All posts by Slingshot collective

2011 Slingshot Organizer – a twinkle in our eyes . . .

Thanks to everyone who bought a 2010 Slingshot Organizer — they pay for this paper to be free all over the place. There are still copies available if you want to buy one. If you’re connected to a group that could help us give some free surplus copies to low-income teens or other folks who are unable to afford one, let us know. Email slingshot@tao.ca.

We’re about to start working on the 2011 Organizer which will be available October 1. Contact us now if you want to help create it — there are many ways to plug in.

• In May and June, we need help editing, correcting and improving the list of historical dates. Deadline for finishing: July 1.

• If you want to design a section of the calendar, let us know or send us random art by July 1. Deadline to finish calendar pages or give us suggestions for 2011 is August 1.

• We need all new radical contact listings and cover art submissions by August 1.

• If you have ideas for the short features we publish in the back, let us know by August 1. We try to print different features every year.

• If you’re in the Bay Area during the first two weeks of August you can 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 in mid-August. We love sharing the Organizer with ya.

Rabble Calendar issue #103

May

May 16 • 11-1 pm

City Slicker Farms Bike Tour – SF

fermentchange.org/

May 23 • 7 pm

Commemoration of 20th anniversary of car bomb attack on Judi Bari – La Peña 3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley 510-548-3113 judibari.org

May 23

Soupstock – Food Not Bombs 30th Anniversary – Boston Common – foodnotbombs.net/boston_soupstock_2010

May 29-30

Boston Skillshare – Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts bostonskillshare.org/2010/info

June

June 11 • 6 pm

Berkeley Critical Mass – Bike Prom ride – Berkeley BART

June 19-26

High Country Earth First! Gathering – San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado. feralfutures.blogspot.com/

June 22-26

US Social Forum – Detroit, Michigan ussf2010.org

June 25-27

Protest the G8 Summit – Huntsville, Ontario, Canada.

June 25 • 3 pm

Trans March leaves @ 7 – Delores Park, SF

June 26 • 3 pm

Dyke March leaves @ 7 – Dolores Park, SF

June 29-July 6

Earth First! North Woods Round River Rendezvous maine.earth-first.net

July

Week of July 4th

Rainbow gathering Location announced early June. welcomehome.org

July 7-12

Cascadia Trans & Womyn’s Action Camp! twac@riseup.net twac.wordpress.com

July 23-27

Peace News Summer Camp – Oxfordshire, UK peacenewscamp.wordpress.com

July 29-August 3

Climate Action Camp – Belgium klimaatactiekamp.org

July 30-August 9

Disarmament Summer permaculture/protest encampment at US nuke laboratory – Los Alamos, NM – thinkoutsidethebomb.org

August

August 4-9

UK EF! Summer Gathering earthfirst.org.uk/actionreports/

August 12-18

Punk Week – Ann Arbor, MI myspace.com/punkweekinfo

August 13 • 8 pm

Long Haul Infoshop 17th birthday party! 3124 Shattuck, Berkeley

August 21 – 22 • 10-5 Sat / 11-5 Sun

2010 Seattle Anarchist Book Fair – at the Vera Project (www.theveraproject.org). info info@seattleanarchist.org.

August 22 • 4 pm

Slingshot new Volunteer meeting 3124 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley

August 27-30

National Animal Rights Gathering veggies.org.uk

October

October 10

Global work party to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – 350.org

Still Blooming, Still available – Slingshot’s first book

Slingshot published its first book in 2009 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of People’s Park in Berkeley. People’s Park Still Blooming is a 200-page, full color coffee table book edited by activist and park gardener Terri Compost. It was particularly appropriate for us to publish the book since Slingshot traces its roots to the struggles surrounding the Park — grassroots street level radicals vs. The Man.

The book uses hundreds of photographs as well as interviews, news clippings and book excerpts to tell the story of People’s Park past, present and future. Since a diverse coalition of activists seized a vacant lot to build the Park in 1969, the Park has been a model for do-it-yourself direct action. In the years since 1969, generations of activists have fought to permit the users of the Park to decide how it should be developed, operated and maintained — embodying the principal of user development — in the face of constant police repression. Amidst all the riots and protests, the park still blooms as a community garden and native plant repository in a dense urban area; as a liberated zone for concerts and political rallies; and as one of t

he few places open to all people — rich and poor, homeless and housed — in an increasingly consumer-dominated Berkeley. Daily free food provided by Food Not Bombs and others draws a constantly shifting band of punks, travelers, elders, artists and marginalized people to the Park.

