Category Archives: Articles

Trump Connection Makes American Fascists Dangerous

By Dan Siegel

“We are the Trump vanguard.” —Richard Spencer, white supremacist, anti-Semite and leader of the “identitarian” movement

There were “very fine people” on both sides in Charlottesville. —Donald Trump

Many progressives are still reluctant to take the fascist “alt-right” seriously. Others hope that if we just ignore them, they will go away. Their perspective seems to be that until the Nazi flag is flying from the White House, we can afford to ignore the threat posed by American fascists.

Successful struggles to increase the minimum wage and for full employment; for affordable housing; and for quality education and health care, including mental health and addiction treatment, will both advance the goals of the progressive movement and erode the attraction of the far right. We should not naively think we can transform the hard core fascists or their elite supporters, but a political movement that advances the interests of middle class, working class, and poor Americans can divide the fascist leadership from many potential supporters.

Mass protests on a variety of issues including women’s rights and gun control remain critical. Antifa (anti-fascist) activists have taken the lead in refusing to allow fascists to occupy public spaces in Boston, Berkeley and elsewhere. While everyone may not be willing or able to confront fascists in the streets, we should all respect antifa’s leadership.

Fascism is a growing threat in America, in part because it is expanding in numbers and violence, in part because it is linked to Donald Trump. A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center counts 43 murders linked to the “alt-right” since 2014, 17 in 2017 alone.

A definition and some historical perspective are in order. When the Soviet Union was trying to build a worldwide coalition against fascism in the mid-1930s, it and its allies described fascism as “the open, terroristic rule of the most reactionary, most chauvinist wing of the ruling elite.” That definition works well to describe a fascist state, like Germany in 1935.

Fascism today is a social and political movement: (1) Pre-occupied with complaints of exclusion, impoverishment, and marginalization (They chanted “we will not be replaced by Jews” in Charlottesville.); (2) Obsessed with hatred for the people they blame for their decline—Blacks, feminists, Jews, Latino immigrants, queers, Muslims; (3) Violent; and (4) Supported financially and politically by factions among the “respectable” right-wing elites. Individuals like Richard Spencer try to bridge the social gap between the thuggish gangs and their better-dressed funders.

Fascism came to power suddenly and legally in a Europe facing many of the conditions America experiences today. Just as in Europe in the 1920s, economic decline has degraded the living standards of millions of working class families, and the country’s political institutions and elected leaders are hopelessly polarized and ineffective. Like the American far right today, fascists of the 1920s seemed marginal and even somewhat absurd.

The Fascist Party that Mussolini led had just a few hundred members prior to 1921 when it was invited to join the government. In 1922, as conditions in the country became more and more chaotic as a result of economic decline and political fragmentation, the fascists numbered in the tens of thousands, and King Victor Emmanuel invited Mussolini to form a government. By 1925 he had turned Italy into a one party, totalitarian state. And all this by a man whose “attitudes were highly theatrical, his opinions were contradictory, his facts were often wrong, and his attacks were frequently malicious and misdirected.” That statement could easily be written about Trump.

Hitler and the National Socialists were dismissed and ridiculed early in their rise to power. Before 1930, they received less than three percent of the vote in successive national elections. A few years later they grew exponentially, as the Great Depression drove millions of Germans into unemployment, poverty, and fear. Hitler was a powerful orator, who promised to restore Germany’s pride and prosperity. Sound familiar?

In 1933, German President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler as chancellor. His legacy was the murder of six million Jews and hundreds of thousands of “social deviants,” 50-80 million dead in World War II.

Even before the rise of fascism in Europe, the United States experienced the rise of its homegrown, fascist movement, the Ku Klux Klan. Founded as a social club in Pulaski, Tennessee in 1866, the KKK quickly grew as a terrorist vehicle for whites fighting against their perceived displacement and frustration. The Klan’s growth in the South followed the end of the civil war during the Reconstruction period and the short-lived empowerment of newly freed African Americans.

No one seems to know precisely the extent of the carnage inflicted by the Klan, but few would dispute that its toll of murdered African Americans numbered in the tens of thousands. After a period of decline, the KKK expanded exponentially to at least four million members during the 1920s, including business people, preachers, and politicians in every state in America. The governor of Indiana was an open member. The Klan’s decline came at its own hand in a series of financial and other scandals.

But the KKK never disappeared. During the 1960s, Klan members committed the most notorious acts of violence against the civil rights movement. KKK and White Citizens Council member Byron De La Beckwith assassinated NAACP leader Medgar Evans on June 12, 1963 in Jackson, Mississippi. On September 15, 1963, four Klansmen planted at least 15 sticks of dynamite at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young Black girls and injuring 22 others. On June 21, 1964, civil rights workers James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman were arrested by police near Philadelphia, Mississippi, and then turned over to Klansmen, who beat and murdered them.

On November 3, 1979, Klansmen and Nazis, with the help of local and federal law enforcement officers, carried out an armed attack on an anti-Klan rally at a Greensboro, North Carolina public housing project shooting five people dead and wounding many more, some seriously. The victims had been carefully selected from the crowd —union leaders and community activists, most associated with the newly announced Communist Workers Party.

Donald Trump and the fascist right have supported each other since the early days of his campaign. Trump is easily the most racist president in US history, quite an accomplishment among a group including Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson. Trump has never shied from racist rhetoric and action.

Along with his father Fred, who was arrested during a 1927 KKK demonstration that turned into a riot in Queens, New York, Trump and his building management company were sued by the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department for housing discrimination in 1973. Two years later, they entered into a consent decree with the government.

During his campaign for president, Trump refused to disavow the support of KKK leader David Duke and falsely claimed that he did not know who Duke was. But years earlier, Trump had refused to join Duke in the Reform Party.

Trump’s campaign for president escalated his practice of racist attacks. He may have been the last prominent American to promote the lie that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. He has viciously and persistently attacked Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and continues to make building a border wall his priority, a demand that plays well to his right-wing support. He panders to prejudice against Muslim people and seeks to bar immigration from countries with Muslim majorities. In one of his most overtly racist statements, he recently slandered Haiti and African nations as “shithole” countries.

Richard Spencer and his fascist allies welcome Trump’s support and act accordingly. The KKK, Nazis, and their partners openly proclaim their intent to kill Jews, Blacks, Muslims, and people from Latin America. Dylann Roof acknowledged his racist inspiration for the massacre of nine African Americans in a Bible study class at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015. Fascists stabbed at least seven people, most African Americans, at a rally in Sacramento in June 2016. Oregon white supremacist Jeremy Christian stabbed to death two men who stood up against his anti-Muslim hate speech towards two young women on a Portland light rail train on May 29, 2017. In Charlottesville on August 12, 2017, Nazi admirer and Vanguard America supporter James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of peaceful anti-fascist demonstrators, murdering Heather Heyer and injuring 20 others.

