All posts by Slingshot collective

Introduction – issue #108

Slingshot is an independent radical newspaper published since 1988.

We’ve pulled together this extra edition devoted to the occupy movement super quickly, running on the surge of enthusiasm pouring out of Occupy Oakland and related developments around the world. We had just finished our last (regularly scheduled) issue when Occupy Oakland started and a lot of us jumped right into the thick of it. We’re all having so many intense experiences, meeting so many new people, having so many amazing conversations and taking on so many new projects that life has felt overwhelming, like a blur, electric. It is humbling to be part of something so big, so complex, so fast-moving.

We’re having a blast mixed with moments of frustration, exhaustion and confusion. Is it too cheesy to say how much we love the people we’ve marched with, camped with, been in the general assembly with, and who’ve helped us through this? There is an amazing community developing on many levels and none of us could do all this without so many others holding down their parts.

Trying to create a coherent paper in just a couple of weeks has been challenging, and we know we’ve missed a lot of important topics and articles that we hope we can explore in our next issue — just 2 months away. We’ve each written a few notes here to share topics that didn’t make it into an article, but express something about what is going on. Join us and write something about your reality in all this!

• • •

Occupy has gifted us the public space to reveal parts of ourselves that had previously remained behind closed doors. Facets of our personalities that had been unable to emerge under the values of isolation and competition are beginning to blossom. Slowly but surely, we are developing post-capitalist identities. And once those identities have bloomed, there will be no going back: we will continue to demand the space we need to express them.

And, while some people at Occupy would like us to keep this process hidden–from the media and from each other–we will not let them stamp out the spark. We will not let the fear of looking bad on television derail us from experiencing the inward revolution: the process of decolonizing our behaviors, hearts, and minds. We don’t care if it doesn’t look pretty to outsiders. Let the media spin whatever they want about us: the pundits and talk show hosts are nothing more than yapping corporate lapdogs. Let them yap. Their power over us has ended: the media cannot spin our lives. Our experience belongs to us.

• • •

In all of the conversations about property damage and police violence, it is difficult sometimes to acknowledge that violent acts also happen within our communities. Chaotic moments of violence are part of the society we live in. The state and its financial patrons will always seize selectively on incidents of interpersonal violence as evidence that strong, authoritarian measures are needed to keep people safe. This is not true: at best these measures only push the misery around. More often, they exacerbate it. Emotional responses to trauma caused by institutional violence habitually lead to acts of interpersonal violence. The more our communities are composed of strong connections between people who are resilient and respect their own needs, the more manageable and less likely incidents of interpersonal violence become.

• • •

Events that linger fresh in our minds:

Sept 17: Occupy Wall Street camp begins

Sept 24: Video of unprovoked police pepper spraying of women goes viral

Oct 4: First Oakland General Assembly (GA) to discuss starting Occupy Oakland

Oct 11: Occupy Oakland encampment begins

Oct 25: Police raid OO in morning. That evening, 1000 people protest and are tear gassed; Iraq vet Scott Olsen’s scull fractured

Oct 26: OO camp re-established, 1600 person general assembly votes to call general strike

Nov 2: Oakland General Strike: thousands skip work and shut down the Port of Oakland

Nov 9: Occupy Cal begins at UC Berkeley. Those in tents are severely beaten and arrested

Nov 14: Police raid OO camp for 2nd time

Nov 15: UC Davis students occupy Mrak Hall. Occupy Cal strike and Open University. OO marches from Oakland to Berkley to join students

Nov 16: UC regents cancel meeting due to protests. Many march on their corporate sponsors and pitch a tent in the Bank of America in SF

Nov 17: Occupy Cal is raided at 3:30 am; Occupy UCLA begins

Nov 18: Demanding that the military cede power, tens of thousands of Egyptians flood Tahir Square; dozens are killed. UC Davis students are pepper-sprayed in the face while peacefully sitting in their quad in the middle of the day; 2 are hospitalized

Nov 21: The Davis General Assembly votes for a statewide strike on 11/28 to coincide with the Regent’s next budget vote. UCD faculty vote to support a resolution demanding that the UCD police be disbanded

• • •

Some of the best chants we heard:

“The system, has got to die, Hella, hella occupy!”

