Category Archives: Winter 2006 (1/19/06)

Breakdowns need back-up – dealing with emotional trauma in mass protests

Mutual support in the face of repression.

If we want to be effective as a movement, we need to be able to support each other in the face of repression. We need to be conscious that what we are doing might be harmful to ourselves, and could even be life threatening. This is not to scare people off: on the contrary. But, we need to face reality, deal with our fears and sort out our support if we don’t want to give repression the means to be effective.

While “post traumatic stress” is starting to be taken seriously in mainstream society (firefighters, ambulance crews, even the police now do debriefings after traumatic experiences, treatment is finally available on the NHS…), it is surprising that we, as activists, still think we can live through situations of police brutality, fear and powerlessness without showing any emotional response. And, as a matter of fact we don’t.

Reactions vary; everybody has their own ways of dealing with it. Degrees of reaction differ as well, up to the point where people drop out, disappear, stop being active, feel excluded because they feel scared or because they are suffering from post traumatic stress “disorder” *the term “disorder” is controversial. Reactions to traumatic experiences are not a disorder, but normal. We use it here to differentiate between post- traumatic stress reactions that heal in 4-6 weeks (PTS) and the condition where symptoms persist after that period (PTSD). Inside our movement a deeper understanding and acknowledgment of these processes can be lacking. Even after terrible incidents like the Diaz school in Genoa, not enough emotional support was set up for the victims. In the long-term many of them suffered more from the emotional consequences than from the physical injuries. It is crucial to understand that emotional wounds often continue to hurt and debilitate long after the physical wounds have healed, and that it is normal that people who did not get physically hurt can suffer psychologically from their experiences.

It makes things much worse not to feel supported. If the police treat us badly we are usually not surprised, but what can really be devastating is a lack of support from our mates afterwards. To feel let down can cause what is called secondary traumatisation and can be worse than the initial experience because it really shatters your fundamental assumptions. There is no need to be an “expert” in the healing of trauma, but there is a need for understanding and support.

It is not only police violence that causes trauma – statistics say 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men have been sexually abused at some time, thousands are involved in car accidents. Basically any situation where the natural reaction of fight or flight is blocked can cause trauma. It is important to remember that a lot of us have been going through some of that and still carry old traumas around while being exposed to new ones…

The police and prison “services” specialise in deliberately creating traumatising conditions, especially aimed at breaking resistance. Beatings, arrests, isolation custody, violation of rights, threats, lies… Their attempt is focused on creating fear, on getting inside our heads and stopping us from taking action again. We feel that inside our movement this “internal censorship” has really not been addressed and talked about. What stops us from getting where we want to get? Sometimes real obstacles – and lots of times, our fear. Their strategy is a psychological one – they beat one of us up and a hundred get scared and feel blocked. And maybe the one who got beaten up never goes back on the streets. This is how repression works. And this is why we need to start talking about what we are going to do about it.

The powers of repression are in their hands – the more effective we are in our struggle, the harder the repression – but it is in our hands how we respond to it. What we are going to do with our fear, what we are going to do about our pain, how do we support each other through all this and how do we show our solidarity. And how do we, as activists, start to model better ways of being, start to create a world where we can be strong but also vulnerable, where acknowledging our need for support is respected rather than pathologised, where fighters also take care of themselves and of each other.

Trauma work is part of resistance.

Activist-Trauma Support was started in 2005 in order to provide support especially during and after the G8 in Scotland. Previous experiences have shown that while self-organised medical support for victims of police violence was quite effective, there was a serious lack of assistance on a psychological level.

Working during the G8

For some, the idea for ATS was born from experiences from the Aubonne Bridge Action against the G8 in Evian 2003 (www.aubonnebridge.net). In Aubonne one person was seriously physically injured – and got lots of support. However several others suffered from various degrees of psychological trauma but did not get the support they needed. This was when we realized the pressing need for organised awareness raising, information and support.

In preparation for Gleneagles a 6-day training was organised with a professional trainer from a charity focused on trauma care called ASSIST (www.traumatic-stress.freeserve.co.uk). Most of these participants, plus some new people afterwards, formed the Activist Trauma Support for the G8 in Scotland. As far as we know it was the first time active trauma support has been taken on board for a big mobilisation. It was new ground to step on since no experience could be called upon from previous times and we spent a lot of time in advance trying to figure out what would be needed and useful. In the end the group which was offering emotional first aid was split between the campsite in Stirling, where a big recovery dome was set up, and Edinburgh in the Forest Café, on the ground floor of the Indymedia Centre, where the missing persons helpline and prisoner/friends support were also organised from. Both groups ran a 24hr phone helpline.

