All posts by PB

Change recycling

If you had 25 lbs. of aluminum cans sitting in your house, you’d recycle them so the metal in them could be used again, right? Well, what about that penny jar you’ve been keeping on the shelf all these years? Yup – another tiny way to help the environment is to roll up those pennies and get them out of your house and back into circulation. Our house recently turned in $42 in pennies weighing 25 pounds. It turns out the government minted about 9 billion pennies last year — pennies account for roughly half of all coins made each year — at a cost of more than $100 million dollars. About one-third of this money is used to pay for the zinc that pennies are made out of. In April, 2006, the New York Times reported that because of the increase in the cost of zinc, it was costing 1.4 cents to create each 1 cent penny. So many pennies are made because about half of the pennies made each year disappear from circulation within each year. In 1998, the General Accounting Office estimated that of the roughly 170 billion pennies then in existence, two-thirds had been effectively withdrawn from circulation by people keeping them in penny jars! If people would stop keeping penny jars, thousands of tons of zinc wouldn’t have to be mined each year. Better yet, the penny should be eliminated entirely since it no longer really serves any meaningful purpose. Check out www.retirethepenny.org for details.

Action Account: The hump-in

Gay Shame — the militant queer action cluster — recently elevated street tactics to a new level during an anti-war demonstration in San Francisco. The crowd was massive and bored, marching down the street like cattle in typical ANSWER fashion. Amongst the gloom, Gay Shame’s bullhorn was spewing brilliant, sexy free-association chants and propaganda as fast as they could think of them. Suddenly, the Metreon theater complex was down the street, and the Gay Shame bullhorner was screaming “let’s hump the Metreon to stop the war.” The group charged up to the thick metallic columns at the entrance, surrounding them with gyrating pelvic thrusts. Then, someone noticed that a Starbucks was across the street. Everyone had a collective Seattle WTO flashback.

The bullhorn rang out “hump Starbucks!” Seconds later, all the large plate glass windows were shaking as the Gay Shame marchers took down their pants and made love to the cold glass surface. It looked like the glass might break from the exertion. The scene must have been intense for the surprised coffee addicts inside. The movement’s newest tactic in the struggle for liberation had been unleashed — the hump-in. —PB

Gay Shame — the militant queer action cluster — recently elevated street tactics to a new level during an anti-war demonstration in San Francisco. The crowd was massive and bored, marching down the street like cattle in typical ANSWER fashion. Amongst the gloom, Gay Shame’s bullhorn was spewing brilliant, sexy free-association chants and propaganda as fast as they could think of them. Suddenly, the Metreon theater complex was down the street, and the Gay Shame bullhorner was screaming “let’s hump the Metreon to stop the war.” The group charged up to the thick metallic columns at the entrance, surrounding them with gyrating pelvic thrusts. Then, someone noticed that a Starbucks was across the street. Everyone had a collective Seattle WTO flashback.

The bullhorn rang out “hump Starbucks!” Seconds later, all the large plate glass windows were shaking as the Gay Shame marchers took down their pants and made love to the cold glass surface. It looked like the glass might break from the exertion. The scene must have been intense for the surprised coffee addicts inside. The movement’s newest tactic in the struggle for liberation had been unleashed — the hump-in.

Infoshop Updates

Here’s some Infoshops that just opened or that we’ve found out about, plus some corrections to the list of radical contacts published in the 2003 Slingshot Organizer.

Cascadia Rising infoshop in Portland

“We just opened an infoshop/activist resource center located in the Cascadia Forest Alliance office in South East, Portland Oregon. We have on hand hundreds of do-it-yourself zines, scores of anarchist/radical/leftist publications from all over the US (and we’re hoping soon, the world) not to mention a lending library full of great books. Anyone is welcome to drop in (except cops) and browse, hang out, read, drink tea….all that fun shit!” Open 11:00 am-10:00 p.m.; all week!! 1540 S.E. Clinton, Portland, OR 97202 (503) 241-4879

Community Arts & Media Project buys a building in St. Louis, Missouri

These folks have managed to purchase a 100 year old, 9,000 square foot building to provide space for seven groups: the St. Louis Independent Media Center, Food Not Bombs, the Beehive Design collective (Midwest Hive), The Center for Alternative Technology, the SouthSide University free skool project, Confluence alternative journal, and the Gateway Green Alliance, which carries on environmental and social justice political campaigns. They’re currently fixing up the building to meet codes and trying to raise funds. Contact them to donate. They’re also trying to borrow money. Its located at 3026 Cherokee St., St. Louis, MO 63118; Mail address: PO Box 63232, St. Louis, MO 63163. 314.772.9178.

Black Planet Books collectivizes

Black Planet Books in Baltimore, Maryland is under new, collective management and is now located at 1621 Fleet St., Baltimore, MD 21231, 410 537-5005.

Check out the Misfit Theater Zine Library in New Zealand

An all volunteer run, non-profit book, music, zine and second-hand store. They also have a mail distro and a zine library. Visit them at 335 Grant North Rd, Aukland. Open Thur/Fri. 1-7, Sat/Sun noon -4. Mail them at PO Box 68939, Newton, Aukland, New Zealand.