“Keep the world in our hands, let’s refuse to make demands!”

“We’re here, we’re queer, burn the fucking banks!”

On Halloween: “I don’t want a Fun Size, I want a King Size!”

To cops: “You’re Sexy! You’re cute! Take off your riot suit!”

“MOVE banks, get out the way. Get out the way banks, get out the way!

• • •

The General Strike Poster: The night after Occupy Oakland decided to call the general strike (Thursday), a few Slingshot folks discussed making a 17 X 23 inch poster to promote it — in the spirit of autonomous action. Our printing press needed the artwork by 2 pm Friday to get the poster printed by 4:30 Friday afternoon. I sent an email seeking artists but as the clock ticked Friday, it looked like it wasn’t going to happen. At noon, Lucis called to say he could do art. We dashed down to the Long Haul and he drew art while I laid out words. I biked to the printer at 2 and by 5 pm, 2,000 posters got delivered to the Occupation. They ended up all over Oakland.

• • •

Occupy Scene Report by hurricane

I lost my housing a month in a half ago, my solution: Travel! Occupy everything! Here’s the best to the worst to the swag along the west coast.

Vancouver BC: Canadians know what’s up. Period. Tons of DIY “Nobody For President 2012″ signs. Makes no sense, because I’m in fucking Canada.

Grass Valley: About 400 folks occupying. Nice variety of people who wouldn’t normally mix. Epic scenery.

Fresno: Fres-yes! Perfect weather, lots of actions organized with local labor unions. Right after I left camp, occupy was raided by the police. Damn!

Downtown LA: Across the street from Occupy is the county courthouse. Same location of the Michael Jackson murder trial. The mainstream media was there to film the outraged protesters. The strangest action I’ve ever participated in.

Overall I noticed a sense of unwarranted self-importance from the finance committees, everywhere! Just a suggestion to Occupy Camps universally: Money changes everything, money gives the illusion of power, that power needs to be destroyed. Or else money will destroy this movement. Check your privilege and get to know your fellow wingnuts at camp.

• • •

As we are putting the paper together, a series of raids that appear to have been federally coordinated forcibly are evicting Occupy encampments across the country. UC Davis cops are dousing sitting students with pepper spray. In Egypt, the military is murdering protesters in Tahir Square. Just a reminder: don’t believe them when they tell you they’ll manage your revolution.

• • •

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

Editorial decisions are made by the Slingshot 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: Babs, Bird, Claire, Darin, DA, Enola, Glenn, Ibrahim, Jesse, Joey, Josh, Kathryn, Kermit, Lew, Lucis, Micah, Samara, Sara, Sean, Suzanne, Solomon, Stella, Stephanie 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 Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 4 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 109 by January 14, 2012 at 3 p.m.

Volume 1, Number 108, Circulation 20,000

Printed November 25, 2011

Slingshot Newspaper

A publication of Long Haul

Office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue

Mailing: PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703

Phone (510) 540-0751

slingshot@tao.ca • slingshot.tao.ca

Circulation Information / free distribution project

Subscriptions to Slingshot are free to prisoners, low income and anyone in the USA with a Slingshot Organizer, or $1 per issue or back issue. International is $3 per issue. Outside the Bay Area we’ll mail you a free stack of copies if you give them out for free. Note: they come in 1 lb. packages – you can order 1 package or up to 6 (6 lbs) for free – let us know how many you want. In the Bay Area, pick up bulk copies for distro at Long Haul or Bound Together Books in SF.

Slingshot Back Issues

We’ll send you a random assortment of back issues of Slingshot for the cost of postage: Send $3 for 2 lbs. Free if you’re an infoshop or library. Also, our full-color, 200 page coffee table book about People’s Park is free or by sliding scale donation: send $1 – $25 for a copy. PO Box 3051 Berkeley, CA 94703.

Hella Calenar

December 20 – 31

Occupy the Holidays! Bring discussions about class, inequality and whether capitalism is working out to your family celebration everywhere. A decentralized, spontaneous action . . .

