Category Archives: Issue #122 Fall 2016

Calendar: things to come . . .

October

 

October 20 – 23

Black Panther Party 50th anniversary commemoration – Oakland, California bpp50th.com

 

October 23 • 11am – 6pm

PHX Zine Fest @ The Icehouse 429 W Jackson St. Phoenix, AZ phxzinefest.com

 

October 25 • 7:30pm

All the Real Indians Died Off (And 20 other Myths about Native Americans) – Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker 2727 College, Berkeley. kpfa.org

 

October 28 • 6pm

Halloween San Francisco Critical Mass bike ride – gather Justin Herman Plaza and ride widely sfcriticalmass.org

 

October 29 • 10am – 7pm

London Anarchist Bookfair – Park View School,

West Green Road anarchistbookfair.org.uk

 

October 29 • 7-10pm

Join musicians and speakers in solidarity with Sacred Stone Camp 933 Parker St. Berkeley kpfa.org

 

November

 

November 5 • 8pm

Pussy Riot in conversation – 2036 University Berkeley – no one turned away for lack of Rubles

 

November 12 • 11-6pm

EUZINE Comic & Zine Fest Broadway Commerece Center 44 W. Broadway Eugene, OR euzinefest.com

 

November 19 • 7pm

Benefit for Needle Exchange & The Radical Mental Health Collective W/ Skank Bank and others TBA 924 Gilman St. Berkeley, CA

 

November 19 • 7:30pm

Oral history of the Grateful Dead. Benefit for KPFA. Berkeley location TBA kpfa.org

 

November 24

East Bay Food Not Bombs No Thanks Feast ebfnb.org

 

November 24

Native American Sunrise Ceremony – Alcatraz

 

November 25

Buy Nothing Day – Everywhere adbusters.org/campaigns/bnd

 

December

 

December 1-3

Zine Fest Portugal – Porto, Portugal

Zinefestpt.wordpress.com

 

December 10 • 10am-7pm

Manchester & Salford Anarchist Bookfair. Islington Hill James St . off Chapel St. Salford, UK bookfair.org.uk

 

December 11 • 7 pm

Slingshot newspaper collective new volunteer meeting 3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley slingshot.tao.ca

 

December 17

East Bay Anarchist Book event – Humanist Hall, 390 27th St. Oakland eastbayanarchist.com

 

January

 

January 14 • 3 pm

Article Deadline for Slingshot issue #123 – 3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley slingshot.tao.ca

 

January 20

Protest presidential inauguration – no matter who won, we lost. White House Washington DC

 

January 21

Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale talks with Chinaka Hodge. Oakland Museum. kpfa.org

 

February & Beyond

 

February 9–12 2017 • 6pm

Festival of the Photo Copier @ The Sticky Institute Melbourne, Australia

 

March 11, 2017

Omaha Zine Fest – Union for Contemporary Art, 24th & Lake St in Omaha, NE omahazinefest.org

 

April 28 – 30, 2017

North American Anarchist Studies Network conference – Library Social Rebuilding, Mexico City naasn.org

 

Zine reviews

There is an old saying that goes; “It is written therefore it is true.” We have gathered here some publications that have radical takes on reality. They are worth checking out.

Cometbus #57 $5 – widely available

This issue is a series of interviews with a wide variety of people involved with the comics scene – past and present, artists and business-side. Aaron’s questions are hand written and the answers are typed. I was skeptical because I’ve never read comics and I therefore wasn’t interested in the subject. But the interviews were gripping and I could barely put the zine down once I started it. Aaron has excellent, unusual and funny questions and an extensive background knowledge of the subject and the people he was talking to. The interviewees are really interesting and diverse. I often felt like I was there and the writing made me feel emotional, which is the mark of a great zine. The visual look was also excellent. Aaron used the subject to explore more general questions of how creative people stay at something over the long haul; the tension between the underground and the mainstream; and making a living vs. artistic expression. My only complaint is that everyone interviewed was so impressive and inspiring that it made me a little depressed thinking of my own relatively boring, anonymous existence, very far from the center of the universe in New York City. (PB)

 

