The Elections Donald Trump & Wilhelm Reich

The anarchist avoidance of the electoral process began over a hundred years ago as a bulwark against the seduction of reformism, social democracy, and the like, when the possibility of revolution seemed imaginable. The new world, which anarchists carried in their hearts, seemed realizable then, and argued that a march to the polls forestalled one to the barricades.


John Clark
Happy Birthday, Utopia! (You Deserve a Present)

This year marks five-hundred years since the appearance of English social philosopher, author, statesman, and Renaissance humanist Thomas More’s famous Utopia. We might also consider that it is just over five-hundred years since the definitive anti-utopia, Machiavelli’s The Prince was published.

We might say that the entire modern age has been a struggle between utopia and anti-utopia. Even more, it is a struggle between utopia and the dystopia that is at the heart of the dominant utopia.


Fifth Estate Collective
No Borders! No walls between people. No walls in our heads.

Borders are authoritarian by their nature. Nation state borders are formed by men with weapons; those in our heads by fear and conditioning. Each creates suffering, and even death, as at the boundaries between the U.S. and Mexico, those demarking the European Union, and borders and other divisions in the Middle East. Borders protect states and the elites that rule them, not the rest of us.


Leila Al Shami
Challenging the Nation State in Syria

Syria’s current borders were drawn up by imperial map makers a hundred years ago in the midst of World War I as part of a secret accord between France and Britain to divide the Mideast spoils of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. As the colonial state gave way to the post-independence state, power was transferred from Western masters to local elites.


Ron Sakolsky
Defenders dedicated to the U’nis’tot’en Land defenders

Activist with the Unist’ot’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in northwestern British Columbia protecting indigenous lands from oil and gas development. August 2015. (

Broken leather latch

time’s dispatch

an oil-stained suitcase


tar sands underwear

surrounded by

industrial overwear.

Over where?

Not over here

you bastards

not anywhere!


Chellis Glendinning
Linear Perspective, Fences & Nature’s Glory

Linear perspective is a way of seeing things. Things closer to us are large, it tells us; things farther away get smaller and smaller as they recede toward a singular dot in the distance. The vantage point, from slightly above the scene, is that of a “bird’s eye view”

Many Westerners accept this way of seeing as a complete description of reality. Let’s look again. As psychologist Robert Romanyshyn describes in Technology as Symptom and Dream, seeing creation with the mathematical precision of linear perspective means seeing it from a very particular stance-and one with grievous implications for human psychology and the Earth’s creatures: detachment.


Jane Clark
Claiming Freedom Against The State’s Artificial Crisis-Building In The U.S.
A Transwoman at TSA Security

Fifth Estate note: Modern civilization is experiencing a crisis in part related to the proliferation of borders and the surveillance required to enforce them. Jane Clark’s article, “Claiming Freedom,” describes in personal and poignant terms one example of the ongoing regularized surveillance, even extending to violation of bodily privacy, and the process of stigmatizing and isolating those who are seen as outside defined borders of categories of normalcy.


Tearing Down The Prisons A Vision of a Prison-less Future

Fifth Estate note: The following text was sent to us anonymously via email. It contained a section following what is here describing an intense prison rebellion at an unnamed institution and without a date of its occurrence.

Although the uprising report was exciting, we had no way to check its authenticity, plus we knew its inclusion would guarantee that our prison subscribers would be denied this edition.


Dennis Fox
Border lines and Border Regions

As I wandered through Albania a few months ago, as unlikely a place as any during a six-month journey around the planet, a friend emailed a link to “Anarchist Traveling vs. Tourism.” *

The comments mostly reminded me that I’m not attempting an anarchist tour, whatever that might mean. I’m not looking constantly for political insurrection or utopian experimentation even though, inevitably, my anarchist lens focuses on signs of inequality and resistance, cops and soldiers, graffiti and posters (the circle-A, everywhere in Athens, is absent here in Oman).


