mind as you’re walking down the street. If that dystopian future comes to pass, you’ll probably want one of these stylish thought-blocking accessories: When they detect scanning technology in action, they’ll distract you with a zap or a flashing light.


Fifth Estate Collective
What is Anarchy? Intro to Issue 391

A book published several years ago purported to define for its readers what anarchism is and what it isn’t. Probably only the writer was satisfied with his definitions since adherents to anarchy come in many varieties.

However, delete the hyphenated suffix (anarchist-communist or anarcho-syndicalist, etc.) and all perspectives agree that the political state and the capitalist economy have since their inception been destructive of human freedom.


Ambrose Nurra
Miscarriage (poem)

white blades of light sift through the

stripes hugging the crumpled form

of an empire of

stars crowded together

for warmth

row upon row upon row

sow the earth with shades of

beaten red beaten blue


the greedy glow of the pipe


fireflies comb that brain straight


taper out in twin coal kill pits


Cara Hoffman
Joe Ricker

The Jumper

Often when I say “she” or “you” I mean me.

I mean me when I tell you this story but I will say “you.”

I will generalize. I will refer to the broad category that fits my body. The broad category to which my body belongs, in which it has been placed or can be seen from above. The specifics have long been beside the point. I do not agree to be myself.


Henry Read
Between Orwell And Mccarthy: The Crucifixion Of Marie Mason



Fifth Estate</em> contributor Marie Mason was sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison on February 5 in a Lansing, Michigan federal courtroom, after pleading guilty to two acts of eco-sabotage.

(See also Summer and Fall 2008 Fifth Estate.) Mason is now serving the longest sentence of any environmental activist in the US; an appeal is currently underway. Her sentence was one of the latest in a string of recent arrests and convictions of environmental and animal liberation activists, which has been dubbed the Green Scare. Throughout the Green Scare, environmental and animal liberation activists have been charged with inflated sentences (often Life in prison), and have been publicly and legally labeled “terrorists”--though no one has been hurt in their acts of economic sabotage. The term Green Scare is an allusion to the Red Scare of the ’50s, when Communists were persecuted on the basis of new laws targeting them for their beliefs and not their actions, and creating a climate of panic and hysteria in an attempt to intimidate supporters and sympathizers.


The Green Scare Rolls On

Besides the sentencing of Marie Mason, there have been developments in a number of other Green Scare cases in the Midwest and beyond.


The Rhinelander case has affected a number of activists. Five hundred genetically-modified research trees were destroyed at a federal research facility in Rhinelander, WI in 2000. Activist-turned-government-collaborater Ian Wallace pled guilty in October 2008 to this action, as well as an attempt to damage two buildings at Michigan Technological University. In March 2009 he received three years.


Various Authors
Letters Our readers respond

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.

Until we all win

I now live in London, England, but back in 1968 I lived in Walled Lake, Michigan, not far from Detroit. I was in the 10th grade and angry about Viet Nam.


Gyorgy Furiosa
Interlude: Riot! Only pent-up rage or potential for creating autonomous urban space?

In August 2011, thousands of people rioted in several London boroughs and cities and towns across England after a protest in Tottenham following the death of an area youth who was shot to death by police. The resulting looting, arson, and mass deployment of police were called “BlackBerry riots” because people used mobile devices and social media to organize.


Various Authors
Letters Our readers respond

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

All formats accepted including typescript & handwritten; letters may be edited for length.


Sorry to hear about your financial situation. As vile and evil as it is, money is still the life force of the modern world. Without proper funds to sustain a project, more often than not, it will all come tumbling down.


Andy Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
Fifth Estate Tennessee headquarters closes ...but future is bright

The Barn, located on the 120-acres of the Pumpkin Hollow Community near Liberty, Tennessee, housed the Fifth Estate office and archive, radical book and zine library, bookstore and distro. It opened with a huge party and radical variety show on Friday the 13th in September 2002.

As of late June, after days of sorting and discarding, hauling and recycling, packing and stacking, sifting and gifting, The Barn has permanently closed as a physical hub of radical activity in rural DeKalb County, 50 miles east of Nashville. Although the apartment, built into an aging structure by George, our neighbor and former resident, is closed, the barn building itself remains.


Henry Read
Green Scare Update

Chalking Sidewalks = Terrorism

The ludicrous charges against the federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Four (AETA4) show the absolute depths to which the Green Scare has plummeted. According to the Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC), the four animal liberation activists are charged with “terrorism” under the AETA for (and, we kid you not, because I could not make up something so ridiculous if I wanted to) “protesting, chalking the sidewalk, chanting and leafleting--and the alleged use of ‘the Internet to find information on bio-medical researchers.’”


Spencer Sunshine
John Zerzan’s Twilight of the Machines

a review of Twilight of the Machines, John Zerzan, Feral House, 2009; 140 pages, $12, www.feralhouse.com

John Zerzan has infuriated and fascinated readers for decades. His sweeping critique of the modern world condemns not just capitalism, the state, technology and even “civilization,” but he openly calls for the abolition of all forms of symbolic representation and a return to a hunting and gathering existence.


Andy Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
Firebrand Infoshop Interview Can an anarchist infoshop make a difference in Nashville?

While the idea for Nashville’s Firebrand Community Center and Infoshop was born in 2003, the collective finally found its current home in 2008 as part of the shared Little Hamilton Collective space on Little Hamilton Road near the city’s downtown.

A member of the original organizing group, Ryan Kaldari explains the roots of the project: “The idea for the Firebrand was conceived immediately after the 2003 Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) protests in Miami. The idea that emerged was to set up an infoshop so that political radicals in Nashville could have a public space to use for events, education, and organizing.”