December 30 • 6 pm

Critical Mass bike ride – last Friday of each month in San Francisco and worldwide. In SF @ Justin Herman plaza

January 7-8

North American Anarchist Studies Network conference – San Juan, Puerto Rico naasn.org

January 14 • 3 pm

Article deadline for issue #109 Long Haul 3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley

February 21 • 3 pm

Mardi Gras – Berkeley parade at People’s Park

February 29

Leap day action night – do something with an extra day, at night – leapdayaction.org

March 8

International Women’s Day

May 1

International Worker’s Day – can we finally join the rest of the world and celebrate right in 2012?

May 5

Protest American Psychiatric Association national meeting – Philadelphia www.mindfreedom.org

May 15-22

Resist the NATO and G8 summits in Chicago

July 25-28

Shut down ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) in Salt Lake City

Note: there are too many Occupy related calendar events happening in villages and cities worldwide to even possibly list or comprehend. Check your local occupation. For links to occupations everywhere, check occupytogether.org

In any case, no regrets

Introduction – issue #107

Slingshot is an independent radical newspaper published since 1988.

At the risk of implying that Slingshot has any set conventions, creating this issue of Slingshot was unconventional. Usually, we finish layout during a single weekend, but this time, the work of editing and designing ran into Monday night. After an anarchist debate in the Long Haul dispersed we ourselves debated fiercely over the cover image. Some strongly wanted it to depict armed people to demonstrate self-defense by any means necessary. Others felt the guns in the image were triggering and portrayed over-simplistic stereotypes of anarchists as being primarily interested in violence. The passionate discussion lasted for hours. Like the anarchist debate hours earlier there was moments of angry orations and hurt feelings. In the end we never reached consensus and the image is published over the objection of some collective members.

Even if we can’t agree on particular images or even if we have reached consensus or not, all of us can agree that the current system is shit. But collectives are given the task to take on far simpler problems–like this introduction. When we get to work we see we are passionate about our ideas, our lives, and our commitment to each other even when we disagree and feel pissed off.

The world is teetering on the edge of revolution — yet it’s possible the worst aspects of our lives may continue indefinitely. Many things are missing from this issue; such as the police murders of civilians in San Francisco and Oakland, and activists across the nation facing jail time for simply filming the police in public. Also, new rounds of protests have sprung up in California schools where students have been brutalized trying to occupy a building on UC Berkeley campus. We even got an article about unreasonable fines causing local homeowners getting evicted but it didn’t make it in here. We hope the blow back from austerity will move people in the US to revolt, echoing uprisings all around the world. The forms that these revolts will take are unknown.

The time for us to make Slingshot come out more frequently and help push for radical change is more evident then ever. Readers should take our call for submission seriously and use this great resource to help fight against the forces of death and slavery.

Political projects like this often bore people. Radicals’ communications too often reflect military thinking or the lifeless coercion of the courtroom. This might make you feel like you have to be strong and if you show any sign of defeat you are a failure: this is wrong. We are a community and a family. It’s alright to be vulnerable. It’s alright to strive for warmth, color and light. Thank you all for your tears.

• • •

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

Editorial decisions are made by the Slingshot 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: Abhay, Bird, CiCi, Dee, Enola, Eggplant, Ibrahim, Jeff, Ignored, Kathryn, Kerry, Kristi, Llosh, Luci, Mark, Samara, Solomon, Susie-Q, Sweet Potatoe, Yoyo Khadafi 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 Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 4 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 108 by January 14, 2012 at 3 p.m.

Volume 1, Number 107, Circulation 20,000

Printed September 30, 2011

Slingshot Newspaper

A publication of Long Haul

Office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue

Mailing: PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703

Phone (510) 540-0751

slingshot@tao.ca • slingshot.tao.ca

Circulation Information

Subscriptions to Slingshot are free to prisoners, low income and anyone in the USA with a Slingshot Organizer, or $1 per issue or back 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. Note: they come in 1 lb. packages – you can order 1 package or up to 6 (6 lbs) for free – let us know how many you want. In the Bay Area, pick up copies at Long Haul or Bound Together Books in SF.

