News and Reviews


Fifth Estate # 312, Spring 1983

After years of wasted time and copy space, the Social Revolutionary Anarchist Federation (SRAF) has decided to exclude anarcho-anti-semite Joffre Stewart from the pages of its free-wheeling Bulletin (P.O. Box 21071, Washington DC 20009). Since the pages of the Bulletin are submitted pre-typed and hence, non-edited, SRAF hoped, and often achieved, a magazine created by its readers, in a truly libertarian fashion. The decision to finally censor Stewart after years of discussion must have indeed been a weighty one, but of the 13 SRAF groups who responded to the production group’s question about the matter, seven abstained, five clearly wanted the Bulletin “to immediately stop printing Stewart and one wanted the open policy to continue.” You could almost feel the reluctance of the abstainers to not be the one to initiate censorship, hoping other affiliates would bring the long standing policy to a close, but enough of the groups apparently had had it with Stewart’s embarrassing connection with their publication and he is hopefully gone from further consideration. The current SRAF Bulletin contains a discussion of the matter…

Left Bank Distribution’s prison literature program especially needs gay and/or black writings as they receive many more requests for those items than they can meet. Send to Left Bank at Box B, 92 Pike Street, Seattle WA 98101. Also, available is their list of current books….

Although threatened with eviction, the Bound Together Book Collective is continuing its activities at 1901 Hayes, SF CA 94117 and has just published a catalog of its available titles under the name Circle A Books. It features 175 titles and two dozen periodicals and will be sent for two first-class stamps. All titles in stock are sold to prisoners at cost….

Several interesting leaflets and posters have been coming from Anti-Authoritarian Anonymous (P.O. Box 11331, Eugene OR 97440) mostly on an anti-tech theme; send stamps for a selection.

Harbinger: The Journal of Social Ecology (211 E. 10th St., NY NY 10003) has published its first issue and reflects “the concept of social ecology expressed by Murray Bookchin.” The premier issue features an article by Bookchin attacking sociobiology. The journal states that it hopes to “further the cause of radical social transformation, but in obeisance to contemporary reality not only are the entire contents of the magazine copyrighted, (announcement of the laws of the capitalist state to protect private property), but each article notifies you of an individual copyright as well. Yearly subscription is $10 for four issues….

The International Anarchistic Address Book is “based on the idea that the rather loose ties between the individual groups and countries need to be tightened…” 460 addresses from 24 countries on 180 pages; $7.50 with bulk rates available from Monte Verita, Neustiftgasse 33, 1070 Wien, Austria….

Last issue, on p. 10, we mentioned the efforts of Black Rose Radio, a weekly radio program “of anarchist, communist and libertarian lectures, commentary and music on history, power, art, sexuality and revolt” and broadcast on WMBR-FM, Cambridge, Mass. Shows are hour-long and available for broadcast elsewhere. The radio group is currently putting together a program entitled “A Review of the Libertarian Left” and invite others to participate by sending a nine-minute cassette. Deadline is May 15, and since there are specific questions under discussion, those interested would do well to contact the collective at Box 167, Cambridge MA 02142 for details….

There has been a recent publishing upsurge in Toronto centered around Kick It Over, now into its sixth issue; Up From the Ashes, two issues so far which examine the future of anarchism from the perspective of two who exited the authoritarian left; Lightening Rod, No. 1, a small pamphlet just out entitled “Male Power/Male Oppression: One Man’s View,” as well as several essays. The latest KIO is a “Sex and Peace” issue (always two of our favorite desires) and contains an article on the police harassment of the Canadian peace movement resulting from the Toronto Litton bombings, one on the strategy of bombings and a discussion of pornography, “Sex in the Spectacular Society.” Send a buck or two for examples to P.O. Box 5811, Sta. A, Toronto, Ont., Canada M5W 1P2….

