John Clark
Sam Dolgoff A Life at the center of American anarchism for seventy years

a review of

Left of the Left: My Memories of Sam Dolgoff by Anatole Dolgoff; Introduction by Andrew Cornell. AK Press, 2016, 391 pp., $22.

Anatole Dolgoff is a great story-teller. He does the kind of writing that is rare on the left. It never seems to occur to most political writers that entertaining people is not a bad thing. It occurs all the time to Anatole.


Penelope Rosemont
Why Surrealism? “Deliriously & Simply Total Liberation!”


As we explore routes out of today’s stifling, mechanized, crisis-bound world the FE staff opens the magazine’s pages to many forms of subversive research and many flavors of anarchic revolt.

The Chicago Surrealist group Penelope Rosemont discusses below was inspired by the Surrealist movement that began in Europe in the 1920s. Surrealism is a conscious project for utilizing the discoveries of Freudian psychology to subvert the ruling order by images and words, elaborating forms through which people can express and gratify their repressed desires and challenge societal oppression.


Steve Izma
Foreign Anarchists as Boogyman Monsters Under the Bed

a review of

Transnational Radicals: Italian Anarchists in Canada and the U.S., 1915–1940 by Travis Tomchuk. University of Manitoba Press, 2015, 260 pp.

An illustration early in Travis Tomchuk’s Transnational Radicals demonstrates the popular press’s view of anarchists immediately following the 1886 Haymarket Square Police Riot in Chicago: Johann Most, a radical anarchist, is presented by Harper’s Weekly as a maniacal figure waving a sword and a flag, threatening the reader with “Socialistic War,” while several other well-armed anarchists dive under beds in fear.


Howard Besser
Brazil Impeachment & Left Media

As Bill Weinberg points out (see page 14, this issue), much of the left media shamefully supports odious forces simply because they oppose the U.S. A contemporary example of a significant skewing the facts can be seen in its overwhelmingly biased coverage of the 2016 impeachment of Brazil’s president, Dilma Rouseff.


S. Laplage
Literature not Flyers Review

a review of

Small Beauty by Jia Qing Wilson-Yangas. Metonymy Press, 2016, $16.95 CAD

During a discussion hosted by Montreal’s L’Insoumise anarchist bookstore and DIRA anarchist library, the novelist Lola Lafon was asked how she includes her politics in her novels.

(A review of her 2014 We Are the Birds of the Coming Storm appears in the Summer 2015Fifth Estate.)


Fifth Estate Collective
International Days of Chalking

Activists in Brattleboro, Vt. are calling for an International Day of Chalking Against State Violence, on Saturday, June 3. Autonomous actions with no central coordination; just get your chalks, go out by yourself or with others, and chalk about war, racism, police killings, prisons, sexual assaults or other issues.


Various Authors
Letters Our Readers Respond

Send letters to or Fifth Estate, POB 201016, Ferndale MI 48220. All formats accepted including typescript & handwritten; letters may be edited for length.


Thank you to the comrades of the Fifth Estate for publishing John Clark’s review and remembering my father so fondly. (See Winter 2017 FE, “Sam Dolgoff: A life at the center of American anarchism for seventy years.”)


Fifth Estate Collective
Contents of print edition

Cover: Occupy Wall Street, Zuccotti Park, NYC 2011, MTT

4 Seattle Shooting


6 A Fascist by Any Other Name

Bill Weinberg

8 The Struggle to Get Back to Zero

Peter Werbe

10 Veil of the Vile

Jesús Sepúlveda

12 Eat Your President

The Mormyrids

14 The Russian Revolution Unfinished


Fifth Estate Collective
It’s all connected

Growing numbers of people compelled to flee their homes because of ongoing devastations of wars, cataclysmic climate change, and intractable environmental crises! It’s not a Hollywood sci-fi horror movie—it’s the world of industrialization and capitalism. As the system grinds on, it continues to multiply threats to all living creatures on the planet.


Fifth Estate Collective
Revolting! Issue intro

We took on the theme of Revolution, Revolts, Riots, and Rebellions even before the candidates were chosen by the major parties for the US election.

As we say in these pages, social explosions are generated by the oppressive nature of the state itself, and of the economies it has always protected—from early slave society, through feudalism, and into capitalism.



An Anarchist is Shot in Seattle How will it be resolved? By the State or with Restorative Justice?

An unarmed protester is shot by a right-winger and the wounded anarchist does not want to rely on the punitive power of the state. What are the alternatives?

On the night of Donald Trump’s inauguration, January 20, Hex, an IWW organizer, street medic and anarchist, was shot and severely wounded at a protest against Milo Yiannopoulos’s speaking engagement at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle.


Bill Weinberg
A Fascist by Any Other Name Donald Trump

In the streets of Washington DC on Inauguration Day, Black Bloc protesters notoriously smashed windows and set a limousine on fire. Fortunately, I wound up on the other side of the police lines when the cops sealed off the area and herded some 200 into pens of metal barricades, where they were kept waiting in the cold for hours before being hauled off to jail.


Peter Werbe
The Struggle to Get Back to Zero The day before the 2016 election

There have been long standing political and theoretical debates about whether a particular political movement or leader is fascist. In the article before this one, as Bill Weinberg attests in the previous pages, it can come down to hairsplitting. Is Trump a fascist? Was the Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco? Or, Argentina’s Juan Peron? Or, is the term fascist applied indiscriminately to any oppressive government and politician?