Wish You Were Here

$4ppd brybry@riseup.net or

www.blackmold.storeenvy.com

A photo zine from an underground artist in Portland OR. Fantastic images that document traveling kid culture. With train hopping shots, kids at punk shows, hangout spots and nature. It goes by pretty quick but the experience is intimate and emotive. (egg)

 

Luminal Moth Rag #4

thefreakmafia@thefloatingcorpses.com

scar-press.blogspot.com

An on-going story of mutants who are in resistance to “The Fear.” Truly underground production blending surrealism, magic, sci-fi, poetry and radical politics. There were parts where I couldn’t tell if some of the words were typos or a new language. The story follows 3 characters that seem to be spirit animals. There’s an illustration on each page. Made by the same talent behind the bands Moira Scar & VEX. (egg)

 

ZAD, Commune, Metropolis

layout by the Anti-Cybernetics League, originally published on indymedia.org.uk, distributed by Minnesota Nice ‘Zine Distro,

https://mnnicedistro.wordpress.com/

This is a small part of the wealth of literature floating around about the Zone to Defend (French: zone à defender, ZAD), an ongoing communal anti-airport occupation going on in France. I read this ‘zine along with two others about the ZAD also distributed by Minnesota Nice ‘Zine Distro in quick succession when I was going back and forth between the Sacred Stone Spirit Camp against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Minneapolis.

I think ‘zines like this are a must read for people looking to engage in such struggle. Then as it turns out, just before the deadline for Slingshot #122 a call came out to support the ZAD over the Earth First! Newswire, at the same time the Sacred Stone Spirit Camp was growing by the thousands!

“Against the Airport and Its World”! (A. Iwasa)

 

Fifth Estate Magazine, Summer 2016, #396

P.O. Box 201016

Ferndale, MI 48220

fifthestate.org

Normally the kind of periodical I find worth perusing for a particularly good article or two, this one is solidly good. Aside from having a focus on borders, some highlights included Pétroleuses, Witches & Fairy Tales by Wren Awry about the images of women arsonists during the commune of Paris and how they fit into archetypes of women in Europe used to attack them. In Slingshot #120 The Eggplant reviewed a ‘zine length version of this article which can be read for free on www.tangledwilderness.org.

There is also a solid critique of anarchist support for Ted Kaczynski in Happy Birthday, Unabomber? by David Watson. A review of Breaking Loose: Mutual Acquiescence or Mutual Aid? by Ron Sakolsky was also a pleasant reminder that I would like to read that book after hearing the author on the Final Straw Radio Show, and it was important to read A Transwoman at TSA Security by Jane Clark since we actually almost printed it in Slingshot #121 but I’m not sure why it wasn’t carried since I missed the weekend of final edits. (A. Iwasa)

 

The Incarcerated Worker, Issue 4: Summer 2016

The Incarcerated Worker is printed by the Industrial Workers of the World’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee. Those interested in joining can write:

IWW IWOC

PO Box 414304

Kansas City, MO 64141

Opposing the prison industrial complex from a workers’ perspective, this ‘zine is full of righteous indignation, but presents it coolly and systematically by prisoners themselves. Includes great artwork, inspiring news and ways to support the IWOC and various other campaigns.

Writers and artists interested in contributing:

Kent Books to Prisoners

CSI Box X

KSU Student Center

Kent, OH 44242

(A. Iwasa)

 

Turning the Tide, Volume 28, Number 8, July-September 2016

Anti-Racist Action-LA/People Against Racist Terror

PO Box 1055

Culver City, CA 90232

Turning the Tide (TTT) is usually one of those periodicals that I peruse, but only finish two or so articles in any given issue. Those articles are what keep me coming back, but that’s been the general rule for me, for some time.

When I got this issue of TTT during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) protests this year, I knew it was different. Initially I sat down in one of my few moments of non-sleeping rest, expecting to only read an article or two before handing it off.

Pretty quickly I realized this issue was going to require a much more serious reading. From a book review of When We Fight, We Win! to a notice for prison mail rooms to stop violating inmates’ First Amendment rights by censoring “the expression and consideration of ideas”, this is quite possibly the best issue of TTT I’ve ever seen!

