Letters to The Fifth Estate
In the last issue of FE in the Letters section, FE made a comment that I really didn’t understand, and as a P.O.W., I was somewhat disappointed with: “This paper has a long history of supporting political prisoners. Some of them committed acts of terror against the state.” (emphasis added) Why was the word terror used to describe our armed campaign? This would imply that we are terrorist. It is this type of language that gives credence to the KKKovernment’s effort to criminalize the legitimacy of our armed struggle in order to justify our illegal imprisonment and their refusal to acknowledge our P.O.W. status. From the late 60s to the early 80s, the death or injury of a civilian has never occurred as a result of the Black Liberation Army. All targets were legitimate.
We are freedom fighters, armed combatants for the people. We are not terrorist nor do we commit acts of terror. The Oklahoma City bombing was an act of terror, a deliberate attack on civilians, children in particular. We have never targeted civilians or children.
Comrades, it is important that we stay conscious of the language we use in regards to the armed struggle. The word terror feeds into KKKovernment’s propaganda. I trust that you comrades do understand my concerns.
Abdul Olugbala Shakur
Crescent City, Calif.
To The Fifth Estate:
On page 26 of the Summer issue you used one of my photos but changed the title. My title, “Government plan to hide natural land from developers,” humorously criticizes governmental environment protection, which is rhetorical posturing, while giving it all away to corporate interests.
Your title, “Plan to hide wilderness from forest service and developers,” not only misses the point, but can be construed as an anti-environment message. Furthermore, it is not humorous.
I’m delighted to see my images in print, but must insist that my titles not be changed. A change in title can completely change the meaning and intent of an image.
An Open Letter to T.A.Z. Snobs
It started as a murmur and has become a caterwaul of opposition to the “found music” on the tapes “T.A.Z. Me Baby,” sometimes labeled “Upper and Lower T.A.Z.” “Walmart T.A.Z.,” “a trip to the fat farm T.A.Z.,” “a capitalist holiday,” “bumper-sticker T.A.Z.,” and “marriage encounter T.A.Z.” are a few of the slurs hurled around the world. I wish to defend the criminal taper and the avenues explored, and, more importantly, clarify some evidential realities overlooked in the increasingly theological-style disputations over T.A.Z.
It now seems clear (there is a plethora of physical evidence as well as internal textual evidence) that the essay ‘“The Temporary Autonomous Zone” was penned by Dorothea “Dottie” Wilcox Neal of Egypt Mills, Missouri, in 1982, using the nom e plume Hakim Bey. Some of the shorter pieces in T.A.Z. (published by Autonomedia) are also by Dottie, others were written by her friends in the Blackberry SYNDICATE. In the summer of 1996 Dottie agreed to be interviewed about her life and work. I am her authorized biographer and custodian of her papers, which will eventually be housed in the archives of Southeast Missouri State University. My interview illuminates the tape controversy and sheds light on what other “Hakim Beys” have published.
Dottie was knowledgeable about the later “Hakim Bey” essays discussing the implosion/explosion of the Soviet Union and the notion of the necessity of “jihad.” She offered this: “There were never Two. So how could there now be One? It’s probably the Federals trying to make trouble. Or, maybe it’s just someone trying to get the girls to play strip poker again.” Not that she was upset about the proliferation of “Hakims:” “Let a hundred charlatans flower. Better a hundred than One. One, two, three, many Hakims.”
And, what of the tapes? Dottie had heard of them, although she had not heard them. She told me that if they suggested that the T.A.Z. was “escapist, trivial and fun, so much the better. The T.A.Z. has always been something that one might fathom without tutelage at the knee of a ninety year-old Italian anarchist wearing a black wool suit.” The T.A.Z., she continued, was “like one of those girls from Charleston, or Puxico, or Blytheville who come to the Cape to be waitresses: open, foolish, innocent, dangerous, and maybe worth your while, maybe not.” Dottie went to college when exposure to William James was common—she graduated from Southeast Missouri State College in 1934—and reminded me of “James words” and “James phrases,” which she noted could well be TAZWORDS and TAZPHRASES. (My spelling and emphasis.) Dottie began to recite like a school child who had memorized a poem:
CONDITIONAL, UNSTIFFEN, HOLIDAY-GIVING VALUE, GO-BETWEEN, FRUITS, WIDE WINDOW, FILLING THE CUP OF CONCRETENESS TO THE BRIM, GENIAL, OPEN AIR, NOVELTY, UTTERS, THIS MOONLIT AND DREAM- VISITED PLANET
With that last enunciation, Dottie called an end to the interview, and led a party of a half-dozen to Indian Creek for rock throwing, singing, wading, and belly flopping. For sustenance we had beer, ham sandwiches, and, of course, blackberry cobbler. The afternoon gave way to a crescent moon before we had our fill. It was my only visit, all too temporary a dip in the BLACKBERRY SYNDICATE ZONE.
