In an odd twist of democratization, the fires in California’s Oakland Hills this Fall, turned the tables on who usually are the victims of catastrophic house fires. Destruction by fire is an event usually suffered by the poor due to the conditions in slum properties, e.g., faulty wiring, structural faults, blocked escape routes, dangerous heating sources and slow official response.

There probably was some debate in radical circles as to whether the destruction of million dollar homes with their art collections and fabulous furnishings turned to ash in a 2000 degree fire storm was cause for celebration(particularly with the resultant loss of life). But, either way, the fires gave new meaning to the radical environmental saying, “Nature Bats Last.”

These homes of the hip, liberal and affluent, were built in an area almost aching to burn, often constructed from highly flammable materials. It all bespoke an arrogance possessed by the rich that somehow their lofty status would exempt them from the vagaries of nature.

Our European correspondent sends news of Ettore Gagliano, 83, known as “The Priest Basher,” of Milan, Italy, who has been charged 58 times with assaults upon clerics and church personnel.

His latest target was a Greek Orthodox priest who had gone to the cathedral for morning prayers when Gagliano leaped out from behind a pillar and hit him. Upon being arrested, he told police, “I don’t like priests. When I see one I just have to give him a punch in the ear.”

Gagliano is always acquitted because of his advanced years, but still manages to assault a priest every month on average. He is a great-grandfather whose offspring are said to adore him and are proud of his reputation.

At his last court appearance, Gagliano told the magistrates, “There is nothing you can do to save priests from me. I shall bash them all until my last breath. I hate them all.”

FE Note: Well, everyone should have a hobby.

Leonard Peltier, an Ojibwa-Sioux political prisoner serving two life terms for a deadly June 1975 shoot-out which left one Indian and two FBI agents dead, was denied a new trial November 27, 1991 by a federal magistrate.

Peltier admits to being at the scene of the FBI attack on the Pine Ridge Reservation near Oglala, S.D. and shooting back in self-defense, but denies firing the fatal shots. Author Peter Mathiessen, in a new edition of a book which was suppressed for years, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, says he interviewed the man who admits killing the agents, but refuses to reveal his identity.

Peltier’s case now goes before U.S. District Judge Paul Benson, who has repeatedly shown bias against Peltier and was his sentencing judge. The U.S. Supreme Court has twice refused to hear the case.

Activity continues internationally in support of Peltier with a constant barrage of events and benefits occurring world-wide. Attention to his case remains high as well, even among mainstream media. The rock magazine, Spin, will feature an article in its January issue on the imprisoned political prisoner.

People wanting to assist in the effort to free Leonard Peltier should write his defense committee at PO Box 583, Lawrence KS 66044; (913) 842–5774.

Will the summer of 1990 at Oka/Kanestake be repeated in March 1992? Will we again witness the defense of Mohawk territory against the Quebec Provincial Police enforcing the will of greedy speculators?

As you may remember, on July 11, 1990, the Quebec Provincial Police attacked Mohawk women and children who refused to leave a pine grove considered sacred by their community after the town of Oka had received an injunction ordering them to do so. As the police moved in, Mohawk Warriors, who were hidden, made their presence felt and in the following shoot-out, a provincial cop was killed.

Recently, Oka re-elected the mayor, who had pushed for the golf course, by a slim margin. In early December, he disclosed plans for condominium developments in the same pine grove which began the months long stand-off in 1990. According to Ellen Gabriel, a spokesperson and negotiator during the “crisis of 1990,” the Mohawk traditionalists are “back to square one” in protecting their land.

This is not a Native American vs. white issue, although the media portrays it as such. Many white residents of Oka were against the golf course for ecological reasons. (See the Winter 1990–91 FE for background.)

This year the Mohawks can count on outside support from both Indians and whites. The coalition formed to support them in 1990 still exists. Support barricades will surely be erected near the pine grove.

As we go to press, Mohawks from the Kanesatake and Kahnawake defense are coming to trial. 44 more will see court in February. The defendants are refusing to recognize the jurisdiction of the Canadian government, particularly since they are charged with common criminal offenses. For information, call: (613) 235–8978.

Thanks to Sandy Beach and Ecomedia Bulletin, PO Box 915, Stn. F, Toronto, Ont., M4Y 2N9, Canada, for portions of this report.

The Spartacist League is a squalid band of quirky authoritarian leftists who have learned nothing from the collapse of the Eastern Bloc other than a reaffirmation of the institution which was at the origin of the rot—the Party.

Their admiration is boundless for the counter-revolutionary bureaucrats Lenin and Trotsky, but ends arbitrarily at Stalin, a man cut from the same cloth as the former two. The Sparts aspire to be the police, though not the capitalist variety; they love the Bolshevik cops. When they pronounce the name of the first communist secret police, the Cheka, which murdered unknown thousands of workers, they pronounce it che-KAHH, with a heavy aspiration of the last syllable. These epigones of the Russian politicians who had workers and revolutionaries shot in basements, dream of dispatching their enemies in a similar manner.

Recently their party paper has been whining about the decision of the Moscow city government to shut down the Lenin museum. Not being as heavy into idolatry as these Leftoid creeps, we support wholeheartedly the closing of the tribute to a murderous bureaucrat and its transformation into a punk dance club.