Other highlights include the always insightful, regular TTT columnist Mumia’s view on the British European exit vote (Brexit), along with some other writers’ considerations on the topic. An article about the Puerto Rican debt crisis was run with info on Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar Lopez. There’s also a personal account from Sergeant EJ of the Black Riders Liberation Party’s self defense from police harassment, printed with a call for prisoners to send personal accounts of their conditions to:

Black Riders

PO Box 8297

Los Angeles, CA 90008

(A. Iwasa)

 

Absurdly Yours #2

$2 from Shquirat.bigcartell.com

Anarchy from Cleveland OH. with road trip stories, reviews of cheap cigarettes and a stunt to fill a bathtub full of Jello. Other sticky things for your brain await you. (egg)

 

The Deceived

20 pgs $2 ($1 low income)

PO Box 170204

SF, CA 94117

A full sized paper journey into the fight against abuse. A mix between radical mental health and early 1980’s punk fanzines. Filled with gritty art and stories that looks into the CIA, MK Ultra and Swastikas. (egg)

We need your help! (plus stuff we forgot to publish in the issue . . .)

There’s no easy way for a long-standing, all-volunteer project to ask for help. If we write something subtle inviting new folks to join us in writing, drawing and editing this zine and our annual organizer calendar, not all that many people notice or take it seriously. If on the other hand we are more urgent and say “holy shit! after 28 years the project is hanging by a thread and if we can’t find some new blood soon, it’s unclear we can continue the project” – well that sounds desperate and pathetic and is a turn-off. Who wants to join the crew of a sinking ship?

The reality is complex. It is correct that the summer meetings to create the 2017 Organizer were very sparsely attended. If the people who showed up hadn’t been super hard-core and willing to stay late and work hard, it would have been impossible to finish. When there aren’t enough volunteers, corners have to be cut that we don’t want to cut – less time for art, writing, and editing. After we send a publication to the printing press, there is a ton of invisible background work on distribution and fundraising that falls on too few shoulders.

As volunteers we need to balance the time we spend on Slingshot with time for our friends and family, other fun projects, to say nothing of paid work.

So we’re not sure how to say it so it works, but the reality is that Slingshot desperately needs more people in the collective. The project is fun and has a lot going for it – this isn’t a sinking ship. We know how to publish stuff, we have a solid distribution network, sufficient funding, eager readers and a solid niche, look and history. The weakest spots are having enough writers and general shitworkers willing to sit through meetings and/or do all the tasks necessary to get things published.

If you’re looking to learn publishing, bring meaning to your day-to-day life, or join an interesting assortment of people, come and hang out with us. It is easy to feel powerless and small in the face of global capitalism — like nothing you do will make a difference. At the Slingshot collective, even one or two new people will make a difference. We can’t promise to change the world, but we’re serious that printing materials have the potential to make a difference.

Organizer back issues

If you want back issues of the Slingshot Organizer, we have the following available for free – just pay shipping if you are an individual (if you are a library we can pay shipping). Pocket: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016. Spiral: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016. Also, we’ve put some of the little essays that appear in the Organizer on our website: slingshot.tao.ca.

Prisoner mailbox

Slingshot mails over 2,000 copies of each issue for free to prison inmates an activity which involves typing hundreds of new addresses each issue. Our tiny collective is a little overwhelmed by the constant pile of letters. If you’re in the Bay Area and you want to help support prisoners, a very tangible way is to open letters and type in names and addresses. Email slingshot@tao.ca for details.

Book Review: What Does Justice Look Like? The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland by Waziyatawin, Ph.D.

Book Review: What Does Justice Look Like? The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland by Waziyatawin, Ph.D.

Reviewed by A. Iwasa

Living Justice Press 2093 Juliet Ave.  St. Paul, MN 55105

This is one of the books I picked up after leaving the Sacred Stone Spirit Camp in an effort to try to contextualize the struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) within the history of genocide against Native Americans.

This is the runaway best book I’ve ever read about Minnesota, and like most good books, offers people tons of options to follow up with, in this case with both sources cited for further research and models for restorative justice.

This book should be required reading for every settler in Minnesota, and we need to be seeking out similar books for those of us who dwell elsewhere in the United States and trace our ancestry from over seas.