The book is neither a dry historical text nor mere picture book — its conception and actualization are intimately tied to a living struggle with implications far wider than just Berkeley or just a park. The struggle for the Park is the same as the global struggle for freedom, cooperation and ecological balance over hierarchy, corporations and a throw-away world.

We still have copies of the book available and we’re looking for help getting it out to the world — particularly beyond Berkeley and California, where its mostly been passed around so far. It retails for $24.95 — a lot of money but it’s worth it. Please help us clear out all these boxes of books! Check our website for mailorder or bookstores that carry it. Let us know if:

• You know of a library or bookstore that might want a copy;

• You can publish a book review.

http://slingshot.tao.ca

Introduction – Issue #101

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

This paper is a result of folks coming together to exercise their intellect, creativity, and cooperative autonomy. It is in itself an act of community and defiance in the face of capitalism. This issue of the paper contains a lot about health: physical, psychological and spiritual (variously defined).

Health care is a huge topic, with teabaggers protesting (though probably not actually teabagging) the O-man’s proposals. Why are we even debating this? Shouldn’t we all just have health care, as human beings, as beings in general? But we live in some reality none of us signed up for, and the lunatics who think capitalism is a good idea are right now trying to decide if we should be forced to pay for a broken system of so-called health care, which is really just more profit for those with money at the expense of those without. Real health is not just the absence of symptoms, but is also being free enough to choose how to live, being able to live without having to fuck others over or getting fucked over yourself.

The best prescription for health is living true to yourself, without alienation, or an alienating power telling you what to do. We here at Slingshot are struggling toward that goal, though it may be in fits and starts, with our own unexpressed anger and alienation weighing us down, with unhealed hurts blinding us to our beauty and fabulousness. Even with all our woundedness we hope to bring you, dear reader, a large slice of energy, beauty, honesty and vision.

Reports of the death of independent print media appear to be greatly exagerated, at least around the Slingshot shipping basement which fills up with paper this time of year. Together with piles of this paper and huge stacks of the 2010 Organizer, we’re excited to be publishing our first book (see ad to the right). Making a book was a lot of work and even struggle — trying to blend the collective process with the author/editor/artist’s strong ideas about how the book should be.

The point of publishing the book was to protect People’s Park, in Berkeley, from continued University of California repression — they still think they own the land under the Park — and to inspire folks everywhere to create their own parks on vacant land everywhere. Land belongs to all beings on the earth – reclaim it. We hope to have some articles about the current struggles at People’s Park, including illegal arrests of park users and a crackdown on free speech, in next issue. But for now we’ve featured other land issues including a Redwood treesit and I-69 protests.

Slingshot is always looking for new writers, artists, editors, photographers, translators, distributors & independent thinkers to make this paper happen. If you send something written, please be open to being edited.

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.

Thanks to all who made this: Aaron, Amanda, Apple, Bannannna, Bird, Bryan, Eggplant, Kathryn, Kermit, Keziah, Lesley, PB, Rena, Sal, Stephanie, Terri, 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, Dec., 13 2009 at 4 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below).

Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 102 by January 16, 2010 at 3 p.m.

Volume 1, Number 101, Circulation 19,000

Printed September 24, 2009

Slingshot Newspaper

Sponsored by Long Haul

3124 Shattuck Avenue. Berkeley, CA 94705

Phone: (510) 540-0751

slingshot@tao.ca • www.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. Outside the Bay Area, we’ll mail a free stack of Slingshot to you if you give ‘em out.

Back Issue Project

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

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Talking back to the man – Gerald Smith – Winner 4th annual Slignshot award for lifetime achievement

Slingshot awarded its 4th annual award for Lifetime Achievement to Gerald Smith at our 21st birthday party in March. Gerald has been a key member of the direct action, grassroots radical scene in the East Bay since Slingshot started in 1988, and long before that. In addition to writing for Slingshot over the years, he frequently drops by our offices for spirited discussions. Gerald challenges lazy assumptions and offers sharp critiques in a funny, comradely and engaging way.

