Tales from the planet


Fifth Estate # 343, Fall-Winter, 1993

The War on Drugs

1) at its silliest: The screens in the urinals placed to catch cigarette butts at the Detroit downtown YMCA are emblazoned with the slogan, “Say No To Drugs;”

2) at its deadliest: Gary Shepherd was shot to death August 8, 1993 by trigger-happy Kentucky State Police after the rural pot grower refused to give up his plants. A death sentence for growing a few hemp plants.

Protest efforts and more information from the Shepherd/ Jones Family, Rt. 3, Box 460, Brodhead KY 40409;

3) at its most racist: Recent studies show what many suspected—urban blacks are targeted for drug enforcement and arrest disproportionate to their use, while suburban whites are given substantially less attention for their “violations.”

As we said last issue (See “Clinton Bombs Iraq,” FE #342, Summer, 1993), the basis for the deadly U.S. assault on Baghdad June 26 was nothing except the president’s desire to bloody Saddam Hussein as a way of looking tough. Seymour Hersh, writing in a November New Yorker charges the decision for the missile attack, which left 18 civilians dead, was based on “seriously flawed” circumstantial evidence. The FBI report linking the Iraqi government to a contrived assassination attempt on ex-President Bush during a Kuwaiti visit turned out to be only a pretext for the liberal Clinton to exhibit a continuity in foreign policy with his conservative predecessors.

The Neither East Nor West group (NENW-NYC), publishers of the On Gogol Boulevard section in this issue, and other anarchists are planning a pamphlet exposing the maoist Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) and their many front groups. The latter include Refuse and Resist, Vietnam Veterans Against the War/Anti-imperialist, Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, Committee to Support the Revolution in Peru, and the Committee to Defend the Life of Dr. Abimael Guzman (jailed head of Peru’s Andean-Khmer Rouge, Shining Path).

The RCP, with their punk/militant veneer, is a particular nuisance because of their disruptive attempts to recruit among anarchists, youth, minorities, punk and women’s scenes. These commies have had some success because of a lack of knowledge among some of these groups, but also because some anarchists, according to NENW, “who know better, shamefully collaborate with them.”

Submissions about experiences with the RCP are welcome for the pamphlet. Send to NENW-NYC, 528 5th., Brooklyn NY 11215.

Speaking of commies: Their mummified gods, Lenin and Stalin, who have been preserved for adulation in Moscow since their deaths may soon be de-pickled and buried like other mortals. Their zombie-like display is an apt metaphor for the legacy of the counter-revolutionary police state ideology the Bolsheviks presided over. Also, the imminent internment of the architects of the Soviet state is equally metaphoric for the fate of those who quaintly continue their politics.

A warning on how to help secure your child against potential sexual abuse: keep them away from society’s official institutions. First, it was revelations that priests and ministers were assaulting young people under their control at an astonishing rate; now it’s scoutmasters. By its own admission, the Boy Scouts of America removed 1,800 scout leaders between 1971 and 1991 for “molesting boys.” Many of these scoutmasters simply went to other venues and continued their activities.

Peltier March Cancelled

Word that the Leonard Peltier Freedom Campaign (LPFC) cancelled its march on Washington scheduled for November 21, was met with disappointment among the FE staff and friends. We were already planning our caravan to the capital.

According to a memo sent by the LPFC, Leonard’s meeting with the parole board, recently scheduled for the first week in December, “has made the march difficult. We need to be sure that when we march on D.C., President Clinton does not have an excuse to ignore us.” The campaign also lacked funding and full-time help.

The LPFC is replacing the march with a petition drive from November 21 to December 24 to demand executive clemency for Peltier. The holiday season and New Year are “traditional times world wide for political leaders to grant commutation of sentence for prisoners.” For more information, contact: Leonard Peltier Freedom Campaign

39 W. 14th St., Rm. 206
New York NY 10011
Tel. 212-633-6646

It is very probable some of these were innocent victims of a paranoia within the para-military, super-patriotic youth group, but it is curious how large a number of those charged with inculcating society’s young with official and conservative views wind up committing acts they would consider aberrant in the extreme.

The New York Anarchist Youth Federation has issued a call for strengthening what is left of the U.S. section of the Anarchist Black Cross (ABC), the international prisoner solidarity movement. They have an ambitious (and badly needed) set of proposals, including a national bail fund, compiling a list of anarchist prisoners, campaigns on behalf of prisoners such as the one they are waging for Harold Thompson, and a national conference.

Their proposals came to the Fifth Estate accompanied by a considerable amount of material which also offers Lorenzo Komboa Ervin’s essay on the need to establish an ABC. The latter is available for $1, but we suggest the enclosure of a little more to receive all of their information. Write: Brooklyn ABC, c/o NY-AYF, P.O. Box 365, Canal St. Sta., NY NY 10013.