We recently received the following letter from Paola of Kraksimo magazine, Inois 7, Amfiali, Aghios Antonios Pireus, Greece: “Kraksimo is an anarchist, homosexual magazine. Different anti-authoritarian, emarginated groups express themselves through this magazine. In Greece it is edited with many difficulties. At this moment, it is being prosecuted. It is published by the transvestite and hooker Pao-‘e, with the help of some anarchist faggots. It is a magazine which aims at criticizing society and doubting all of existing civilization. We would like to note again that in ‘socialist’ Greece all of these magazines are being hunted and even more Kraksimo which is also homosexual. We would like your moral help for the magazine’s court trial which is based on a fascist law ‘about obscenity.’ Naturally ‘about obscenity’ is just an excuse.”

We have just written Kraksimo for details of the magazine’s trial and to whom objection could be made for its persecution. The publication itself is in Greek although the editor wrote us in English….

Just got a batch of material from the Contaminated Crow (c/o 60 Marlbrough Rd., Dublin 4, Eire) including “Toxic Ireland” which demonstrates that the “Emerald Isle” suffers from the same pollution and chemical poisoning as all other “modern” nations; “Red Herring No. 5” with articles on “Taken for a Flouride,” identifying U.S. drug companies Merck Sharp & DOOM, Eli Lilly and Co., and Syntex quite properly as “Multinational Terrorists”; “Suffer the Children,” a pamphlet discussing the chemical threats to fertility; and the “Industrial Plague,” much of which is Fifth Estate reprints on the subject. Our correspondent from Ireland writes: “The stuff here isn’t on the same theoretical level as yours, but this side of things has only been going on for a few years. And there is opposition and there is resistance….”

The prolific Black Flag/Cienfuegos Press/Refrac group has just announced two new publishing projects at a time when it appeared as though they were at a low ebb. (See Fall FE 1982). We have received issue number one and two of the Black Flag News Bulletin (Box ABC, 121 Railton Rd., London, England SE24) which has an ambitious fortnightly printing schedule and will supplement the quarterly appearing Blag Flag. Both editions are concerned heavily with political prisoners, police abuses and combating fascism, but there also is an “Industrial” column. Also received was Anti-State Documentation, and News Network which describes itself as “a long-term project designed to facilitate the circulation and documentation of counter-information and participation in local intelligence gathering” for anti-fascist work. Available from ASDNN, BM Hurricane, London, Eng. WC1 3XX.

Several years ago (see FE July and august 1977) we stated that Black Rose Books (BRB) of Montreal was a capitalist venture which incidentally printed libertarian literature. The exchange was quite lively, but the wrath of Bakunin came down upon our heads from certain “prominent” anarchists for our intemperate suggestion. “How could we say such things about comrades,” etc. Now a revolt from within BRB has occurred charging the same and worse about the operation and its proprietor Dimitri Rousopolous. Two ex-employees have denounced Rousopolous as “the boss” and accuse him of using “Anarchist rhetoric…to defend…the hierarchical work relationships in place at BR B.” In a letter to one prospective wage worker Dimitri wrote: “Although we will be equals, we should be clear from the beginning that I am first among equals” in an echo of Animal Farm.

Worse yet, Rousopolous has also been accused of skimming off the difference between U.S. and Canadian funds donated to his “Anarchos Institute” to the tune of almost $2,500 for either BRB or personal use (he is in Europe for six months at present and unable to answer the charges). The Institute is considering the diverted funds to be a “mistake” and allowing the sum to be repaid on a monthly basis. There seems to be a problem in Montreal of long standing duration, but hopefully this will not interfere with the publishing efforts of BRB. If you are interested in the whole sordid story write to those involved c/o Librarie Alternative, 2033 Boul. St. Lawrence, Montreal, Quebec.

The Pope/cop graphic on p. 6 is from Re/Search No. 1 in a series of eight which delves “deep into the heart of the Control Process. Preoccupation: Creativity and Survival, past, present and future.” Its companion publication Search & Destroy has “incendiary interviews, passionate photographs, art brutal. Corrosive minimalist documentation of the only youth rebellion of the seventies: punk rock (197778). The philosophy and culture before the mass media takeover and the inevitable cloning.” Catalog of available issues from Re/Search, 20 Romolo, No. B, San Francisco CA 94133.