Ironweed Infoshop in Albany, NY

The Ironweed Collective sent us a cool flyer with all the stuff happening in Albany: Critical Mass bike ride, Food Not Bombs, Revolution 101 study group and their Infoshop. Check it out at 98 Grand St., Albany, NY 12202 518-436-0929.

Madhatter’s IMC / Infoshop

They have an Independent Media Center with an Infoshop. These folks also publish the City Free Press, Connecticut’s only cooperatively run monthly. Check them out at 218 White St., Danbury, CT 06810 203-730-9397.

Wooden Spoon in Ann Arbor

The Wooden Spoon just transformed itself into a cooperative bookstore and community space. They’re at 200 N. 4th Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48104 734-769-4775.

Breakdown Book Collective & Community Space reopens in Denver

After a brief closure and relocation, Breakdown Collective is back. They have radical books, a lending library, video library, free computer use, space for various organizations to meet, and a variety of information about upcoming community events. The community resource center provides a source for ideas, information, and literature marginalized or ignored by mainstream outlets, to educate, empower, and strengthen the Denver area community. Breakdown hosts and promotes artistic, educational, political, and cultural events, all in a non-hierarchical, and participatory environment. Check them out at 1409 Ogden St., Denver, CO 80218 303.832.7952. Open 12-9 Tuesday – Sunday

Corrections to the 2003 Organizer

  • We got word of the existence of ICT Infoshop, 1515 N. Sedgwick St., Wichita, KS 67203. We don’t know what ICT stands for or anything else about them, though.
  • The listing for Toronto Women’s books in the Canada section has the wrong phone number — the correct phone number is 416.922.8744.
  • If you’re in Sweden, check out Bokhandeln Info, Tjärhovsgatan 44, 11628 Stockholm, Sweden. They sent us a nice card. Their website looks very informative, if you know Swedish. If not, its rather confusing.
  • The listing for Boxcar Books in Fort Collins, Colorado is incorrect — there’s nothing at that address anymore.
  • The Stone soup collective in Florida doesn’t exist anymore.
  • We heard that Stone Soup cafe in Tucson, Arizona isn’t where we said it was. Any info?
  • Solidarity books in Indianapolis has closed or at the very least moved. Let us know if you do.
  • Boiling Kettle infoshop in Charlotte, North Carolina has closed or moved. Any info?
  • The Center for Creative Autonomy in Houston, Texas has closed.

Microradio Comments Due Aug. 2

Write the FCC – they do not want to hear from you.

In the last issue of Slingshot, we reported extensively on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal to 65legalize65 forms of micro-powered radio broadcasting. The FCC action came after 10 years of civil disobedience by thousands of micro-powered broadcasters around the country, who started free radio stations to protest the FCC’s current ban on accessible community radio access. The FCC’s deadline for public comment has now been extended to August 2, so there is still time for your or your organization to file a comment!

Public comment on the FCC proposal is essential since the proposal is a series of questions about how the 65legalized65 radio service should be organized. One set of answers to these questions would make the new Low Power FM service an extension of corporate control, and another set of answers could make low power FM available to communities and individuals who are currently excluded from the public airwaves.

Powerful corporate radio stations, represented by their trade group the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and other entrenched powers like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, have been working hard to make sure that the FCC’s proposal is either an impotent failure or unavailable to excluded people. The NAB requested, and was granted by the FCC, two extensions of the deadline to file comments, so the NAB could rally corporate support for the status quo and finish their 65scientific65 research on how LPFM would cause chaos on the airwaves. While these extensions are a dangerous opportunity for the powers of corporate control, they also give free radio supporters and all those who favor democratic communication additional time to file comments with the FCC.

A full description of the FCC’s proposal (known as the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)) and an analysis of the points to include in comments you might file is far beyond the scope of this update. For details, write Slingshot (see page 2 for address) for a copy of issue #64 and a copy of the National Lawyer’s Guild’s Committee for Democratic Communications (CDC) newsletter on the subject. Last issues article is at our website too, www.tao.ca/~slingshot. Or, check out the materials at the CDC’s website: www.nlgcdc.org. The CDC has a detailed response to the FCC’s proposal, and you and/or any organization you are associated with can sign on in support of the CDC’s detailed comments, while adding your own supplemental comments. The CDC is actively working to get unions, churches, and other civic groups to file comments. Contact them if you have access to any union, church etc. decision making bodies: Committee on Democratic Communications, 558 Capp Street, San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 522-9814.

To file a comment directly, do it by computer at www.fcc.gov. Head for the Electronic Comment Filing System where you can make your comment in only a few minutes. The number of the proceeding is MM Docket No. 99-25. Electronic filing is almost required. You can also see the hundreds of the pro and con comments already filed at the FCC’s website (Some of the comments already filed, by the way, recite word by word the 10 points for comment printed in the last issue of Slingshot!)

The groundswell of support for democratic access to the radio dial is growing, and a number of important groups, including numerous unions and churches, have already signed on in support the CDC comments. Check this stuff out!