Dorothea Wilcox Neal, 1912–1997
b. Cape Girardeau, Missouri, April 18, 1912
B.S., Education, Southeast Missouri State College, 1934
married, J.J. “Jess” Neal, 1941. no children
employed, Louis Lorimier Elementary, Cape Girardeau, 1935–1965
d. Egypt Mills, Missouri, January 4, 1997
H.R. “Raoul” Huebello
Professor of History
TAMUK Kingsville, Tejas 78363
Why nothing on Albania? For once we got some real anarchy happening and you don’t even mention it. What’s up? It began three months ago; you had time.
On the Road
Dear Fifth Estate:
Max Cafard’s piece on Murray Bookchin is brilliantly hilarious, of Catch 22 caliber. His style and wit, apart from the content, caused me to laugh out loud, a rare response to a political essay.
I am not versed enough to address most of the issues, neither being in the movement nor having read Bookchin’s book nor the review by David Watson. Nonetheless, I am persuaded that the case against Bookchin has been made even though my inbred political instincts would make me gravitate more towards Bookchin or Barry Commoner. (I don’t know if FE lumps them together or not.) I saw Bookchin only once. He, Commoner and Kirkpatrick Sale constituted a panel at the Socialist Scholars Conference in New York some years ago. I recall that Bookchin (and Commoner) were abusive to Sale and I believe rudeness is a trait only of human beings. Sale did concede that one or more leading deep ecologists had written or endorsed anti-Semitic tracts.
My only other knowledge of Bookchin is his 1971 introduction to The Kronstadt Uprising by Ida Mett. It was not great literature and evoked no smiles, but I agreed with his analysis.
FE Note: Larry Hochman was the 1968 Michigan running mate of Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver who ran for President that year on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket.
No Need To Fight?
By the late 1970s it was dawning on some of us that all the varieties of leftism were somehow lacking in a basic way. The deepening sorrow of social existence prompted a critique of technological civilization, in sum, in the absence of an adequate existing outlook.
From that time and throughout much of the 1980s, the Fifth Estate folks pretty much alone carried forth this project or inquiry, as the rest of the anarchist milieu was then dominated by productionist, largely syndicalist, perspectives. Much has changed since, including, it seems, a growing discomfort with the implications of the deeper critique on the part of those who did so much to develop it. The FEers have been shrinking from those further points, I would say, that the trajectory of civilization is now implying with insistence.
A long these lines, the long, rambling article, “The Unabomber & the future of technological society” (Fall 1996), looks for ways to distance FE from the notion of standing up for the type of person or persons who would actually strike back at the Megamachine.
More than once, for example, author T. Fulano indicates that the Unabomber targets were pretty much innocent victims. This assertion shows that he is either ignorant of the facts, or, contrary to past FE orientation, believes that those who design, promote, or execute the destruction of the individual and the ecosphere are to be seen as innocents.
When he says of the Unabomber, “I do not know what should be done to such people or for them....” he sounds to me like a patronizing liberal. And, taking for his model the taoist sage who counsels “not ... to destroy what exists but to preserve what is perishing,” Fulano strikes an oddly affirmative note. Techno-capital is not as monstrous as FE has long said it is? No need to fight to dismantle it? I see no hope to save nature and humanness except by taking on the whole apparatus and eradicating it. How else will health and freedom be possible?
I disagree with details of FC’s “Industrial Society and its Future,” but see its core argument as completely valid and essential. It has brought a continuing dialog of unknown proportions including recent “manifesto” editions in French, Japanese and Turkish. Without the Unabomber attacks few if any would have heard of this treatise or been introduced to the fundamental questions it raises.