The recovery dome saw a steady flow of people coming to find somebody to talk about what they where going through, to get a massage (which also often ended up fulfilling the same purpose), to find a quiet place to cry, to retreat or to just calm down with a cup of tea and a blanket. Some people came once, some several times. It seemed that our presence in itself was known by quite a lot of the people there and it gave them some level of comfort even if they did not use the facilities – rather like the assurance when you know there is a medical first aid tent. Situated in a quiet corner of the eco-village, the recovery dome made up part of a healing area that contributed a bit of space and calm on the edge of some very frenetic activity.

At the office in Edinburgh, phone support and personal support took place, but turned out to be much less needed than at the campsite. So we started focusing on avoidance of trauma – doing prisoner support (sending cards, money, organising visits) and helping their friends out (making phones available to call families, lawyers, police stations, embassies…). This was not originally intended to be part of our work but turned out to be very useful. We also think it proved effective in blurring the distinction between “trauma support” (which sounds quite dramatic and off-putting), prisoner support and “general welfare”. We want to normalise and destigmatise trauma, but we recognise there is a long way to go.

We also realised that the first thing people need after distressing experiences is to see their friends, and a lot of the times in such situations it can be hard to find them, which can be very upsetting in itself. That is why we had also set up a missing persons helpline, which was run in close connection to the legal team. This also served to deblock their phoneline from people calling to find out about their mates.

Furthermore we organised a secret “safe space” some miles away from any action for people who really needed to get out of the area. It fortunately proved not to be necessary this time (at least we hope this is true).

In terms of education we had set up www.activist-trauma.net, printed and distributed flyers about what we offered and what to do after instances of brutality, as well as a 6-page briefing about PTS”D”. Fliers also gave information and advice to friends and family of people in distress, on ways to offer support, and help prevent PTS”D” from developing. We also did a few workshops, but should have done more and advertised them better.

The long-term support on phone, email and in person after the G8 was less than expected, (not sure if it was not needed or if people felt reluctant to use it or if we did not do sufficient outreach), but the hits on our webpage after the G8 were really high. We have started setting up a public contact base for support, accessible through the webpage, where people who need help can find people who offer to help in different ways.

Experiences, lessons learnt and conclusions.

After a month we had an internal weekend with the aims of debriefing and looking into group dynamics, and then evaluating our work in order to draw lessons for other people who might want to do this work.*

The general consensus was that all of us enjoyed doing the work: it felt useful, appreciated and it is rewarding to feel that somebody actually feels better after talking to you.

Internal group dynamics are often complicated and this is especially true if people have been traumatised in the past, as all of the people in the working group had in some way or other. Summits are stressful situations at the best of times, they “trigger” people’s memories and remind them of previous traumatic situations. Additional factors were that a lot of the people did not really know each other beforehand and had very different personal and professional backgrounds and attitudes.

We concluded it would be better for a future trauma support group to really try and get to know each other beforehand and put effort into trust building and group bonding, since we need to be able to draw strength from the group rather than having to deal with internal conflict. It might have been a good idea to have an external supervisor on site who was independent of the group and could provide support for the supporters and group facilitation if necessary.

From the beginning we had made it clear amongst ourselves that we were offering emotional first aid and not therapy or deep counselling, since a campsite with police at the gate is not the right space for that, and therapy is a longer term project anyway. It turned out that it is not so easy to draw the line and opinions differ with different theoretical orientations. For any future work we think it would be important to have an in-depth exploration of this topic beforehand and to agree on some ground rules.

We found out that trauma support is very narrowly focused and naturally ended up doing other mental health work. It is difficult to draw the line and we recognise the need for broader self-organised mental health support in our movements, but at the same time due to limited resources we could only focus mainly on trauma. It also became clear that trauma work in itself during big mobilisations can’t be reduced to police brutality, because the repressive environment triggers all kinds of old trauma like childhood sexual abuse, rape and other previous experiences of brutality. It is important when doing emotional first aid to keep in mind that the person you are talking to might be carrying all kinds of old trauma with them. Also, different people need different things, so it is important to be prepared to be able to adapt to people’s specific needs and ways of coping.

