Category Archives: Issue #118: Spring 2015

The Mesh Spring – The Nodes are Coming!

By SudoMesh

The Internet can put the world’s knowledge at the fingertips of a young student. It can provide access to tools for community building. It can give a voice to those who have been politically marginalized. But for many of Oakland’s citizens, access to the internet is still a luxury.

Luckily, Oakland’s Sudomesh group is working to bring free and open internet access to all of Oakland’s citizens though the People’s Open Network. The Sudomesh group is a volunteer organization that is building out a free, open, decentralized wireless internet network using technology known as “wireless mesh networking.” The mesh network relies on a series of wireless antennas spread throughout Oakland. Internet traffic is able to hop from node to node and automatically route traffic around slower nodes or holes in the network. The main advantage of this decentralized system is that it allows communities to provide free internet access without having to rely on monopoly internet service providers like Comcast or AT&T. Mesh network systems are also extremely fault-tolerant; in the event of a natural disaster it is possible for the mesh network to continue to provide internet and communications to Oakland’s residents even if the main internet providers go down.

For the past few years the group has been hard at work coding and testing a small-scale test network. Now the group is ready to expand out the network to all of Oakland. Every Sunday the group gets together to mount new wireless “nodes” on homes and businesses throughout Oakland. Thanks to generous donations of money, equipment and time, Oakland’s free mesh internet is expanding quickly. Each weekend brings the group closer to the goal of providing free, open internet to all of Oakland. For donations, to volunteer time or to join the People’s Open Network, visit peoplesopen.net.

 

Let Me Speak

By Matti Salminen

Sometimes I like to allow myself to speak only to myself. And I don’t feel this is something which I should be ostracized for…period. Yes, I am someone diagnosed with schizophrenia—and I am goddamned proud of it. I am proud of all the days I’ve spent in isolation, in misery, ashamed that I could not function in this world well enough to be independent. I am proud that growing up did not come easily to me. Without my distaste for normalcy—and my penchant for a disordered life—I’d be boring.

A while back I saw an adolescent acknowledge and say hi to a person who can often be seen talking to herself. Others in this young person’s group laughed and made fun of the eccentric woman. But kids are just kids. And I do not want to judge others as unkempt any more than I like to be judged so myself. However, I would like to be as unashamed of my madness as the person whom those kids were ridiculing.

Social difference runs deep in the fabric of my character. It goes back to the first and second grade. Throughout my childhood and adolescence I was not unpopular, but very fringe. Then in my adulthood I was hard working; but maybe too broadminded to fit into the nine to five routine. Then, at the age of 22, I decided to abstain from sexual intercourse for an entire four years. The intention was to do a spiritual cleanse with which to find fertile soil deep in the recesses of my mind. My desired outcome was to develop my own code of ethics. But in that time of exile I slipped into madness. Where I intended to find a root to my existence, I found a portal. This portal—once I entered it—led to the exact state of consciousness I hoped for when I set out to abstain. I have created a philosophy of learning that is my code of ethics. But because this journey to the “fertile soul” led to suicide attempts and incarcerations—I’m crazy.

Living in exile, you learn to find resources in your psyche to cope with the fear of losing your mind. Ironically, talking to myself is something that I’ve found helpful in times of emotional depravity. I do not think that I—or anyone else—who wishes to talk to themselves should have to hide this for fear of being ostracized. Talking to one’s self does not mean a person is not presently aware of their surroundings. It does not mean that they do not have the rationale to engage with another person. And it certainly does not mean they deserve to be treated as though they were on trial.

Any and all eccentricities can be contorted into perceived “mental illness.” For proof, just look to see how much money the psycho-pharmaceutical industry is raking in. And at how the rate of diagnosed mental illness has risen in developed nations. All of us should feel as though we have a right to the mind-states we choose…or…do not choose. No one should have the power to say that my differences make me less employable or otherwise fit for society. Mad Pride is a movement for all people to be able to be themselves freely.