Violence is always ugly and never to be treated lightly. Consider the children poisoned by pervading toxicity, so many women facing breast cancer, young people being marched into devitalizing, artificialized roles in a more and more barren world, the millions living in deepening personal desolation, species disappearing forever at an accelerating rate. Is the Unabomber, who took up arms to oppose this nightmare, among the criminal? To do other than take sides would constitute for me a betrayal of what I know about social reality and all my yearning to change it. I commend the public discussion prompted and the courage shown by Green Anarchist and Unapack partisans among others, and appreciate the forum provided by Fifth Estate.
To Fifth Estate:
“When I hear the word love,” Gore Vidal said somewhere, “I reach for my revolver,” and one understands the reflex after reading T. Fulano’s dismissal of the Unabomber as not an authentic revolutionary because he is not “guided by great feelings of love,” to quote one of Fulano’s boyhood heroes who remains curiously unnamed, perhaps because the hero is none other than Che Guevara, whose “great feelings of love” made him early on determine to eradicate cannabis cultivation in the Cuban mountains by summarily shooting pot-growing peasants.
Given the general witlessness of anarchists, Fulano may expect this sort of incoherence to pass unnoticed, but to others less critically challenged it represents a rather neat, if altogether unsurprising, confirmation of FC’s disdain for leftist cant. And for those revolted by confinement to routines required for survival in a cruel, senseless, ugly and exhausting world, Fulano’s fulminations against rage are just the latest answer to the question, “What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding.”
T. Fulano responds:
I’m sorry I sound like a patronizing liberal to John Zerzan if I happen to consider the Unabomber to be more a symptom of the social and psychic decomposition brought about by industrial capitalism than a sane response to it. He seems to think that not supporting sending bombs through the mail to carry out arbitrary death sentences against grudge targets makes one a supporter of the megamachine. Somehow, the people killed and injured by the Unabomber (and those who might have been killed if other bombs had worked) are more guilty of what is happening to humanity and nature than several million others who also participate in some way or another in the machine.
Zerzan doesn’t explain how the owner of a computer store, a university professor’s student assistant or a secretary merits a death sentence, or how exactly such bombings represent a meaningful way to “strike back.” He argues eloquently that the violence of the Unabomber is nothing compared to the massive, pervasive violence of megatechnic capital, adding that the Unabomber manifesto makes valid arguments—as if I hadn’t made these very points in my essay. I just don’t share his apparent conclusion that the enemy of my enemy is therefore my friend.
Dan Todd hasn’t learned how to read if he thinks, as he insinuates, that I intended to conceal the identity of Che Guevara by not naming him while quoting or paraphrasing his two most famous and recognizable lines. I’m not ashamed to say that Che was one of my adolescent heroes—I don’t know who Todd’s were. Call it “leftist cant,” if you will, but I wish to preserve the nuance and context in remembering my roots in the New Left, whatever its limitations. Todd thinks this sensibility confirms the Unabomber manifesto’s “disdain” for leftism, which is expressed in passages like the following: “Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful”; consequently, leftists “hate America, they hate Western Civilization, they hate white males, they hate rationality ... The leftist is antagonistic to the concept of competition because, deep inside, he feels like a loser.” Somehow, I think anti-authoritarians have already done better in critiquing leftism than that confused venting of resentment suggests.
Che was a cultural icon of a generation of young radicals who fervently believed we were going to overthrow the most powerful empire in history. His cult reflected our naivete and (sometimes misguided) idealism. Maybe I tried to be too subtle, but that was something I assumed would be understood by my readers. I wasn’t taking responsibility for Che’s authoritarian politics by quoting a line (at least one of the two I quoted) that made perfect sense. Che eventually became a strange, messianic, even Christ-like figure in his death (murdered, like so many others, by the CIA), but certainly one could have identified with worse people in those days. Today the Unabomber has also become a cultural icon, messianic and strangely Christ-like (“He tried to save us,” writes one anti- authoritarian theoretician I also will not name) though the cynicism with which innocence has now mingled is a distinctly 1990s phenomenon, as my essay shows. There are worse figures to identify with nowadays, too, but in bringing in the question of motives and context I was attempting to add some measure of caution to our tendency toward messianic rage. Since Todd addresses neither issue meaningfully, I imagine he feels no such ambivalence—the logic of every potential executioner.