I believe this book warrants a second reading on my part, being both dense and devastating in its information, but only 192 pages and technically easy to read. Some of the other books I’ve been reading to help with this research include Lies My Teacher Told Me:  Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen, 1491:  New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann and Cadillac Desert:  The American West and Its Disappearing Water by Marc Reisner.

 

Book Review: Homunculi: A faked conversation between Eggplant and Steve Brady

Homuncula

By John Henry Nolette

364 pages $19.95 Black Powder Press

Steve: Amidst the looming entry of America into World War I, an asocial, disturbed young man gets an industrial job and finds community and meaning when he connects with anarchist organizers at his workplace. His life takes a drastic turn, however, when he discovers his insatiable craving for human BRAINS. He becomes a wanderer in the still-wild places of New England, his only companionship an amorphous blob, that perhaps represents the glory and pathos of the id. Gradually, he discovers the monstrous entities at the brink of our perceptions that really rule our world.

Egg: On the surface this a horror novel. The story follows a young man haunted by creatures and desires from another world. The menace is alien, and the ways of a world before civilization create havoc on America. On another level, the spasms of industrial society in the early 20th century provide another layer of horror. Law enforcement abuses dissidents and the poor, and the rich get away with literal murder—all masked by the name “Progress.” Environmental destruction, plagues and war spell out the end times, a terror that echoes from the era of the story all the way to the present.

The main character exists on the fringes by squatting, traveling off the grid, hanging out at libraries… or with HP Lovecraft…. or at a leper colony. He also frequents book fairs where he eats up the finest in radical thought. Which is fascinating, for I acquired this book at the local Anarchist book fair, where the author was in an exhausted freshness having just completed this work.

Normally John Henry is the art director for the magazine Anarchy: Journal of Desire Armed. John is determined to use art to deepen people’s appreciation of ideas and practices such as anarchy.

Steve: Yeah, anarchy shows up here. Before I launch into some obligatory literary and political critique, let me say that as my intro suggests, this book is FUN. If like me, you’re interested in early 20th century pulp fiction and anarchism, this novel is a gold mine from a fellow fan. Don’t judge this book by its Gothic cover; it gets pretty darn playful with its subjects. Did you think that about the horror themes?

Egg: The horror here is fine I suppose. I felt creeped-out for a minute but the disturbing scenes and ideas were so consistent throughout the book that it normalized the strange. Other readers have a different take-home. John assures me that the passages featuring brain eating has change his stature in some polite circles. The monsters come early and persist throughout. Perhaps a gradual approach could really insinuate the shivers.

There are also passages where it seemed the writing slipped between the sort of language people spoke 100 years ago to the kind of shit people are saying now. But will modern readers sit through the cumbersome language of the 19th century??? probably only a lunatic fringe.

Steve: That fringe might be me. When I finally got to reading Wells, Verne and Stoker, I was hella impressed. They ain’t called classics for nothing.

At first I didn’t know whether the Homuncula style was intentionally retro, or the result of a new writer on a very small press. No modern novel would start with “I was born” (Homoncula is in first person), and expound on history and faux anthropology without at least a half-hearted effort to tie it into the story. Yet in reasonable time I determined that the style was intentional, both from the overall competence—clean editing with only an occasional anachronism—and phrases like “my dear reader.” If you liked books better 100 years ago, dig in.

Egg: I wasn’t as sidetracked by that history and faux anthropology, but I had a criticism. The main character Robert is intensely into current events, radical politics and ancient cultures. This evidently is also the author’s interests for much of the book acts as a sort of a processing of factoids that John Henry has amassed. Homuncula’s narrator then has the benefit of 90 years of making sense of the events that he is observing as they unfold. Why not have the main character only receive part of the story, get unreliable info or mere rumor? My understanding of history is that often initially most facts are not known and people’s perception of events are wrong.

This is a minor complaint especially in regards to an artist’s first work. Did you not think this way or just cut him slack?

Steve: I thought the presentation of the history and faux anthropology, aka the anarchy and the horror, got hampered by lack of cohesion between them.

