Infoshops and community spaces are the physical manifestation of communities of resistance — folks coming together to lay the foundations for a new social structure. Since last issue, I’ve had the opportunity to visit infoshops and community spaces in Portland, Oregon and Louisville, Kentucky, as well as talk to numerous folks at Infoshops everywhere while distributing the 2006 Slingshot Organizer. These visits and conversations are so inspiring — there are so many folks doing amazing projects everywhere.
In Louisville, I saw the Brick House center. They have recently purchased a huge, rundown building that they’re in the process of fixing up. It hosts a largish, well organized library, a smaller zine area, a kids play/arts and crafts area, an art gallery, a public access internet room, an event space for shows, a meeting room, a huge free store, and a bicycle workshop. They also host WXBH, a group that has received an FCC license to build Louisville’s first low power FM community radio station — they are currently trying to raise $70,000 to build the transmitter.
Keeping track of the comings and goings of infoshops and radical community spaces around the country gives me a sense of hope for the future. The past few months has seen the opening of the greatest number of new spaces in several years. Vibrant communities are able to create infoshops and ultimately, vibrant communities can use them as tools to extend the struggle beyond a difficult-to-contact friendship network and into a powerful force for change. If you’re in any of these places, check out and support these spaces!
Iron Rail Bookstore re-opens in New Orleans, LA
Even a hurricane can’t blow them down! Iron Rail Bookstore reopened in November — they think their library was the first library to re-open in the city! Visit them from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm everyday. 511 Marigny St. (@ Decatur St., New Orleans, LA 70117, 504-944-0366.
Aboveground Zine Library reopens – New Orleans, LA
They lost some zines and have a new address but they’re back up and running — zine donations are always welcome. Send ‘em to: Aboveground Zine Library, 107 E. Lakeshore Dr., Carriere, MS 39426. www.geocities.com/abovegroundlibrary
People’s Free Space – Portland, Maine
Who says all Portland projects are in Oregon. PFS opened in September after over three years of preparation as a community space and infoshop. They have a lending library, kids space, free room, offices, computers, kitchen, books and zines for sale and a common room for workshops, performances, meetings and events. Food Not Bombs, Portland Tenants Union and GE Free Maine all work out of the space, and other community groups such as the Portland Victory Gardens Project and the Winter Cache Project meet and hold events there. The Frida Bus, the People’s Free Space’s mobile veggie oil powered community space is parked alongside the building. A Free School is based at the People’s Free Space and offers regular workshops. Visit at 144 Cumberland Ave. Portland, ME 04101, 207-822-9869, www.peoplesfreespace.org
Free Speech Zone – Salt Lake City, UT
They’re a “progressive retail store” with a free literature/reading area that sells books, locally made items, posters, cards, art, bumper stickers, pins and sweatshop free t-shirts. They have free movies on Saturday nights and have 2 high schools doing monthly open mic nights. They host meetings for the IWW, Pom Poms Not Bomb Bombs, the Green Party, People for Peace and Justice of Utah, the Shundahai Network and the Utah Libertarian party. 2144 south 1100 east #130 Salt Lake City Utah 84106 801-487-2295 www.freespeech-zone.com
Social Justice Center Infoshop – Albany, NY
Check out the new Infoshop in Albany that replaces the closed Ironweed Infoshop. Open 11 am to 7 pm Saturdays with events at other times. 33 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12210, 518/434-4037 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hive – Flagstaff, AZ
They’re a community space run by the Flagstaff Indigo Movement, a low-income youth-advocacy group, on the verge of opening an infoshop radical library at the existing space. The Hive already offers classes ranging from circus practice to martial arts to self-defense, bike-repair, yoga, and an after-school art program for grade-school kids. The space also serves as a meeting-place for local activists, a gallery for local artists, a kitchen and serving-space for Food Not Bombs, and houses a bi-weekly poetry slam and community garden tools. The soon to open infoshop is looking for donations of books and zines especially on: women’s studies, queer and transgender studies, people of color/interracial studies, issues of environmental racism & environmental justice and alternative medicine. Visit 319 S. San Francisco St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001.