Jesús Sepúlveda
Pulling Back the Veil of the Vile Social Revolt & the End of Dictatorship

In Memoriam Luis Ortiz Puppo*

Populism is the manifestation of political demagogy that combines financial power and indoctrinated populations. Propaganda is used to indoctrinate the mob.

This social base can amount to a significant percentage of the population—as in Mussolini’s Italy or Nazi Germany—or a small but highly-visible group effusively cheering on their defiant and confrontational leader. Such a leader carries out a plan to revise history and accommodate reality to his own ideology


The Mormyrids
Eat Your President for Breakfast

The long and tiresome electoral campaign of President Posterior revealed to home audiences (we can hardly call the unmobilized American masses anything else) the dyspeptic underbelly of the liberal-democratic fantasy.

Locked within the confines of their curated Internet timelines and baseless feel-good truisms about voting, clueless pseudorationalists speak about waking up to a new epoch. We cannot call it an awakening. Perhaps it is more like a fit of hypnopompic sleep paralysis and its accompanying suite of horrible hallucinations.


Fifth Estate Collective
The Refusal to Be Ruled Theme intro

Revolutions, Revolts, Riots, and Rebellions have been a constant in human affairs since the emergence of the state 8,000 years ago. They are popular responses to life being administered by a political apparatus which governs on behalf of a class of rulers. They are sometimes planned; other times, spontaneous.


The Russian Revolution Unfinished

“Whether one chooses to examine the opening phases of the French Revolution of 1789, the revolutions of 1848, the Paris Commune, the 1905 revolution in Russia, the overthrow of the Tsar in 1917, the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the French general strike of 1968, the opening stages are generally the same: a period of ferment that explodes spontaneously into a mass upsurge.”

—Murray Bookchin, “Myth of the Party: Bolshevik Mystification and Counter-Revolution,” Fifth Estate #272, May 1976 and in our anti-Marx issue, #393, Spring 2015.


Fifth Estate Collective
1967: Detroit Explodes


The 1967 Detroit Rebellion began unexpectedly. Still, it should have been anticipated. At 3:45 a.m. on a still scorching hot early morning on July 23, 1967, cops raided an all black, after-hours drinking spot, locally called a blind pig, and began roughly herding patrons into police wagons.

This was no different an occurrence than had happened numerous times previously. The Detroit police were roundly hated by black people as a white occupation force staffed by corrupt and brutal racists who routinely made life even more miserable for a mostly impoverished community. Normally, arrests and police harassment went unanswered.


Frank H. Joyce
How White Supremacy Progresses Fifty Years of Lessons from Detroit 1967

The almost all white Michigan National Guard charges down Detroit’s 12th Street where the 1967 Rebellion began.

Frank Joyce, was the Fifth Estate News Editor 50 years ago, and rejoins us with reflections on the 1967 events.

“I calmed the tremor in my gut. I was in close quarters with some representative specimens of the most dangerous creatures in the history of the world, the white man in a suit.”


Various Authors
Excerpts from a Rebellion How the Fifth Estate Reported It

The following are excerpts from stories published in the Fifth Estate immediately following the July 1967 events.

Reading them a half century later, one is saddened and angered by the fact that the causes of the Rebellion—police brutality, racial discrimination, and wealth inequality—remain virulent and unresolved.



Barcelona’s Can Vies social center saved How Solidarity & Mutual Aid Saved Barcelona’s Can Vies Squat from Eviction & Destruction

The Can Vies social centre in Barcelona made headlines around the world when its eviction led to five consecutive nights of rioting in late May 2014. But the social center has a longer history than this.

Can Vies, originally built in 1879 to stock construction materials for the city’s subway, became the headquarters of the anarcho-syndicalist CNT transport union during the 1930s Spanish Revolution. Following Franco’s victory in 1939, the building became the center for a fascist, hierarchal labor union.


Amanda Schemkes
Free the Cleveland 4 Entrapped Activists Need Movement Support


The Cleveland 4 need continued movement support as they deal with harsh sentences resulting from the interest that the government has in orchestrating terrorism convictions.

The Cleveland 4 are Brandon Baxter, Connor Stevens, Doug Wright, and Joshua Stafford, a group of young Occupy activists who were entrapped into a government-created terrorism plot to blow up a bridge in 2012.


Fifth Estate Collective
The Revolted! Show

A Political Art Show—January 22-February 12, 2017

Produced by 333 Midland at their Annex Gallery,

Highland Park, Michigan

Cary Loren, found urinal, gold paint, stickers

Curator: Rick Cronn

33 Artists; 66 works

333 Midland is located in a complex of abandoned postindustrial factories brought back to life by a renaissance of Detroit artists.


Eric Laursen
The War on the Elderly Republican attacks on social insurance open the door to anarchist solutions

Poster: Ernesto Yrena. One of many available for free download at Hundreds of them were put up all over Washington for the Trump inauguration.

Now that Donald J. Trump has brought bogus right-wing populism back to the White House and Congress is under firm Republican control, serious talk about gutting Social Security and Medicare is again coursing through Washington.


Gary Ives
This Is BioMorph Fiction

Welcome to BioMorph. I’m Herb Fanley. You’ve read the brochures and watched our holograms I see. Please have a seat and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.” “Would you care for coffee? Good. We can relax a little before we get to your questions and take the opportunity to have a good look at a C-Drone.”


Luis Chávez
(Re)Thinking Music & Revolution

Consider destroying (or purposefully forgetting) your headphones.

Whether you live in a city or rural area, the daily use of headphones physically and aurally blocks your connection to the surrounding sonic environment. Listening as a way of knowing is lost to listening as a way of consuming.