There is a definite need for general welfare work – cups of tea, massages, a quiet space and blankets can make an enormous difference, and also in terms of preventing burn out. The impact of lack of sleep turned out to be widely underestimated.

It felt useful to blur general welfare and trauma support, especially since a lot of people feel uneasy about going to some kind of “trauma tent” (it would, by the way, be interesting to look at what different reasons stop people from coming). How to make trauma support “mentally” accessible for as many people as possible is a longer discussion. Co-operation with prisoner support and legal teams, co-operation with general welfare services, co-operation with medics, there are a lot of links where people can step in. In the end it is important to raise awareness about the topic and to make an effort to destigmatise it by integrating and normalising it, and making support easy to approach.

We feel we succeeded in putting the topic on the agenda. Hopefully it will become an intrinsic aspect of activist work, similar to legal and medical support. However it may take a long time to change the culture in our movements to a really supportive one, where we are not ashamed of what we feel and can be sure to be respected and supported in what we are going through. We hope this is a first step and it will be as normal to seek trauma support as going to the medics and that one day the stigma will be overcome – hopefully not only in terms of traumatic stress, but also in wider mental health.

It is not quite clear yet in which ways this work will be continued. However a few of us intend to continue this work, at least with work on the webpage and providing email/phone/personal support and information and maybe getting involved in other actions and mobilisations. If you are interested in this work, please get in touch. www.activist-trauma.net

Other useful websites:

Healing activist trauma in the States

Porn devours punk – the commodification of (another) counterculture aesthetic

Punk began as a reaction to mainstream culture; defining itself not just by its fast, discordant music, but also by its politics. Punk rockers oppose dominant, capitalist mainstream lifestyles. Bands like Discharge, The Germs, Millions of Dead Cops, and Crass, took a stand against the status quo, not just with their shocking names, but with their lifestyles as well. Bands and punk rock fans alike, often went to great lengths to show their opposition to mainstream music and lifestyles. From starting squats in abandoned buildings to putting together benefit shows against animal testing in laboratories, they believed in the tenet “do it yourself,” or DIY. Besides making music, many punks were involved in promoting equality for all people, and doing so in the face of big business.

Since the first mainstream American feminist movements, in the 1960s and 1970s, pornography has been a subject of contention between people who view any kind of pornography as another form of capitalism and patriarchy working to keep women trapped in exploitative relationships, and people who believe that erotic performance can be utilized as a tool to encourage a healthy enjoyment of sex in the face of oppressive mainstream cultural views of sex and sexuality. Regardless of what views you take on the issue of porn, it is an undeniable fact that pornography makes a lot of money, and that the largest pornography business are run by men who are more interested in making money than in changing our society’s perceptions of sex and power. According to one report, Americans spend around $10 billion a year on the (legal) sex industry. What happens when punk rock aesthetic meets up with pornography’s money machine on the internet?

Part of a new kind of internet porn claims to have brought porn and punk rock together at last. Sites like Suicide Girls, Burning Angel and SuperCult profess to combine mainstream visual erotica with subculture looks and ideas. How successfully they do this, however, is a question that remains in the forefront of many people’s minds. What’s empowering about a new aesthetic in porn? Is it possible to broaden mainstream standards of beauty, and would punk porn help? Can punk porn maintain any of its radical ideals or is it just a niche market?

Porn on the internet reaches all the markets of porn viewers, from people who look at Playboy to “hardcore” porn buffs. Many social activists and other feminists believe that porn is “not so much about sex per se as about male power exerted against females.” The creators of “alternative” porn sites say that they are reclaiming porn for women, using punk rock DIY ethics. They say that by providing a space for women who are pierced or tattooed to make porn, they are encouraging the societal acceptance of kinds of beauty that are not seen in mainstream porn. But in a world where you can find any kind of porn you want on the internet, from “all redheads” to “biker girls” to “latina ass,” are photos of naked, tattooed girls so subversive? These proprietors are exploiting a lifestyle without making anyone feel uncomfortable about the political implications of punk.

A few of the sites like Suicide Girls and Burning Angel are run by women, which is unusual in the world of internet porn. The creators claim that their sites celebrate female sexual freedom. In an interview Spooky, one of the founders of Suicide Girls, stated that “These girls are not being paid to play the part in member’s fantasies, they are being paid to be themselves.” Under the premise of letting the viewer “really” get to know each model, the girls write entries about their fantasies, their favorite foods, and what music they like to listen to, some models even keep a daily online journal. This seemingly “subversive” personalization of their porn profiles actually started in mainstream porn as a way to develop the girl next door fantasy. By providing “true” information about a model, the viewer will feel more connected to the model, and then pay for more images of her. And, by giving the model the impression of empowered autonomy, the site owners are able to pay less per model than in mainstream porn. This pretext of intimacy isn’t subversive—it’s good marketing.