Benjamin Olson
The Ideas & Desires of the DIY Bandits Life Jackets Are For Capitalists

Born in 2004 out of the industrial ruins of Shelton, Conn., 75 miles north of New York City, a shifting cast of individuals led by soft-spoken, anti-leader, Pepe Chapowski, released records, threw shows, bootlegged albums, sent merchandise and artwork to randomly chosen addresses, wrote letters to prisoners and friends, destroyed property, published articles and zines, built sculptures from garbage, held neighborhood meetings, booked tours, and scammed real estate owners, under the name DIY Bandits.


Reg Johanson
Teaching Migration, Detention, Camp How students learn about the refugee crisis

In The Figure of the Migrant, Thomas Nail asserts that “the twenty-first century will be the century of the migrant,” and the first years of the new century give ample evidence of this. From September to December 2015, events seemed to daily add themselves to the curriculum of the English course I was teaching on the literature, film, and visual art of migration, detention, and the camp, at Capilano University in North Vancouver BC, Coast Salish territory.


Jesús Sepúlveda
Waiting for the Barbarians Who are the real barbarians? The refugees or those who caused them to flee?

In August 2015, as refugees broke through a line of Macedonian police at the border between Greece and Macedonia going toward Western Europe, a phrase from the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy (1863–1933) came forcibly to mind: “the barbarians are coming today.” But as in Cavafy’s poem, it wasn’t clear who the barbarians really were in 2015.


El Habib Louai
Stoned on Ritualistic Bullshit

They shall all tell you, one by one, when you cross them, collectively

individually, in court lobbies or hotel lounges, in schools or inside

mosques. They shall tell you only what they shall tell you, in their

Abyssinian rhetoric of generational apology. They shall tell you the

same old bullshit they vomited before, and after the great flood of the


Jessamine O’Connor
Shopping List for My Newborn Girl






Blusher, Shadow

Liner; Stick-on lashes

Anti-perspirant; Perfume

Body spray, Deodorant; Facelift

Tummy tuck, Magic knickers;

Padded bra, Corset

Silicone implants;

Waxed legs

Shaved armpits

Plucked eyebrows

A Brazilian; Detox, Diet

Diet, Diet; Teeth whitening

Anal bleaching, Liposuction;

Colonic irrigation, Pedicure

Manicure; Laser hair removal;

Cosmetic gynecology


Bernard Marszalek
Beyond Automation 50 Years Later & The Rise of the Precariat

The effect of automation on employment was first brought to the public’s attention by a 1964 report, The Triple Revolution, issued by a California-based liberal think tank, the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions.

The report asserted that technological developments were leading to almost unlimited productive capacity. But this was also reducing the number of manual jobs needed, increasing the level of skills needed for available jobs, and creating much more unemployment.


Wren Awry
Pétroleuses, Witches & Fairy Tales The Myth of Revolutionary Women as Arsonists

The Paris Commune

The Paris Commune, which lasted from March 18 to May 28, 1871, was an experiment in self-governance that is still inspiring today.

The Franco-Prussian war of 1870 saw the defeat of the French military by the more disciplined and technically better equipped Prussian military.

While the French government worked on negotiating the end to the war, many people living in Paris refused to surrender. Following a brutal four-month siege, they bravely took their fate into their own hands and declared Paris an independent Commune.


Review: Breaking Loose from the walls we create for ourselves


a review of

Breaking Loose: Mutual Acquiescence or Mutual Aid? by Ron Sakolsky. LBC Books, 95 pp.,

Longtime Fifth Estate contributor Ron Sakolsky offers a short exploration of his concept of “mutual acquiescence.” For Sakolsky, the term seeks to understand how alienation and oppression are connected in everyday life, creating a “wall of domination” that prevents us from seeing another reality beyond the existent.