Viva Ché Café: Notes from a San Diego Venue/Infoshop

When you visit the Ché Café, a collectively operated all-ages show space and café on the University of California San Diego campus, the first thing you see are colorful, slightly messy murals covering a low tattered wood building – nothing sterile, professional, expensive or polished in sight, but rather an obviously do-it-yourself space run by volunteers because they love what they’re doing. It’s a stark contrast to the soulless mediocrity everywhere else in the world churned out by armies of employees who hate their jobs. Perhaps this explains why the University of California is so bent on destroying the Ché: they want to make sure no one sees examples of alternatives to the dominant structures.

After years of pressure, the University won an eviction lawsuit in November, but while the case is on appeal the Ché Café is still going – and the struggle against the university’s attempts to snuff out counter-cultural landmarks continues. Ché Café has hosted hundreds of punk and alternative music shows over 35 years, including big names and unknown acts alike. At UC Davis, the university administration tried to destroy the iconic Domes housing cooperative, but was forced to back down. At UC Berkeley, counter-culture holdout Cloyne Court was evicted and sterilized last year. The Ché’s future is still up in the air.

In addition to petition drives and student organizing at UCSD, members of the performing arts community have called a boycott of all artistic engagements on the UC San Diego campus to save the Ché. The boycott letter demands:

1. Stop all attacks on the Ché Café and reverse its eviction efforts.

2. Refrain from enforcing a lockout of the Ché Café and refrain from using any form of violence, force, law enforcement, or other drastic and coercive tactics against members of the Ché Café Collective and its supporters.

3. Work alongside representatives of the student body to recognize the Ché Café for the historical landmark and unique creative venue that it is.

4. Restore funding to the Ché Café and allow students and supporters to fulfill a dynamic and creative vision for the use of the space.

If you want to help the Ché, you can contact university and state officials, or donate money. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. Contact thec hecafe.blogspot.com.

Shannon Williams (1966 – 2015)

By Gerrard Winstanley

On January 20th, Shannon Williams, a great friend, a great mom, a sex worker, and a passionate and articulate advocate for sex workers’ rights, died of brain cancer. She was 48 years old. The illness was sudden and a large community of family, friends and comrades have been in shock and have been grieving for her.  Lots of us in the Bay Area knew Shannon or would recognize her. We marched on the street with her, tangled with cops together, played with her sons, talked about anarchism, or teaching, or fucking, or cool science. We made s’mores with her around a campfire or swam naked in rivers together. The really lucky ones got to love her and be loved back.  Shannon was a total knockout.

At two memorials for her, Shannon was remembered by family and friends for her openness and warmth, her wit and her bravery. Shannon was a person you wanted to get to know.  She was a really grounded person but also adventurous and idealist.  She didn’t hide her emotions and pretty much always told you how it was. She was a good talker and didn’t shy from an argument. (Unless it was stupid, and she’d tell you so.)

Shannon sometimes called herself an anarchist.  I think her anarchism, like Emma Goldman’s, was based in an aggressive optimism about people and their ability to change or to just roll with something good.  I’ll never forget how unfazed she would be when her then two-year old son would do things that would cause lots of other parents to freak out.  Once at a restaurant, I saw little Gabriel go up to another table and take food from someone else’s plate.  When I pointed it out, Shannon said “It’s fine, they’re adults, right? They can handle it.” And she was right. Like his mom, the kid knew how to make friends.  At the time of her death, Shannon was also doing a beautiful job raising two other boys, aged 7 and 9.

Shannon’s advocacy for sex workers really picked up steam after her bust for prostitution in Oakland in 2003. At the time, Shannon was a public school teacher in Berkeley, and the right-wing discourse that blamed “bad teachers” for everything from poverty to violent crime was gaining momentum.  After the press picked up on the “prostitute teacher” story, Shannon fought to get her teaching job back and asserted that consensual sexual acts between adults should not be outlawed. As she told the press at the time, “as a feminist, I believe in every woman’s right to self-determination, and that includes sexually and economically.”

She ultimately did not go back to teaching (at least not in a classroom) and decided to spend more time on advocacy.  Aside from counseling other sex workers at Saint James Infirmary, Shannon worked politically to decriminalize prostitution and combat the agenda that equated sex work with human trafficking. She helped get the city of SF to stop the cops from the absurd and abusive practice of using the possession of condoms as evidence for prostitution. When she died, she was working on a campaign to gain immunity from prosecution for sex workers who report a violent crime against themselves or one of their comrades.  It’s barbarous that a cop would try to arrest someone for prostitution who goes to the police in desperation after a violent assault or rape.  Shannon’s fierceness and plain-spoken reasoning will be missed in that fight and in others to come.  And her generosity and beauty will be missed by everyone who knew and loved her.