As Trump continues to unravel, his racist rants escalate. As his support diminishes, the far right remains his most loyal base. The history of the last several years makes it reasonable to predict that fascist violence will continue to grow.

The struggle to eliminate fascism as a political force in the United States will require a variety of strategies and tactics. The rise of fascism has an ideological or social basis in the tradition of “American Exceptionalism” and white supremacy. Its growth today also has a material basis in the declining incomes and opportunities for class mobility experienced by many sections of the white working class.

But complaints of exclusion, marginalization, and impoverishment made by whites attracted to fascist movements are not dissimilar from the complaints by people of color about their own conditions. Strategies for improving the living standards of all low income and working class people will impact the lives of many who are now attracted to Trump and his fascist allies, as demonstrated by the appeal of both Bernie Sanders and Trump in some working class communities during the 2016 election.

The American left cannot treat the anti-fascist struggle as just one of a number of competing single-issue concerns. Fascism represents the most extreme element of the reactionary forces seeking to block people’s struggles for social, racial, political, and economic justice. None of these struggles can succeed unless people unite to eliminate the threat of fascism in the United States.

Calendar: Endless Summer

May 26 – 27 • 10-5 pm FREE ALL AGES

Montreal Anarchist Bookfair – anarchistbookfair.ca

 

May 27 • 11-6 pm FREE ALL AGES

Los Angeles Zine Fest. Pasadena Convention Center lazinefest.com

 

June 1 – 3

Left Forum. John Jay College for Criminal Justice 540 West 59 Street, NYC leftforum.org

 

June 1 – 6

North American Anarchist Studies Network. Montreal, Canada naasn.org

 

June 2 • 12-6 pm

London Radical Book Fair Londonradicalbookfair.wordpress.com

 

June 7 • 7:30 pm

KPFA Event: The Real History & Events of the Islamic Republic Of Iran, Medea Benjamin, 2286 Cedar Berkeley

 

June 8 • 8 pm FREE ALL AGES

East Bay Bike Party – 2nd Friday of each month

 

June 8-12

Railroad Days Dunsmire, CA

 

June 9 • 5 pm

Peace punk fest, 924 Gilman Street, Berkeley

 

June 11 FREE ALL AGES

International Day of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners – events many places june11.org

 

June 12 • 7:30 pm

KPFA Event Darnell L’Moore talk on Coming of Age Black & Free in America First Congregational Church Oakland 2501 Harrison St, Oakland

 

June 14 • 7:30 pm

KPFA Event Michael Eric Dyson on Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America – First Congregational Church 2501 Harrison, Oakland

 

June 14-17

Allied Media Conference Detroit MI. alliedmedia.org

 

June 22 FREE ALL AGES

Trans March Dolores Park, San Francisco transmarch.org

 

June 29 • 6 pm FREE ALL AGES

San Francisco Critical Mass bike ride – last Friday of each month, Justin Herman Plaza, sfcriticalmass.org

 

Late June – early July

Earth First! Round River Rendezvous earthfirstjournal.org

 

July 4 • 1:30 pm FREE ALL AGES

Opening weekend of SF Mime Troupe play “Solidarity Forever”, Dolores Park, San Francisco

 

July 4th-ish FREE ALL AGES

Rainbow Gathering – ask a hippie for location this year.

 

July 14

Mad Pride. Everywhere!

 

July 26-28

Speak for Wolves conference – West Yellowstone, MT speakforwolves.org

 

Late July / early August

Join Slingshot to publish the 2018 Organizer. 3124 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley slingshotcollective.org

 

August 12 7-9pm FREE ALL AGES

Long Haul Infoshop’s 25th birthday party, 3124 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley thelonghaul.org

 

August 26 • 7 pm FREE ALL AGES

Slingshot new volunteer meeting / article brainstorm

for issue #128. 3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley slingshotcollective.org

 

September 15 • 10-6 pm FREE

23rd annual Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair. Omni Commons 4799 Shattuck, Oakland. bayareaanarchistbookfair.com

 

September 15

Twin Cities zine festival. Minneapolis Central Library

 

September 22 • 3 pm FREE ALL AGES

Slingshot article deadline for issue #128 slingshotcollective@protonmail.com

 

October 5-7 FREE ALL AGES

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Growing in the Rubble: Radical space update

Compiled by Jesse D. Palmer

Just when I was starting to get discouraged that we’re all going to get fried in an accidental nuclear war, or wiped out by an ecological collapse, or thrown in jail by a fascist coup, or squished by gentrification and economic collapse — I’m awoken from my stupor by a whole slew of inspirational radical spaces that seem to be popping up fucking everywhere! The mainstream world is finished — it is in full-on collapse. The only thing to trust is our love, our freedom, our creativity and most of all our community with others as we create radical spaces that can thrive and grow in the rubble. Visit and support these spaces and form your own before it’s too late. Here are updates to the Radical Contact List published in the 2018 Slingshot Organizer. An outdated version (that we can’t update because of tech hassles – duh!) is on-line at slingshotcollective.org so the paper version is much more accurate and up to date. Take your computer and shove it.

Blood Fruit – Chicago, IL

They have a library with books in English, Spanish and Catalan as well as a cafe that hosts events such as radical kids storytime, movies and poetry. They also have a printing press and publish a zine and other materials. 3084 S. Lock St. Chicago IL, 60608

AS220 – Providence, RI

A community arts organization. Holy shit – they have 4 gallery spaces, a performance stage, a black box theater, a print shop, a darkroom and media arts lab, a fabrication and electronics lab, a dance studio, a youth program focusing on youth under state care and in the Rhode Island juvenile detention facility, 47 affordable live/work studios for artists, and a bar and restaurant. They envision “a just world where all people can realize their full creative potential.” Amen. 115 Empire St, Providence, Rhode Island 02903 401-831-9327 as220.org

Black and Red coop – Los Angeles

A new coop space with a motto of “autonomous economic self sufficiency, thru arts, commerce and services.” 4530 E Cesar Chavez Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90022

Recycle-A-Bike – Providence, RI

A community bike shop with access to tools, used parts and refurbished bicycles that educates and empowers people to fix their own bikes. 1911 Westminster St, Providence RI 02909 401-525-1822 recycleabike.org

Fiddlehead Food Co-op – New London, CT

They are a democratically governed food coop. Okay – I’m biased because my daughter is named Fern and she and I are both obsessed with fiddleheads – the curly parts on new fern leaves. 13 Broad St, New London, CT 06320 860-701-9123 fiddleheadsfood.coop