Fifth Estate Collective
Montreal’s International Anarchist Theatre Festival

“SMV: Social Media Virus” by A. Esmie Wright was one of the many plays presented at the 11th annual Montreal International Anarchist Theatre Festival (MIATF) May 17 and 18, 2016. It is the world’s only such event; a yearly, volunteer labor of love, presenting provocative, socially engaged, freedom-loving theatre from around the world at an affordable price. It adheres to the anarchist tradition of no government handouts or corporate sponsorship.


A. Esmie Wright
Social Media Virus SMV (play)


SEVEN: A young woman, mid-20s. Architect of the virus.

GEORGIA: A young woman, mid-20s. Friend of Seven.

CLEANER: Works for Seven.

CLEANER: Works for Seven.

SETTING: A window-less room with a desk and chair. Located in Washington DC.

TIME: Present. Seven is in a window-less room, monitoring activity on her computer. Her friend, a woman by the name of Georgia enters the room distraught.


Autonomy for robotic killers?

On the frontiers of what has been termed “moral autonomy,” a long-range anti-ship missile is being developed for the U.S. military by Lockheed Martin Corp. which can pick its own target and destroy it independent of human minders. A team at George Mason University is also developing large groups of small robots that can work together to carry out tasks (which could include killing individuals or groups of people) without the need for humans to undergo the stress of making decisions or intervening in any way. The Pentagon realists, along with their counterparts in other nation-states, welcome the ghastly robotic potential as delivering the much sought after shelter from all responsibility for crimes committed in the service of the preservation of the system they defend.

Marieke Bivar
Women’s bodies as capital Laurie Penny’s essays say women will gain power by saying, “No!” in all spheres

a review of

Meat Market: Female Flesh under Capitalism by Laurie Penny. Zero Books, 2011, 68 pp., $12.95

“Contemporary pseudo-feminism is all about the power of yes. Yes, we want shoes, orgasms and menial office work. Yes, we want chocolate, snuggles, and straight hair. Yes, we will do all the dirty little jobs nobody else wants to do, yes, we will mop and sweep and photocopy and do the shopping and plan the meals and organise the parties and wipe up all the shit and the dirt and grin and strip and perform and straighten our backs and smile and say yes, again yes, we will do it all.”

—from Meat Market


Ian Lovelace
Anarchism A generative force that gives birth to a new world

In one sense, anarchy is a desired end. In another, it’s an ever-present means, a universal tendency, a generative force that gives birth to new worlds.

In this latter sense, anarchy represents the ultimate achievement in human self-consciousness; the point at which we recognize—if only as a fleeting but transformative glimpse—that we are the artists who make and remake the human world of morality, social structure, and scientific theory.


Jason Rodgers
Future Tension What happened to the new century we were promised?

What happened to the future? The twenty-first century was supposed to be a new era; an age of liberty, love, and lucid life. The old world of misery was scheduled to be destroyed.

Instead, all we got is more slavery, hatred, and hyper-alienation.

Where are the dreamers? Why do we continue living on a prison planet? Why does it seem that it is each one of us alone against the universe?


Jim Feast
Anti-Anarchism The Denigration of Anarchism in High Art Fiction

We are all familiar with the ruthless stereotyping and blatant falsification of anarchism in the mass media employing out-dated, long exploded cliches such as that anarchists are solely interested in destruction, fueled by an infantile rage.

It was these stereotypes that were used, for example, in the 1880s to convict the Haymarket martyrs for a bombing they didn’t commit, and have been used repeatedly in U.S. literature to defame the most earnest opponents of capitalism and the state.


Fifth Estate Collective
Happy Birthday to the Unabomber? We don’t think so.

It is a mystery to us why a small number of anarchists and primitivists are attracted to Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, who carried out a murderous bombing campaign between 1978 and 1995 against targets representing technology. The homemade bombs he planted or mailed killed three people and injured 23. Although imprisoned for life since 1996, he continues to be cited as an influence by writers, and one group recently called for birthday cards to be sent to him.


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.