 

Freedom Machines Against Bike Helmet Laws

By Jesse D. Palmer

Let’s hope that a proposed law that would require adult bicyclists in California to wear helmets will be defeated – not just because it won’t save lives and will limit the expansion of bicycling, but because the government should keep its filthy hands off of our beautiful, liberatory bicycles. California State Senate Bill 192, introduced in February by Sen. Carol Liu, would make California the first US state to require adults to wear bike helmets, and would also require reflective clothing at night, under penalty of $25 fines.

Pro-bike groups point out that the law will set up an unnecessary barrier to casual bicycling and imply that bikes are dangerous and sport-like, which will discourage people from biking. Studies are divided as to how much safer one is wearing a helmet, bike advocates point out, but what is certain is that as more cyclists fill the streets, we become more visible and it becomes safer for everyone to bicycle. While bicycling has increased dramatically in California since 2000, the rate of injury has dropped by 45%.

An hour of bicycling is twice as safe as an hour riding in a car, plus the physical activity of bicycling dramatically reduces risk of health problems associated with inactivity. According to the California Bicycle Coalition citing a 2011 British Medical Journal study, “bicycling with or without a helmet saves as many as 77 lives for every life lost in a crash.” After Australia required all adults to wear helmets in the early ’90s, the rate of cycling began declining, according to a World Transport Policy and Practice study.

But let’s be clear – one of the greatest strengths of bicycles as a technology, as a community, and as a way of life is that biking is free, mostly unregulated, cheap and therefore egalitarian, ecologically sustainable, constantly inspiring, beautiful, graceful, balanced, healthy fun, joyful, and sexy. Bicyclists obey the laws of physics and nature, keenly aware of gravity, hills, wind conditions, light and weather. We’re small and vulnerable, so we pay close attention while we’re riding and bike defensively – not because of laws, but because of common sense. When we come to a stop sign with no cars in sight, we preserve our momentum and roll right through. Not just criminal cyclists ride like this— every bicyclist rides like this.

Bikes are one of the last areas of life where you don’t need a license, registration, insurance, or dependence on a huge corporation for fuel. Bikes are do-it-yourself – you power yourself, you can fix them yourself, a basic used one is cheap, it’s free and quick to park, and they promote, self-reliance, de-centralization, and independence.

Because of these factors, bicyclists share a strong sense of community, cooperation, sharing, and love. We wave and say hi when we pass each other; if we see someone who needs help we stop; and when we see other cyclists, it makes us happy, not filled with road rage.

Bicycling promotes a rolling meditative engagement with the world in which you notice your breathing, your heartbeat, the air’s smell, and the colors of plants and houses you pass. Unlike driving, you don’t become hypnotized and tuned out – isolated and insulated from the world around you. Bicyclists focus on and appreciate the people and neighborhoods close to them. Unsustainable fossil-fueled transit warps one’s sense of speed, time and space by giving the illusion that going fast and far is easy. This is a selfish, shortsighted, outdated illusion we must move beyond to survive on our fragile planet.

Bicycles are freedom machines that help us think, live, and interact in new more healthy, sustainable and respectful ways. As the world teeters on the brink of collapse, it’s crucial that we defend and expand wild unregulated corners of reality that are thriving free from the oppressive weight of corporations and their government bureaucracies. The biggest risk to cyclists are cars driven recklessly by yahoos who yell “wear a helmet” to every bicyclist they see. Get on your bike and ride, and, if you want, wear a helmet sometimes.

Zine Reviews

Zines are given special consideration here because we encourage people to make a tangible document over thought explored only online. One way to view a zine maker is as a guerilla fighter. If we had more time and energy, we could also write about the more organized magazines & newspapers such as Fifth Estate, Earth First, Black Seed etc. that we are inspired by and want to see more widely read.