An SFGate news story, “Absorbed Device Users Oblivious to Danger,” recounts a 2013 incident on a San Francisco light rail train that illustrates one of the many dangerous consequences of alienation created by industrial, technological society.


Mateo Pimentel
Social Technologies & Politics Police Body Cams: How they hurt those who are supposed to be helped

As the importance of social technologies increases, many users fail to pay sufficient critical attention to the political incursions that such technologies invite.

Millions who cannot fathom life without social technologies are, in all likelihood, the same demographic that is most willing to excuse the political transgressions these technologies engender—particularly if the consequent harm affects people other than themselves.


Bryan Tucker
Virtuality, Sociopathy & Hyperabsence The time is ripe for resistance

The work/sleep, shop/discard, lose/win, simulated existence that is thrust upon us is fundamentally forced participation in an electro-sociopathic process.

With computer mediation steadily consuming discourse life is increasingly lived behind, and for, a screen. As contemporary civilization continues this conversion into omnipresent, digitized drudgery, antisocial propensities mushroom, a listless insatiability abounds, while feelings and insight are left behind.


Fifth Estate Collective
Black & Red Books Now Out-of-Print Influenced the Fifth Estate Reprinting of them urged

Although many of the influential radical titles from Black & Red Books, printed at the Detroit-based Detroit Printing Co-op between 1970 and 1980 are out of print, their relevance hasn’t lessened with the passing years. It is hoped there is interest in republishing them.

The books contain repressed histories, critiques from ultra-left, council communist, and anarchist sources. Discovering the works of Fredy Perlman, Jacques Camatte, Guy Debord, and others through B&R books contained the ideas that energized this publication to continue printing at a time of political quietism.


Bill Blank
Busking behind the Barricades Book review

a review of

A Busker’s Adventure by David Rovics. Various e-book formats at

David Rovics hails from a long lineage of gifted topical American folk guitar singers originally birthed by Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, and Pete Seeger, with blazing torches passed on through its most notable stepchildren, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton and, of course, Bob Dylan, at least before he “went electric” (as alarmingly noted in that 1965 first issue of the Fifth Estate).


Ron Sakolsky
Surrealism on the Barricades


excerpt from

Breaking Loose: Mutual Acquiescence or Mutual Aid? LBC Books, 2015,

Back in 1995, as the banlieues burned, the Paris Surrealist group put out a tract entitled Warning Lights: A Surrealist Statement on the Recent Riots in France, delineating the unrealized potential of such multi-racial uprisings in the inner suburban immigrant quarters to spread across the country.


Human-like Robots

Äkta Människor (Real Humans)

SVT 1 Sweden, 2012. Syndicated in 50 countries including U.S.

After watching twenty episodes from two seasons of the Swedish TV series, “Real Humans,” I am left with several questions. It’s terrifying to know that there are scientists, particularly in Japan, who are working on creating robots to be both intelligent and human-like.


Peter Werbe
James Baldwin 3 Friends & Race in America

James Baldwin, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Jr.

a film review of

“I Am Not Your Negro” (2016). Director: Raoul Peck; Writer: James Baldwin; Narration: Samuel L. Jackson. 135 min.

The title of this documentary about novelist, playwright, poet, and essayist James Baldwin is not spoken as such in the film. Where the line is uttered in this excellent film by Haitian-born director, Raoul Peck, Baldwin tells a British audience, “I am not your...” and uses the “N” word to complete his sentence.


Learning from the Complexities of History More than one way to query the past, many questions to ask

a review of

Unruly Equality: U.S. Anarchism in the Twentieth Century by Andrew Cornell. University of California Press, 2016

Nonviolence Ain’t What It Used To Be: Unarmed Insurrection and the Rhetoric of Resistance by Shon Meckfessel. AK Press, 2016

Reading about history with anarchist ideas in mind can often be inspiring and sometimes even lead to insights useful in present-day situations. Andrew Cornell and Shon Meckfessel have written books that are treasure-troves of information about the multifaceted 20th century North American radical movements for societal change. They are helpful companions to the various memoirs and retrospectives on anarchist groups of the period published during the past decade by Anatole Dolgoff, Penelope Rosemont, Franklin Rosemont, Larry Gambone, Ben Morea, and others.


Fifth Estate Collective
Texas Anti-Prison Gathering Set for June

A second Convergence Against Toxic Prisons will take place June 2–5, 2017 in Fort Worth, Tex., the city where the Carswell Federal Medical Center is located. The gathering will feature speakers, panels, workshops, protests and cultural activities, including an art show and hip-hop performances, and demonstrations.


Marius Mason
Some Thoughts on Alexander Berkman’s Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist by an Imprisoned Anarchist

a review of

Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist by Alexander Berkman. Annotated and Introduction by Jessica Moran & Barry Pateman. AK Press, 2017, (Originally published: 1912), 550 pp.

“Thick clouds of smoke over cast the sky, shrouding the morning with somber gray. The air is heavy with soot and cinders; the smell is nauseating. In the distance, giant furnaces vomit pillars of fire, the lurid flashes accentuating a line of frame structures, dilapidated and miserable...The sight fills me with hatred of the perverse social order that turns the needs of mankind into an Inferno of brutalizing toil (that) grinds flesh and blood into iron and steel, transmutes human lives into gold, gold, countless gold.”


Bill Meyer
Sasha on an iPhone Abigail Child’s New Emma Goldman Film Merges Anarchist History with Present Struggles

a review of

“Acts and Intermissions: Emma Goldman in America.” 2017. USA. Directed by Abigail Child; 57 min.