As the theme suggests, this is heavily inspired by HP Lovecraft—without apology, but striving to acknowledge Lovecraft’s … ahem … conservatism (although Lovecraft’s fanatical anti-Black views are not discussed). What is a radical Lovecraft fan to do? The author hopes to make the connections between individualist strains and influences in anarchism—Nietzsche, Stirner—with both the social anarchism of the proletarian unrest of the period, and the depraved egomania of pulp horror.

That unified field didn’t quite emerge for me. First, the style shifts depending on the emphasis. There’s Lovecraft-ish lines like “I saw monstrous, blasphemous things of every conceivable size and shape.” Monsters that would be cute enough on Sesame Street hopefully evoke horror through blunt adjectives (though I once shared this common critique of Lovecraft, I’ve learned this works great in audiobook).

Then when, only a few pages away from that, radicalism is the focus, there’s impersonal history lessons: “The anarchist located the problem in the very organization of society itself, exposing institutions as a vast system of control imposed on the masses by the elite, instilling and ingraining capitalist values, myths, and morality and normalizing, day after day, the hierarchies of class.”

Occasionally John tried to connect it all; the monsters will exterminate us unless we overcome coercive authority. But I craved a real synthesis—I missed my conversations with Emma back in the day, when she’d reference Nietzsche and Tolstoy in the same breath, and even if I didn’t understand how it all was one, she spoke with such heart that it made no sense to point out any logical contradictions.

I’d also like to see more focus on the paradox that anarchism in all its stripes, the most social of philosophies, attracts so many asocials and misfits. Even if the the author isn’t there yet, he’s on the right track. This is a first novel as far as I know, and I think John will go further combining these themes in fiction. I’m psyched to see what comes next. And this is a fun book.

Egg: Homuncula is an independently published work that took several years of thought and experience to make its way to us. I could write a long article detailing the hardships, heart break and resistance that got it to us by 2016. Knowing the back story of this book makes holding the physical thing precious to me.

We’ve discussed how this work delivers classic horror and anarchist intelligence, but there’s more, not evident by the cover and blurbs. Passages that describe the rural landscape of the North East U.S. are vivid, the author knows this region like his own finger prints. The segment describing a blob-like creature sourced from vomit reveal a true life awe for children — including the author’s own offspring. The passionate detail to historic events, radical culture and esoteric knowledge offer a different angle than what boring historians have to offer. This book can then be described as Howard Zinn meets H(oward) P. Lovecraft.

I think Homuncula is best read if you vow not to shave or work for a month, live off the grid in a poorly constructed shack that is lighted only by candles. As the days pass and your sanity descends with Robert’s you have only the barest of food so to feel the hunger that haunts the new world as it smashes into the old world.

 

 

 

Book Review: Generation Snow

Generation Snow by Robert Wildwood

234 pages, paperback $12

reviewed by EOH

other titles by this author: “Alive with Vigor! Surviving your Adventurous Lifestyle”, “Hobo Fires”, “Unsinkable”, “shut up & love the rain”

R.W. has been working at re-programming human culture for more than 25 years, published numerous zines and books under the name Robert Earl Sutter III, Robert Rowboat, and Robnoxious.

In “Generation Snow” the earth has been thrown into perpetual summer, sea levels are at peak, all ice has melted.

Diving into the story (I had to jump over the first chapters that seemed very slow developing and didn’t catch my curiosity) I find myself in a different society, different social structure, where everyone lives in some sort of similar, equitable housing, block by block different tribes, that are all part of a huge collective, cooperatively owned cafes on every block to feed the workers, equal work opportunities, centrally organized synthesized food, a society served by ‘robo-cooks’, ‘robo-servers’, and ‘robo-docs’.

Human interaction seems to be rare and unwanted, everyone under a cloud of suspicion as the numbers of southern climate refugees (that are controlled by the black dressed officers of the tribal police) increases.

Different society?…social structure??

The main character, Duffy, has dream visions of a distant planet named Gaeiou where the climate grows steadily colder. Deep winter will soon become the permanent season. He ‘sees’ two young students there, Pagnellopy and Xippix, desperately fighting to bring the balance back, because they realize they could be the last generation with a chance to save their planet.