No Gods, No Mattress 23

$3-4.00 enola d P.O. Box 3936 Berkeley, CA 94703

No Gods, No Mattress 23 is Enola’s latest very personal perzine. It’s the sex issue. It’s done in an aesthetically pleasing cut-and-paste typewriter style and is thick at 68 pages. My favorite thing about it is the beautiful voice it’s written in. Language is playful and fresh. Content covers childhood sexual abuse, a failed attempt at riding freight to Portland, travel, staying in a shack, health, getting older, personal style, crying, queerness, dating, feelings about sex. I found myself relating. Vulnerable yet fun, this is a zine the world needs. (Nest)

(Piltdown) Behind the Wheel #1&2

Kellydessiant.com/piltdown PO Box 22974 Oakland CA 94609

This personal zine captures the collected thoughts and experiences of a low wage ride share driver. He interprets the invasion of high tech “Jerks” that he services and also spells out the destruction of the local counter culture. War stories abound. But this zine humanizes the aggressors revealing that they are actually fallible people who are struggling — a few of them are even well intentioned. Much of the money floating around is unsustainable and this zine reveals that the techies are a door knock away from shitting in the streets themselves. What was most alarming about reading this was the subtle admissions by the author of the wreck of a life that’s to be squeezed from driving a ride share — one in which his body is being worn down. All this hustling just to get by with no security for getting old or having any money at the end of the road. A document of the rotting corpse of capitalism. (egg)

The Political Pre-History of Love and Rage: Anarchist Struggle in the 1980s and 1990s

by the Anarchist History Nerd Brigade anarchisthistory.noblogs.org

The text of this ‘zine was largely adopted from the article After Winter Must Come Spring: A Self-Critical Analysis of the Love & Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation and The 1997 Love and Rage Members Handbook. For anyone interested in how a serious attempt at organizing first a North American wide Anarchist newspaper then a continent wide revolutionary Anarchist organization in the 1990s was able to form groups and co-ordinate the efforts of already existing organizations in the U$, Mexico and Canada, please check this ‘zine out. What I found most fascinating, was how many of the protests and anti-authoritarian movements in the 2000s were clearly descendents from happenings in the 1980s, such as protests against the major political parties’ conventions in the U$ in 1988. I also was excited to read of how Neither East Nor West had emerged as an Anarchist response to a Revolutionary Communist Party U$A (RCP) front group, No Business As Usual. For all the debate that goes on about how to try to maneuver as anti-authoritarians in or out of such organizing in the U$, when it does at least sometimes manage to bring great numbers of people out in to the streets around just causes, it added another perspective I hadn’t seen or heard before and would be interesting to learn more about. (By A. Iwasa)

Cometbus #56

It has been well over a year since Cometbus #55 but this was well worth the wait! This issue is 112 pages of an aging punk’s perspectives on being a book dealer in New York City in an A to Z format. This issue has all the usual witty and curmudgeonly comments that make Cometbus fun and worth reading no matter what the topics covered are. Once a friend who saw me reading Cometbus said “I can’t tell if you’re laughing or crying when you’re reading that,” to which I replied, “Neither can I.” This applied to #56 just as much as previous editions. (By A. Iwasa)

Rabbit Rabbit Rasbbit #3

colinquackpack@live.com

A zine can resemble anything from a pamphlet to a magazine. The number of variations is part of the medium’s charm. This work has pages that look like assembled collage. The photocopier is used to capture animal bones, novelty buttons and sewing supplies to decorate the written word. The ideas that are captured can be confused with poetry at times and is condensed with revolutionary euphoria. The largest body of writing is a tour diary that will speak to people who are immersed in the punk music scene. Overall this issue is a powerful directory of the underground in cities across America. (egg)

Functionally Ill #18

$2 + shipping, 4 1/4” x 5 1/2”, 20 pgs. robotmad@gmail.com www.etsy.com/shop/robotmad