Slingshot created our lifetime achievement award to recognize direct action radicals who have dedicated their lives to the struggle for alternatives to the current system. Front-line radicals frequently operate below the radar and lack recognition, which is too bad. While awards can be part of systems of hierarchy, a complete lack of recognition for long-term activists robs us of chances to appreciate and learn from the contributions individuals can make during a lifetime of organizing. Thanks, Gerald, for your continuing contributions to the struggle. Here’s a short biography of Gerald.

• • •

Gerald was exposed to radical activism and ideas at an early age, and he’s stayed engaged and active ever since. “When I grew up, there was an existing social movement in progress. The civil rights movement was not limited to the South. We had become a mass movement in the North. That social movement made it relatively easy for me to connect — because it was large, because it was clear, it was urgent.”

Born in 1949, he grew up in the South Bronx and went to see Malcolm X with his father when he was 10. “I was enamored of Malcolm X – I thought he was the best thing since sliced bread.” But Gerald didn’t find Malcolm’s religious rhetoric convincing — Gerald had already read and rejected the Bible and religion by the time he was 10.

When Gerald was 14, he joined the NAACP youth group but he found it to be bureaucratic and timid. “The NAACP was afraid of young people — we never made decisions on our own.” So Gerald joined CORE [Congress of Racial Equality] and started organizing rent strikes in Harlem during 1964 and 65. He contrasts activism in the mid-1960s to activism now, noting that at that time, just hanging a flier in a building advertising a tenant’s meeting would bring a significant portion of the tenants to a meeting, ready to go on strike. “It was easy because the buildings were falling down. It was very clear that unity in action – you could actually win things. Now there is extreme alienation – people on the same block don’t even know each other.” Back in 1960s “even in a 14 story project, we tended to know each other.” The rent strikes in Harlem proved extremely effective, as building after building struck and won improved conditions.

In 1967, Gerald entered Manhattan Community College. “That’s when I really started to get political.” He worked on a broad range of political action on the campus. In 1969, he joined the Black Panthers, inspired by the Black Panther 21 case. “It was so clear that they were being framed up. I thought, if they’re framing them up, these guys must be revolutionaries.” Gerald notes that the Panthers were the best people he ever worked with. He worked on the takeover of Lincoln Hospital with the Young Lords and helped run the Martin Luther King, Jr. Liberation School, a free school run by radicals. He also sold the Black Panther paper and continued working on housing protests and strikes. But mostly, he worked on the Panther 21 case.

When the Panthers split in 1971 with ugly arguments broadcast on mainstream TV, Gerald entered a period of serious study trying to understand what had gone wrong. He became more committed to the radical struggle. During this period, he moved away from a black nationalist position and moved towards a class analysis. While he knew that “the oppression is all intertwined” he concluded that “blacks alone couldn’t overthrow capitalism by themselves” and he rejected the multi-vanguardist ideas of the times. He became a socialist.

In 1975 Gerald moved to the Bay Area and soon became involved in the Camp Pendleton 13 case. Black soldiers were facing years in prison after they defended themselves against KKK activity. The campaign achieved complete victory with all charges dropped. He met other activists through the campaign and ultimately joined the Peace and Freedom Party. During the 90s and in the last decade, Gerald has run for statewide public office a number of times as a PFP candidate.

In 1984, Gerald worked on the Longshore Union’s refusal to unload South African ships to protest apartheid. That drew him to the anti-apartheid movement at the University of California, Berkeley, which saw a huge, on-going sit-in in 1984 and a militant shantytown protest in 1985. In 1990, working with activists he met during the anti-apartheid struggle, Gerald was one of the founders of Copwatch in Berkeley, which eventually spread worldwide. He’s worked with Copwatch in Berkeley ever since.

In the mid-1990s, Gerald was one of the early DJs at Free Radio Berkeley, an unlicensed micro-powered radio station at 104.1 FM. Gerald has also worked with KALX, on the Amandla Program, and volunteered at KPOO and KPFA. In 1999, helped organize street protests against a Pacifica takeover of KPFA. Currently he is running for the KPFA board.