The “real”(?) life of Duffy entangles more and more with the fights on planet Gaeiou.

Under mysterious circumstances Duffy meets famous action artist Starblaze Sturgeon who drops the word of planet Gaeiou.

Feeling in the middle of a fight himself, but not knowing against whom or for what, and drifting apart from his once convenient life, the questions in Duffy’s head rising and swirling without a single answer: Is there a shared vision and friend(s) to trust? Is trust even possible? Is reality a staged creation in a mysterious drama? Is there a way to re-balance the planet? Is there a wisdom or older knowledge existing?

A lot more good questions are spread throughout the story, each worth of exploring my own visions, re-questioning so called beliefs and given (?) positions…..

I didn’t make it to the end of the book yet.. But don’t necessarily want to come to an end, finish ‘the chapter’, discover an answer, close the book!

I’d rather go back, re-read, experience even more questions while I re-turn the pages and STAND STILL, hang out with these questions.

Maybe when I can see we’re making some significant changes in our society, that we’re addressing our eminent demise, I will read the last few pages of “Generation Snow”.

Until then I will share the book with everyone who has a serious interest or action calling concern about climate change and the involved social structures and psychology!

Teachers, put this book on your fiction reading list!!

 

Movie Review: Dogtown Redemption

Available at www.dogtownredemption.com

Dogtown Redemption (2015) tells the story of some of the poorest of America’s poor, West Oakland’s street recyclers. It focuses on 3 such individuals and allows them to speak for themselves while capturing on film the grim realities of their day-to-day lives. It also captures their humanity, intelligence and capacity for love.

7 years in the making, Amir Soltani and Chihiro Wimbush’s first film dignifies it’s subjects without pandering to liberal sentimentalism, Christian morality or hopeless cynicism. The stories of Landon Goodwin, Hayok Kay and Jason Witt, diverse in their backgrounds but united in their determination to survive, highlight life on the lowest rung of American society as well as the callousness of those who are better off. The film also delves into the politics of gentrification, nimbyism and our culture’s pathetic reliance on police for resolving complex social problems….all hot topics as the flood of tech money washes over the East Bay and displaces longstanding communities of lesser means. The film is particularly pertinent as City of Oakland fines and restrictive ordinances shuttered Alliance Recycling in August 2016, effectively eliminating the marginal livelihoods of the people the film gives voice to. Sweeps of Oakland’s homeless encampments are happening as I type this review, the war on the urban poor is in full swing in the Bay Area with no end in sight.

The Yuppie new comers of West Oakland and the City Council come off rather poorly in this story but the filmmakers make no claim to easy answers and allow the viewer to experience that unease, a tiny taste of what film’s subjects endure on a daily basis. I recommend you see this movie if you can.

(d. o.)

Liberated Spaces

Compiled by Jesse D. Palmer

The 2017 Slingshot Organizer’s Radical Contact list has dozens of corrections and updates, but below are a few radical spaces that we missed. It is super inspiring as well as exhausting going through and updating the list each summer. Thanks to everyone who helped and all the projects that contacted us. This year, we couldn’t find anyone to update Latin America or parts of Europe, so if you want to volunteer to update those lists, contact us. We’re still missing lots of regions, so if you know of contacts we missed, fill us in. The on-line contact list at slingshot.tao.ca/contacts has the latest updates.

Wasted Ink Zine Distro – Tempe, AZ

A small library and store that hosts events and serves as “a home base for Arizona zinesters.” 2121 W University Dr, Ste 110, Tempe, AZ 85281, wizd-az.com

Hive Mind – Akron, OH

A collectively run art space and all ages music venue for music, poetry, film, crafting, food preservation and anything you might be interested in sharing. Participation and experimentation is encouraged. 373 W Exchange St. Akron, OH 44302 gestaltcollectivebooking@gmail.com

Alaska Center for Alternative Lifestyles – Anchorage, AK

A safe meeting place for queer, poly, and alternative lifestyles people with workshops on non-monogamous relationships, safety and the gender spectrum. 420 W. 3rd Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 907-775-8419, alaskakink.com

