News & Reviews

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Fifth Estate # 335, Winter, 1990-91

Bound Together Books, 1369 Haight Street, San Francisco CA 94117, a bookstore specializing in anti-authoritarian titles, has copies available of Paul Goodman’s The Black Flag of Anarchism and Other Essays, a 46-page pamphlet from the long dormant Employee’s Theft Press. Essays beside the title include, “A Touchstone for the Libertarian Program” and “Reflections on Drawing the Line.” Although we haven’t seen these essays, Goodman wrote in the dark days of the ’50s as an individualist anarchist, so much of what he says may be of particular relevance to those isolated from co-thinkers today. Send $2.75 postpaid; also ask for their catalog.

Serials Review, PO Box 1808, Ann Arbor MI 48106, as the title implies, is a publication aimed at librarians and usually contains articles concerning that specific occupation. However, under the editorship of Ken Wachsberger, the magazine in recent issues has launched into a series on the history of the Vietnam era underground and alternative press, including the Fifth Estate. Volume 16, No. 1 contains a short look at the Fifth Estate by ex-staffer Pat Halley and his account of pieing the Guru Maharaj Ji, the 15-year-old “perfect master” in 1974 at the Detroit City Hall council chambers, and the subsequent attempt to murder him by the Guru’s enraged followers.

Other articles in the same issue feature the histories of the underground press in East Lansing, and San Francisco’s premier psychedelic paper, The Oracle, the joys and pain of working at Liberation News Service (sort of a UPI of the left, which supplied articles to over 800 oppositionist newspapers), as well as “Uniform Titles for Serials—The Controversy Continues.” No subscription or single copy price listed, but about $4 looks right.

Other issues of Serials will contain additional histories of ’60s publications which will eventually be collected into a book to be published by Pierian Press (same address). The editors are looking for more accounts from participants on those projects.

Les Archives de l’Avenir plans to launch an as yet untitled monthly magazine in Paris. This magazine will be dedicated to “subversion of the social order” and will praise whatever brings us closer to “a stateless society, free of wage labor and trade, one in which neither Disneylands nor prisons could ever exist.”

As a large section of this paper will deal with international news, they want to create a network of correspondents and will gladly publish information concerning struggles, strikes, riots and any open or hidden form of resistance to capitalist domestication, information on modern alienation, new techniques of suppression, economic trends, as well as illustrations, cartoons, song lyrics, poems and graffiti. Write to: 7 rue J-F Gerbillon 75006 Paris, France.

If we were going to review Bayou La Rose, 302 No. N. “J” St., No. 3, Tacoma, WA 98403, $2, as we did last issue, perhaps it would have been better to have waited for their No. 32, “Special Resource Issue.” It presents seemingly endless lists of anarchist groups and publications, prisoner and native support groups and much more, many with descriptions which in themselves give a sense of the breadth of the contemporary revolutionary and resistance movement.

The Alternative Press Center publishes the Alternative Press Index, a quarterly subject index to over 200 publications including the Fifth Estate. They also offer the 1990-91 Directory of Alternative and Radical Publications (listing 350 publications), $3.00 from PO Box 33109, Dept. D, Baltimore MD 21218. The quarterly index is available by subscription for libraries and individuals. Inquire above.

To those of you who wonder where we obtain the interesting, but sometimes obscure titles for our book service, here are two sources we use besides Seattle’s Left Bank Distribution. Both New York-based A Distribution, 339 Lafayette Street, Rm. 202, New York NY 10012, and AK Distribution, 3 Balmoral Place, Stirling, Scotland FK8 2 RD, provide individual copies as well as quantity orders for bookstores and lit tables, etc. A Distribution describes itself as “a voluntary collective, dedicated to disseminating anarchist and situationist ideas” that functions “through the principle of mutual aid.” A and AK are nonwage-paying and AK states that any excess income goes into expanding available titles. Each has an extensive catalog available.