Dirt Palace – Providence, RI

An art space that offers artists residencies to people historically marginalized within the arts. They also have a zine/book library and host events. 14 Olneyville Sq., Providence, RI 02909 dirtpalace.org

Elisabeth Jones Art Center – Portland, OR

They are a new art gallery and they’re featuring some interesting projects on radical topics like Standing Rock, climate change and trees. Yup – trees are “radical” now. There isn’t much on-line info so if someone reading this wants to visit and report back, that would be great. 516 NW 14th St., Portland, Oregon 97209. 503-286-4959 elisabethjones.art

New Urban Arts – Providence, RI

A community arts studio for high school students and emerging artists that emphasizes youth leadership and risk taking: “We find beauty in mistakes or failure. It is hard to dare when fear of screwing up, letting down, or reprisal looms.” Thanks, Rhode Island. 705 Westminster St, Providence, RI 02903 401-751-4556 newurbanarts.org

Farmacy Herbs – Providence, RI

A store that sells farmed and wildcrafted herbal products. They seek to “create accessible community health care and wellness through environmental awareness and holistic practices” and “do-it-yourself methods of natural health-promoting practices.” They do work trade and sliding scale. They also have a 5 acre farm. 28 Cemetery St, Providence, RI 02904 401-270-5223 farmacyherbs.com

[Um - we don't know the name of this space] – Guadalajara, Mexico

A meeting point for travelers interested in sharing knowledge and expanding the community. Calle Garibaldi 556, Colonia Centro, Guadalajara, Jalisco CP44100, Mexico.

Faith House – Ottawa, Canada

A long-running, multi-faith group house that hosts and facilitates social justice events like meals, discussions, direct actions and movies. They also run a community garden at another location. 18 Blackburn Ave, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 8A3, Canada. 613-656-9322 faithhouseottawa. wordpress.com

G-Spot – Ottawa, Canada

Short for “Garden Spot” – an autonomous social centre with a commercial kitchen, a garden and zines that hosts events. 329 Bell Street S. Ottawa, ON K1S 4J9, Canada.

L’Achoppe – Montreal, Canada

An “Anarcho-punk stronghold” with a library, brewery, bar, show and music jam space, bike shop, gardens, wood shop – even circus training space. 1800 Letourneux Montreal, QC, H1V 2N1 Canada

Collectif Le Recif – Trois-Pistoles, Canada

An eco-anarcha-feminist social centre that does artist residencies. 1 Rue de la Grève, Rivière-Trois-Pistoles, QC G0L 2E0 Canada collectiflerecif.wordpress.com

Calgary School of Informal Education – Calgary, Canada

They are a volunteer collective that offers classes and runs a Queer Zine Night and skill sharing workshops. #101 223 12th Ave. SW Calgary, Alberta 403-903-4316 yycinformallearning.wordpress.com

Aliran – Penang, Malaysia

Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (literally, ‘society for the flow of national consciousness’) is a national multi-ethnic reform movement on political, economic and social issues with a monthly magazine and a permanent office. A Malaysian organizer-user suggested we add them to the contact list. 103 Medan Penaga, 11600 Jelutong, Penang, Malaysia +60 4 6585251 aliran.com

Imbala – Jerusalem, Israel

A feminist, queer, anti-racist, multi-lingual, multi-generational, vegan collective. They have a library, cafe and art gallery and welcome activists and people who don’t feel safe in Jerusalem (radicals, Palestinians, LGBTQ+). They host events, exhibitions, parties, lectures and shows. Imbala means “actually, yes” in Arabic. Yanay Street 3 imbala.uber.space

Corrections to the 2018 Organizer and updates

• Last issue Slingshot published a report that Backspace in Fayetteville, Arkansas wasn’t a safe space. Since we have a hard time verifying such reports and are concerned about the possibility of factional fights or sabotage, we indicated we were unsure about the report. We heard back from a number of sources who said the report was incorrect. These sources confirmed that Backspace is a safe space for women, people of color, LGBTQ and other marginalized communities. Backspace has systems and safe space trainings in place to handle predators. Slingshot apologizes for the confusion.

• Wheatsville Food Co-op wants to be listed in the 2019 organizer. They are at 3101 Guadalupe St., Austin TX 78705 512-478-2667 wheatsville.coop

• Emergence in Washington, DC contacted us and asked to be removed from the list. If anyone is in DC, let us know what you think.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worst Infoshop Ever turns 25!

Berkeley’s Creepy Crusty Punk Zombie that Refuses to Die

By Jesse D. Palmer

The Long Haul Infoshop in Berkeley will celebrate its 25th birthday Sunday, August 12 7-9 pm at 3124 Shattuck in Berkeley — it opened August 13, 1993. Slingshot has had an office at Long Haul the whole 25 years. The mission in 1993 was to provide a public space for radical events, projects and community building, and the goals remain the same, but what a long strange trip the last 25 years have been.

The Long Haul is simultaneously an inspiring rebellion/escape from the soulless mainstream capitalist nightmare — and a creepy crusty-punk zombie that refuses to die — depending on when you happen to stumble in. Like any loosely-organized, all-volunteer collective project, it has always fallen tragically short from its potential. Along with the mountains of library books, zines and historical archives are piles of dust and a filthy bathroom. Along with a rotating crew of interesting radicals and long-running events like the Anarchist Study Group and Slingshot, there’s always plenty of annoying and dysfunctional people demanding your attention when you’re just trying to mind your own damn business or get something done.

It can be hard to tell who is who — sometimes the same person is both amazing and fundamentally frustrating. An event may start well, and then suddenly erupt into a screaming match or a fist-fight. People talk during the fucking movies, or the power fails during a concert!

The Long Haul has a 99-year lease, so the nightmare doesn’t look like its going to end anytime soon — we’ll have to make the best of it and create as many good events, projects and moments as possible to make up for all the bullshit.

Abusive and sexist people have over and over ruined the space before being banned, burning out and frustrating successive crews of volunteers and allies. But the funny thing is that new people and projects keep wandering in to build the next phase and face the next round of drain-bows.

So while the space has possibly the worst reputation of any radical space in the Bay Area — if not the entire universe — against all odds it is still fresh and new after 25 long years. The name “Long Haul” is no joke.

There’s real possibility within these walls — a big meeting room, relatively affordable rent, an established non-profit structure, lots of supplies and resources right on the Berkeley / Oakland border, towns that still have a lot of fight left in ‘em despite so much gentrification.

What the Long Haul needs — which is what it has needed for the whole 25 years — is people to create events, start projects, do stuff, and bring people in to use the space. If you have ideas or energy, the Long Haul wants you.

