Introduction to issue #121 (“Slingshot box”)

Slingshot is an independent radical newspaper published in Berkeley since 1988.

There were moments when it looked like this issue would be canceled. Rather than bore you or ourselves with all the details, it is worth articulating why the paper keeps coming out despite all the obstacles and evidence that we should just give up and throw in the towel.

To live well, you must come to terms with your own mortality. If you woke up focused on the reality that “I will soon be dead forever” how would you have energy to make your oatmeal?

Similarly, resistance to the capitalist monster that is daily destroying the earth is a pre-condition for freedom, for being able to see reality clearly, for having fun and for being able to love. Being in Slingshot collective is one of the ways we fight the system. It keeps us sane and that keeps us alive — not walking dead employees / consumers who are just going through the motions.

There are a lot of articles about protests and riots in this issue because having these experiences has been transformative for us. Like taking LSD or falling in love or becoming a parent, going beyond talking and actually standing up to fight the system changes you forever. Afterwards, you know on a gut level that the system is fucked, that mainstream options aren’t the only way, and that anytime enough people stand to fight, we can win. Once you know all that, you can’t just turn it off and go along with it anymore. Once you’ve been handcuffed or seen your garden or your squat seized or watched chainsaws take down a forest, you’re always a member of the rebel alliance and the force will be with you.

There are many ways people struggle for a better world. As individuals, we’re small and isolated. But being an individual is also a strength because on an individual level, you’re free. No matter how top-down and micro-managed the world becomes, you still control your own decisions and you still have your own creativity. It’s up to each of us to refuse the boxes the system wants to force us into and the rules we never agreed to.

And while we might be weak individually, we can cooperate with others to create communities of resistance. These can be the bridge from powerlessness to creating spaces where we’re free to do as we please.

Let’s not sugarcoat it: the world is going to hell in a handbasket. But that isn’t the end of the story — life is still full of exciting opportunities even in the face all the eco-destruction, war, racism, refugees, income stratification, gentrification and the boring, sanitized, managed world.

It is precisely because everything we care about is so at risk — we’re being priced out of town, we’re being poisoned, our lives and freedom may be taken from us at any moment — that the moments of beauty and love that we still experience every day are all the more poignant. In the whole universe, there is nothing like the feeling of biting into a ripe peach. Or sinking into someone’s warm arms. Or seeing the clouds in the sky. The corporations and the cops and the fucking freeways are puny, temporary, and ridiculous compared to the things that really matter.

There are many ways to respond to all of these intense paradoxes, and Slingshot is one of ours. Won’t you join us?

Slingshot is always looking for new writers, artists, editors, photographers, translators, distributors, etc. to make this paper. If you send an article, please be open to editing.

We’re a collective but not all the articles reflect the opinions of all collective members. We welcome debate and constructive criticism.

Thanks to the people who made this: A. Iwasa, Ash, Dov, Eggplant, Elke, Fern, Isabel, Jesse, Kermit, Kerry Liz, Korvin, Larry, Lew, Max, Patrick, Peter, and all the authors and artists!

Slingshot New Volunteer Meeting

Volunteers interested in getting involved with Slingshot can come to the new volunteer meeting on August 21, 2016 at 7 pm at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 122 by September 17, 2016 at 3 pm.

Volume 1, Number 121, Circulation 22,000

Printed April 22, 2016

Slingshot Newspaper

A publication of Long Haul

Office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue Berkeley CA 94705

Mailing: PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703

Phone (510) 540-0751 • slingshot@tao.ca slingshot.tao.ca • twitter @slingshotnews

 

Corrections: The world map in the 2016 organizer fails to show South Sudan. Also the days were mislabeled April 21-23 in the spiral organizer. Sorry about that.

About the poster: The slogan is the name of an amazing deep ecology zine that existed in the 1990s. Find a copy if you can. The skull was drawn and sent to us by a prisoner but sorry we lost his name. Thanks Jenn Dieges for the flower collage.

Slingshot free stuff

We’ll send you a random assortment of back issues for the cost of postage. Send $3 for 2 lbs. Free if you’re an infoshop or library . slingshot at tao.ca

Circulation information

Subscriptions to Slignshot are free to prisoners, low income, or anyone in the USA with a Slingshot Organizer, or $1 per issue. International $3 per issue. Outside the Bay Area we’ll mail you a free stack of copies if you give them out for free. Say how many copies and how long you’ll be at your address. In the Bay Area pick up copies at Long Haul and Bound Together books, SF.