Supporters of Italian anarchists Alfredo Bonanno and Pippo Stasi, convicted of robbing a jewelry store in Bergamo in 1989, have published a 50-page pamphlet, “In Bergamo, Concerning an Attempted Robbery and a Democratic Frame-up.” It details how, once the police realized they had in custody a prominent anarchist militant and his comrade, they attempted to link them to a series of crimes, including murder. The pamphlet not only protests the brutal and illegal treatment the two men have received (although they say they do not want to adopt a “victimistic position”), it also eloquently unmasks the facade of the “democratic state as being no different than its fascist variant toward those who challenge its authority.” Send $5 (more if you would like to contribute to publicizing the case), to Insurrection, BM Elephant, London WC 1N 3XXX, England. Both Bonanno and Stasi may be written c/o via Gleno 61, 24100 Bergamo, Italy. Separate letters for each.

The International Centre for Research into Anarchism, CIRA, ave. de Beaumont 24, CH-1012, Lausanne, Switzerland, is a collection of 12,000 books, documents and pamphlets written by anarchists in 25 languages, but principally in French, Spanish, Italian, English and German. Its library is open to the public daily and provides a loan-by-mail and photocopying service. Some fees are involved, so write for details. CIRA catalogs this newspaper and is anxious to receive other North American anarchist publications. In exchange they send the CIRA Bulletin.

The second edition of the Montreal anti-authoritarian publication Demolition Derby is out. Its contents include an exchange on the question of syndicalism, initiated in the first issue by Michael William’s essay “…The Misery of Anarcho-syndicalism.” This time Michael comments on a dozen responses to it.

The issue also contains two critiques of militancy, three “quite harsh critiques of feminism by women” (his note to us), “The Bourgeois Roots of Anarcho-Syndicalism,” by an ex-Wobbly, and book reviews by Michael, John Zerzan, and Feral Faun. DD is free (though we assume that cash contributions are welcome to help with expenses) from Demolition Derby, C.P. 1554, Succ. B, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3B 3L2.

Rhythm Activism is the Montreal based “rebel news orchestra” of big-mouth/ violinist Norman Nawrocki and avant-subversive guitarist/accordionist, Sylvain Cote. Since 1985, RA has taken their ever-changing “resistance cabaret” of music, theatre and comedy into clubs and theatres, bars and bingo halls, Picket lines and occupations, across Canada, the USA and Europe, East and West. Topical and provocative, they deal with issues of the day and produce tailor-made shows on tenants’ rights, welfare rights—whatever the demand. Their music is a mix of “urban badland sounds,” folk punk, electrified gypsy reel, rat jazz and industrial honk and twang.

Their “Oka” cassette is the group’s most recent release. Copies are $5 postpaid. Money from the sale will be sent to Mohawk Legal Defense Fund. Two previous releases, “Perogys, Pasta & Liberty” and “Louis Riel in China,” are $8 each. Make orders payable to Les Page Noires, 3699 Hutchinson, Montreal, Que., Canada 4-12X 2H4.

The Polish anarchists are very active and are responsible for about a dozen continuing publications. They have set up an anarchist center in a storefront on one of the most heavily-walked streets in Krakow. They have also begun to set up a print shop with several old presses donated from western activists Now they are trying to raise money to make these presses fully operational. The Bay Area Neither East Nor West group is coordinating a fund-raising drive to help them.

Please send donations to Poland Press Fund, POB 11255, Berkeley CA 94701.

Western World Press, Box 366, Sun City CA 92381, has reprinted the Libertarian Book Club edition, “via Brand,” of Max Stirner’s classic of individual anarchism, The Ego & His Own. Price is $9 postpaid. The publisher is also interested in correspondence from those influenced by Stirner’s philosophy.

“… if this had been an actual emergency” is the second album of punkpopskarock from Cass Corridor perpetrators of political music—The Blanks. The 7-song offering is available on cassette or vinyl for $8 from Falsified Records, POB 1010, Birmingham MI 48012.

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