Original Trauma?

I appreciate Chellis Glendinning’s criticisms of modern, Western civilization, including modern agriculture, which has been highly detrimental to ecological and social balance in the world. (See “Linear Perspective, Fences & Nature’s Glory,” FE #396, Summer 2016.)


Fifth Estate Collective
Contents of print edition

Cover photo: Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army in Edinburgh, Scotland.

4 Insurgent Rebel Clown Army

L.M. Bogad

7 Cultural Appropriation & Shaming

Rod Dubey

9 The Myth of Che Guevara


11 Ukrainian & Russian Repression

FE Staff

12 The Legacy of Omar Aziz

Leila Al Shami

14 Left Abets Genocide in Syria


Fifth Estate Collective
Fuck Authority The Poster That Keeps on Going!


When someone on the Fifth Estate staff over 40 years ago came up with the slogan, Fuck Authority, it was printed as a 29” X 22” poster and tucked inside a 1975 issue of the publication, then a monthly tabloid.

On the reverse side was a catalog of titles offered through the paper’s bookstore which was housed in the same space as its public office.


Fifth Estate Collective
Issue intro Time to Begin!

As we send this issue to the printer, the ghastly Shit Show known as the 2016 American presidential election has not yet concluded, although it will be over when you read this.

While one of the candidates expressed definitively more openly bigoted and authoritarian ideas, neither challenged the basic equation of life within the state and capitalism. The horrors of war, racism, environmental collapse, and oppression will continue regardless of the electoral outcome.


L.M. Bogad
Playing in the Key of Clown Reflections on the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army


Related: Clown Army Recruiting Poster

At the July 2005 Carnival for Full Enjoyment in Edinburgh, Scotland, riot police mass on the streets with shields and truncheons, fireproof armor; all very imposing. They use their shields to shove protesters, who are dancing in the street without a permit.

But these are no run of the mill protesters. They are the trained cadres of the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (CIRCA), which, since its 2003 founding, has been spreading across the world.


Fifth Estate Collective
Clown Army Recruiting Poster

<strong>Related: Playing in the Key of Clown


<strong>Why join the U.S. Armed Forces

when you can join the Rebel Clown Army instead?!</strong>

The U.S. army is no picnic and actually is far worse. Tons of money is poured into the recruiting campaign offering false promises. Our soldiers are being manipulated, fooled, and thrown into horrific situations. For the benefit of corporations and war-profiteers far away from the battlefield.


Rod Dubey
Cultural Appropriation and Shaming Dreads & Mohawks: To Whom Do They Belong?

On college campuses, in urban squats, at hip city venues, and at anarchist events, one often sees young white people sporting dreadlocks or Mohawk haircuts. However, there has been an increasingly aggressive push-back by those who designate this as cultural appropriation and are confronting and shaming those they deem guilty of the practice.


The Myth of Che Guevara Live Like him?

Since the 1960s, Ernesto (Che) Guevara has been celebrated in leftist circles, and even among some anarchists, as the model of a revolutionary. A wide variety of musical and theater productions, political posters, T-shirts, bumperstickers, as well as advertisements for vodka, jeans, laundry soap, and promotions for church attendance bear his iconic image and proclaim: “Che, live like him!”


Ukrainian and Russian Repression

Over the past year, ruling elites in Russia and Ukraine—often in collaboration with fascist gangs—intensified active repression of those who dare to express dissident points of view on a wide range of topics, from workers’ demands for back pay, to the rights of ethnic minorities, to antifascist activities.


Leila Al Shami
The Legacy of Omar Aziz Building autonomous, self-governing communes in Syria

“A revolution is an exceptional event that will alter the history of societies, while changing humanity itself. It is a rupture in time and space, where humans live between two periods: the period of power and the period of revolution. A revolution’s victory, however, is ultimately achieving the independence of its time in order to move into a new era.”