For the 25th birthday the Infoshop is gonna publish a 25th anniversary zine. If you’ve ever come through or been a volunteer, send your memories, comments, stories, complaints, photos or art to slingshotcollective@ protonmail.com. There might also be a crowdfunding campaign because the Infoshop runs about $1000 a year short on funds. Long live Long Haul! … Oh and did I forget to mention that everyone is welcome to use the toilet?

The Soldier & the Poet

By the Reverend Eggking

This is the story of two men who are now deeply entrenched in the Bay Area. One became a Soldier along the way, while the other became a Poet. Each of them have experienced misery and suffering that they would not wish upon their worst enemies, and yet, right now, they are both thriving. Perhaps this was achieved through the divine favor of the gods. Maybe it’s a random variable found within an experiment conducted by the big bang theory. It could have been a pre-emptive payout from karma itself. Who knows? I like to think that it’s some delightful combination of all three. The reason that this tale is being told is simple and can be summed up in two words:

FUCK WAR

The United States of America has now officially been at war with the Middle East for two years more than we were involved in both World Wars and the Vietnam “Conflict” combined. When it comes to fathoming the unprecedented savagery that is found within our country’s merciless assault upon this blessed planet, the Soldier and the Poet agree on EVERYTHING. How in the hell did that happen?

The Soldier was born on December 4th, 1974 in Fresno, California. He was named Christopher. His parents were Christian missionaries in China during the eighties, so you know they don’t fuck around. They risked constant threat of imprisonment, torture and death for themselves and those who listened.

The Poet was born on November 13th, 1975 in Denver, Colorado. He was named Christopher. His mother was raised Mormon, but had gotten over it. She knowingly became pregnant from a booty call in hopes of motivating an abusive and alcoholic ex-boyfriend to rekindle their “love”.

The Soldier grew up in a family with deep roots surrounding their happy home. His first “paying” job was in the picking fields of California’s brutal summer heat infused Central Valley. At the terribly young age of ten, until well after his 16th birthday, he roasted in the boiling heat, 5 days a week, during the summer “break”. He worked from sunrise to sunset, picking all manner of crops that were grown in the pesticide soaked earth. Cherry tomatoes were the worst. The reward for a full day of picking those would be about six fraking dollars. With tax and tip, that barely covers a goddamn latte in this town.

 

The Poet grew up in a family with fierce histories of love and separation. His mother met her future ex-husband a year after the Poet’s birth. She moved heaven and earth to help him graduate medical school. The Poet didn’t have to work until he started showing no real aptitude for school. Once that stark fact was clearly established, his father made sure that the Poet had real world skills in order to make his way. Even while working throughout most of his teenage years, the Poet never thought that he would ever have to really learn how to take care of himself.

The Soldier met his incredible wife in a Department store in Fresno, California. She was a lovely example of just how perfect the multiverse could be. The Soldier had been looking for her his whole damn life, and she found him to be worthy of her attention. They soon got married and had three daughters and one son.

Our country’s caste system does not willingly offer healthcare to the lower economic class, so he joined the U.S. Air Force in May of 1998. The Soldier survived boot camp in Hotasfuck, Texas, and was then stationed in Damnitshumid, Louisiana, for three and a half years. It was NOT near as fun as it sounds. Then 9/11 happened.

The Poet was thrown out of his family’s castle a little over a month after he had turned 18 years old. The Poet didn’t skip a beat. Fortuitously, he had been working since he was 13 years old, so he had some money saved and was able to find a place to live. Smoking weed, dropping acid, and trying to fathom what the fuck the Beatles were actually singing about became his highest priorities. He knew for a fact that the walrus was Paul. Then 9/11 happened.

After 9/11, the Soldier was stationed on Diego Garcia Island in the Indian Ocean for the pre-deployment of long range bombers. Next was Afghanistan. Since this was right after the towers fell, he was part of the initial mass deployment of fuckery that remains in place to this very day. He was promoted in March of 2003 at the Air Marshall School for U.S Air Force Special Operations. His career would last over 12 years. During his time in the most sadistic military the world has ever known, the Soldier received a myriad of recognition for his efforts, including Iraq & Afghanistan campaign medals, a Combat Action Medal, a Bronze Star, a Kosovo Service medal and a National Defense medal. The Soldier also received the Humanitarian Service medal twice, once for earthquake relief in Iran and once for Tsunami relief in Thailand, as well as a Good Conduct medal, an Air Force Achievement Medal and finally, a Global War on Terror medal. He took lives, he saved lives, and he fucking survived. He had goddamn boots all over the Middle East, and, you guessed it, they were absolutely caked with blood. For all of this, and a multitude of other reasons, he was beginning to lose his sanity. So it goes…

The Poet came into his own in Buffalo, NY. He began writing shit like “bottom slice of a virgin hide, where the sharp objects like to play, marks reflect violated pride, evil shown off in her own way” and other such nonsense. To this day, he is still a little cloudy on whether he actually writes the poems, or the poems write him. After a variety of shenanigans, the Poet started paying attention to politics. He recalls the inception of this focus occurring once George W. Bush was “elected”. The Poet realized that our “democracy” was doing a fair impersonation of a monarchy at that point. He soon came to realize that he lived in a

 

plu·toc·ra·cy plo͞oˈtäkrəsē/ noun

noun: plutocracy

1. government by the wealthy.

a country or society governed by the wealthy.plural noun: plutocracies

an elite or ruling class of people whose power derives from their wealth.

 

For all of this, and a multitude of other reasons, he was beginning to lose his sanity. So it goes…..

The Soldier returned home to a land that was unable to offer true reciprocity for all that he had done to defend it. At least that’s what he thought he was doing at the time. Defending us from all the terrorists. He soon realized that all he was actually doing was protecting and expanding the business interests of the Bastards of War who will stop at nothing to make sure that their blood soaked campaigns in the Middle East never run dry. The best way to explain what the Soldier experienced upon his return can be summed up by George Carlin. The Master has this fantastic bit about how what was originally referred to as “Shell Shock” during the first World War eventually become known as “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”. I suggest you look it up, it’s absolutely brilliant. After watching that, you just might be able to begin comprehending what the Soldier was going through once he came back to this country.

The Poet got deep into Ultra-Conspiracy Land. It was NOT near as fun as it sounds. At one point, he threw away his birth certificate, social security card, state I.D., and everything else in his apartment, except for the drugs of course. He even had to get rid of his cherished Calvin and Hobbes books, because Dick Cheney and George W. Bush were speaking to him directly through them. FUCKERS. By this time he had already been diagnosed as bipolar, manic depressive with psychotic episodes. Truth be told, that wasn’t the half of it.