It’s tricky to write about the topics which Laura Marie covers in Functionally Ill. It’s tricky because depression is boring. All emo teenage posturing to the contrary, it is boring to struggle to get out of bed every day, or to be able to think of nothing but killing yourself. So how do you write about those things in a way that anyone would want to read? I think the tendency is to go too far away from realism; to romanticize it. But there is nothing romantic about these topics, and the danger in romanticizing them is that it might make some people less likely to get help, thinking that their suffering is some glamorous badge of honor. So, again, how do you write about them in a way that’s readable but not romantic? Laura-Marie seems to have achieved it. This short zine is broken up into bite-sized chunks. It includes excerpts from letters to friends, and stories about attending a support group, about feeling suicidal, and about the fear of moving to a new place and leaving her favorite therapist behind. Her writing style is succinct and sharp. Each section is like a tiny arrow that makes you wince in recognition or think: “Damn, it would be awful to go through that.” One thing I like about the way Laura-Marie addresses mental illness is that she does not push the medical model, but she doesn’t flat-out reject it, either. She takes the viewpoint that medication can be helpful, but that are many other factors involved in mental illness, and only community and therapy can help with those. My favorite sections of the zine come at the end – “visualization for the suicidal me or you” and “affirmations for the suicidal me or you.” Thanks, Laura-Marie. (Rust Belt Jessie)

Fixer Eraser #s 1-4

2 3/4” x 4 1/4”, between 8-16 pgs. (Jonas, PO Box 633, Chicago, IL, 60690)

I was so bummed when I found out that Jonas would no longer be writing Cheer the Eff Up. The six issues of that zine put him way up on my list of favorite ‘personal’ zinesters, right alongside Cometbus and Crabb and Miller. But, I am happy to say, Jonas is not done with zines. He is now publishing Fixer Eraser. Each issue, from 1-4, is 1/8 sized, and either 8 or 16 pages long. Though they’re tiny, they pack a punch. They feature the kind of writing I’ve come to expect from Jonas — bitter, no hard truths held back, yet not completely despairing. One thing that impresses me most about Jonas’ writing is that he doesn’t pretty things up. He digs right into the dark heart of life, and does not try and turn that darkness into beauty.

Still, while they don’t spare any sorrow, they each offer something to hold on to. Each issue of Fixer Eraser is based around some sort of story or theme. #1 is about how broken robots keep moving. #2 is about love and good pairs of boots. #3 is about identity and ally-ship and houses on fire. And #4 – the most recent and by far the most poignant of the four — is about art and death, and it leaves you with this: you are not alone. (Rust Belt Jessie)

Passionate and Dangerous: Conversations with Midwestern Anti-Authoritarians and Anarchists

edited by Mark Bohnert, distributed by AK Press.

Comprised mostly of interviews done in 1998 and ‘99 with radicals from Chicago and Springfield, IL; St. Louis and Columbia, MO; Detroit, Bloomington, rural and urban Tennessee, and one undisclosed location; there are also a couple interviews with national and international activists Peter Schumann of Bread and Puppet Theater and Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry, and an excerpt from ex-Black Panther Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin’s Anarchism and the Black Revolution. Projects range from making art, media, cooperative living, workers’ collectives and running an Infoshop.  This is an amazing snapshot of late ’90s heartland radicalism in an area way too many people consider flyover country.  Bohnert also obviously made a point of including the voices of women, people of color and queers in a non-tokenizing fashion.  A couple of historical pieces show how these movements were grounded in longstanding traditions. (A. Iwasa)

SF Resistor #1&2

sfresistor@riseup.net resistor.spaz.org

This features reporting and storytelling from a squatter’s perspective that documents the last 4 years of the shifting terrain in San Francisco and is an example of someone who has given themselves up totally with the economic struggles in one of the world’s most expensive cities. He now lives free and writes with the conviction that this is the future we must consider. Proof that the counter culture may win people over with rad art – a zine like this could knock someone over whose on the fence to our side. The politics and prose have heart and are very coherent – a rare blend. . (egg)

Bacon in the Beans #4

PO Box 4912 Thousand Oaks CA 91359 $3 U.S. $6 Global

A hodge podge of humor and storytelling with a punk attitude and inclination to the music scene. A couple of prisoners are given space – as well as a degenerate thug who use the “B” word to painful degrees. Another strike is the horrible font used on some pages that is too small to read or is just badly scribbled. Enough variety here with comics, reportage and delivery for it not to be a waste of your attention span. (egg)