Land of Plenty – Akron, OH

They have herbs, books and local art. 339 W. Market St. Akron OH, 44303 330-703-5633 landofplentyakron.com

Identity Inc. – Anchorage, AK

A non-profit queer safe space that hosts support groups. 336 E. 5th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 907-929-4528, identityinc.org

Berkeley Animal Rights Center

A community center supporting animal rights and social justice with a vegan store, communal work area, meeting location, event space, yoga studio and art gallery. Open Mon-Fri: 11am-7pm. 2425 Channing Way, Suite C, Berkeley, CA 94704, 510-984-0865 berkeleyarc.com

Feral Space Collective – Elgin, IL

A queer, vegan straight edge/sober anarchist space in an apartment that operates a zine distro. They host travelers in a guest room but can’t publish their address for security reasons. xtheferalspacex@riseup.net or theferalspacecollectivexvx.blogspot.com.

 

Battery Street Jeans Exchange – Burlington, VT

A store that hosts shows and art exhibits. 7 Marble Ave. Burlington, VT 05401. 802-865-6223.

• • •

By the way, Slingshot is published out of the Long Haul Infoshop in Berkeley. I’ve staffed the Sunday 6-9 shift for 23 years. My shifts continue to be fun and meaningful and I’m glad I can keep doing them even now that I have a 4 year old daughter. On a typical shift, a handful of people will drop by to look at zines, check a book out from the library, buy something, or ask questions. About half are travelers and I try to suggest interesting places to visit during their stay or connect them with local activities. The other half are people walking by. In the winter I host movies and over the summer and other times there are a lot of Slingshot meetings. There are usually 1 or 2 “regulars” who are either wingnut activist-types or homeless people here to use the public computer, the toilet, or sometimes chat. I fill the gaps with cleaning, bookkeeping, and doing Slingshot-related chores. I almost always leave my shift feeling happy that I came in and better about the space than I expected I would when I arrived.

Nonetheless, in general the Long Haul is struggling and has been struggling for 20+ years. Recently, the number of volunteers has dwindled so much that we’re having trouble keeping all the shifts staffed, resulting in a vicious cycle of decline because the collective isn’t investing enough time in outreach to find new volunteers or organizing events that would attract them. Long Haul has a terrible reputation amongst activists in the Bay Area for being dominated by homeless people or the Anarchist Study Group, being messy, politically embarrassing and stuck in its ways. There are only a handful of weekly events and projects, which is a shame because it leaves huge chunks of time and space with nothing going on. There’s also 2 vacant offices . . .

Everyone I know at Long Haul seems to agree that the project needs renewal — more events, better organization, new projects and more communities plugged in. I want to sincerely invite folks around the bay area to drop by and consider staffing a shift or hosting a meeting or event. A re-boot can ultimately only happen if some new people with fresh energy and ideas get involved.

 

Josh Lipson 1976-2016

Josh Lipson, who cooked with East Bay Food Not Bombs and helped with many recent Slingshot bulk mailings, died in his sleep of heart failure in Oakland June 12. He was 39 years old. Josh’s death came as a shock to his many friends since he appeared to be in perfect health. Josh was a generous, fun-loving free spirit who frequented the punk and activist scene. Before moving to Oakland he lived in San Diego and he grew up in rural Ohio.

Josh was an auto mechanic. He dreamt of opening a car garage where people could access tools and learn to fix their own vehicles. He lived at and helped fix up several East Bay housing squats. He helped pick up and drop off food for Food Not Bombs and helped serve food at People’s Park. He protested against police abuse, for Black Lives Matter and against anti-abortion nuts. He loved wine, life and was an absurdist.

He was one of the countless people who do the invisible work that keeps Slingshot in print. We always have a struggle to get the 10,000+ copies mailing to the post office because it is physically too big and heavy to move via bike trailer, which is how we move most everything else. Josh was anxious to use his jeep to give the mailing a lift.

He also drove Slingshot to the Los Angeles Zine Fest in 2014 where he parked his jeep in front of the event’s entrance and invited passers-by to write or draw on his car. It was quickly filled with fascinating slogans and weird art including “Ha Society I Win. I get to Write on a Car!” For months he continued to encourage people to contribute to the dialog happening on what was often his home. Later, that night of the zine fest, the Slingshot zine crew decided to check out a drive-in movie. At the ticket booth and operating on pure charm he convinced the cashier that it was “Two-for-one nite.”