After a veritable litany of trials and tribulations, one fine day, the Poet started dating the Soldier’s incredible little sister. She was a lovely example of just how perfect the multiverse could be. The Poet had been looking for her his whole damn life, and she found him to be worthy of her attention. About two months into their courtship, the Butterfly introduced the Poet to the Soldier. It was not long into their initial conversation before these two men who now lived in the Bay Area realized that they had the same basic outlook on the way that our country had so viciously orchestrated it’s worldwide slow burning genocide. How crazy is that? The soldier had seen firsthand what patriotism, greed, and gluttony was responsible for in actual blood, guts, and fears. The Poet was merely a student of these savage times as well as a seeker of any spiritual path that tickled his fancy. And they agreed on EVERYTHING.

After a while, the Soldier settled into a career which has led to him currently being a Sergeant for the San Francisco Park Ranger Department. Fishing out dead bodies from Golden Gate Park is just one of the myriad of ways that the Soldier serves the city of dreams. Pray that he is the one who catches you fucking around, because an effortless kindness and empathy are the very foundation of his existence. He is a true hero, treating folks with respect, especially when they don’t deserve it. San Francisco is a war zone onto itself, and the fact that he is out there, allows many to sleep soundly at night.

The Poet eventually married the Butterfly, and now has a thriving career as an event coordinator for both a Soto Zen Japanese Buddhist organization and an anarchist collective bookstore in the Haight. He is also deeply involved in the Bay Area’s artistic community.

Both men know that war is an unnatural act that must be propped up by trillions of dollars of utter bullshit, just to survive. Both men are sickened by the way that this never ending “war on terror” has insidiously embedded itself within the very air that we breathe, while the talking head fucksticks offer their latest force feeding of rationalization as they distract us with the freshest of atrocities.

Please do me a favor and think of a world in which our country is not the most accomplished serial killer that our planet has ever seen. Hold onto that feeling, damn it!

 

Cherish it. Nourish it.

 

NEVER LET IT FADE AWAY…..

 

In the immortal words of John Lennon:

 

“All we are saying, is give peace a chance.”

 

How did he die again?

Plugging into the 2019 Slingshot Organizer

Since 1994, volunteers have come together to make the Slingshot Organizer, a zine-style day planner full of handdrawn art and radical history. Selling the Slingshot Organizer raises all the money it takes to publish and distribute this paper for free. Right now we’re looking for artists to draw the pages of the 2019 organizer. You can help from any part of the planet. We’d love to hear from you as soon as possible. We’ll send you a 4-week section to work on. Slingshot also is seeking help right now updating the Organizer’s historical date list, and also we’ll be editing the Radical Contact List before the end of July. Join us in late July/early August for our annual 24/7 art party where we’ll put together the organizer while listening to records and eating vegetarian food!

We still have copies of the 2018 Organizer for sale, and can also send free boxes to projects giving them to prisoners, immigrants, homeless or other folks who cannot purchase. If you have an Andriod phone, you can support us by downloading the Slingshot organizer app–please help us spread the word about it!

Gestapo Watch: I.C.E. disappears someone on Parker Street in Berkeley

By Wendy M.A.D.

Well, shit, my darlings. We’re there.

On March 18th, armed agents of HSI, a branch of ICE, arrested someone from the 2200 block of Parker Street in South Berkeley. Folks have been trying to figure out where the fuck they took the guy, but here’s the crazy thing: since immigration is considered a matter of civil law, there isn’t a public disclosure of where ICE detainees are. When someone is arrested, usually there’s this mandatory thing of everyone being able to look their name up on a public website so we can figure out where they are, but WHOA! For immigration detainees, they have no such requirements. Several folks I spoke with connected with media watchdog organizations in town are looking to know where this guy went, but no one can find him. He was literally disappeared. We really need to have more discussion of how we might change immigration law in such a way that still protects the privacy of immigrants (like, most immigration stuff really should be kept as civil law), but there seriously needs to be a requirement that when individuals are detained, their whereabouts are publicly reported. This whole thing of disappearing people is really goddamn scary! I unfortunately have no way of backing this up, but what we can assume happened to the guy they took is this:

He was probably taken to Contra Costa prison, which is the only local prison with the proper federal contracts to hold those who have been taken by ICE. From there, we can assume he was deported. At least that is what we hope: that he was merely deported and didn’t suffer a worse fate.

Speaking of freakyass immigration stuff that not enough people are taking about, on Feb 27th, the Supreme Court pulled the Nazi move of making it so ICE detainees can be held indefinitely without bail, and I’d say we’re in trouble. The for-profit prison industry has a huge incentive to keep people in jail as long as possible, cuz for each day they house a human, that’s like $500 of taxpayer money that goes to funding the prison industry. Well, that’s an exaggeration. It’s more like $459.53. At least that’s based on a 2013 study of how much it costs to house and guard inmates in New York (goo.gl/eFfc2Z) – the number may have gone up since then, may be different from state to state, or may be different, even higher, for immigrants, especially if it means little kids are being incarcerated with them.

The fact that immigrant detainees can be held indefinitely is a huge boon for the capitalists who are invested in private prisons. Due to the way capitalism works, these investors are going have been selectively filling the prison industry with business leaders who are willing to put the investor bottom-line before all else: to have more people in prison next quarter than this quarter. That is the only way to make prisons profitable, and by allowing prisons to be for-profit, we’ve opened our society up to this horrible logic.

Right now, hundreds of our neighbors and colleagues are at risk of being taken by ICE. Among those who have citizenship, there is talk of “when will we have to start hiding our friends in our basements?” It is a stupid question to have to be asking. Aren’t we over this sort of thing? Didn’t we figure it out in the Second World War?

Those of us who remember the stories from the Second World War grow increasingly nervous about having denationalized people disappeared from their homes by gun-toting thugs with badges and uniforms. It was through the over-policing of the German border—and the over-policing of the concept of “who’s a real German?”—that the S.S. rose to power in Nazi Germany, and gradually, more and more groups became denationalized, or lost their legal status as citizens. As the Nazis worked to denationalize more and more groups—immigrants, Jews, gypsies, gay people, Jehovah’s witnesses, communists, and others—the legal and social apparatuses were set up to allow those groups of people to be swiftly jailed, murdered and disposed of in a way that was so fluid the German populace didn’t notice. According to historical accounts, the vast majority of Germans didn’t learn about the gas chambers until after the war – they just kept about business as usual as their neighbors were being disappeared and gassed.