Ted Normal As Me
Dear Fifth Estate:
You may recall that an ex-CIA man named Wilson, some years ago, corralled tons of C-4, the most powerful non-atomic explosive known, and shipped it to Khadaffi. He followed it over and set up a school to teach little terrorists how to make and use state-of-the art bombs hidden in hand-held calculators, telephones, that kind of thing.
The CIA and FBI (whose job it is to track large shipments of explosives) looked the other way. Those bombs are still showing up everywhere around the world—France, England—killing people, including dissident Libyans living abroad.
Wilson made a great deal of money, a millionaire many times over, and made friends with a great many Senators and Congressmen.
He went to jail eventually, and as far as I know no Department of Justice official ever thought of suggesting a death penalty for him.
Ted Kaczynski may not be the Unabomber. If he isn’t, the real one may be dead or laying low. Kaczynski was a fair match for the earliest FBI profiles, but certainly not the ones the San Francisco Task Force—the experts—decided to go with. Some of the evidence they wrote him off as a suspect, with luck, still exists.
But now he’s arrested, with a full display of Justice show-trial tactics—leaks from anonymous “high officials” saying he’s it, sinister spins on every aspect of his solitary life (the solitude itself unintelligible to people who mount Task Forces and use words like that), and it’s clear the prosecution, in spite of shaky evidence and evidence acquired by shakier means, can best be called vindictive. They’ll stick him with a death penalty if they can.
Their lab experts will look defense lawyers in the eye and swear their results (if relevant to the case, and a lot of what they’ll drag in won’t be) are “beyond the shadow of a doubt.” They will lie, if they have to, in the interest of solidarity. Likely they’ll hint, yet again, at conspiracy connections with environmental groups. In Sacramento they try anything, and hope some of it sticks.
I can’t but compare how Kaczynski’s case is going to go with the government attitude (inferable from publicity at the time and the sentence given) to the trial and imprisonment of Mr. Wilson. The more corporate you are, the more imaginable as part of the system, the lighter the sentence. Wilson wanted a huge estate near Washington, and acquired it by his dealings. This made perfect sense to his captors. They wouldn’t mind having the same. Ted barely made the taxes on his little shack, lived the life of a poor person in it.
When the first news hit the papers a day or two after the arrest, the government attitude toward poverty was patent, and chilling. Ted had to be guilty, they implied, because he lived that way.
Nuts to that. Kaczynski lived in the same building I did our freshman year at Harvard. He was as normal as I am now; it was harder on him because he was much younger than his classmates. I too have ended up living way below the poverty line, and all that means is I know a bit more about living that way than Ted’s prosecutors, with their lunches and Task Forces. If Ted were a quarter as smart, he’d still be tempted to see them as buffoons.
Gerald Burns (Harvard Class of ’62)
Oh No, More Murray
Superb job once again in printing Max Cafard’s review of Murray Bookchin’s latest trendy fiction novel (“Bookchin Agonistes,” Summer 1997 FE). I guess you saw subcommander Dan Coleman’s review of Beyond Bookchin in the April edition of Z magazine. It never dealt with any of the serious issues David Watson raised, simply closed ranks behind the Big Man; typical groupie behavior.
I heard from the folks at AK Press (FE note: publishers of Bookchin’s screed, Social Anarchism vs. Lifestyle Anarchism) that Bookchin will probably respond to Watson in book form to likely be published sometime next year.
One final thought: why the nom de plume “Max Cafard,” when everyone knows that “Bookchin Agonistes” was written by John Clark? It details history that Clark had as an early-later tentative supporter of bookchinism, and could only make sense in that context.
I can understand the use of assumed names for monkeywrenchers or whatnot, but for philosophical treatises like Clark/Cafard’s, or those of David Watson/George Bradford/Primitivo Solis, etc., etc., I can think of no valid reason for this all too common, ultimately incoherent practice.