He’s also stayed involved supporting political prisoners including imprisoned journalist Mumia Abu Jamal and more recently, ex-Black Panthers charged with murder known as the SF8.

A high point of his activism was when he helped organize a one-day, West coast-wide longshore strike to protest the imprisonment of journalist Mumia Abu Jamal. Seeing the power of collective action, he reflects “this is what keeps you going–this is real. [The action made clear] what this could be — people joining together for a just world – that stays with you.”

It isn’t easy to keep struggling, year after year, avoiding burnout or getting discouraged and bitter. On a trip to France for a worker’s festival, Gerald realized how backward the US struggle was compared to rest of the world. “But I wasn’t discouraged. I thought ‘I’m going to measure up – I’m going to improve.’” Perhaps it is that ability to look at the historical moment and see an opportunity for struggle — rather than a hopeless situation — that enables Gerald to keep on keeping on.

Rabble Calendar

October

October 17-18

Seattle Anarchist Bookfair – Underground Events Center www.seattleanarchist.org

October 17 • 11 am

Anti-war march and rally – UN Plaza SF

October 22 • 7 pm

Book release party for Slingshot’s new book, People’s Park Still Blooming. Modern Times Books 888 Valencia, SF

October 22

14th National Day of Protest to stop police brutality, repression and the criminalization of a generation

October 24

International day of Climate Action 350.org

October 25 • 9 am – 6 pm

Westfest – 40th anniversary of Woodstock music festival. Speedway Meadows, Golden Gate Park SF

October 30 • 6 pm

San Francisco Halloween Critical Mass bike ride. Dress up – Justin Herman Plaza

November

November 1

World Vegan Day www.worldveganday.org

November 7 • 7 pm

Book Party “Father Bill: Reflections of a Beloved Rebel” Berkeley Unitarians 1924 Cedar at Bonita www.bfuu.org

November 14 • 7 pm

Art as Propaganda Workshop series: Fashion as Protest and Inspiration: Queer, Punk and Freak Fashion 625 Larkin St. #202 SF www.radicalwomen.org

November 21-28

Caravan in Support of Communities on the front lines of resistance at Black Mesa, AZ 928.773.8086 www.blackmesais.org

November 20-22

Mass Mobilization to Shut Down the School of the Americas Ft. Benning, GA soaw.org

November 27

Buy Nothing Day – protest consumerism everywhere! buynothingday.org

November 30

Mass global action to stop climate change. Lots of cities – actforclimatejustice.org

December

December 7 – 18

Global protest against false solutions at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark – pick a protest in your local area

December 13 • 4 pm

Slingshot new volunteer meeting 3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley 510 540-0751

January, 2010

January 16 • 3 pm

Slingshot article deadline for issue #102 – 3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley

February

February 10-15

Protest the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC Canada. Convergence of anti-colonial and anti-capitalist forces to confront corporate invasion, displacement, and state repression. No2010.com

Introduction to issue # 100

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

This issue is numbered issue #100, which is some kind of a milestone, but we decided not to make such a big deal of it. Numbers are arbitrary anyway — if we had 6 fingers on our hands and not 5, we would probably count in base 12 and the significant issue number would be 144. Moreover, due to a numbering error when some collective members left and the new collective got confused about which issue number they were on, our numbering jumped from issue #35 to #38 — there are no issues 36 and 37.

Even if it has only been 98 issues, making Slingshot for one issue or for 21 years is a wild ride. When we write about the sense of cooperation, engagement and freedom we seek in the larger society, we’re informed in a tiny way by getting to experience life making the paper. Working in a volunteer collective where everyone is there freely because they want to be is so radically different from how the world works outside the Long Haul.

In the “real world” you work a job you hate to scrape together some money because you know you live in a cold, lonely, hostile world and no one is going to help you out unless you can pay. In a collective, we try to help each other and share. It isn’t perfect and it doesn’t always work, but making Slingshot we at least get a chance to try to live based on different rules and assumptions for a few days every few months. And the infrequent bouts making Slingshot tend to seep out and inform our lives all the time. If you want to glimpse a different world, the best place to start is doing some tiny thing differently and see how far it can go.