Fix My Head #4-7

$4.50 US per copy fixmyhead.storenvy.com blog: annaxvo.tumblr.com

A radical Person Of Color publication, this covers a dynamic range of activists, punks and really smart people who are overlooked. Largely presented in interview format, issue #7 breaks routine and is all articles. The content is confrontational with the issues that are suppressed or maligned in mainstream discourse. More than anything I get the feeling that there is a lot of zeal in the production of this without being zealot. It is this kind of concerted effort as seen on the page here that does a lot to make for real social change. By highlighting marginalized people and their work it should make it more inviting for you to participate in radical politics. (egg)

P.U. #1

Free in Portland $2 in the mail portlandundergroundpaz@gmail.org

Talented artists are assembled together here on large pages of newsprint. Hardly any articles, just visuals to wow you. The art is similar to their neighbor publication Pork but without the lame regressive anti-PC front — and way more space to appreciate the pictures. This publication may be born out of dissatisfaction with Pork and the other sorry ass things to look at which often have more ads than organic ideas. Various styles of art are represented that resemble everything from comic books to galleries. The subject matter includes the bizarre, spiritual, impressionistic and political. The paper is funded by the artists who are in it. The next issue is due out in June so move to the City of Roses, save some money for a page and get to work making it come alive. (egg)

gardening is for eaters

Laura-Marie, robotmad at gmail dot com

This so far is a stand alone ‘zine by one of my favorite ‘zinesters whose other work primarily focuses on mental illness and relationships, frequently expressed in poetry. As usual this one is thought provoking and well written. It includes interviews with three different gardeners with practices ranging from Permaculture and Guerrilla Gardening to Grow Biointensive. Books and the names of organic gardening and farming rock stars are cited for those interested in further research. Laura-Marie weaves her own experiences and feelings about agriculture through the text. Unfortunately, I think she put the cart before the horse by making a comprehensive list with brief descriptions of the things she was growing at the time with one of the interviewees after the intro and before the interviews. This was a bit tedious and would have made more sense as an appendix. In the middle of this, she also offers a recipe which includes one of the plants, which I think probably should have just been printed since I think brief and easy tutorials are one of the best potential components of ‘zines, and a lot of people could have missed the offer being buried in a list. (A. Iwasa)

Book Review! James Tracy’s “Dispatches Against Displacement: Field Notes from San Francisco’s Housing Wars” (2014 AK PRESS)

Review by Kathy Labriola

When I mention James Tracy’s name to anyone anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area, they invariably respond enthusiastically about how they worked closely with James on a specific housing or tenant-related struggle or in a particular progressive organization. They go on and on about what a fantastic organizer he is and “such a great guy, too!” He apparently has been involved in every affordable housing or tenants’ rights struggle in San Francisco over the past quarter century. I’m even more amazed that he seems universally loved and respected by every activist left of center, which doesn’t seem possible in the fractious housing wars that have continuously rocked the City in recent decades.

Since he was directly involved in nearly every struggle covered in his book, he is not a dispassionate scholar. But he pulls off the feat of being “objective,” as much as anyone who hates capitalism and landlord and developer greed could be. He places each organization and each fight against displacement in a historical context, and describes the myriad strategies, tactics, goals, and outcomes of each specific struggle. He has some sound hypotheses about why some tactics worked better than others in certain situations or at a particular historical moment. He acknowledges the euphoric successes as well as the spectacular failures, and, more often, the limited gains that were so hard-won but later swept away by yet another wave of gentrification a few years later. Applauding the many dedicated and brilliant activists and groups, he also criticizes strategic errors and his own perceived deficiencies. For instance, “One of the biggest ironies about our organizing is that we could be so ecumenical and so sectarian at the same time!”

Tracy (and the reader) remain painfully aware that the cards are stacked very heavily against low-income and working-class tenants in San Francisco. The law and the political power is always on the side of developers and landlords, who will always throw us under the bus because the obscene profits are just too irresistible. Starting with the displacement of African-Americans from the Western Addition in the 1950’s through “Redevelopment,” he then chronicles the 1990’s “dot-com boom” forcing Latinos out of the Mission, to the current wave of mass evictions fueled by the new tech companies. In many housing struggles, the City government as well as Federal housing policy colluded with property owners to evict low-income residents to make way for luxury condos, upscale restaurants and stores, tech office buildings, or other more “profitable” uses.

