Introduction to Slingshot issue #123

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

We had a moment of hesitation about how this issue would fit into the current moment — which is intense in so many ways. It is exhilarating to see so many people out in the streets, which counteracts the worst fears many of us were feeling before it became apparent the degree to which millions of people would step up. Nonetheless, with so much going on, it can be hard to focus and figure out how to fit in.

As a longstanding radical project, one impulse was to drop everything and concentrate on responding to what has felt like a particularly acute crisis. But another way to go — which is what we ended up doing — is to focus on continuing the work we were doing beforehand, because we were already in a crisis beforehand.

Doing Slingshot is part of the way we’ve stayed engaged and tried to build something positive out of the ashes of the world. Developments in electoral politics are real and have impacts, but they’re also distractions from the fundamental ways in which society is crushing the earth and most of its inhabitants.

There are no easy answers or quick fixes. Instead, what’s necessary is a diversity of tactics in the most broad sense of the word, ranging from pushing back against authoritarians, to underground art spaces, to disorder in the streets, to land trusts, to new types of language — and culminating in building new ways we relate to each other, to our internal worlds, and to the earth.

Slingshot is a print-on-paper publication in an age of instant computerized information. It takes about 2 weeks for an article to go from being written to it appearing in print, and because of that time lag, many topical things that we might want to write now will either be irrelevant or even quaint by the time you read this. At some point, we decided to do our best, publish the articles we liked, and hope they’ll be useful, come what may.

Doing the paper the way we do — with a big unruly crowd of people crammed into a chaotic loft — helped us get over our own sense of disorientation, indecision and isolation. With a good crew, you can do anything. If you’re feeling unsure and fearful, if you find a posse it might help you calm down and get back to your important work.

Keep in mind: we’re not re-arranging the deckchairs on the titanic — we’re using them to build barricades and boats!

You’ll notice that we’ve done our best to avoid publishing the small-handed guy’s name in the paper, not just to avoid giving him even more of the publicity that is his oxygen, but because this isn’t just about one looney leader. Or, as Mike noted, “so much for playing spades in the county jail.”

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: Aaron, Artnoose, B, Caroline, Claire, Dov, Eggplant, Elke, Eric, Hayley, Isabel, Iwasa, Jesse, Kerry, Korvin, Mike, Sam, Scott who made the cover 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 March 19, 2017 at 7 pm at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 124 by April 15, 2017 at 3 pm.


Volume 1, Number 123, Circulation 22,000

Printed February 10, 2017


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 • • twitter @slingshotnews


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Circulation information

Subscriptions to Slingshot 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.