As we see a rise to power in the United States of a new type of police force, ICE, and as we see them breaking our local laws about Sanctuary Cities, and as we see them flaunting their ability to murder by walking our streets with submachine guns strapped to their chests (seriously, have you noticed the creepy-ass ICE agents with submachine guns at the entrance to A’s games now?! Some of my friends have stopped taking their kids to baseball games cuz they don’t want them exposed to people flaunting guns like that!), as we see all this starting to happen, we simply must push back. Not just by protesting, but fighting like crazy for better laws, getting money out of prisons (or how about abolishing them!), and robbing these people of any social, legal, financial and political tools that enable them to have these levels of absolute power over individuals and our society. And we have to keep our eyes on our neighbors. If someone gets taken by ICE, we simply have to follow up and make sure they are okay. Our compliance is being tested. If we sit idly by in these times, we will open up the floodgates for greater levels of abuse.

 

TIPS:

* If you were to happen to have someone who could be undocumented hidden in your basement and ICE shows up, remember your rights. They may not enter your premises w/o a warrant. You can ask them to show the warrant to you before they enter your home. If they don’t have one to show you, you can say, “I do not forfeit my rights to have my home searched without a warrant.”

* Be sure to have a livestreaming app on your phone so if you spot ICE doing anything illegal or abusive, you can make it immediately public.

What’s up with March for our Lives?

by Rabble Rabble Cheeseburger

“March for our Lives” has a cataclysmic tone to it, a call for mass flight in the face of disaster. It’s unquestionable that we in the Holocene extinction are ‘surviving’ an ecocide. The resulting survival sickness has become a pandemic. The malaise infects the youth, inheritors of a thinly veiled extermination, that’s given partial expression in the breakdown of the schools. The model of education which emerged out of industrial England, and that came to signify education proper, of training youth to become workers, is obsolete in a society that lives in permanent denial about its future. Schooling reduced to a disciplinary function shows children for what they are, political prisoners.

If assault rifles were banned, it would only strip away one of the last residues of constituent power. A people armed, not as individuals, but as militias that provide a check to state power. Nowadays that is perhaps a far fetched idea, but so is allowing only the police and the military to have them. Roughly 3% of the population owns over half of the guns today, while gun ownership has been declining, as have gun deaths. Over two thirds of those gun deaths are suicides. While schools remain safer for students to be at than their own homes, or anywhere else for that matter. Increasing surveillance on the ‘mentally ill’ is nonsensical, as a ‘group’ they commit fewer crimes than ‘normal’ people. Furthermore, nearly all school shootings are suburban, though sometimes rural, while security measures are typically deployed in urban areas. Sure, the N.R.A is a political action committee, and are lobbyists for gun manufacturers, but that’s business as usual. So, where’s the beef?

Liberal pitfalls are unavoidable, for there is no outside to ideology. Revolutionary struggle proceeds through contradiction. The radicals in “March for our lives” deserve solidarity, without it they risk abduction by the liberal consensus. Capitalist narratives have maintained the view that there is no escape — not even a plausible idea of one — from a system of infinite growth on a planet of finite resources. A la Frederic Jameson, it is more realistic to imagine the planet’s death, and to ‘live’ with that, than to imagine a future beyond capitalism,

Youth, the transformation of what exists, is in no way the property of those who are now young, but of the economic system, of the dynamism of capitalism. Things rule and are young, things confront and replace one another (SOTS-Unity and Division within appearance). By commodifying the world which youth inhabit, and restricting it to upholding the market, the creativity of youth is directed at preserving what is old, what is young is valued only in so far as it is exchangeable with what is already past. Our dilemma is that the movement which abolishes the present state of things is necessary, but denied out of suicidal faith.

Struggle determined by single serving issues guarantees defeat, the trap of the particular, as opposed to struggle against alienation in general. Production, as well as consumption is premised on preserving alienation, hence the serial production of the masses. This is why shootings continue to happen. In serial relations governed by scarcity, the other is a dehumanized alien, a threat to one’s being. The shooter and the shot-at reflexively preserve each other as the other. My sense of who I am is dependent on this mirroring, an identity which is made of what is other. The other disappears only when there is a solidarity which makes a break with alienating relations.

The lost children must see the potential for exodus. The liberals will settle for the pseudo equality of being mutually allowed to not be shot to death. Their belief in a world without alternatives needs fresh managers for the collapse. Dylan Klebold, one of the Columbine shooters, wrote that it was a question of conformity, that, “the zombies and their society band together and try to destroy what is superior and what they don’t understand and are afraid of”. What is intolerable about those like Dylan, is that they exist, and this ‘civilization’ has no place for them. Like the nomads in Kafka’s Old Manuscript, they do not want to know the ‘language’, and they reject translation. Instead, they play a zero sum game of non-equivalence with their enemies.

In the age of the state of exception (See Agamben, esp. Homo Sacer), when law increasingly operates by the rule of decree outside of constitutional oversight, lawfulness becomes the exception which upholds the rule of lawlessness. Sovereignty is nowhere more absent than on the level of totality, where we have no guarantees against threats to the species, resulting in a condition where one can be killed without protection from the law. This is the real truth of the war on terror. The logic of ‘terrorism’ is one of dissemination and visibility, ideally as spectacle, thus the media are accomplices of ‘terrorism’. The media inflicts violence by amplifying the effects which results in reinforcing the power of scarcity, serialization, and otherness. Provocative studies suggest that school shootings happen more frequently with every broadcast of a larger shooting, which creates a contagious effect. The consequence is an induced hysteria.

The actions of “March for our Lives” don’t add up. It’s a premature struggle trying to find itself, where what is at stake is mystified, directed at a particular commodity of the disaster. The enemy has no exit strategy. Cold war deterrence in the schools, like everywhere else, is just capital on life support. We are being slowly wiped out by the real mass killers who see no other way than collective suicide. That the shooters act like sociopathic madmen indistinguishable from our power elite gives new truth to Marx, when he wrote that the hegemonic ideas of an epoch, and by extension its actions, are those of its ruling class.

 

Journey to the End of Racism

By H-Cat

I like to play pervasive street games, and last autumn I took part in a game that’s been running for around a decade in San Francisco called Journey to the End of the Night, or “Journey” for short.

Journey happens once a year, and it is sort of like capture the flag merged with cops and robbers, blended with absurdist performance art. It happens outside and players chase each other through the streets, often dressed in colorful costumes. There are “runners” and “chasers.” The runners attempt to make it to a series of checkpoints without being caught by the chasers. At the checkpoints, you have to complete some kind of strange task, like solving a puzzle blindfolded while someone else directs you. If you’re tagged, you have to become a chaser, so the game gets progressively harder as the night wears on. This game is no joke! Not everyone makes it to the end of the night—at least without getting caught!

Inspired by Situationist psychogeography, Journey is a way of remapping urban space to create new meaningful experiences, to really take ownership over public space, as we follow paper maps and invent fun puzzles and quirky characters (i.e. the checkpoint guardians) to entertain each other. Like Slingshot, Journey to the End of the Night is put together entirely by volunteers.