Max Cafard replies:
No, Bill McCormick, I am not John Clark in disguise. In fact, I do not even talk to Clark, since I consider him to be a boring, academic, domesticated pseudo-radical. He writes for such brain-dead types as the American Philosophical Association, that organization of intellectual insurance salesmen, ex-marxists and other denizens of the Limbo of Lost Leftists. Furthermore, Clark wasted so much time apologizing for Murray Bookchin and the Bookchinite Institute for Social Ecology (ISE) cult that his mind is almost hopelessly normalized. He desperately needs to seek help from Anarcho-holics Anonymous to bring him back to surreality. For years Clark refused to expose the absurdities of Bookchinism, because, he implausibly claims, some fanatical deep ecologist kept sending him insane, ranting attacks on Bookchin that actually made that Stalinist of the Mind seem relatively coherent and rational. I, on the other hand, have never defended Bookchin Thought in any way. In fact, I have never succumbed to either deep or social ecology. I proudly remain a shallow, antisocial ecologist. I love the shallow, mysterious swamp ecology of my native region. Who needs depth? I love the ecstatic community and the play of spiritual bodies in my multidimensional regionality. Society is a hoax! So, as you can see, I am not, nor have I ever been, John Clark; nor have I been a card-carrying member of John Clark. I do, however, plan to disguise myself as John Clark next Mardi Gras.
FE Note: The June edition of Z contains a rebuttal by Watson of sycophant Coleman, mentioned in the above letter.
Other readers of both Z and the Fifth Estate sent us copies of the letters they wrote to Z protesting the review, but none were printed. One essay/review of Beyond Bookchin worth mentioning is Mitchel Cohen’s Listen Bookchin!, available from him at 2652 Cropsey Avenue #7H, Brooklyn NY 11214, for $3 (checks to Mitchel Cohen). This pamphlet is available as well through the FE book service.
Dear Fifth Estate:
Good to see your new issue. Yes, almost as soon as we said the Bayou La Rose was going to go into hibernation we started to publish even more than we did before. I should have known better than to have written that, for the Bayou has always operated without rules or expectations. What has happened is that a few friends that work deep within an office have been running it off on a copier and helping to mail it. For us the important thing has always been the information that we get out, so we just put things out as they come in. But this may change again because I have been given a computer, though I have worn out three people who have tried to get it up and running and teach me how to use the damn thing. Folks around here swear that they will bring me into the modern world kicking and screaming if necessary.
A lot has been going on out here. Our work with the Northwest Leonard Peltier Support Network has held 33 rallies in our region in 3 years. The next one will be another march on the U.S./Canadian border Oct. 12th. We are also helping with a march from the Puyallup nation to the Tacoma, Wash. police department over the murder of an Assiniboine-Lakota youth by Tacoma cops. Last weekend we went down to Olympia where there was an activists conference.
Most of it was very useful. The radical media in our region is going to begin to network. The only downer was a workshop put on by a Love and Rager who lectured us on what revolutionary anarchism was—that being the Love and Rage program and nothing else. Imagine my surprise to learn that after being an anarchist for 30 years that I was not revolutionary because I don’t fit into the correct line program. It seems to me that I have heard this before..., oh yea, a few weeks ago from a RCPer who said I was not revolutionary because I did not follow their program. Now I am all for the rebellion of youth, but it is a little hard to take from someone younger than my daughter telling me that I have led a meaningless life in years of struggle because I have not converted and become a born-again Love and Rager. It’s not that I disagree with them on all things; it’s just that I view anarchism as a diversity of ideas. Oh well, I have always been a bit of an outcast and outlaw all my life.
For anarchism without vanguard parties,
Arthur J. Miller
Bayou La Rose
P.O. Box 5464
Tacoma, Wash. 98415–0464
FE note: Glad Bayou is up and running again. The Love & Rage situation is even worse than you intuited from your encounter with two of its militants. The Love & Rage view of themselves as the unofficial vanguard of the anarchist movement was codified at a March conference in East Lansing, Michigan. Although only 70 people were in attendance (compare that to the thousands who used to attend pre-L&R anarchist gatherings) including observers, according to an article in their June/July self-titled newspaper the question was posed, “What is our relationship as a revolutionary organization to the movement/people at large?” The answer? “[T]he role of an organization like Love and Rage (and something we already practice) is to provide leadership in movements to build power to the people.” This is a victory for the neo-leninists and a reflection of the group’s indelible stain of being formed by members of the defunct Revolutionary Socialist League and its alleged anarchist sympathizers.