Slingshot Back Issues

We’ll send you a random assortment of back issues of Slingshot for the cost of postage: Send $3 for 2 lbs. Free if you’re an infoshop or library. Also, our full-color coffee table book about People’s Park is free or by sliding scale donation: send $1 – $25 for a copy. PO Box 3051 Berkeley, CA 94703.

Save the land from unimaginable threats – tim DeChristopher is in prison

Tim DeChristopher — who as Bidder #70 protested a December 19, 2008 sale of Bureau of Land Management oil and gas leases in Utah’s redrock country by bidding $1.8 million for 22,500 acres although he had no money or intent to buy the leases — was sentenced to 2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine on July 26. He was jailed immediately and is now in a Federal prison in California. His spontaneous and unconventional action brought attention to these illegal sales that were later invalidated. Salt Lake City police arrested 26 protesters who blocked a road after the sentence was announced. Tim got one of the longest prison sentences yet for a peaceful direct action to protest climate change and the corporate/government policies that are causing it. People around the world are organizing to support Tim while he’s in jail, support his appeal, continue his struggle to stop climate change, and promote alternatives to fossil fuels.

Tim read a long inspirational statement before he was sentenced. He noted: “This is not going away. At this point of unimaginable threats on the horizon, this is what hope looks like. In these times of a morally bankrupt government that has sold out its principles, this is what patriotism looks like. With countless lives on the line, this is what love looks like, and it will only grow. The choice you are making today is what side are you on. . . .

“Those who are inspired to follow my actions are those who understand that we are on a path toward catastrophic consequences of climate change. They know their future, and the future of their loved ones, is on the line. And they know we are running out of time to turn things around. The closer we get to that point where it’s too late, the less people have to lose by fighting back. The power of the Justice Department is based on its ability to take things away from people. The more that people feel that they have nothing to lose, the more that power begins to shrivel. The people who are committed to fighting for a livable future will not be discouraged or intimidated by anything that happens here today.”

Write Tim at: Tim DeChristopher #16156-081, PO Box 800, Herlong, CA 96113. Check Bidder70.org for updates. Send donations to Tim DeChristopher Legal Defense Fund c/o Pat Shea 252 S. 1300 E., Suite A Salt Lake City, Utah 84102.

Outcast calendar

October 15- 16

Hackmeet 2011 tech security for activists – Noisebridge 2169 Mission SF hackmeet.org

October 15

United for Global Change – uprising / protest everywhere – 15october.net

October 22

National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation

October 28 • 6 pm

Halloween Critical Mass Bike ride – Justin Herman Plaza in SF, and worldwide!

November 11 – 13

Boston Anarchist Bookfair – Simmons College

November 11 • 8 pm

East Bay Bike Party – start location TBD

November 12

Carrboro, NC Anarchist Book Fair

November 18

Madison, WI ZineFest – UW campus

November 18-20

Mass action to shut down the School of the Americas – Fort Benning, Georgia soaw.org

November 25

Buy Nothing Day

November 30 – Dec. 3

Day of Action to Protest American Legislative Exchange Council – Phoenix, AZ azresistsalec.wordpress.com

December 10 • 10 – 4 pm

East Bay Alternative Press Bookfair – Berkeley City College

December 11 • 4 pm

Slingshot new volunteer meeting – Long Haul 3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley

January 7-8

North American Anarchist Studies Network conference – San Juan, Puerto Rico naasn.org

January 14 • 3 pm

Article deadline for issue #108 Long Haul 3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley

February 29

Leap day action night – leapdayaction.org

Slingshot issue #105 – introduction

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

A crucial aspect of creating this paper is breaking down the false barrier between publisher and reader — between a tiny group of active “experts” who impart knowledge and faceless masses of passive readers who soak it up. Over and over while we’re making the paper, we’re reminded how silly that division is and how it works against the paper we’re trying to publish and the world we want to live in.