You could tell from his smile and the way he carried himself that he was special and that he was about helping people and trying to make the world a better place. We miss him.

 

Matt Dodt 1956-2016

Longtime community activist “Midnight” Matt Dodt, a stalwart volunteer with East Bay Food Not Bombs and many other actions and causes for justice in the Bay Area, died unexpectedly May 27, 2016 of heart failure while working on a construction job in San Francisco. He was 59 years old.

Working for justice and equality became a lifestyle for Matt when he was in his early 20s, and persisted until his death. He first came to California with his partner in 1981, where they were involved in housing rights protests in Isla Vista near UCSB. In 1984 Matt protested the Republican National Convention in Dallas. He was one of the co-plaintiffs in the famous flag burning case that originated with Joey Jackson. The U.S. Supreme Court heard their case and decided that the issue was a form of free speech. At the RNC Matt met Rev. Jim and years later the two of them would hold it down each Mardi Gras and take over the streets of Berkeley for a funky and truly chaotic parade.

Around 1988 Matt moved to California from Texas by riding his bicycle and camping. He worked intermittently as a bike messenger for a long time. He was a regular at Critical Mass.

Matt was heavily involved in preserving People’s Park from being developed by UC Berkeley. He fought off the construction of a volleyball court in the early 1990’s and he was there to stop the clear cutting of trees ten years ago. Matt was also on hand making the Park a beautiful place by working on the stage, rebuilding the free box and was a regular at Food Not Bombs.

Matt was not strictly vegan but very much committed to following a vegetarian diet for ethical reasons from age 23 or so on…pretty much his whole adult life. He was the bottom liner for the Sunday FNB cookhouse for over a decade and he was always willing and able to do the cooking, serving and cleaning by-himself when no one else would help.

When a direct action would run overnight, Matt would stay awake during the dead hours serving food, cop watching and running interference with crazy people while most people slept. After many years of this, the name “Midnight Matt” stuck.

Matt was on hand at almost every major protest in the Bay. Protests against war and racism, against police abuse and the rich, in defense of nature, the homeless or Occupy. He was often on the front line holding a video camera to capture any police abuse. Matt bought a new video camera last fall with some money that he had after this older brother died a year or two ago. After his death the camera was donated to the Liberated Lens Collective for other activists to continue his work of DIY documentation.

Matt identified as “deep ecology anarchist” for a long time but felt very alienated from where the “movement” and the “radical community” seemed to be taking that.

Matt was a hard worker; he despised anything done half-assed and applied himself thoroughly, whether the work he was doing was paid or volunteer. He was strong and capable, and his fine-motor coordination was excellent; he was good with all kinds of tools and with repairing things with his hands. Matt valued his abilities as a laborer and his almost Herculean strength in transporting all sorts of materials by bicycle. He had a readable, almost calligraphic handwriting that was easy on the eyes. And though he sometimes came off as gruff or distant to people who did not know him well, Matt had a deep compassion for human foibles other than his own.

Sometimes when someone dies, especially while still relatively young, we say “If only he could know how much he was loved.” Matt’s problem was a little different from that: he never really accepted that he was deserving of love. He was grateful for the love and support of his chosen family and community in the Bay Area, but there were times he wanted to tell us, and indeed times that he told us, that we were fools for liking him as much as we did.

One can hope that wherever we go after we leave our worn-out bodies behind, Matt was able, at last, to let go of that self-blame and self-hatred that too often got the best of him.

Matt loved children and often provided loving care for the children of his friends who were working parents in the activist community He read to kids and had a wry sense of humor with them, and with the many people of all ages and all walks of life with whom he interacted. Matt had no children of his own, and only a few close friends knew that Matt was a loving stepfather who raised his partner’s baby Gypsy as his own and loved her deeply. One of his almost untold sorrows was losing track of this precious baby girl when the relationship dissolved; there was seldom a time he did not think of her.

Matt was smart, funny, and resourceful, and built community in his own way wherever he went.