Maybe even worse is a companion article appearing in the same issue entitled, “Building a Multi-Racial/Multi-National Revolutionary Anarchist Organization,” which bemoans the current racial and class composition of L&R (white and middle- class). Their mechanistic strategy to transform their group reeks of the worst sort of instrumentalism, seeing individuals as representing culturally defined categories to be recruited. There is not a single paragraph in the L&R document that does not read like a manipulative, bureaucratic leninist party position paper. They start with the idea that they “cannot imagine an anarchist revolution in the United States that is not multi-racial and multi-cultural”—who would disagree with that, or their determination to make “[s]mashing white supremacy and white privilege ... a priority”?
But L&R is overwhelmingly white, and they want to lead the masses, so what is to be done? They mention the “recurring spectacle of self-appointed white vanguards, bringing the ‘correct line’ to people of color ....” Yet their own formulation is a combination of white guilt and opportunism. They want to “win ... people of color” to their organization (as if the one thing lacking to people of color in liberating themselves is seventy white anarcho-leninist militants with a newspaper), because building their organization is supposedly the most important task of their revolutionary activity (sound familiar?). But their target audience is not joining up fast enough, so they advocate “Smashing (their group’s) culture of whiteness.” Warning to the faithful: Here comes a witch hunt. What do they mean by “white culture”? That, obviously, is a question far more complex than seventy or a hundred or two hundred mostly white people can decide inside a test tube. It sounds like the kind of organizational internal terrorism some leftists have practiced, such as the Weatherman group’s arbitrary decision to “smash monogamy.”
One can only hope L&R militants won’t be required to wear rap clothing and carry boom boxes playing “Fight the Power,” like the RCP youth they feel no qualms about forming alliances with. Maybe they’ll call a plenum—or a trial—to work it all out.
This is a far cry from Malcolm X’s famous declaration at Oxford that he didn’t care what color you were, he was willing to work with anyone willing to smash the capitalist system.
Too harsh a judgement? The photo accompanying the latter article shows a “Communist Party-led sit-down strike” from the 1930s. Great organization for anarchists to model themselves on.
In fairness, L&R’s vanguardism may be just the party big wigs blowing smoke. Locally, the four L&R members wrote a letter to the Trumbull Theater folks telling them they had no intention of trying to lead them nor did they consider themselves anything other than equals in the struggle.
Slab of Beef
Thanks for the papers!! Unfortunately, I’m in the hole right now and am not allowed to attend our anarchist study group here. But the issues have been a lot of help to me and given me inspiration and things to think about.
I was kicking on the door of my cell because of the big slab of beef the guards put on my vegetarian tray among other things, when the guard slid your paper under my door. I was expecting to be gassed or at least yelled at, but when I realized they were Fifth Estates (and not just one but 4!!!) my heart rose.
I’d like to express my appreciation for the inspiration you folks give me. I’d also like to thank you for the obituary in “Fallen Anarchist Comrades” (Fall 1996 FE) of one of my comrades, Richard “Tet” Tetenbaum. He was and still is a great inspiration for a lot of us in San Francisco.
Chris “Spit” Gross
Carson City, Nev.
To: Various supporters of Mbanna Kantako and Human Rights Radio (a/k/a Black Liberation Radio)—9 1/2 years and counting:
Local officials hopeful that the planned destruction of the John Hay Public Housing Project in Springfield, Ill. would also mean the end of Human Rights Radio were surely disappointed when Mbanna Kantako had the station up and broadcasting a mere 90 minutes after being forced to move last Saturday.
The Kantako family was the very last of 600 low-income Black families pushed out by a $20,000,000 Urban Renewal Project that is nothing more than classic “ Negro Removal.” Seems these 2,000 poor Black folks were located much too near Lincoln’s home and the downtown business and tourist district. While the local media formed a united front of silence concerning the real reasons behind the project, Kantako critically tore it apart in a series of programs he entitled “The Great Land Grab.” With the help of a surprisingly supportive landlord, Kantako, his family and a loyal listener with a ladder (and no fear of heights) installed the stick antenna on the roof of a two-story apartment house and resumed broadcasting with an even wider signal radius because of the increased height of the antenna than he had before the move.