Abigail Child is a prolific and active visual artist whose works have appeared in prestigious international galleries; an author of five poetry books, including a book of critical writings on film; and a professor of video/film production and history.


Fifth Estate Collective
Black & Green Celebrates 17th Anniversary with New Issue of Its Review

a review of

Black and Green Review #4, Winter 2016, 214 pp., $10

Kevin Tucker started the Black and Green Network in 2000 to create a centralized place where green anarchist and anarcho-primitivist projects, both nationally and internationally, could connect. After years of successful gatherings, Tucker launched Black and Green Review (BGAR) which he co-edits with five others.


David Rovics
Robb Johnson A Singer/Songwriter You May Never Have Heard Of, But Should

a review of

“A Reasonable History of Impossible Demands: The Damage to Date 1986–2013.” Robb Johnson, 92 songs on 5 CDs with 64-page booklet. PM Press, 2015,

At a time when independent publishers and record labels are going out of business at a rapid rate, PM Press keeps on putting out books, pamphlets, videos, and various other things—including CDs.


Various Authors
Letters to the Editors 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.

Rebellion Celebration?

I moved to Detroit recently from the suburbs, but wasn’t even born when the 1967 Rebellion occurred.


Fifth Estate Collective
Solidarity & Mutual Aid Issue intro

Solidarity and Mutual Aid, two anarchist bedrock principles, are being tested in the real world with the rise of the fascist right.

Although small in numbers, they have gained social and political space as the result of the election of Donald Trump.

We, like many others, pledge they will find no home, no safe haven from which to spread their toxic message of racism and authoritarianism. We will also defend ourselves and at-risk populations from the physical and political threat they pose.


Fifth Estate Collective

The Martyrs’ Farewell
That we lost and have to die, does not diminish our appreciation and gratitude for your great solidarity with us and our families. Friends and Comrades, now that the tragedy of this trial is at an end, be all as of one heart. Only two of us will die. Our ideal, you our comrades, will live by millions. We have won. We are not vanquished. Just treasure our suffering, our sorrow, our mistakes, our defeats, our passion for future battles and for the great emancipation.
Be all as of one heart in this blackest hour of our tragedy. And we have heart. Salute for us all the Friends and Comrades on the earth.
We embrace you all and bid you our extreme good-bye with our hearts filled with love and affection.
Now and ever, long life to you all, long life to liberty.
Yours for life and death.
--Nicola Sacco, Bartolomeo Vanzetti (Death House, August 21, 1927)


Rui Preti
Opposing the Rise of the Far-right Building Solidarity, Protecting Our Communities

These are anarchistic times—times in which increasing numbers of people are resisting the horrors of contemporary society by engaging in direct action without waiting for leaders to tell them what to do. So, it is no surprise that anarchists are once again at the center of fights against the capitalist system and the subjugation of the many to the will of the few.


Jeff Shantz
Defending Ourselves Self-defense based on mutual aid & solidarity


The rising tide of fascism and organized political violence of the Right, particularly the mobilization of street-level right-wing forces, such as the Proud Boys and the Oathkeepers, have returned the question of self-defense to the center of anarchist and antifascist concerns. This has become more burning following the brutal fascist mobilization and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in August. The murder there of Heather Heyer by a neo-Nazi gives the issue of self-defense life or death importance.


Fifth Estate Collective
Antifa Under Attack from “Many Sides” & Doxxing Right-Wing Sets Agenda; Liberals Join In

Coming out of antifa smashups with fascists, in Charlottesville and Berkeley in August, condemnation of those physically fighting the alt-right has given new life to Trump’s charge that “many sides” are responsible for violence at anti-fascist actions.

And, some on the left are contributing to this.


Paul Walker (Peter Werbe)
In Defense of Self-Defense Thoughts on violence & martial arts

TWACK! My fighting stick landed exactly where I aimed it—diagonally across the face of a fascist who was trying to rip down a banner a friend and I were holding, to which the stick was attached.

The blow struck him with such velocity that it snapped his head back while a rosette of blood gushed forth from his broken nose and split lips intermingled with a piece of a tooth and broken lenses from his glasses.


Mainers Against the Klan! A Brief History of Maine’s Resistance to the KKK

It’s Late February in central Maine. A group of anarchists and other anti-racists have gathered at the Margaret Chase-Smith bridge in Skowhegan to respond to recent Ku Klux Klan activity around the state.

Anti-Racist Action says “No,” to the Klan in Skowhegan, Maine in Feb. 2017

Anti-Racist Action Maine put out the call to condemn these racist terrorists. Mainers are out on the streets to let our neighbors know we will defend each other from KKK terror. This is not a plea for the authorities to protect us. Only we can protect ourselves.


Bill Weinberg
The Anarchist Alternative in Cuba

A former community center that hosted a youth rock scene is now being occupied by activists, seemingly ignored by the authorities. A few blocks away, urban farms are bright patches of green in the landscape, producing vegetables and fruits for the community.

Oakland? Detroit? Manhattan’s Lower East Side?


Jason Rodgers
The X-Files Subversive Ideas & Recuperative Media

The X-Files, the science fiction television series that aired from 1993 to 2002, featured fictional FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully concerned with unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena and aliens. Its popularity was such that it made many young people aspire to be FBI agents of the same type. However, I never wanted to be Mulder or Scully. I wanted to be a member of the Lone Gunmen, three geeks on the program who published a conspiracy research zine which was often Mulder’s source for information related to his cases.