Bill Weinberg
How the American Left Abets Genocide in Syria

Today, many American leftists are accepting and even promoting the propaganda of the dictatorial regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. They overwhelmingly stand on the side of fascism and genocide in that ravaged country.

Democracy Now! features guests who constantly declare that the Assad regime is the only hope for stability in Syria. It took an online petition to get program host, Amy Goodman, to invite a Syrian activist to appear on the show. Pictured is Yasser Munif of Global Campaign of Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution.


Panagiotis Tsolkas
June 11th Eco-Resistance, Prisons and the Making of an International Anarchist Holiday

June 11 brought activists and revolutionaries from across the country together with former prisoners and family members of prisoners for a weekend gathering in Washington, D.C. for a “Convergence Against Toxic Prisons.”

Around two hundred people participated in two days of networking, strategizing, and listening to black liberation fighters Ramona Africa and Jihad Abdulmumit, and recently-released eco-prisoners Eric McDavid and Daniel McGowan. There was a Monday morning march against the prison system’s legacy of building their warehouses of repression on toxic sites across the country.


Marius Mason Support Group
Marius Mason update Long-Awaited Hormone Therapy Begins


Marius Mason has begun hormone treatment for medical gender transition in a Fort Worth, Texas federal prison after a long awaited decision by officials to allow it.

Mason, assigned female at birth, is an anarchist, environmental activist, and former Fifth Estate writer.

He was sentenced in 2009 to 22 years imprisonment for the 1999 sabotage of a Monsanto laboratory on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing, and is currently held in a highly restrictive unit at Carswell Federal Medical Center.


Barbara Ruth
Some Friends of Mine

I’d like you to meet some friends of mine


women I write to

women in prison.

Last year I decided corresponding with them was a good way to continue my political work

being too disabled to go to meetings or to demonstrations.

Valerie was the first

a Cherokee-Chicana femme doing long time in Nevada prison.

An artist without art supplies,

she sends me cross-hatch portraits of her sister inmates

rendered with ballpoint on lined paper so thin it tears.

She has cystic fibrosis

at 26 she’s getting old

for someone with CF.

She tries not to think about what that means.

After all, she says,

no one at the jail thinks she’s disabled.

Her job includes scrubbing the bathrooms with bleach

three times a week.

I try to figure a way

to smuggle in a charcoal mask.


Jason Rodgers
Crime as Struggle Crime as Spectacle

Law is the framework that props up the state, the matrix that nourishes authority. Law is a web of prohibition and mandate. It is one of the mechanisms that ensure that each individual fills an assigned role. It is a particularly complex and abstract system of power.

While there are attempts to use law in constructive ways, such as discourses on rights and liberties, the law is not something that can be used for liberation. It must be rejected and overcome.


MK Punky
Bank Guard How the Revolution Started (fiction)

He’s outfitted for combat.

Ankle boots; black dungarees; Sam Brown belt with cuffs and mace and other tools of the craft; bulletproof vest; sunglasses; implacable stare.

And a gun, holstered at the moment.

The nametag says whatever you want it to say.

He’s standing in the parking lot, guarding the bank, where inside there must be more money than he will earn in his lifetime.


Bill Weinberg
Bob McGlynn Dies at 60 Visionary of NYC and International Anarchist Scene


Bob McGlynn, a longtime fighter, organizer and visionary in New York City’s anarchist scene, who became known internationally for his solidarity work with activists in the East Bloc, died of a heart attack Aug. 23 at his home in Yonkers. He was 60 years old.

With his long hair, army boots, sleeveless denim jacket and prize-fighter’s build, McGlynn could be taken for a biker. But he was motivated by an intense idealism.


Bob McGlynn
The Psychiatric Industrial Complex Another Anti-Authoritarian Put Away

FE Note: Bob was working on the article below for us about his psychiatric incarceration. It is unfinished, but is 100% Bob, in its rebellious spirit and its idiosyncratic style.