• • •

At Slingshot’s 21st birthday party, we gave our annual Golden Wingnut award for lifetime achievement to Gerald Smith. Gerald has spent his whole life struggling for freedom and justice and we hope to feature his biography in the next issue.

This summer we’ll be working on making the 2010 organizer calendar. Please send us artwork, info for the radical contact list, your ideas for historical dates, cover graphics and anything else you want to see in the Organizer. The deadline for historical dates is June 26 and the deadline for everything else is July 31. If you’re in the bay area in early August, join us for 2 fun weeks to make the organizer. It will be available October 1. By the way, we still have a bunch of leftover 2009 organizers — let us know if you could help us get them to folks who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them like prisoners, youth, homeless, etc.

Slingshot is always looking for new writers, artists, editors, photographers, translators, distributors & independent thinkers to make this paper. If you send something written, please be open to being edited.

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 all who made this: Aaron, Ayr, Bryan, Canyon, Chelsea, Compost, Crystal, Eggplant, Enola, Gregg, Kathryn, Kermit, Kristy, PB, Rezz, Samantha, Stephanie, Will 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, August 16, 2009 at 4 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline and Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 101 by September 12, 2009 at 3 p.m.

Volume 1, Number 100, Circulation 18,000

Printed April 24, 2009

Slingshot Newspaper

Sponsored by Long Haul

3124 Shattuck Avenue. Berkeley, CA 94705

Phone: (510) 540-0751

slingshot@tao.ca • www.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. Outside the Bay Area, we’ll mail a free stack of copies of Slingshot to you if you give them out free. Or visit our office.

Back Issue Project

We’ll send you a random assortment of back issues for the cost of postage: send us $3 for 2 lbs or $4 for 3 lbs. Free if you’re an infoshop or library. Or drop by our office. Send cash or check to Slingshot 3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA 94705. Special issue #100 deal — send us $100 and we’ll send you the 90+ issues we have in our file including some very rare ones, plus a back copy of available organizers. About 10 lbs of reading!

Introduction to issue #99

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

Making this issue was an exciting yo-yo. During editing weekend, there were a dozen people and a lot of good articles actually turned in on time! But then a week later right before layout started, it looked like just a handful of us were available to do 20 pages. Imagine our collective surprise when an overflow crowd of people showed up from all directions to make the paper happen in terrific style — some people we already knew and a bunch of folks whom we had the pleasure of meeting for the first time.

How many people out there may be looking for opportunities to plug into collective projects like publishing Slingshot? Sometimes it can feel like there’s barely enough energy to keep a handful of alternative projects afloat, but just below the surface there are hidden reservoirs of energy just aching to express themselves. Like throwing a message in a bottle into the ocean, we need to take the risk of seeking community, engagement and action. And we hope this applies to direct actions of all kinds, not just publishing zines.

The protests that turned into riots to protest the murder of Oscar Grant could be a preview of things to come this year. People are straining on the sidewalks, ready to take the street. If you’ve been imagining building that community garden, starting that free clinic, carrying that sign or erecting that barricade, this is the year to turn your dream into reality.

• • •

We had an unusually large number of article submissions for this issue and had to cut a number of them because there wasn’t enough space. In the computer age, less and less materials get physically published on paper — where physical space is a limitation — and more and more writing ends up on-line, where length is irrelevant. The collective discussed whether it would make sense to publish a shadow on-line edition containing articles we received but didn’t include in the paper edition due to space considerations. The discussion felt funny. We don’t want radical print publications to be entirely replaced by the internet, but we don’t want to stick our heads in the sand and refuse to engage with other forums for distributing information. Let us know what you think. As an experiment, if you look at the on-line edition of this paper, you’ll see a few articles that we didn’t print.

We get lots of letters that we could have published, but many of them didn’t react to what we publish in very interesting ways. So we ended up cutting the letters section and publishing a page of obituaries, instead. The lives described in the obits are messages to all of us about how to find meaning through resistance and action.

We neglected to include an obituary of anarchist political prisoner, writer, painter, and jailhouse lawyer Harold H. Thompson who passed away, November 11th 2008, in the West Tennessee State Penitentiary. May he finally be free.