Embracing at least part of the DIY idea, many of these sites don’t employ professional photographers. Rather, they encourage the girls to take pictures themselves and then upload them to their profile page. While the models get to pick what sort of photos they want shown, it really just lowers overhead and increases profit. And, like all pay per view porn sites, punk porn offers “teaser” pictures for free, encouraging the viewer to pay with a credit card to see full nude shots. While models on Suicide Girls and other sites have some creative say in their photos, they do not get paid as much as models for other sites. Instead, a mystique had been built around these “punk porn stars.” There are Suicide Girls and Burning Angel parties held frequently in major cities around the US, and each profile has a place where viewers can rate the model. It may seem that punk pornography must be liberating to the models who, since they don’t make much money off of it, must do it for the love of posing naked. However, I don’t think that this is actually the case. In my encounters with models, both in real life and on their websites, the models and owners of the sites did not seem to get involved as a reaction to dominant porn, or as a way of turning the ideals of beauty and feminity on their heads.

Punk Porn sites claim that they are presenting images of women who are nontraditionally beautiful. Sadly, there is little truth to the claim. The sites are all run similarly, using a screening process to find and approve models that fit into some beauty standard. Even if not all the models on SuperCult are blonde with DD cups, they all fit into the “normal” category of body types. On all these sites, I have not seen one obese woman, only a few women who were discernibly not white, and no women with visible physical disabilities. If, by showing women with a few tattoos, the creators of these sites believe that they are really blowing open mainstream beauty ideals, they should probably reevaluate. If they want a captive audience who will pay for pretty young women who look alternative, they’re doing it right. There’s also another problem. Defining beauty by a market, means that one can only be beautiful if the market agrees. It’s just not possible to sell social change, because the problem of capitalism persists.

Regardless of the spin that owners put on their punk porn sites, it’s still work that women do to pay the rent or get through med school or whatever, and there are still tons of men fantasizing about women they’ll never sleep with.

Since the advent of corporate “punk” tours like the Warped Tour, and shops like Hot Topic, the “punk” aesthetic has really taken off in mainstream fashion and music. With pop singers like Avril Lavigne and Ashlee Simpson showing how sexy and non-threatening punk-looking girls can be, it is easy to see how they have made punk rock look appealing to the very people it is actually revolting against. Rather than providing a site that is truly DIY and really does show all sorts of naked punks, these websites have simply adopted the aesthetics of punk, running a corporate machine underneath. Suicide Girls recently joined forces with Playboy. And, while at first they claim they were receiving many letters about how unattractive their models were, because they were so “alternative” looking, the Playboy.com members page now features a “Suicide Girl of the Week.” Websites like Suicide Girls, Burning Angel and SuperCult may provide a specific kind of aesthetic to the viewers, just as “hot asian chicks” websites or “young white trash” magazines do, but they are not actually punk. They might present images of models with tattoos or piercings, but the sites themselves do not have anything to do with the social concerns that punk rock often embodies

Book Review: The sorcerer’s Trick: a weapon of mass deception by Morgan Two Fires Kazrmbe

Using ironic, radical and humorous analysis in the tradition of Michael Moore, author/psychologist Morgan Two Fires Kazembe takes the reader on a no holds barred journey through class and race in America—past, present and future. Combining in-depth scholarship, free verse and satirical vignettes, “The Sorcerer’s Trick” demonstrates how age-old power relations, self-deception and hidden everyday contradictions keep social control alive and well in our society. Kazembé invites the reader to look at power struggle from a new perspective, one that is spiritual as well as critical, in order to challenge the so-called “Sorcerer’s Trick”. Kazembe’s style is highly reminiscent of the politically charged, subversive comic books of famed Mexican author, Rius (“AB Che”, “Imperialism for Beginners”, etc). My Latin American soul brothers and sisters have been using gallows humor (literally) for decades to reach out to the masses about some very unpleasant political, economic and human rights truths. American Scholars, on the other hand, including African American scholars, tend to be more uptight and earnest when addressing social ills. This is why “Sorcerer’s Trick” is so refreshing. Kazembe looks at topics such as police brutality and the widening rich-poor divide in ways that are compelling as well as wacky and entertaining. Like Rius, he irreverently uses cut and paste pictures from unexpected sources ranging actual slave sales announcements from the early 1800’s to “buppy” oriented business journals. My favorite is Kazembe’s use of an old sepia photograph of a white missionary reading to a group of ragged black children to introduce his critique of Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” public education policy.

