Tales from the Planet


Fifth Estate # 355, Fall-Winter, 2000

Quick! Call the Anarchist Anti-Defamation League (AADL). It’s bad enough when every corporate media outlet uses anarchism as a synonym for chaos, but now an English company has gone even further.

Superdrug PLC is marketing a commercial bath product line using the brand name “Anarchy,” complete with a circle A over the first letter, which includes a body shower gel they call “Havoc.” “Wreak Havoc,” the plastic container urges; “Get Refreshed.”

Should we seek copyright protection, or just suggest the London comrades pay their shop a visit next May Day?

Another case for the AADL might well be an ad for Dawn Farm, an Ann Arbor, Mich. detox center, which ran an ad in a local paper with the headline, “We Treat Addicts: That’s all we do.” Next to the type, inexplicably, was a large anarchist circle A. Since they obviously don’t treat people “addicted” to anarchism, it’s just another smear. They ask in their ad to be called at 734—485-8725.

The fight to free imprisoned American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier from his 25-year nightmare is heightening. Peltier was convicted falsely for the killing of two FBI agents who were part of a 1975 government invasion force at North Dakota’s Oglala Sioux Pine Ridge Reservation.

With all of his legal appeals exhausted, Peltier’s only hope for freedom lies with President Clinton granting executive clemency at the end of his term. On Sunday, December 10, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in Battery Park in New York City, the Peltier Defense Committee is sponsoring a Freedom March to urge the President to take such action.

Unfortunately, a recommendation for clemency is in the hands of right-wing congressman, Henry Hyde, who vigorously opposes Peltier’s freedom. The ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. John Conyer’s of Detroit, a Peltier supporter, was not even informed that Hyde had begun an investigation of the case or that only evidence from the FBI, which wants Peltier jailed until he dies, is being considered.

Peltier’s release is supported by other members of Congress, Nobel laureates, numerous human rights groups including Amnesty International and the Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, and millions of Americans.

Buses carrying Peltier supporters to New York are currently being organized. In Michigan, call 517—774-2508; nationally contact the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, PO Box 583, Lawrence KS 66044; phone: 785—842-5774; web: www.freepeltier.org. Free Leonard, now!

Every time KKK psychos and boneheads announce a racist rally in a small Midwestern town there is always a debate on how to best oppose them. Groups like Anti-Racist Action (ARA) think the most successful tactic is to directly confront the racists and fascists, and have done so on numerous occasions. Others, usually elected officials, church leaders and liberals, advocate boycotting the Klan rally site, and instead sponsor diversity rallies.

When the Klan announced it was coming to Bowling Green, Ohio recently, a group constituted itself as the Unity Day Coalition and advocated showing opposition to the fascists by wearing a green ribbon, not attending the KKK rally, and holding a candle light vigil. O.K. let ’em do it; understandably, everyone is not up for going toe-to-toe with cops and right-wing whackos. But the liberal group’s final point edged into the pathetic. They offered “To assist the city, county and law enforcement officials by helping to set up, take down, and clean the [KKK] rally site.” Hey, folks. you might want to dry clean the Klansmens’ robes and shine the cops’ shoes while you’re at it.