We also missed getting an article on the RNC8. An angry voicemail from a corporate newspaper organization claimed that someone had put a stack of Slingshot papers in their newspaper boxes somewhere in southern California. Of course they threw our papers away. If you’re a volunteer distributor, keep that in mind — Slingshots like to end up in places they won’t get thrown away.

Slingshot is always looking for new writers, artists, editors, photographers, translators, distributors & independent thinkers to make this paper. If you send in something written, please be open to being edited.

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. Please stop peeing in the drinking water.

Thanks to all who made this: Asphalt, Cometbus, Compost, Crystal, Daisy, Dominique, Eggplant, Ginger, Glenn, Gregg, Gerald, Hunter, Julia, Justin, Kate, Kathryn, Kermit, Kerry, Lesley, Melissa, Memoria Collectiva, PB, Samantha, Stephanie, Will, Xarique 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, March 8, 2009 at 4 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline and Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 100 (!) by April 11 2009 at 3 p.m.

Volume 1, Number 99, Circulation 20,000

Printed January 30, 2009

Slingshot Collective

Sponsored by Long Haul

3124 Shattuck Avenue. Berkeley, CA 94705

Phone: (510) 540-0751

slingshot@tao.ca • www.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 for back issues. Outside the Bay Area, we’ll mail a free stack of copies of Slingshot to you if you give them out free.

Introduction – Issue #98

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

In the moments after the police and FBI raided our offices at Long Haul — seizing all Slingshot computers and looking through our files — we wondered if we shouldn’t delay publication of this issue to give us time to regroup and recover. It is a funny thing when cops take your computers especially if you don’t really like computers in the first place. Maybe we shouldn’t bother to try to get them back — maybe we should free ourselves from this machine dependence.

Within a few days, we regained our composure and realized publishing this issue — on time and as awsomely as possible — was our best response to the police raid. So here it is. We initially discussed doing a shorter issue, avoiding articles that needed extra work, trying not to stay up so late or push ourselves as hard. These would actually be reasonable ideas every issue — why do we need a police raid as an excuse to balance our passion for making Slingshot with remembering to eat well, sleep more than 5 hours, and take time to dig in the garden between long-ass meetings?

Making this paper is a massive amount of work — it takes a dozen of us two weekends working long hours and requires a lot of organization and attention to detail. But it doesn’t feel like work — we don’t get tired — we look forward to doing Slingshot.

Artnoose wrote “Slingshot loft is the fountain ‘o youth” on a piece of paper where we make Slingshot and we keep realizing how true this is. While we were making the 2009 Slingshot Organizer, we realized that making Slingshot is like staying up half the night at a really good dance party, except that instead of dancing, we write stuff, edit it, make art, and try to figure out what record to put on and what we’re going to eat next.

The flood of creativity, bonding and getting to know other people in the collective — cooperating and struggling and discussing — you feel engaged, alive and present. It feels like you’re young and fresh — as opposed to the times you feel checked out, stuck in a rut, unable to get beyond the daily grind and see beyond the messy psychic spaces you inhabit. It is clear that feeling youthful isn’t mostly about your age — it’s really about how you approach life, and even more about how you actually live it. Making Slingshot or giving your all to any project isn’t a “sacrifice to the cause” — it’s a gift to enjoy and share with others that makes life meaningful.

And yet life isn’t always meaningful or inspiring or even possible to comprehend. We keep grappling with the stark contradictions between the moments of grief, regret, heartbreak, and the moments when everything falls into place and makes sense. How can life be so uneven?

Right before Slingshot collective started working on this issue, we heard that a collective member had fallen off an overpass and was in the hospital with spinal injuries. As of press time, we don’t know what happened or whether she will be okay. She wrote an email a few days before the fall saying “my mental health is deteriorating this past month and I am thinking of going in hospital.” We are so fragile and so alone and yet we are also part of something larger than ourselves — we have to be to find joy in this life.