As an educator, I highly recommend “The Sorcerer’s Trick” as an introductory book for undergraduate African American, political and cultural studies courses. It is a creative alternative to the stuffy, verbose, ethnic studies literature that’s out there today. My eighteen year old students may, unfortunately, nod out when reading intellectual giants such as Cornell West. In contrast, the “Sorcerer’s Trick” is, by far, a better attention-grabber and discussion starter for the hiphop, MTV crowd.

Morgan Two Fires Kazembe hails from a small farming town in Alabama. A Viet-Nam era veteran, Dr. Kazembe has tapped into the relationship that violence and power have in impeding human potential. He has been a community psychologist and cultural/youth services leader in some of the nation’s most volatile communities for nearly three decades. He’s also a performance artist and his stage work (songs, spoken word, etc.) combine the poignant with the zany, just like his book. I caught one of his shows recently at a Salsa joint in Oakland. In a Moorish costume, surrounded by Congolese drummers and fire-twirling Algerian belly dancers, Kazembe’s spoken word performance was truly unique. I would describe it as Pan-African Dadaism with plenty of meaning and depth. The same characteristics that I found when reading “The Sorcerer’s Trick: A Weapon of Mass Deception”. “The Sorcerer’s Trick” is published out of a small Bay Area company called Crying Lion Corporation.

Infoshop update – issue #89

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 albanyinfoshop@riseup.net

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

Calendar

February

February 9-12 • noon

United Students Against Sweatshops annual conference. San Francisco Pre-register. (202) 667-9328 www.studentsagainstsweatshops.org

February 15-20

Earth First! Organizers’ Conference/Winter Rendezvous. Palm Beach County, South Florida, Everglades Youth Camp at the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area. See pg. 7.

February 19 • 5 p.m.

Slingshot new volunteer meeting – help brainstorm for issue #90 – 3124 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

February 26 • 7:30 p.m.

Dinner / benefit for The Match, long-running anarchist zine. Donation. 3124 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

February 28

Mardi Gras in New Orleans and in Berkeley. In Berkeley, link up with the parade at People’s Park at 2 p.m.

March

March 5 • Sunday • 7:30 p.m.

Dinner / benefit for Anarchy: a Journal of Desire Armed Donation. 3124 Shattuck, Berkeley

March 10 • 8 p.m.

Celebrate Slingshot Collective’s 18th birthday. Party, dancing, vegan chocolate cake after East Bay Critical Mass bike ride. Free. 3124 Shattuck, Berkeley

March 18 • 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

11th Annual San Francisco Anarchist Bookfaire! County Fair Building, 9th and Lincoln in Golden Gate Park. Speakers, tables, kid space, valet bike parking. Free.

March 18

Global protests to Stop the War in Iraq on the anniversary of the invasion scheduled in numerous cities. In SF, gather at 11 a.m. at Civic Center. Sponsored by ANSWER. www.answercoalition.org

March 19 • 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Bay Area Anarchist Conference sponsored by Bay Area Students Toward Anarchist Research and Development (BASTARD). www.sfbay-anarchists.org

March 20

Youth & student day of resistance to imperialism – walk out, sit-in, conduct an event – www.answercoalition.org

March 25 • 3 p.m.

Deadline for Slingshot #90. 3124 Shattuck, Berkeley

April

April 13-15

International Anarchist Academics and Activists Conference – culture jamming, music, film, art, discussions and demonstrations. Pitzer College, Claremont, Calif (near LA).

April 20 • 4:20 p.m.

Light one up! In Berkeley @ People’s Park.

April 23 • 11 – 5 p.m.

Celebrate the 37th anniversary of People’s Park in Berkeley – music & fun!

May

May 1

May Day – celebration and protests around the globe.

June

June 2-4

Midwest Anarchist Conference – Kansas City Tentative. More info TBA.

June 23-25

8th annual Allied Media Conference – Bowling Green, Ohio – alliedmediaconference.com.

June 23-27

Anarchist Librarians events at the annual meeting of the American Library Association – New Orleans