While this game is truly wonderful, there has been a troubling pattern with Journey, and with other street games of this ilk: Where are the people of color? #StreetGamesSoWhite It’s unfortunately a thing. There simply aren’t as many people of color represented in the playerbase of these games as there should be based on the demographics of the population. This is something that has left many game organizers scratching their heads, myself included as I develop my own games.

Last year, at the end of Journey, as everyone shared our stories of the evening’s adventures at the finish line, one of the players who was Black shared a story that led some of us to pause as if we were being choked by an Occult hand.

This young African-American man had been running from some chasers near Golden Gate Park when a group of random bystanders started chasing him too. (!!) The bystanders tackled him in a way that was super not safe. Within live gaming communities, we often have special safety rules about how (not) to touch each other’s bodies, and yeah, these bystanders weren’t even playing and didn’t follow these rules at all, and also: What the actual fuck?!

As the bystanders explained, they hadn’t noticed the colorful costumes or armbands or that a massive street game with hundreds of players was going on around them. All they saw was a Black man running from a group of white people, and they had assumed this meant that the black person had robbed someone.

The player who was tackled was rather jovial about the incident (or was still in shock!?) at the finish line, and shared the story as we stood around eating buckets of gold fish crackers, and he even added the story to the whimsical map we were making of things that had happened that night.

Organizers of the game were deeply troubled when they learned about what had happened to him. “How can we make our game safer for players of color?” is a question asked by more and more creators of live games, whether it is people working on corporate bullshit games like Pokemon Go, or those of us DIYing our own Situationist mirth.

The sad reality is that it simply isn’t possible to make Journey safer for players of color without changing the very nature of the game. A key part of any psychogeography game is that you’re moving through public space in a way that often startles people and wakes them up. If we were to remove random public encounters from the game, all of that will be lost. The point is that you never know if you’ll find yourself chasing each other through a crowd of opera patrons dressed in their best, or a camp of homeless people, or a group of other random humans. Due to the ambient prevalence of racism within the public play space though, it seems all street games ought to at least include a disclaimer like:

We apologize for the ambient racism of society which creates an additional layer of the safety hazards on top of those already in play in this game.

…of course there is another way to make Journey and other street games safer for players of color… This would involve a massive pervasive game in which we change the nature of reality. …Or at least the social reality. So, reality. It would be a game about removing racism. If playing this game, it is important to let people know that Society is Under Construction. This means you should probably put up yellow “Caution!” signs, and wear hardhats to protect your head from falling racists.

Racists come in many varieties. Some are worth more points than others. Don’t focus too hard on the ones who merely use slurs, but rather the ones who use their power to harm or systematically direct resources away from people of color. Go after the ones who put pervasive conditions are in place that increase the likelihood that a person of color will be in poverty, and thus may need to steal to get by, and thus the stereotypes emerge from those social conditions. (The slurs won’t matter any more once things are made equal—just ask the Irish!)

Types of Racists / Point Values:

• People who have been granted the institutional power to kill or physically harm others, and who use it in a biased fashion towards people of color / 1,000,000 Points

• People who have been granted institutional power over other people’s freedom, and who use it in a biased fashion to rob people of color of freedoms / 800,000 Points

• People who have been granted institutional power over images presented in mass media, and who use that power to depict people of color as “threatening” in a biased way / 900,000 Points

• People who have been granted the institutional power to restrict people’s access to food, clothing, shelter, and care, and who use it in a biased fashion to thwart people of color from receiving these things / 500,000 Points

• People with the institutional power to assign other people the ability to direct the labor of others, and who do so on a way that disproportionately goes to non-people-of-color / 700,000 Points

• People who use racial slurs, or who verbally spread stereotypes about people of color, making whatever spaces they occupy emotionally untenable for folks of color / 75 Points

People who say “everything is equal and people of color need to stop whining cuz they have the same opportunities as everyone else” (aka, Colorblind Racism) / 50 Points

The goal isn’t to physically harm racists, but rather to take their toys away and/or put them on a time out, which is to say: strategically limit their ability to harm people of color, and keep an eye on them so they don’t do it again.

Identifying racists within institutions isn’t always as easy as you think. It often means crunching the numbers to find out, for example, if a specific worker in the Food Stamp Office is more likely to reject an application by a person of color, or if a specific film director keeps having people of color appear on the screen in ways that train viewers to fear them. Track this stuff. Write it down. Create a data set.

Once a person, company, or institution has been identified as racist, players will need to develop a specific strategy. These strategies could involve suing them (making it too expensive to harm people of color), removing them from their positions and/or not reelecting them (making it a bad career move to harm people of color), boycotting their products (making it a bad business move to fail to include people of color in wealth-generation practices), and any other excellent strategies you come up with that match whatever unique situation you’ve identified.

Points may only be awarded if the conditions are changed to put people of color—within the context of the racist person or institution—on equal footing. So replacing one racist with another doesn’t count.

This game can be done in single player mode or in teams. Try it both ways!

It is important to avoid Witch Hunts, or situations in which someone is accused of institutional racism without data to back up that claim, or without 1 or more victims who have publically come forward. If you start a Witch Hunt, you will lose 500,000 Points, or your points will go back to zero, whichever is higher. So, if you suspect someone is using their institutional power in a racist way, seriously, crunch the numbers. Get a statement from one (and hopefully several victims). Don’t cherry pick the data. Look at all the cases of a judge—and compile a spreadsheet—and really make sure you’re accurate in your assumption that they tend to give harsher sentences to people of color than to non-people of color who have committed the same crime.

There are lots of things you can do with data: post it on indybay.org and tweet it like crazy, contact lawyers who specialize in that type of lawsuit, email it to journalists, send it to professors, write a letter to the editor of every publication in the area. Extra points awarded for creative uses of data!

Energy Limit. Some games have a time limit. This game has an energy limit, which will be different for each player. Based on your energy limit, you’ll probably only be able to put in check between 5-50 racists per year. Please refer to the points system to help you calculate how to spend your energy most efficiently. The points have been carefully calibrated through years of meticulous scientific efforts in Berkeley’s secret Laboratory of 4th Dimensional Anthropology, a lab that mysteriously appears in spaces throughout the Bay Area and then vanishes just before the authorities arrive.

Don’t get a Game Over! If your Energy Meter drops below 5 Energy Points (your body will tell you when it’s that low), use that remaining energy to replenish yourself. Games are fun, but if you wear yourself out, you’ll be too exhausted to play tomorrow. Go for a steady burn. That said, if you’re on a roll, that’s great! Extra points for single month combos!

Risks include head injuries (wear your hardhat!), indigestion, adventure, danger, singing silly songs, death, life, general tomfoolery, destroying your reputation for being “a nice person,” and complete destruction of the social reality. Extra points for tomfoolery.