The government fucked us over again on September 11 when they changed the rules for mailing items “bound printed matter” so that this cheaper class of mailing is only available to huge corporations, not independent zines like us. As we go to press, we aren’t sure how we’ll be able to mail out this issue . . . These creeping barriers to the free exchange of information are just as powerful as police raids, only harder to notice. And yet we’re not going to let all this put us off being part of the struggle for liberation.

Slingshot is always looking for new writers, artists, editors, photographers, translators, distributors & independent thinkers to make this paper. If you send something written, please be open to being edited.

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 all who made this: Compost, Crystal, Dominique, Eggplant, Ginger, Gregg, Hunter, JB, Kathryn, Kelly, Kermit, Kirsty, Lesley, Lelah, Max, Mando, Melissa, PB, Samantha 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, November 30, 2008 at 4 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline and Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 99 by January, 17 2009 at 3 p.m.

Volume 1, Number 98, Circulation 17,000

Printed September 26, 2008

Slingshot Newspaper

Sponsored by Long Haul

3124 Shattuck Avenue. Berkeley, CA 94705

Phone: (510) 540-0751

slingshot@tao.ca • www.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 issues. Outside the Bay Area, we’ll mail a free stack of copies of Slingshot to you if you give them out free.

Introduction – Slingshot issue #97

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

We’ve managed to pull off another issue, despite the fact that half the articles arrived after deadline and we got consumed endlessly rewriting everything late into the night. It didn’t help that there was a full moon, crazy windy weather, another bicyclist got hit by a car right outside our office window, and some of us celebrated 4:20 on 4/20.

Looking around the circle at our last, sleep deprived, bleary eyed meeting, we weren’t stressed out, sullen or frustrated — we felt an exhausted elation. Like lovers who make love too damn long, sometimes doing Slingshot is so fun and invigorating that we don’t know how to find balance and keep perspective. Sitting in that circle, we weren’t just talking about replacing consumerism with community and coercion with cooperation — we were actually living it. Making Slingshot together inspires and connects us in ways that rarely happen in everyday life.

We worked on this issue with the sun shining in from the roof warming our backs. We work in a loft in the Long Haul Infoshop, a space inhabited by people talking, eating — having meetings and events. The lack of privacy and quiet and public engagement can be challenging, yet the influx of new people bringing art, ideas, feeding us, and spontaneously getting involved is probably the reason the paper gets done when we are overwhelmed .

There was a lot happening in the world that didn’t make it into article form this time around. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan rage on. In Berkeley a modest on-going Code Pink demonstration against the Marine recruiting station attracted hundreds of flag-waving counter-demonstrators, leading to a large chaotic scene. Right-wingers, incensed at a tiny article about Code Pink in last issue, have flooded our email box with hate and threats. We cover a lot of Berkeley oriented actions like this protest that could serve as inspiration for actions elsewhere. Almost every city has a military recruiting station . . .

Past Slingshot articles warned that the biofuel craze could lead to food shortages and pointed out the morbidity of cramming food into gas tanks. Now this summer, the prices of food staples such as rice and grains are rising, with unrest and the misery of famine looming. The contortions of trying to square the circle of never-ending economic expansion and declining resources look more and more painful.

Slingshot is always looking for new writers, artists, editors, photographers, translators, distributors & independent thinkers to make this paper. If you send something written, please be open to being edited.

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 all who made this: Apple, Compost, Dominique, Eggplant, Ginger, Gregg, Hunter, Izzi, Katie, Kathryn, Kermit, Melissa, PB, Samantha, Sean, Stephanie, Xarique and all the authors.

Slingshot New Volunteer Meeting

Volunteers interested in getting involved with Slingshot can come to the new volunteer meeting on Sunday, August 17, 2008 at 4 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below).

Article Deadline and Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 98 by September 13, 2008 at 3 p.m.

Volume 1, Number 97, Circulation 16,000

Printed April 24, 2008

Slingshot Newspaper

Sponsored by Long Haul

3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA 94705

Phone: (510) 540-0751

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

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. Subscriptions to Slingshot are free to prisoners, low income and anyone in the USA who has a Slingshot organizer, or cost $1 per issue. International is $2.50 per issue. Back issues are 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.

Back issue Project

We’ll send you a random assortment of back issues for the cost of postage: send us $3 for 2 lbs or $4 for 3 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.