Alternative Arts Center / Sweet Candy Zine Library – Philadelphia, PA
They opened in January to provide resources for creativity and also a kid friendly space. They have arts and crafts hours for kids, a zine library, and host events plus have tons of resources: a copy machine, one inch button maker, electric typewriter, cut & paste supplies and more! 1508 S 4th St, Philadelpia, PA 215-531-3155 www.eyecandyzine.com
Lancaster Avenue Autonomous Space (LAVA) – Philadelphia
They are a community center that provides shared space for meetings and meals and a home for collectively owned resources for media, arts, construction, and community activism. They host ACT-UP, Philly Independent Media Center, the Defenestrator (anarchist newspaper), a library, copier, computer lab, Food Not Bombs, and a radio station, plus events. 4134 Lancaster Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19143 215.387.6155 www.defenestrator.org/lava/
DryRiver Radical Resource Center – Tucson, AZ
A new infoshop with a free store, computer access, radical video series and Spanish classes. Open 2-8pm M-F and 10-4pm sat and sun. 657 W St. Marys Tucson, AZ 85705 – no phone yet – dryriver.org
Haymarket Books – Calgary, Canada
A radical book shop – they hope to open a cafe soon as well. Open Wednesday-Sunday, 11am – 6pm. 1014 Macleod Trail SE (northbound) Calgary, AB T2G 2M7 (403) 234-0260
33 1/3 Books – Los Angeles, CA
They are a worker owned art gallery, book and zine shop that also sells handmade and/or non-sweat shop clothes. Open noon – 9 everyday. 1200 N. Alvarado St., Los Angeles, CA 90026, 213-483-3500.
Sandpaper Books – Los Angeles
A radical bookstore has taken over the building left vacant when radical community center Flor y Canto closed in LA recently. Check them at 3706 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90065.
The Wire – Athens, OH
They’ve been open for 2 years as an all volunteer-run and supported non-profit space featuring: Athens’ Bike Co-op, an alternative lending library, Internet access, an art space, meeting and workshop space. Open Wed – Sun 2 pm-8 pm at 21 Kern St. Athens, OH 45701, 740 589-5111, athenswire.org
Spartacus Books re-opens after fire – Vancouver, BC, Canada
After their 20+ year-old store burned down in April, 2004, they have re-opened! Check them out on the 2nd Floor, 319 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC (Coast Salish Terr.), Canada.
Northland Poster Collective – Minneapolis, MN
They’ve been a tool for artistic organizing for 26 years – check ‘em out at: 1613 E. Lake Street (PO Box 7096), Minneapolis, MN 55407, 800.627.3082
Gaian Mind – Long Beach, CA
They’re an eco-punx co-op space. Check ‘em out. 620 Pacific Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802, 562-552-9930, www.gaian-mind.org
Our Community Bikes – Vancouver, Canada
They promote do it yourself bike repair and bicycle empowerment and provide tools and repair instruction. They also have a regular repair shop. Open 11-6 every day at 3283 Main Street (at 17th) Vancouver, BC, V5V 3M6 Canada. (604) 879-2453 pedalpower.org/ocb.
We’ve received word of the following places to check out in Los Angeles, Seattle & Portland:
Bicycle Kitchen, 706 Heliotrope, Los Angeles, CA 90029, 323.NO.CARRO (323.662.2776).
Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, 6120 South Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90044, (323) 759-6063.
Zine Archive and Publishing Project, in the Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122.
School and Community Reuse Action Project, 3901A N Williams, Portland, OR 97227, (503) 294-0769.
Community Cycling Center, 1700 NE Alberta Street, Portland, OR 97211, 503/288.8864.
A traveler recently pointed out that our listings of contacts in Mexico in the Organizer was lacking and suggested these contacts . . .
Junax – San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas
A hostel for volunteers with communal food sharing that is the office for Chiapas indymedia. #17 Ejercito Nacional.
Frente Zapatista and the Maquiladora Worker Information Center – Tijuana, Mexico
A contact in Tijuana: 32B Calle Dolores. www.cittac.org
Centro De Medioa Libres – Mexico City
34a Actopan, entre monterrey y medellin, col. Roma Sur, metros centro medico y chilpancingo, http://vientos.info/
San Diego, Calif tour
The folks in San Diego, Calif. have compiled a tour of places to go if you go to San Diego – check this out and let us know what you think: /docs.indymedia.org/view/Local/SanDiegoRadicalPlaces
Places that are Gone
We have word that the following spots are gone or at least that we no longer have correct addresses for them — let us know if you have any details:
Breakdown Collective in Denver, CO.
The Phoenix Anarchist Coalition in Arizona.
We’ve had mail returned from the PO Box of the Autonomous People’s Project in Louisville – we’re not sure if they’re gone or just lost their PO Box.
Green Heart collective in Collingswood, NJ has closed.
Corrections to the 2006 Organizer
The address for the Alternative Press Center in Baltimore, MD should be 1443 Gorsuch Ave., not 1441, Baltimore MD 21218, 410.243.2471.
The listing for the Mosaic in Grand Rapids, MI should actually be a listing for Sabo’s Infoshop. The correct phone # is 616-881-5263.
The address for the Solidarity Radical Center in Lawrence, KS is wrong — it should be 1119 Massachusetts, not 119.
It’s Left Bank books in Seattle!
The address for Red Emma’s books in Baltimore is St. Paul St., not Paul St.
Brighter Days Infoshop – Detroit, MI have moved – the new address is 13160 Klinger St., Detroit, MI 48212.
The Phoenix Anarchist Coalition post office box has moved – the new address is PO Box 3438, Tempe, AZ 85280-3438