Disclaimer: The organizers of this game would like to apologize for the ambient level of racism in society which creates an additional layer of the safety hazards on top of those already in play in this game. We solemnly swear to actively do all in our power to change those ambient conditions, but in the meantime, we ask that players of color play with caution. Society is under construction.

Edge of the Cliff

By Jesse D. Palmer

So much of our world is unsustainable — the weather is going crazy, cities are too expensive for regular people, mainstream politics are an endless spiral of distracting chaos, income inequality keeps getting more extreme, there’s camping on every sidewalk. People stare into their phones in a state of anxiety and isolation, replacing facts with propaganda while abandoning privacy and time to think. While some people are checking-out or in denial, others are lashing out in rage and despair — in extreme cases shooting up schools or joining hate groups. Things can’t keep going like this, which is precisely what “unsustainable” means.

We’re on the edge of a cliff — which can be exciting if your going hang-gliding but scary if your about to be pushed off. We need to decide if we’re going to be crushed beneath the massive shifts that are upon us, or if we want to help steer the course of events. If so, we’ll need to be organized and have vision.

The only real answers are coming from the underground. We need to start paying attention to fun and life, not profit and technology. Cultures are tools that can enable human beings to live more fulfilling lives so we can explore each of our unique talents and appetites. But this culture has it all backwards — people have become tools serving the system’s abstract goals of production, efficiency, speed, consumption and standardization.

Why is fast food the norm and slow food a pleasure reserved for the rich? Eating food is our most basic natural, animal function and we evolved to enjoy food — to enjoy it slow — to savor every delicious bite. Meals are times to build social connections with rambling groups of comrades, to tell jokes, to build sexual tension. The system selling us a fast lunch so we can rush back to work is unsustainable environmentally, spiritually and politically. So instead, we’re taking back the pleasure of growing our food, of cooking it, of eating — of direct experience rather than having the system do for us the very experiences that make us living beings on a living world.

We need to cooperate and make decisions for ourselves rather than letting the system break us into ever smaller managed, isolated, lonely boxes. We’re replacing corporations with coops and replacing condos with communes. The stuff we do with our days should matter both to the world and to the people doing it rather than just being a job we hate that serves the elite. When we cooperate to make stuff, grow food, or build households, we exercise direct participation in the decisions that relate to our lives rather than being powerless workers, voters or consumers.

The nuclear family is as toxic and unsustainable as it sounds because kids and parents need complex connections with adults who aren’t their parents of all ages — and people without kids shouldn’t have to live without the chaos and energy that kids and childrearing generate. The arbitrary separation of families from each other and everyone else — each armed with their own car and their own washing machine — is unsustainable environmentally and emotionally.

We need to reject the artificial separations between the way we live, the economy, politics, the technology we use and the environment — they’re all on a continuum and we can’t fix one part without fixing everything.

Limiting disastrous climate change and thereby perhaps postponing our own extinction isn’t impossible or unthinkable, unless we want to preserve all the broken, unjust, joyless aspects of the present system. Why on earth would we want to keep things that aren’t working the same at the expense of this world’s beautiful ecosystem? That would be crazy — and therefore unsustainable.

If we want to limit carbon emissions, that means we need to immediately block new fossil fuel infrastructure, and begin dismantling what’s already around. This isn’t so hard because it aligns with what makes us happy, healthy and engaged with other people and ourselves. Who wants to be stuck in their darn car or sold the lie that cars represent freedom and sex appeal? It’s time for less cars, more bikes, denser cities, no more airplanes and less kids per person — but yes let’s keep having kids and raising them as ziblings (*unrelated siblings) in big purple communes.

Has anyone else noticed how the rise of Uber means there are more cars on the road day and night and you see people hunched over phones in idling cars fucking everywhere? At least turn off the motor if you’re just sitting there — it wastes gas and it smells. And really just take the bus or walk. Everyone hates the idea of the oceans filling with plastic, which begs the question “can we please stop buying more plastic already?” The hour is far too late to hope other people will make the changes that we need to make on our own. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t holding the bosses and corporations responsible for the reckless, poisonous options they peddle — this isn’t up to individuals to solve on their own. This isn’t about being green consumers — we reject being consumers of any color.

Perhaps the most unstable aspect of this system is the way 1% of the population owns more than half the world’s wealth — and climbing. This inequality causes so much day-to-day suffering and is so easy to fix with what we were taught in kindergarten — learn to share! Inequality on this scale is unsustainable and is responsible for diverse dysfunctions — health problems, rising nationalism, violence, mental illness, housing displacement.

In cities, everyone’s anxious because housing is scarce and unaffordable which we summarize as gentrification. It is past time to redistribute the wealth so everyone can afford a place to live. Even if we make a land trust, where’s the money going to come from to buy the neighborhoods? Let’s seize and share the land instead — much less paperwork.

The recent wildcat teachers strikes provide a tiny glimpse of how it’s done. We need to stop begging the elite for crumbs and point out the obvious — this shit doesn’t work and we can do better. We need to move beyond protesting against stuff, and instead spend our energy creating positive change.

The current ways are finished — none of the system’s ways are either natural or inevitable. This isn’t about single issue politics — because all the various systems of hierarchy, sexism, racism, capitalism, technology, short-term thinking, worship of efficiency in areas that don’t demand efficiency and artificial barriers between the head and the heart, between human beings and nature — all these things are killing us and killing the earth.

When everything is falling apart and no one can figure out what might happen next, it’s scary but even more its exciting, sexy, and a damn relief. The collapse we’re in the midst of is long overdue.

The trump regime confirms the dramatic nature of the systems’ disintegration. He offers nothing but division and distraction yet the mainstream power structure, the media and the Democrats are so spiritually, intellectually and politically bankrupt that they are powerless to stop an orange-painted fool.

A society that kills the earth is killing itself and deserves to go — being unsustainable is self-limiting. Because life is fun and I love so many things humans have created despite all our obvious flaws, I’m optimistic that this phase of history will transition and something radically different will emerge soon enough. But make no mistake — banks don’t burn themselves down and social collapse needs all of us as active, creative, joyful participants.

We might find that the one thing that is sustainable — that can last over the long haul, thrive and grow richer and more satisfying the longer we practice it — is the counter-culture and our resistance to the death-system. The web of do-it-yourself, funky, humble alternative institutions that our communities are building voluntarily, without funding, without asking permission, based on values the mainstream doesn’t take seriously like love, pleasure and beauty — these pursuits aren’t dead ends. Making them your life’s work doesn’t entangle you in contradictions between your own needs and the needs of the earth or others around you, but rather takes you places you didn’t know you needed to go. Let’s let our minds wander while we share good times so we can appreciate these wild times together.