Fifth Estate Collective
Armed Against Fascism


With “These faggots kill fascists” emblazoned on their banner, an army of international volunteers formed the first LGBT fighting unit to “smash the ISIS caliphate. This July photo shows them raising the rainbow flag in Raqqa, Syria. According to an online statement, The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army, or TQILA, exists to “smash the gender binary...and advance the sexual revolution.”


Bernard Marszalek
The Museum of Capitalism An Oakland pop-up project exhibits the economy

The Museum of Capitalism (MOC), in Oakland, California, was a provocation not solely for being situated in the Jack London waterfront district, a gentrified marina area, but also for occupying a white elephant of a building erected just as the entire US economy collapsed.

The so-called Great Recession of 2007 could just as appropriately be called the Great Economic Coma, and the capacious future food market that the Museum reclaimed for its quarters, stands as the unintended main exhibit—a cadaver of capitalism.


Paul Dalton
Dancing on Capitalism’s Grave

We gather today not to praise capitalism, but to bury it. Rejoice, the great god greed is dead! It lived far too long, laying waste to all it touched. Its chains have been broken, its tentacles severed. The world is free to breathe again; to grow, to flourish, no longer weighed down by this voracious monster.


Fifth Estate Collective
Right Wingers Charged in Seattle Shooting

After a three month investigation, a right wing couple was charged in the January 20 shooting and wounding of an anarchist member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The assault took place during a protest against the appearance of alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. (See “An Anarchist is Shot in Seattle,” FE #398, Summer 2017.)


Mars Z. Goetia
The Game of not Seeing the Game How do we deal with power relationships within anarchist communities?

“They are playing a game. They are playing at not playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me. I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.”

—R.D. Laing, Knots

I remember sitting in a circle, making tough decisions about how to respond to a community conflict that had escalated to the point of physical violence. It was a heated discussion. None of us knew what the fuck we were doing. We were angry. We were scared. No one wanted to be wrong.


Fifth Estate Collective
Call for Submissions for Issue #400

Next issue will be our 400th since we began publishing 52 years ago. If you’d like to be part of this historic edition, please send proposals for essays, articles, and fiction to our email address or post office box.

Photographs, art, and poetry are also welcome. Please view our submission and manuscript guidelines on our web site. All submissions should be consistent with our political views.


Errekaleor Bizirik Collective
Basque Country Squat Defense of home in northern Spain

Errekaleor Bizirik is a large squat occupied by over 150 adults and children in Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital city of the Basque Autonomous Community in northern Spain.

Defenders of the Basque Squat are prepared for police assault.

The name, Errekaleor, a contraction of a basque word that means dry river, refers to the plateau on which the neighborhood is situated. Like other large squats in Spain, such as Can Vies (see Fifth Estate, Summer 2017), Errekaleor is resisting police and government efforts to evict the residents.


James C. Scott
The Golden Age of the Barbarians Excerpt from Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States

James C. Scott has written extensively on how people have transitioned from tribal societies to civilization as part of the process of state formation, and how resistance to state domination has occurred in this context.

In Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed and The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia, he explores tools for state control of subjects, such as permanent last names, standardization of Language and legal discourse, regularized weights and measures, records of numbers of people and wealth in land and other property, as well as the design of cities and transportation.


Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons
Anti Toxic Prison Conference Plans Abolition Strategies & Rocks Carswell Noise Demonstration at Prison Gate

From June 2 to 5, the second annual Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons (FTP) hosted its 2017 National Convergence in Denton, Texas, gathering over 200 activists and revolutionaries from across the country to explore the intersections of the environmental movement and the struggle to end mass incarceration.


Cindy Crabb
Victories for Green Scare prisoner Marius Mason Moved from repressive unit; given transgender status

After seven years in a highly secretive, repressive unit of a Texas federal prison for women, environmental Green Scare political prisoner, Marius Mason, has finally been moved into a less restrictive section.


He is now able to go outside, touch the trees, and see the clouds and stars, something he reports he will never take for granted again.


Pepper Kincade
Project FANG Builds Solidarity Through Prison Visits

“They’re in there for us; we’re out here for them!”

—IWW slogan

The fight for our imprisoned comrades can take many forms of solidarity. The protest at Carswell prison in Fort Worth on June 5 was a rowdy and exciting example of what support can look like.

Demonstration at Carswell Federal Prison, June 5, part of the Fight Toxic Prisons conference.—photo: Jordan E. Mazurek


J20 Protesters Answer State Repression with Resistance

People arrested during the January 20 Inauguration Day demonstrations are facing up to 75 years in prison as the Trump administration is bringing the hammer down on protests.


This is being met by an organized legal pushback on the part of the defendants, and by increased solidarity actions.

On January 20 (J20), thousands of people went to Washington D.C. to oppose the inauguration of President Donald Trump. While the day’s events were largely overshadowed in the mainstream media by the Women’s March on January 21—which drew hundreds of thousands of people to the capital—January 20 was an inspirational day of resistance.


Marieke Bivar
Of Sports & Women’s Bodies Book review

a review of

The Little Communist Who Never Smiled by Lola Lafon. Seven Stories Press, 2016, 320 pp. English translation from French by Nick Caistor

“Today, it is an older, wearier Nadia who raises her arms. She leans into a back walkover, but she falters and falls. “I am not a perfect 10 anymore,” Nadia says. “I can only try my best.”

People Magazine, 1990 (she was 28)


Steve Izma
Tramp Printers Freedom within wage work

a review of

The Tramp Printers: Forgotten Trails of the Travelling Typographers by Charles Overbeck. Eberhart Press, 2017

This handsomely and mostly hand-produced book is a tribute to the craft of printing and of historical insight, both of which verge on extinction in the modern world.

