Radical media, politics and culture.


The Rebellion of the Poor Comes to Grahamstown

The rebellion of the poor has been spreading from town to town, from squatter camp to squatter camp, since 2004. Last week it arrived in Grahamstown.

There is no third force, political party or communist academic behind our struggle. It is oppression at the hands of the African National Congress that has driven us into the rebellion of the poor. We are in rebellion because we are being forced to live without dignity, safety or hope.

"RIP Don LaCoss, Historian of Arab Surrealist Movement"
Ron Sakolsky

It is with great sorrow that Fifth Estate has to report the death of our dear friend and comrade, Don LaCoss on January 31. He had been terribly sick for several months with a relentless respiratory illness that finally morphed into pneumonia. Don was the editor of the as of yet unfinished next edition of our publication and was literally at work on it the night of his death.

All of his friends and colleagues in La Crosse, Wis., where he taught and lived with his family, are in great shock as are we who knew Don to be creative and lively, humorous and scholarly. He is irreplaceable in the true meaning of the word. For those of you who knew Don personally, there will be memorials for him in Lacross and Madison next week. If you only knew him from his by-line on Fifth Estate essays, you know as a reader how sorely we will miss his always-on-the-mark writing.

His issue, with the theme of DIY, which he swore would be printed on Feb. 15, will probably be delayed a few more weeks, but it is still Don's issue, and we will complete it in the manner he intended. Below is a very short appreciation of him by his friend in the Surrealist movement, Ron Sakolsky.

All the Right Enemies: Farewell to the Utterly Unique John Ross
Frank Bardacke

John’s gone. John Ross. I doubt that we will ever see anyone remotely
like him again.

The bare bones, as he would say, are remarkable enough. Born to show
business Communists in New York City in 1938, he had minded Billie
Holliday’s dog, sold dope to Dizzy Gillespie, and vigiled at the hour
of the Rosenberg execution, all before he was sixteen years old. An
aspiring beat poet, driven by D.H. Lawrence’s images of Mexico, he
arrived at the Tarascan highlands of Michoacan at the age of twenty,
returning to the U.S. six years later in 1964, there to be thrown in
the Federal Penitentiary at San Pedro, for refusing induction into the

Yippie Activist Dana Beal Arrested in Wisconsin Pot Bust
Todd Finkelmeyer

Irvin Dana Beal, a blast from Madison's counter-culture past, is sitting in the Iowa County jail because police say the car he was riding in on Jan. 6 was pulled over with more than 180 pounds of marijuana in it.

And although few details are available, the Barneveld police chief is hinting that those involved could be linked to a national drug operation.

Ben Ali Trembles! From Blogs to Trade Unions Bureaus, the Tunisian Revolt Explodes
Fulvio Massarelli

Dictator Ben Ali trembled! And he is still trembling if is it true that he parked a jet plane close to the presidential residence of Chartage, which should be ready for an evacuation plan. The revolt stretches its lenght, spreads itself through all the cities and bears down on the regime after 23 years from its institution. Even in Tunisia, as well as on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea, the struggling education sector is the one which is starting a process of refusal and social conflict,emerging from the crisis as social vanguard and convergence point for the many workers' struggles that have been coming one after the other - as fragmented as radical and brave - for decades now.

After december 17th when Mohamed Bouazizi, a graduate and unemployed man, set himself on fire in Sidi Bouzid in protest against the seizure of his grocery stand, Tunisia mobilized and the revolt started off. First localized in the Sidi Bouzid zone, it later did spread to all the productive hubs of the Maghrebi country, and then reached even the most peripherals towns and zones, in a weaving of solidarity and struggle that sees side by side upper-school and university students, upper-school professors, workers, unemployed, lawyers and rank-and-file trade unions' activists, unwilling to yield to the extremely violent repression carried out by the regime.

Riots Break Out in Rome as Berlusconi Wins Vote of Confidence

The center of Rome is under siege. As the House was voting the confidence to a moribund Berlusconi government (which he won with a 2 votes margin, which means that his agony is just extended) thousands of demonstrators of the "Movements United Against the Crises" tried to reach the Parliament. As a result riots broke out in the most central streets of the city (Via del Corso, Via del Babbuino, Piazza del Popolo, etc.) which are usually one of the favorite mainlands of the global tourist industry.

Members of Russian Art Group Voina Arrested

Members of the Russian conceptual art group Voina ("War") have recently been arrested in Moscow for one of their performances. The are facing a possible sentence of up to 7 years in prison for "aggravated hooliganism" resulting from one of their recent actions.

Saharawi Protest Camp Attacked; Several Killed, Hundreds Injured Free Western Sahara Network

In the early hours of Monday morning the Moroccan security forces razed the Sahararwi protest camp containing 20,000 people to the ground. Several were killed and hundreds injured. Riots are erupting in El Auoun and could spread.

Please distribute this 30 secone 360 degree video of the destroyed camp: http://www.youtube.com/user/SaharaThawra?ref=nf#p/a/u/0/9qOVRDtYMgc

Massive Chevron Ad Campaign Derailed, Media Slapstick Follows Yes Men

News outlets, citizens duped by web of deceit - but whose?

A day-long comedy of errors began Monday morning when the Yes Men, supported by Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch, pre-empted Chevron's enormous new “We Agree” ad campaign with a satirical version of their own. The activists' version highlights Chevron's environmental and social abuses - the same abuses they say Chevron is attempting to “greenwash.”

Chevron Deplores Subterfuge, Investigates Options

Chevron has added a news release to its Investor Relations website

SAN RAMON, Calif., Oct. 18, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Earlier today, a group of environmentalists cyber-posing as Chevron officials illegally spoofed Chevron's just-launched “We Agree” advertising campaign, confusing reporters (link). While such a campaign does exist, its official URL is Chevron.com/weagree. The advertisements released earlier today, at Chevron-weagree.com, were an elaborate subterfuge and must not be mistaken as real.


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