Among the most current bad news Tracy delivers: the 2013 numbers show that a resident would have to make at least $37.62 an hour, nearly 4 times the city’s current minimum wage, in order to pay the average rent in San Francisco.

At every step of the way, diverse coalitions of activists and organizations have waged pitched battles against being forced out of their homes and neighborhoods. This book is a real page-turner! Despite some heavy losses, the courage, hard work, and dizzying array of organizing strategies are inspiring and eye-opening. Ever present is the debate and tension between “direct action” approaches such as squatting buildings, taking over City offices, and camping out on the lawns of developers’ mansions, or “working through the system” strategies of testifying at public hearings, lobbying elected officials, lining up support from churches and unions, or writing ballot measures and campaigning for electoral change.

He also discusses some solutions, including Community Land Trusts. Tracy co-founded the San Francisco Community Land Trust (SFCLT) in 2001, and I am involved in the Bay Area Community Land Trust, so neither of us can claim to be neutral. Tracy says SFCLT was founded on the question, “What if we could win the housing war?” If tenants controlled their own buildings, they could not be evicted and communities could not be displaced, so SFCLT has spent nearly 15 years procuring funds to buy buildings and training the tenants to take over self-management. He cautions against seeing this as a substitute for a larger movement against capitalist property relations. “It is important that land trusts be viewed as a sneak preview of a better world, instead of a utopia on a single city block.”

Despite the subject, this book is very upbeat and often laugh-out-loud funny. My only complaint is that it is too short and each chapter left me wanting much more information, as he is really trying to cover the waterfront in a brisk 119 pages (scrupulously footnoted).

 

 

Avent Calendar

March 20 – 22

North American Anarchist Studies Network Conference Calif. Institute for Integral Studies San Francisco naasn.org

 

March 21

Railroad Workers United (RWU)Conference Seattle WA railroadworkersunited.org

March 21

First Toledo Free School Festival toledofreeschool.org

 

March 28th-April 3

Nevada Desert Experience’s anti-nuke & anti-drone peace walk nevadadesertexperience.org

 

April 12 – 11 – 5 pm

Long Beach Zine Fest Museum of Latin America 628 Alamitos Ave Long Beach CA lbzinefest.com

 

April 17-19

All Power to the Imagination Conference Presentations, workshops, and group discussions New College of Florida

allpowertotheimagination.com

 

April 18 – 10 – 4

10th Annual Walk Against Rape The Women’s Building 3543 18th St. San Francisco, CA 94110 sfwar.org/walk/

 

April 18 – 11am – 6pm

NYC Anarchist Bookfair. Judson Memorial Church 55 Washington Square S, NY, NY 10012 anarchistbookfair.net

 

April 22-25

School of Americas Watch Spring Days of Action! soaw.org

 

April 24

San Francisco Critical Mass bike ride – Justin Herman Plaza www.sfcriticalmass.org

 

April 25 – 10 – 6

SF Bay Area anarchist book fair 1260 Seventh Street bayareaanarchistbookfair.com

 

April 25 – 26

2015 Brooklyn Zine Fest @ The Brooklyn Historical Society 128 Pierrepont St. NY brooklynzinefest.com/

 

April 26 – 10 – 5

Berkeley Anarchist Students of Theory & Research & Development conference UC Berkeley sfbay-anarchists.org

 

May 30- June 7

11th Annual Mountain Justice Summit Kanawha State Forest, West Virginia kanawhaforestcoalition.org/

 

June 4-5

Protest the G7 Summit @ Castle of Elmau Bavarian Alps, Germany stop-g7-elmau.info

 

June 11

“Day Of Solidarity with Marius Mason and all Eco-Prisoners” june11.org

 

July 18-19

Portland Zine Symposium Ambridge Event Center Portland, OR www.portlandzinesymposium.org

 

July 24

National Day of Action to Lift the Blockade on Gaza war-times.org/action

 

July 25

Deadline for art and radical historical dates for 2016 Slingshot Organizer – drop in & help us make the organizer.

 

August 8

Slut Walk D.C.slutwalkdc.com

 

August 23 – 4pm

New volunteer meeting for Slingshot issue #119 – 3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley

 

September 12 – 3 pm

Article deadline for issue #119