Tramp printers, like journeymen in a guild, learned skills as apprentices and then took to the road. Travel and work under different conditions and with a variety of other craftspeople enhanced their skills, but also meant the freedom to leave a workplace whenever they got tired of it.


Punk & Anarchy

a review of

Ethics, Politics, and Anarcho Punk Identifications: Punk and Anarchy in Philadelphia by Edward Anthony Avery-Natale. Lexington Books, 2016, 235 pp.

Like many anarchists who came of age in the 1990s, my first exposure to anarchism came through the punk scene. A friend gave me a cassette tape full of classic punk bands as part of an effort to satisfy my ever expanding interest in punk.


Fifth Estate Collective
Five Ways to Help the Fifth Estate

1. Subscribe. Subscribers are a publication’s life blood. If you bought this at a news stand, consider subscribing and buying one for a friend or a library.

2. Donate. Postal and printing costs continue to rise making financial stability an increasing challenge to publications which refuse commercial advertising. Donations also allow us to continue sending free subscriptions to prisoners & GIs.


Fifth Estate Collective
Where Anarchism Meets Surrealism Noted briefly

Birds of a Feather: Flights of the Anarcho-Surrealist Imagination by Ron Sakolsky. Eberhardt Press, 2017

Anarchists of many tendencies have long fought for freedom of the individual and the realization of solidarity within communities. Surrealists, in and out of formal groupings, have had their own take on modern un-freedom and the potential for subverting it. In parallel, and sometimes together, anarchists and surrealists have fruitfully explored new avenues of revolt.


Franklin Lopez
Anarchist Filmmakers ...Video Tape Guerrillas & Digital Ninjas

a review of

Breaking the Spell: A History of Anarchist Filmmakers, Video Tape Guerrillas and Digital Ninjas by Chris Robé. PM Press, 2017, 468 pages.

Reviewer’s note: I agreed to write this review before being aware that almost an entire chapter is dedicated to an analysis of my video work and that of sub.Media. It also includes some writing about my work with the Vancouver Media Co-op. I know Chris personally, and we’ve eaten tacos and drunk beers together.


Sylvie Kashdan
CIRA at Sixty The International Center for Research on Anarchism archive is an important part of the memory of our movement

Anarchist solidarity can take many forms, including collecting books, pamphlets, and letters. Through such activity, comrades active in the world’s anarchist archives are part of anchoring an important segment of the struggle for a libertarian and egalitarian world.


They are helping to maintain a living connection between present-day anarchist activities and that of yesterday’s rebels whose values and goals continue to inspire.


William Boyer
“Detroit” The Film More Horror Story Than History

a review of

Detroit (2017)

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

143 min.

The misnamed film “Detroit” is more about a triple slaying by police than the city’s 1967 Rebellion. It first opened in the Motor City in July, and then nationwide 50 years to the day of the final riot fatality, a firefighter electrocuted trying to put out one of the last of the smoldering fires.


Jack Bratich
Reality Wars Notes on the homicidal state

It is required now to bemoan the fact that the current US President is both a producer and product of Reality TV. Indeed, “reality,” “realty,” and “royalty” are all linked etymologically.

The real-estate tycoon, then, Reality TV boss, now completes the triumvirate by taking on a state executive role by treating it as his own monarchical sovereign seat. Instead of addressing this by seeking to reestablish correspondence-based truth via facts), we would be better off seeing reality as a terrain filled with metamorphosis machines, with subjectivities made and destroyed. We can begin an account of these reality wars by assessing the menagerie of alt-right and neo-fascist street actors emboldened by his victory.


Peter Lamborn Wilson
Life is Not a Machine

I recently read an incredibly annoying article in a 2015 New York Review of Books. This liberal-policy-wonk and literary monthly is run by Secular Humanoids, i.e., people trained by universities in the humanities who worship science than most scientists, who (having studied science) do not usually confuse it with theology


Voltairine De Cleyre
The Hurricane

Voltairine De Cleyre (1866–1912)

As we face the storms (both literal and figurative) of 2017, we offer a poem by Voltairine De Cleyre, dedicated to the memory of the May 1886 Haymarket strikes and demonstrations in Chicago, and especially to the anarchists murdered for their beliefs by the state.


De Cleyre was born in 1866 into a poor family in Leslie, Michigan. Schooling at a Catholic convent convinced her to reject all religion, and she became a free thinker, dedicated not to God, but to humanity.


John Clark
The Geography of Possibility Simon Springer on the Spaces of Liberation

a review of

The Anarchist Roots of Geography: Toward Spatial Emancipation by Simon Springer. University of Minnesota Press, 2016

Anyone who wants evidence that anarchist geography is alive and well today need only read this book. The author, Simon Springer, is one of the most active anarchist intellectuals today. In 2016, he authored two books and edited five, mostly on anarchist themes, and he has written numerous articles, some technical, but many deeply immersed in contemporary struggles.


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.

On Self-Defense I

Taking part in protests is an act of defiance which may result in violent retaliation. “In Defense of Self Defense” by Paul Walker in the Fall 2017 Fifth Estate (#399) made this clear.


Fifth Estate Collective
FE 400th Issue

Welcome to the 400th issue of the Fifth Estate. Our first issue was published in Detroit in November 1965. It was born in the age of the 1960s New Left, civil rights, anti-war, feminist, and gay rights movements.

The Fifth Estate was soon joined by hundreds of other papers and small magazines locally produced by activists, many barely out of their teens. Together these publications became known as the underground press.


