News & Reviews


Fifth Estate # 341, Spring 1993

Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkey-wrenching, written by Earth First! founder, Dave Foreman and the probably pseudononymous, Bill Haywood, has sold out of five printings since 1985 and is now unavailable. The book figured heavily in the government’s case against Foreman and other EF!ers in 1991 and was seen by friend and foe alike as a manual of sabotage and destruction to be used against polluters, developers and loggers.

Part of Foreman’s probation conditions (the other four accused with him are serving prison terms) is that he not reprint Ecodefense, but that has not constrained others from making it available in a pirate edition. The people at the EF! Journal are offering a xerox copy of the entire book for $15, all 312 pages of it!

Ecodefense has earned a place along side The Anarchist Cookbook, a bomb and booby trap manual, as an underground classic of destruction although the targets of the Foreman book are not humans, unlike the other edition.

Send $15, plus $2 postage, to EF!, PO Box 5176, Missoula MT 59806 for the Foreman book.

Oops, better check with the EF! folks before sending off your money for the xeroxed edition of Ecodefense. It seems like the author of the book, that furious opponent of civilization, Dave Foreman, is calling the law in on his former comrades. EF! received a letter from Foreman’s copyright lawyers ordering them to “cease and desist from producing, offering for sale or distributing copies of Ecodefense.”

So Dave’s private property is more important then circulation of a document designed to protect the wilderness. We hope EF! ignores this hypocrite, and they and others give widespread distribution to the book.

The Fall 1992 Perennial Books catalog, edited by John Petrovato, POB B14, Montague, MA 01351, says its purpose is “to inform and enrich a new wave of brilliant, courageous, and anarchic rebellion.” The catalog is an attractive listing of the titles carried by this book service which is nestled in the same town where the old Liberation News Service once operated after fleeing New York City.

Besides an ambitious and interesting stock of books, the catalog contains several essays of merit, particularly Max Blechman’s “The Perennial Tradition,” which traces the history of radical and anarchist literary tradition, and Chaia Heller’s “Eco-cide in Women’s Bodies.”

Are you frequently suffering sticker shock over the price of books these days? The Silid Aklatan Lending Library of anarchist literatures makes available most titles carried by independent libertarian book services, including ours, for only the cost of postage. Their most recent catalog is available from P.O. Box 187, N. Hollywood, CA 96103 or call (818) 763-9028.

Emma Goldman for Sale

Everyone has long known that nothing is sacred in the modern era so only a few are shocked when everything is marketed. Currently, a mini-debate is raging over the propriety of selling a large range of products bearing an “X” on them with the advent of the release of “Malcolm X,” Spike Lee’s cinematic depiction of the slain black leader’s life.

It is ironic that the symbol taken by members of the Nation of Islam to replace their “slave name” and widely publicized by a man reviled by white society and parts of the ‘black community as well, now appears on everything from baseball caps to potato chip bags. Betty Shabazz, Malcolm’s widow, even has a lawyer tracking down those who use the trademark “X” without compensating her and director Lee who hold copyrights on the mark.

Can you copyright a letter or a roman numeral? That’s a question for their attorneys and the potato chip processors.

In a smaller version of the same hustle, Candace Falk, curator of the Emma Goldman Papers collection in Berkeley, Calif., offers “Emmarabilia” for those who view the radical anarchist as merely an “interesting rebel or feminist.- Not content with cornering the market on Goldman’s papers, Falk will sell you coffee mugs bearing Emma’s face as well as posters and buttons adorned with her militant (but never anarchist) statements.

Falk recently has been asked by a consortium of 28 Los Angeles high schools to develop a “Goldman curriculum- to “show how Goldman maintained a vision of hope while expressing the alienation of a marginal member of society.” Couldn’t you puke? The invitation came following the LA riots, but Falk will undoubtedly hide Goldman’s anarchy as she usually does and ignore her support for such events as Alexander Berkman’s armed attack on the industrialist Frick and Leon Czolgosz’ assassination of President McKinley.

LA kids, like any others, would greatly benefit from exposure to Goldman’s life and anarchist writings, however it wouldn’t be to any school principal’s liking nor would Falk be able to pick up her consulting fees if she was to present the “real” Emma. What would have been Goldman’s opinion of the recent LA riots?

One of her quotes suggests the answer: “Ask for work. If they won’t give it to you, ask for bread. If they deny you that, take it!” We’ve always thought the equation would be best practiced in a reversed form, but a domesticated Emma, now in service to the state, is unrecognizable to us.

If you want to see the hideous Emmarabilia catalog or just tell Candace what you think of her efforts, the address is, The Emma Goldman Papers, UC Berkeley, 2372 Ellsworth, Berkeley CA 94720.

Both Left Bank Books and AK Distribution recently published new catalogues. They’re filled with hundreds of off-beat and anti-authoritarian titles. Send $1 to get your own copy. Addresses are: AK Distribution, 22 Lutton Place, Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9PE. Left Bank Distribution, 4142 Brooklyn N.E., Seattle, WA 98105

For reports on the anarchist scene in Russia, contact Laure Akai, PO Box 500, 5/61 Moscow, Russia 107061 CIS.

The Anarchist Archives Project was established in 1982 for the purpose of collecting and preserving materials documenting the history of anarchism, and in turn making them available to researchers and historians. The project has catalogued over 7,000 items, the majority in English.

It provides research assistance and low cost photocopying for most materials it has and the entire collection can be seen or used by arrangement.

So, don’t dump anything! Send your mags, books, leaflets, pamphlets, etc. to AAP, PO BOX 1323, Cambridge MA 02238. Donations are needed; make checks out to Jerry Kaplan.

The incredibly active comrades of the New Jersey Anarchist Federation have further expanded their publishing efforts (see last issue). They have just published the first issue of Plain Words: A Paper for the Oppressed People of Passaic County, and the 6th edition of Jersey Anarchist. The first is a tabloid, the second a zine. Copies from PAC, PO BX 8532, Haledon NJ 07508-3076.

An incredible, informational project, The Real State of the Union, is available from Long Haul, 3124 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley CA 94705 on disk and on paper. Through collected info and stats it shows the real condition of this miserable land.