Slingshot Issue #90 introduction

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

Hanging in the east bay radical scene can be so inspiring. We wish we could somehow write up and publish all of the myriad experiences we have every day that give us insights into how a new world might look. When people live their lives for pleasure — based on cooperation — living simply with few possessions but great richness and complexity — every day feels like it lasts forever filled with adventure, powerful emotions, long talks, hugs and dancing. Also gathering, mending, struggling and growth.

Sometimes it seems like the normal rules that control the operation of the rest of the world are crumbling in our personal daily lives, even as those rules seem to grow more oppressive out in the “real world.” But what is real anyway? Who says you have to spend your oh-so-short life working a job you hate, living compromise, letting days slip away? We’re dropping out of the rat race and into another place — a place where we get to define the questions, the conflicts, and our paths. . . .

The government’s recent prosecution of activists merely for writing or talking — without them committing any illegal actions — is designed to scare us. Here’s a little scary story that happened to Slingshot recently. We got a call from a reporter with The Herald-Sun in Durham, North Carolina. She was writing an article about some graffiti at a military recruiting center there and wanted us to comment on a report that we were responsible because of an article we had published about the Iraq war. Of course, we’re in Berkeley and don’t have any members in North Carolina, so we were fuckin’ confused! By the time we called her back, she had already published the article:

The motivation for the graffiti may have come from a [article] that urges readers to make “an anti-recruitment effort.” The [article] allegedly written by members of the organization The Slingshot Collective, lists 46 recruitment centers in 24 states as eligible targets for “disruptive actions designed to cripple the U.S. war effort in Iraq.”

We got hate emails from North Carolina after the article ran. She quoted the police and the military recruiters, so one of them must have given her the information. Who was it in the government who read our article and decided it meant that we were responsible for any random graffiti painted on a wall somewhere? A lot of our friends have reported similarly strange incidents and visits from homeland security. Despite it all, we’ll keep publishing as we please until they drag us off or we run out of James Brown tapes and beer. Take that spell-check.

Slingshot is always looking for new writers, artists, editors, photographers, translators, distributors and independent thinkers to help us make this paper. If you send something written, please be open to editorial changes.

Editorial decisions are made by the Slingshot collective, but not all the articles reflect the opinions of all collective members. We welcome debate, constructive criticism and discussion.

Oops! — a ton of letters from prisoners asking for papers didn’t get typed in & didn’t get last issue – we’re trying to fix the problem.

Thanks to all who worked on this: Artnoose, Hefty Lefty, Kale, Cara, Sal, Dale, Eggplant, Gregg, Lew, Rachel, Nissa, Maneli, PB.

Slingshot New Volunteer Meeting

Volunteers interested in getting involved with Slingshot can come to the new volunteer meeting on April 30 at 1 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below).

Article Deadline and Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 91 by May 27, 2006 at 3 p.m. — however we may put off publication until the fall depending on events this spring, in which case the deadline would be delayed until September. If we decide to publish in June, we’ll display one ass in the North tower of the Long Haul. If we’re going to publish in September, we’ll display two asses in the North tower.

Volume 1, Number 90, Circulation 14,000

Printed April 6, 2006

Slingshot Newspaper

Sponsored by Long Haul

3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA 94705

Phone: (510) 540-0751

slingshot@tao.ca • www.slingshot.tao.ca

Back issue Project

We’ll send you a random assortment of back issues for the cost of postage: send us $2 for 2 lbs or $3 for 4 lbs. Free if you’re an infoshop or library. Or drop by our office. Send cash or check to Slingshot to: Slingshot 3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA 94705.

Circulation Information

Slingshot is free in the Bay Area and is available at Long Haul and Bound Together Books (SF), plus lots of other places. Contact us or come by if you want to distribute Slingshot for free in the Bay Area.

Subscriptions to Slingshot are free to prisoners, low income and anyone in the USA who owns a Slingshot organizer, or cost $1 per issue. International is $2.50 per issue. Back issues are also available for the cost of postage. National free distribution program: Outside of the Bay Area, we’ll mail a stack of free copies of Slingshot to distributors, infoshops, bookstores and random friendly individuals for FREE in the US if they give ‘em out for free.