Fifth Estate Collective

FIFTH ESTATE #400, Spring 2018, Vol. 53 No. 1

Fifth Estate

Radical Publishing since 1965

Vol. 53, No. 1, #400 Spring 2018

The Fifth Estate is an anti-profit, anarchist project published by a volunteer collective of friends and comrades.

No ads. No copyright. Kopimi — reprint freely

Fifth Estate Collective
Dismantling the Patriarchy

Everyday sexual predation on women by men of power and prestige in the entertainment world, politics, business, and the university has been an open secret that has suddenly gained massive public attention. Women’s words have been listened to and prominent men have experienced almost immediate banishment from their fields after exposure of their abusive actions.


Brian James Schill
Is Trump The “Punk” President? Nothing could be farther from reality

Unbelievably, it has become fashionable among some observers of the American political scene to associate the alt-right with punk rock, lauding Donald Trump for his “punk” presidency.

The liberal magazine, The Atlantic, noted in 2016, that Trump and his supporters “created a space in American politics that is uniquely transgressive, volatile, carnivalesque, and (from a certain angle) punk rock.” Similarly, the New York Post gushed that Trump “is a guy with a safety pin through his nose and a purple mohawk.”


Bill Weinberg
In Defense of Tactical Voting With No Illusions!

My attitude about voting has been like the old Jewish joke about chicken soup when you’ve got a cold—it may not help very much, but it can’t hurt. The more ideological argue that voting legitimizes the system, and they’ve got a point. The more pragmatic counter that such a purist position is an irresponsible luxury in the face of emergency—such as we in the United States are clearly now facing.


Paul J. Comeau
Ursula K. Le Guin 21 October, 1929–22 January, 2018

Ursula K. La Guin, photo by Eileen Gunn

Reprinted from Fifth Estate #382, Spring, 2010. Issues are available as single copies & in bulk.

Related, in this issue: “Le Guin’s Anarchism & Mine” by Andrew William Smith

In a writing career spanning nearly six decades, Ursula K. Le Guin pushed the boundaries of fiction, transcending genre and style conventions to create a unique and distinctive literary voice.


Jesús Sepúlveda
People of the Earth The Mapuche Struggle

During his visit to Chile in January 2018, Pope Francis officiated a mass in the Araucania region—the ancestral territory of the Mapuche people.

The night before, unknown individuals burned three forest company helicopters, three churches, and a school. Fliers demanding the liberation of Mapuche political prisoners were found nearby.


Bill Weinberg
Positively Quilca Street Lima anarchist scene survives official clean up

When Lutxo Rodríguez recalls the local punks and social outcasts of the downtown Lima, Peru district he habituates “dressing in black in the ‘80s,” I smile wryly, remembering the Lower East Side of my own youth. But the urban decay that allowed for the florescence of bohemia and an anarcho-punk scene in this small enclave of a South American capital came “in the context of political violence,” he says.


Political Prisoners Maine shows its solidarity with Jennifer Gann, Eric King, & Herman Bell

It’s a cold Friday night in November in Portland, Maine. Comrades from around the state have gathered at the Aphodian Theater to support our imprisoned friend, Herman Bell. The benefit features bands and speakers, including former political prisoner Ray Luc Lavasseur.

It is organized by our group of friends and family, Maine Anti-Racist Action, in order to raise funds to help pay for Herman’s family visits. We give out organic squash, anarchist papers including the Fifth Estate, and prisoner information.


Bryan Tucker
Authoritarian Character Structure The Negation of Imagination

Radical psychologists Wilhelm Reich and Eric Fromm answered the question of why people submit willingly to authority

While most of us were watching the 2016 presidential election with disgust, someone I’m very close to, looked at me with a fiendish grin and announced, “I’m voting for Donald Trump.”

This was perplexing. How could they be captivated by a racist, xenophobic, homophobic narcissist? Having starkly contrasting reactions towards the object of their affinity, I realized a lot of futile and draining arguments were likely to follow. Rifts, drama, and cut-offs between friends and family have become ubiquitous in American society over the past year, with many left bewildered by the resurgent appeal of authoritarianism.


Xavi Alcalde
Esperanto & Anarchism A universal language

“Paroli Esperanton estis iam esenca parto de anarkiismo.”

(There was a time when speaking Esperanto was an essential part of being an anarchist.)

When 97-year-old, Barcelona-born Eduardo Vivancos walks down the streets of Toronto where he has lived as an exile since 1954, he never comes across another Esperanto speaker.


Fifth Estate Collective
Media News

Unicorn Riot premiered its free documentary, “Black Snake Killaz: a #NoDAPL Story” in November at Minneapolis’ Parkway Theater. The screening was followed by a question and answer session and an after-party featured performances by the punk folk band, Ungrateful Little String Band, Indigenous hip-hop artist, Alas, and DJ MOTHER t ReSA.


Shannon Parez-Darby
The Thing After Making Sense of Sex & Consent

Reprinted from Learning Good Consent: On Healthy Relationships and Survivor Support Edited by Cindy Crabb. AK Press, 2016

FE Note: With people today left adrift to face conflicting social cues coming from every direction, this collection looks directly at the complications which arise from sex, consent, abuse, and survivor support. This, and the other essays in Learning Good Consent, is a guide to preventing sexual violence, helping survivors heal, and creating lives which correspond to our ideals. This essay has been shortened by the Fifth Estate editors.


Slowly They Go

I expected click-click-click

of handcuffs binding wrists,

eyes red with pepper spray,

a haze of tear gas fogging streets,

black ‘copters rotoring the sky,

and cellphone vids of troubled days.