While we were wrapping up work on this issue, we discussed how we wished we could have had an article on the revolution in Tunisia that was unfolding the week we made the paper. Or something about the sudden and surprising sale of local college station KUSF that threw dozens of volunteer djs off the air with no notice. And while we pulled together a tiny selection of upcoming actions and on-going campaigns, we know we could do a lot better if folks let us know about the work they’re doing or the things they’re experiencing.

Just like the poster in this issue declares, “we’re all artists”: We’re all journalists. We’re all publishers. We all have something important to share and contribute to the collective knowledge. If you could meet us, you might be disappointed to realize that the people who make Slingshot are pretty ordinary. Or maybe it would be empowering — we’re nothing special; we’re just like you. If you have some information you think might belong in Slingshot, chances are we won’t know about it unless you tell us. And chances are we would love to know about it and share it with others.

Each issue, people wander in to see if they can help out and end up designing a page or drawing the cover. This issue, one of us who thought of herself as “just” a cartoonist spoke up at a meeting wondering if we had a particular article, and ended up writing it for the front page.

We seek to create a supportive atmosphere so people can access their inner journalist and achieve their full potential for creativity and expression. This isn’t easy and we don’t necessarily know how — but we’re trying.

• • •

Despite our landlord’s ongoing bankruptcy case, which could threaten us with eviction (mentioned in last issue), we’re still here at the moment. The threat hasn’t stopped us from discussing how we can encourage more active uses of the Long Haul space and from making lots of small changes and improvements over the last few months. We’re working on having more events, craft workshops and zine reading times. One of the most successful improvements has been our DIY zine space featuring everything you need to make your own zine. We even have a light table — fancy. Lots of people are typing, cutting, pasting and drawing.

• • •

We’re changing the way we mail out copies off the paper this issue to comply with postal rules. If you are a free distributor, you’ll now get multiple one pound envelopes, rather than 1 six pound envelope, for example. Sorry for the waste of envelopes.

• • •

Two years ago we published a full-color coffee table book to celebrate the 40th anniversary of People’s Park in Berkeley. It is a great book but apparently not commercially viable. We want it to be a powerful inspiration in people’s hands, not sitting unread in our basement. Please help by letting us know if we can send you a free copy for your infoshop, coop or local library. We’re also still selling and/or accepting donations for copies.

• • •

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

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

Thanks to the people who made this: Bird, Brian, Carolina, Citizen, David, Dee, Eggplant, Emmalee, Glenn, Heather, Hurricane, Jackie, Jake, Jayson, Jesse, Josh, Julia, Kathryn, Katrina, Kermit, Kerry, Kyle, Mando, Tristan.

Slingshot New Volunteer Meeting

Volunteers interested in getting involved with Slingshot can come to the new volunteer meeting on Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 4 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 106 by April 16, 2011 at 3 p.m.

Volume 1, Number 105, Circulation 19,000

Printed January 28, 2011

Slingshot Newspaper

A publication of Long Haul

Office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue

Mailing: PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703

Phone (510) 540-0751

slingshot@tao.ca • slingshot.tao.ca

Circulation Information

Subscriptions to Slingshot are free to prisoners, low income and anyone in the USA with a Slingshot Organizer, or $1 per issue or back 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. Note: they come in 1 lb. packages – you can order 1 package or up to 6 (6 lbs) for free – let us know how many you want. In the Bay Area, pick up copies at Long Haul or Bound Together Books in SF.

Slingshot Back Issues

We’ll send you a random assortment of back issues of Slingshot for the cost of postage: Send $3 for 2 lbs. Free if you’re an infoshop or library. PO Box 3051 Berkeley, CA 94703.

Upcoming actions around North America

People all over the world are organizing for a better world and against corporations, government repression, environmental destruction and injustice. Here’s a small sampling of upcoming actions, ongoing campaigns, and calls to action. Organize your own and let us know about it for next issue or lend a hand to one of these.