Circle A/Anarchy in Atlanta (1261 La Vista Rd., G-3, Atlanta GA 30324) has published no. 4 on sex, revolution, more…

The members of the Impossible Books Collective have sent us a notice that they are hosting a May Day gathering of anarchists at the Autonomy Center, 3951 N. Ashland, in Chicago, on the weekend of April 30/May 1. They write, “We feel it would be an opportunity to meet with comrades throughout the region, to renew old contacts and make new ones. It would also be a good chance for everyone to visit our new center and our growing bookstore. We have been open only a few months and we would like to hear the views, ideas and experiences of others as well as sharing our own.” They plan on having an all-day meeting on Saturday, April 30, and a rally and march on May 1. May Day will also see an all day Social at the Autonomy Center. They asked that people respond by April 4, so most people reading this will be already too late to meet the deadline. But if people in the Chicago area or in the Midwest would like to attend, we doubt they would be turned away. Contact Impossible Books at Box 172, 3952 N. Southport, Chicago IL 60613….

The latest issue of Anarchy: Journal of Desire Armed, “an irregular publication of the Columbia Anarchist League,” has finally appeared, containing “Punk Anarchfesto”; “The Shame of the Censored Blurbs” (about censorship of program descriptions of a punk radio show at KOPN, a public radio station); “Mary Worthless;” and “The Cripple and the Man.” The journal can be contacted at c/o C.A.L., P.O. Box 380, Columbia MO 65205….

Although we rarely find anything to agree with in Radical America (38 Union Square, Somerville MA 02143), the double issue of Vol. 16 Nos. 4 and 5, contains an excellent article by Marcy Darnovsky, a California anti-nuclear activist, “Let’s Fake A Deal: A History of Arms Control,” showing succinctly how arms control negotiations have been a fraud from the very beginning. She writes, “Although arms control is little more than what [I.F.] Stone calls a ‘theatre of delusion,’ we can expect endless curtain calls. Talk about arms control will keep pace with new rounds in the arms race.” Also in the same issue are a short criticism of the Nuclear Freeze Campaign by Darnovsky, and an informative piece on the European Disarmament movement by Tom Athanasiou.

Autonomy Press (Box V2, 488 Great Western Road, Glasgow, Scotland) has recently published an interesting though rather uneven pamphlet, The End of Music, containing four essays—”The Revolution of Everyday Alienation,” “White Dopes on Punk,” “Rebel Music and State Morality,” and “Music All Day, Helps You…Work & Play.” It is a fuming blast on punk and its derivatives as a recuperation of rebellious desires among youth by English post (or ex) situs in collusion with record companies. At its best it rips apart many pseudo-radical pretensions of modern rock and roll music, such as, “It is not just a question of ‘imagine no possessions’ but one of imagining and living without mass-produced music…” In other places it makes very questionable statements smacking of marxist determinism and technophilia (such as a defense of cassettes as a form of “decentralized interactive communication” without taking into consideration what social process makes cassettes possible…An interesting pamphlet worth checking out…Also available—Art and Anarchism, Art and Education, and The Bourgeois Role of Bolshevism: Its Relation to World Revolution (a reprint of “Theses on Bolshevism” by European left communists written in the 1930s)

HOW DOES IT FEEL: Crass, an English punk-rock group, has a hit single: How Does It Feel To be the Mother of 1,000 Dead, a violent but considered attack on British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s handling of the “Falklands Crisis” was released in October 1982 to coincide with the Falklands “victory parade” through London the following week.

The record created an immediate storm of protest in the national press and one rock journalist, Robin Eggar of the Daily Mirror, wrote that it was “the most revolting and unnecessary record I have ever heard”—a statement that reflected the tenor of most of the coverage. Critic Eggar’s brother is Timothy Eggar, Member of Parliament, Conservative, for Enfield North, who, describing himself as a “dutiful brother,” read the article about the Crass record and was duly enraged; so much so that he immediately requested that the Attorney General prosecute the band under Section 2 of the Obscene Publications Act.