Too late I realized the cunning gist

of protests that shimmer on-screen.

Slowly they disappear from the net-


Fifth Estate Collective
Hong Kong’s Black Book Fair Under China’s Radar

Hong Kong’s Black Book Fair took place November 17–19, 2017 in the lecture theatre of the Visual Arts Centre, close to the Admiralty area where the Umbrella Movement was ignited by a police attack on demonstrators three years earlier.

Collective members from a vegan restaurant in a working class community with a “pay what you feel is ight” free/autonomoous pricing operation presenting at the Hong Kong book fair.


Peter Sabatini
“Life-style” vs. “Social” Anarchism an historical note on the correct thoughts of Chairman Bookchin

Murray Bookchin must be getting cranky in his old age. Upon reading his latest broadside, Social Anarchism Or Lifestyle Anarchism: An Unbridgeable Chasm, I was rudely smacked in the face by déja vu. Evidently Bookchin is beating a dead horse, trying to breathe life back into an old controversy within the anarchist movement that dates back a century.


This is Jail Nothing can prepare you for life behind bars

Last spring, I became a prisoner in a rural California county jail for 90 days having been sentenced for a non-political offense.

I did some research before surrendering to the authorities, so in many ways I knew what to expect when I arrived. Nothing, however, can really prepare you for the full range of indignity and repression you experience.


Matthew Lucas
Movie Review New Blade Runner Still Misses Philip K. Dick’s Radical Vision

a review of

“Blade Runner 2049.” Director: Denis Villeneuve 146 min. (2017)

“Blade Runner 2049” slightly recalibrates the social dimensions of Ridley Scott’s 1982 android rebellion tale, “Blade Runner”—based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?—tailoring it for a new generation.


Matthew Lucas
No Popcorn ...But Portland’s DIY Church of Film Shows What Others Don’t

Church of Film is a small volunteer film collective in Portland, Ore., whose mission is to provide accessible and free cinema, especially to communities where access to movies is limited. The program was founded in 2013 at the North Star Ballroom in North Portland.

There are no theaters of any kind in the area, and neighborhoods were hurting from a rapidly encroaching influx of development and gentrification. Since that time, the collective has expanded to other venues and parts of the city, most notably the Clinton Street Theater in Southeast Portland, and has shown one or more screenings weekly. Screenings have always been free and donations based.


Joe Nolan
Movie Review No Gods; No Masters brings the history of anarchism to video

a review of

No Gods; No Masters: A History of Anarchism (2017) (Originally: Ni dieu, ni maitre. Une histoire de l’anarchisme) Writer/Director: Tancrede Ramonet. 156 min. Color/B&W (French, German with English subtitles) Available from Icarus Films

For average Americans, the word anarchy calls to mind chaos, destruction, lawlessness, and violence. Most modern Westerners know little about the people, philosophies, and history that make up the broader political and cultural movement we identify under the term anarchism.


Rebecca Lee
The Something Fiction

In a town with no law, in a far away land, there lived people without protection. In square, boxed houses, they made sections out of walls to shield them from something unknown. It was the something that drove them to worry.

“Do you think it will happen tomorrow?” One asked.

“What do you think it could be?”


Norman Nawrocki
An Anarchist in Poland In One Gulp! Poland Swallowed Up by Consumer Capitalism

During a recent 10 day visit to Western Poland (Wielkopolska) to do research for a novel based on my family history, I spoke with many people in the street, in bars, cafes, on trains and buses trying to understand the new realities of Central Europe.

“Poznan not for developers; Rozbrat (squat) not for sale”


Peter Werbe
Jordan Flaherty

No Heroes Needed an interview with Jordan Flaherty

The Fifth Estate spoke with journalist and author, Jordan Flaherty, at Detroit’s Source Booksellers. His latest book, No More Heroes: Grassroots Challenges to the Savior Mentality, examines how often people of privilege makes things worse when they try to help oppressed or marginalized communities.


Fifth Estate Collective
New Distro Points for the Fifth Estate

There are many retail outlets which sell the Fifth Estate, but it is the indy projects and infoshops that are dearest to our hearts. Here’s a couple of new ones. Visit them; support them.

The Big Idea Cooperative Bookstore

Big Idea is one of the few independent bookstores in the Pittsburgh area. They do readings/signings, potlucks, prisoner letter writing events, reading groups, film screenings, fundraiser brunches for arrested anti-fascists, and anything related to anarchism.


We don’t Forget A year of healing & resistance for Seattle shooting victim & community


January 20, 2017, the day Trump officially became President of the United States, was filled with many acts of defiance as well as foreboding.

This day had an additional sinister meaning for anarchists in Seattle. In the name of the liberal concept of free speech, and ignoring months of warnings and protests by students, workers, and faculty, the University of Washington’s administration permitted an appearance by the vicious arch troll and bigot, Milo Yiannopoulos. Previous appearances elsewhere clearly indicated that the worst was to be expected from him and his supporters.


Peter Werbe
Clinton Greater Danger to Peace Why Was Trump Putin’s Favorite?

It’s hard not to be distracted by the right wing Shit Show presently playing in the White House with its daily exposures of corruption, racism, xenophobia, and discrimination.

The most glittering of all the baubles dangled for our horror and enjoyment is Russian interference in the 2016 election and the collusion of the Trump campaign with President Vladimir Putin’s operatives. The accuracy of this charge is strengthened almost daily and denied only by the Trump camp, Fox News, and a surprising number of leftists and news sites like CounterPunch.