Tar sand resistance

As oil deposits around the world become more scarce, companies have turned their eye toward reserves that have, in the past, been considered too difficult, too dirty, or too expensive to extract. The tar sand mines in Alberta account for half of Canada’s oil production and have been described as the single most destructive industrial project on the face of the planet. Tar sand mining requires tearing up large areas of land, using huge amount of water, and generating lots of toxic waste. It also takes a huge amount of energy to extract and refine the oil, meaning that each barrel of tar sand oil carries a carbon footprint 10 to 45 percent greater than traditionally extracted oil. Because of expanding tar sand oil production, Canada has become the single largest supplier of oil to the US.

Northern Rockies Rising Tide in Missoula, Montana is resisting transport over Highway 12 of hundreds of mega-loads of mining equipment built by Exxon Mobil, Conoco/Phillips, and Harvest Energy Corp for use in Alberta tar sand mining. The loads are 30 feet tall, 27 feet wide, and over 200 feet long — like a three story house almost the length of a football field. Highway 12 is two-lanes and winds along a river that has been designated as Wild and Scenic up and over the Rocky Mountains. These highway shipments are visible aspects of an oil industry mostly hidden from view.

While local officials have opposed the shipments, they lack jurisdiction to stop them. It will take a grassroots movement of native communities, environmental groups and residents to resist big oil’s privatization of public roads and continued destruction of Northern Alberta and the earth’s climate. Rising Tide has been on the ground floor conducting trainings, organizing the first International Tar Sands Resistance Summit, and being a vocal opponent of the shipments. Over 270 shipments will leave the Port of Lewiston, Idaho between now and the end of next year. To plug into the resistance, check out northernrockiesrisingtide@gmail.com.

Revolting Borders

US border policies are designed to kill. The increase in border wall construction, surveillance, checkpoints and internal deportations — tied up with the inequality of global capitalism and free trade — have driven people crossing the US/Mexico border to travel dangerous routes. The vast, rugged, and confusing desert border of Arizona has taken an unknown number of lives. The official death toll was 250 last year, but anyone who has spent any time in this desert knows it is, in reality, immeasurable. It is hard to find people, alive or otherwise, and easy to get lost. These desolate routes are the preferred routes for guides leading migrants across the border, where one can walk 4 days before reaching the first paved road and find shelter from surveillance in canyons and dense shrubbery.

For most migrants, the Arizona desert is neither the beginning nor the end of their journey. People are forced to leave home by poverty crafted and maintained by the global north. For Central Americans, the journey through Mexico can be more dangerous than through Arizona. As a warm welcome, or welcome back, to the USA, many face work-place exploitation, the complications of an undocumented life, racism, and the constant fear or separation from loved ones. Many people profit from this migration and the restrictions against it.

No More Deaths takes direct action against the lethal border conditions and the politics behind them by locating and exploring trails used by migrants and then placing food, water and supplies on the trails. Over the last seven years, these actions have saved countless lives. No More Deaths also hosts volunteers in the border city of Nogales, Sonora, provides medical treatment to migrants, and document abuses experienced at the hands of the Border Patrol.

Out of town volunteers can join these efforts each summer and local residents volunteer year-round. The more time one can stay, the better you can discern the intricacies of the desert, the border, and the group. Government policies dehumanize, demoralize, and generally attempt to weaken those who are already vulnerable. Often they succeed. The people, however, are resilient and strong. Supporting that strength in others, and nursing our own for another time when we might need it ourselves, is a direct act of opposition. Contact www.nomoredeaths.org to get involved. (Note: There is related work responding to the increasing collaboration of local law enforcement with federal immigration enforcement agencies in Tucson and Phoenix by groups like CopWatch and MigraPatrol. Check them out, too.)

Move against Mountain top removal

The campaign against mountaintop removal (MTR) mining in Appalachia continues throughout the coalfields. MTR is a form of strip mining where rock over a coal seam is blasted away and dumped into stream valleys to expose coal. MTR magnifies the environmental damage of coal — global warming, mercury pollution, etc. — by destroying hardwood forests and habitat and poisoning local watercourses. Local campaigns are going on in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and beyond.