Another Anti-Authoritarian Put Away

My Christmas bombing of Hanoi began March 10, 2016. No it wasn’t years in a federal pen, but 76 days in “mental” hospitals, 5 stays, and being stuck in harassment and “programs” until at a minimum the end of ’16 is enough; it’s like decades—NOBODY fucks with me.


Rafael Uzcategui
Anarchism in Latin America The challenge of abandoning our crutches

Rafael Uzcategui is a member of the editorial collective of the anarchist magazine El Libertario, published in Caracas, Venezuela. The below has been excerpted from an entry which originally appeared on his June 2016 blog in Spanish & has been translated by FE staff.

As anarchists struggling against current forms of domination in Latin America, it is important for us to understand the socio-political conditions that have developed in recent years. We also need to reflect on how anarchists have responded to them.


Barry Pateman
The Spanish Revolution 80 Years On


“History is one more battlefield among the many that exist in the class war. We must learn the lessons of the defeats of the proletariat, because they are the milestones of victory.”

—Agustin Guillamon, Ready for Revolution: The CNT Defense Committees in Barcelona, 1933–1938

In July 1936 there was a military-fascist rebellion against the Spanish bourgeois Republic. It was immediately met by anarchist-inspired armed resistance of the urban proletariat who, after defeating the military rebels in half of Spain, began the revolutionary process of establishing grassroots self-management in expropriated industry.


Victoria G. Smith
Fisherman out of Water

His sunglasses blended with his cropped, black hair, his burnished, obsidian skin toasted from hours toiling under salt-sprayed sun when he’d proudly commandeered, he said, not the rusty white cab cutting through Manila’s Gordian traffic knot, but a sleek, hand-hewn wooden banca,

its bow a knife slicing through the silvery-teal waters off of Masbate Island, taking his place in his age-old clan vocation gathering Neptune’s gifts. But no, not anymore, he said—all these, rejoinders to my polite reply to his innocuous question, how are you, ma’am, as I slid into


Edward Hasbrouck
A New Right for Women Eligible for the U.S. War Machine

No Draft, No Registration, No War

Young women may soon face the same choice at age 18 that men have faced since 1980: whether to register with the Selective Service System for possible military conscription.

Edward Hasbrouck, who wrote this article with others, along the march route of the Mobilization Against the Draft (estimated at 30,000 people), Washington, DC, March 22, 1980. (photo by Craig Glassner)


Jesús Sepúlveda
Deterritorializing the Nation Excerpt from The Garden of Peculiarities

In order to deterritorialize the state it is imperative to oppose militarism and its ideological base, the idea of the nation state. If it were possible to suppress the imaginary of the imagined community, those which exist in the diverse nation-building projects, community would become a real group of people with faces and identifiable names.


Fifth Estate Collective
Bruce Dancis

Draft Card Burning to Stop Vietnam War Q&A

Burning draft cards in NYC 1967

Bruce Dancis’ book Resister: A Story of Protest and Prison (Cornell Press, 2014) chronicles his efforts during the Vietnam War to defy the draft and cripple the U.S. war effort.

Fifth Estate: You tore up your draft card and then led a mass burning of them in 1967.

Bruce Dancis: Very few people wanted to fight in the Vietnam War, even those who supported it. There were 27 million draft age men and 25 million didn’t go into the army.


Eric Laursen
Rebel Friendships What makes a social movement?

Social movements, not establishment reformers, have nurtured and propelled the most important liberatory struggles of the last half-century, from the Civil Rights and Gay Rights struggles to the Feminist Movement to Native American nations recent uprisings against fracking and pipelines.

Social movements create collective engagement, pockets of resistance that “reframe a politics of everyday life,” as activist and academic Ben Shepard writes in his recent book, Rebel Friendships: “Outsider” Networks and Social Movements (2015, Palgrave Macmillan), even as they gather support and ignite overwhelming demands for change.


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

THWACK! 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.”