Kantako believes this experience proves the versatility, thrift, and simplicity of micro radio. If a blind man with no technical expertise can do it, there is no reason ordinary citizens and not-for-profit groups across the country can’t.
Kantako’s new address is: Human Rights Radio, c/o Mbanna Kantako, 719 1/2 North Sixth Street, Springfield IL 62702; 217/527-1617. Give him a call or drop him a note of encouragement sometime.
Brothers and Sisters of the Fifth Estate:
I am 30 years old and have been incarcerated in Nevada for nearly six years. I have recently been granted the privilege of reading your periodical and I am moved and enlightened by your movement.
I was raised in the Santa Cruz mountains in the California Bay area and have always considered myself an anarchist. However, after reading your paper along with some deep discussion with one of your Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) members here I discovered I have been led by false perceptions. I am almost ashamed to say that I have stood on strong racial views and regarded myself as a white separatist, not really seeing this as a form of oppression as I didn’t view separatism with supremacy. I can only claim ignorance for these distorted views and educate myself towards the true anarchist movement.
I should be out of prison within the next two years and I wish to come out an enlightened anarchist. I truly abhor authority and the repressive society that we live in today. I am deeply interested in joining your ABC movement and subscribing to your paper. I have no money, but I do have heart, love and determination. I am a radical and am willing to do whatever it takes to help end oppression. I only need direction and education. Ignorance breeds oppression as I too well know. Thank you for being out there. Stay strong and live free.
Your brother in arms,
Carson City, Nev.
Anarchy in Slovenia
Dear Fifth Estate:
We are a group of people which represents a major part of Ljubljana’s (capital of Slovenia) anarcho-punk scene. Our informal organization, Collective for Anarcho Pacifist Activities (CAPA), is now about 3–5 years old, and we must tell you that we did about 400 concerts, anti-McDonald’s demonstration, anti-nuke demonstration. We also worked with Greenpeace project called No More Chernobyls and organized a demonstration against our nuclear plant Krsko, which was backed up with collecting of signatures for a referendum for closing a power plant.
Our base is in a squat called Metelkova in the center of Ljubljana. Metelkova was squatted in 1993, about 2 years after war in Slovenia which has spread later to other Yugoslavian republics. Fortunately, war in Slovenia lasted only 10 days and then Yugoslavian army left Slovenia forever. Metelkova is ex- military barracks, but is slowly changing to cultural center, and a center for underground, civil society movements.
We established CAPA to work on different projects. We wanted to work with punk rock, music, civil and political problems, ecology, fanzines. But unfortunately we were so busy with squat that we could do only concerts. We also opened a club called Gala Hala where we work and do concerts.
Now, we have developed our scene to the stage where we can do other things except concerts & concerts. This is also one of reasons why we are writing to you. We are trying to run an Info Shop in our club, like also through mailing, Internet. We would like to subscribe on your magazine and distribute it around Slovenia. We think your magazine is very badly presented around here and that we could do something about it.
@ Prison Library
I am an anarchist political prisoner held captive in the state of Texas on a fifteen-year sentence. I was arrested for my involvement in several antifascist actions. I am held as a close-custody (maximum security) prisoner which means I am not allowed out of my 7ft X 9ft cage except for two hours a day (though most days I don’t even get those).
Three years ago I started dispersing anarchist literature around the prisons and over the years this little project has grown into the Texas Prisoners Anarchist Lending Library. I ran out of personal funds a long time ago (I depend on my support group and a few very kind anarchist brothers and sisters for my daily needs) and this is why I am writing you.
Those of us involved with the Library feel that your publication would be a great addition and ask that you offer a free sub. We ask this on the anarchist tenet of mutual aid and volunteer cooperation. If you do assist us here in the cages, please be sure the address on the envelope is the publishers or a bookstores.
Refuse, Resist, Exist!
United Anarchist Front
Christopher Lee Plummer PP#677345, Hughes Unit
Rt. 2, Box 4400
Gatesville TX 76597
FE note: Chris has been under fire from the prison administration and neo-nazi prison gangs for his organizing work and direct action with the United Anarchist Front and Cell One, a revolutionary prisoners’ group. Please send him your publications. Write the Chris Plummer Support Group, c/o Amy Lord, P.O. Box 21142, Spokane WA 99201; 509/323-0925 for information about his case.