In West Virginia, a five-day march to Blair Mountain will take place this summer. The 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain was the largest armed labor uprising in American history, and the battlefield is currently being threatened by mountaintop removal — Massey Energy and two other coal companies hold permits to blast on this historic site. In 1921, after a generation of violent suppression and exploitation of the people in the southern coalfields of West Virginia, 15,000 coal miners rebelled in an attempt to overthrow the coal barons and marched on Blair Mountain. To join the march on Blair Mountain, see friendsofblairmountain.org.

For details about other upcoming actions including Mountain Justice Spring Break or Summer actions, check out mountainjustice.org, ilovemountains.org, or appalachiarising.org.

Legal support is also ongoing. Coal companies are pursuing a federal lawsuit against five protesters who participated in a January 2010 tree-sit on Coal River Mountain in West Virginia. The tree-sit lasted nine days and prevented Massey Energy from blasting within 2,000 feet of the Brushy Fork Impoundment — a 9.8 billion gallon dam of toxic sludge that would engulf entire communities if it were to fail. Marfork Coal Company is using the lawsuit as an attempt to intimidate activists, target journalists, and gather personal information of political opponents. A trial is scheduled for June 14 in Beckley, WV. Info: marfork5.wordpress.com.

Activists with the Sludge Safety Project are working to pass the Alternative Coal Slurry Disposal Act, which would ban slurry injections in West Virginia. Slurry is the byproduct of washing coal and contains heavy metals and other toxic chemicals. Slurry injection has poisoned the water of entire communities like Prenter and Rawl in West Virginia. Info: www.sludgesafety.org.

A note from Slingshot

Thanks to folks who bought a 2011 Slingshot organizer. We still have copies available if you want to buy one or make a wholesale order. If you have ideas of ways to give free surplus copies to low-income teens or other folks who are unable to afford one, let us know. Email slingshot@tao.ca.

We’ll be making the 2012 organizer this summer — it will be available October 1. Let us know if you want to help us make the 2012 organizer. Here is a timeline for the work:

• In May and June, we’ll edit, correct and improve the list of historical dates. Deadline for finishing: June 24.

• If you want to design a section of the calendar, let us know or send us random art by June 24. Deadline to finish calendar pages or give us suggestions for 2011 is July 29.

• We need all new radical contact listings and cover art submissions by July 29.

• If you have ideas for the short features we publish in the back, let us know by July 29. We try to print different features every year.

• If you’re in the Bay Area July 30/31 or August 6/7, we loving having help with the final organizer design — all done by hand, which is extra fun. Contact us. We especially need to find some really careful proofreaders those weekends.

Finally, let us know if you want to throw us a party to celebrate taking it to the printer, or have a publication release party.

Outcast calendar

Outcast calendar

February 19 – 20 • 9-5 pm

Teach in on racism & police violence 1023 MacArthur Blvd. Oakland, CA -oaklandtribunal@gmail.com

March 2

Day of action for public education – mobilizeberkeley.com

March 8 • 3 pm

Mardi Gras and International Women’s Day – Berkeley parade at People’s Park

March 15 – 18

Protest University of California Regents meeting – San Francisco

March 19 • Noon

Protest the 8th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq – rally and march – 7th & Market, SF

March 27 • 4 pm

Slingshot new volunteer meeting – 3124 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley

April 1 – 4

Power Shift youth environmental / social justice convergence – RFK Stadium, Washington, DC energyactioncoalition.org

April 1 – 3

All power to the Imagination conference – New College, Sarasota, FL, allpowertotheimagination.com

April 9 – 10 • 10-6 pm

Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair – San Francisco County Fair Building, 9th & Lincoln

April 9

New York City Anarchist book fair – Judson Memorial Church – anarchistbookfair.net

April 10

Berkeley Anarchist Students of Theory and Research & Development (BASTARD) conference – UC Berkeley campus sfbay-anarchists.org