The MP also issued a long and incredibly reactionary press release in which he attacked the record on a political level as being an “insult to the Prime Minister, the government, the armed forces and the families of those who died in the Falklands.” Eggar continued: “This is the most vicious, scurrilous and obscene record that has ever been produced. It goes beyond the acceptable bounds of freedom of speech.”

Although the publicity given the record boosted its sales thus further promoting the ideas expressed in it, Crass objected to the accusation that the record was an “insult to the families of those who died.” A line from the song answers that charge: “You accuse us of disrespect for the dead, but it was you who slaughtered out of national pride.”

Crass accepted Eggar’s other accusations and said that they fully intended to insult those parties as it was them who had insulted “decent consciousness” with their futile, unnecessary and barbaric little war.

The controversy over the record was broadcast by the BBC, both nationally and internationally. It was picked up by foreign stations including CBS, who appeared delighted to be able, at last, to present news demonstrating the degree of dissent in the UK over the war. Throughout the war, coverage was severely censored by the British Ministry of Defense.

Crass stated that the whole issue illustrates the way in which the government attempts to censor those who do not support its policy. Since the band was formed five years ago, they have experienced constant police harassment, ranging from raids on shops distributing their material to proposed bans on their concerts.

This time the government decided not to prosecute the band stating, “We have decided not to give these people the dignity, so to speak, of having a public platform.”

The band said, “Our basic right to express ourselves is being threatened by a government that chooses to ignore world opinion; ultimately what chance do we have against this juggernaut if we are not prepared to vocalize in our loudest voice that which must be heard. Soon it could be too late.”

FE Note: Crass records, which include not only the band of that name, but also several other groups with similar anarchist politics, are distributed in the U.S. by Exitstencil Music, Box 15564, San Francisco CA 94115. If Crass records are not available at Our local new wave record shop, send directly to the distributor for a list of albums, singles and prices.

MISERY LOVES COMPANY: Misery: The Midwest Magazine of Happiness, comes out of a small college town (1004 W. Blvd. North, Columbia MO 65201) where its editors, Bob Bite and the Maggot, have a radio show on KPON Community Radio called Subliminal Nightmare. Playing anarchist noise bands and hard-core thrash, they recently featured an anti-Columbia Police show in which the featured bands were MDC (Millions of Dead Cops), Black Flag and Police Story. Columbia has not one, but two (count ’em) anarchist noise shows, the second being Sleepless Frenzy with the infamous “Bad Guy.”

Even though KPON lets both shows program their own music, the station board of directors freaked when they saw the program description of the anti-cop show. Their response was to adopt a policy which states that no material which “promotes hate” may be published in the KOPN program guides. The show, however, went off as planned. The program description is printed below.


SUNDAYS 3:00 am —-with Bob Bite and The Maggot. The show that grabs reality by the guts and grinds it up for dinner…Late Niter Saturdays (Sundays 3:00 am)

5th: ANTI COLUMBIA POLICE SHOW. Fuck those dirty, rotten, stinking pigs. MDC—Millions of Dead Cops, Nazi Bitch & The Jews/Dead Porker, Black Flag/Police Story & MORE ANTI-COP SHIT. VINYL VOMIT: DEAD KENNEDYS/PLASTIC SURGERY DISASTERS

12th: Punk is an attitude, A lifestyle. All you frat-rat wimp-wave ignorant corporate shitheads: GO DIE. We don’t need it, we don’t want it. You are pawns in THE ULTIMATE DEATH PLAN (and the pitiful thing is that you know this already). VINYL VOMIT: LIFE IS UGLY SO WHY NOT KILL YOURSELF (various)

19th: Dead baby heads rolling across the scorched field. You laugh. You don’t care. Why should you? You work for IBM.

26th: Prostitution. You do it every day. Buttfuck for bucks forever and ever? Local shit gets the airwaves. Causes of Tragedy (Columbia), Bombs from Hell (Sedalia), Broadcast (K.C.) WHERE’S THE ST. LOUIS THRASH? SEND IN TAPES! Vinyl vomit: MORAL MICRONOTZ (Lawrence)

c/o KOPN
Box 48
915 East Broadway
Columbia, Mo. 65201