April 15

Steal Something from Work Day

April 16 • 3 pm

Article deadline for Slingshot issue #106

April 16 – 17 • 10 – 6 pm

Boston Skillshare – Simmons College – bostonskillshare.org

April 22 – 24

Houston Anarchist Book Fair & Film Festival – houstonanarchistbookfair@gmail.com

May 21 – 22 • 10 – 5 pm

Montreal Anarchist Book Fair – CEDA, 2515 rue Delisle – anarchistbookfair.ca

May 17 – 18

Montreal 6th annual International Anarchist Theatre Festival – anarchistetheatrefestival.com

May 27 – 6 pm

SF Critical Mass bike ride Justin Herman Plaza – always the last Friday

June 25 – 26 • 12 – 10 pm

San Francisco Free Folk Festival – Presidio Middle School – sffolkfest.org

Issue #104 introduction

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

Publishing each issue of Slingshot is like putting a note in a bottle and throwing it into the ocean — hoping that someone will find it and that it will brighten their day. If not, we enjoy the act of hurling the bottle anyway. It keeps us in good practice, just in case.

The shore we stand on is called the counter-culture or the radical community or the anarchist ghetto. The note in the bottle is the story of our lives and our struggles — what we’ve learned so far and what we still hope to know. It can be a complex, confusing, rambling note — perhaps written in a language the reader will need to get translated. As we throw this bottle, we have the strong sense that our lives are meaningful and worth sharing, though they may be marginalized and far off the beaten track. In our darker moods, we feel like we’re wasting our time chasing hopeless causes. There’s no TV reality show or video game based on our odd, funky lives. Gardens, long meetings, and crowded communal kitchens are not the most marketable stuff — though that may be the point behind the whole patchwork of do-it-yourself alternatives to the corporate machine that is killing the earth.

The process of editing and selecting articles for the paper is complicated. This issue we spent half of a five-hour meeting discussing just two articles because there were good reasons both for printing them and for deciding not to. We aspire to have real communication as part of our decision making process – that includes moments of friction, delirium, and hysterical laughter. While working as a collective can be hard, we admire each other and our differences and end up growing through the creative process. Sometimes the combination of our perspectives allows us to achieve something none of us could as individuals. Other times we miss the mark. Inevitably most issues have a little of both.

Often when working on Slingshot, we find it hard to put down our unfinished work and go to sleep. Over the hours before the sun rises, endless thoughts assault our minds — as if we don’t have enough in our world to keep us awake at night: friends getting hurt, police raids on our resistance houses — plus a million assorted hopes and fears. In the end, this issue is the result of multiple sleepless nights, and it is only when we put it to bed that we get to go as well.

When a new issue is published, it smells fresh and the paper feels soft. The words are close to their initial urgent thoughts. But like our bodies, each new issue gets old, becomes brittle, and slowly but surely yellows with age. Occasionally, our ideas seem wiser over time, even as the current events we cover become distant memories. Other times, we look back and see that we were naïve – which is both a good and a bad thing.

It goes without saying that all in this world is rare and wonderful — the people, the troubles, the ephemera. We hope that comes across in this note in a bottle.

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

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

Thanks to the people who made this: Aaron, Abhay, Arise, Autumn, Brian, Dee, Dominique, Eggplant, Glenn, Jesse/PB, Kathryn, Kermit, Kerry, Kwikness, Lew, Melissa, Ona, Peter, Sandy, Shannon, Terri.

Slingshot New Volunteer Meeting

Volunteers interested in getting involved with Slingshot can come to the new volunteer meeting on Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 4 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 105 by January 15, 2011 at 3 p.m.

Volume 1, Number 104, Circulation 20,000

Printed October 1, 2010

Slingshot Newspaper

Sponsored by Long Haul

Office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue

Mailing: PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703

Phone (510) 540-0751

slingshot@tao.ca • slingshot.tao.ca

Circulation Information

Subscriptions to Slingshot are free to prisoners, low income and anyone in the USA with a Slingshot Organizer, or $1 per issue or back 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. In the Bay Area, pick up copies at Long Haul or Bound Together Books in SF.

Slingshot Back Issues

We’ll send you a random assortment of back issues of Slingshot for the cost of postage: Send $3 for 2 lbs. Free if you’re an infoshop or library. PO Box 3051 Berkeley, CA 94703.