Slingshot issue #103 introduction

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

It is always shocking to be slapped in the face by the contrast between the humanistic radical community we’re creating in the East Bay and the cold, oppressive boot of patriarchal family structures and the state. In the middle of creating this issue, we had to take a break to deal with the emotional fallout.

A couple of our collective members began caring for an infant a year ago when his mother’s mental state deteriorated and she was no longer able to do so. While they weren’t related to this little boy, they created an amazing, alternative family structure for him that was far more supportive and caring than what exists in many traditional nuclear families. He had a whole community to change his diapers, kiss his boo-boos, and bathe him. Instead of having TV as a babysitter, he had people and community gatherings — protests, Food Not Bombs, mardi gras parades. And he was here while we made Slingshot.

And then, with little warning, his blood relations swooped in and swept him away from everything he knew –his friends, his toys, his books, his name. No one asked him what he wanted or considered the emotional impact of pulling the rug out from under this amazing two-year old. The state supports traditional definitions of family, preferring form and blood over substance and love. What a perfect illustration of monogcore-thinking.

A lot of the most radical social transformations are in our minds and in the ways people relate to each other and build community. So while there might not seem to be a lot of flashy protests in the streets in the US at the moment (unlike what our comrades in Greece are stirring up), that doesn’t mean that things aren’t bubbling and shifting. Taking time to reflect, contemplate and debate what comes next is as important as organizing the next dance party or vegan meal. We hope some of the ideas we’re sharing in this issue will contribute to the next stage of the struggle.

The courts in the US have started to hear testimony on the issue of net neutrality. While we usually are ranting about misplaced reliance on technology, if media giants get unfair preferences on the internet or impose access fees, it will crush the relatively level playing field and open access to information that have defined the past 15 years. Before the rise of the internet, activists often felt burned when the media misrepresented and demeaned them. Now people seeking information can go directly to the source without a middleman. Would the murder of Oscar Grant be in the public consciousness the way it is without net neutrality? Probably not. Another example is how in Egypt the nature of feminism has changed after bloggers used video footage to expose violence. There wasn’t even a word in Egyptian for sexual assault before those videos.

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

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

Thanks to the people who made this: Adam, Apple, Autumn, Amanda/Dee, Ariana, Chris, Eggplant, Ergot, Hanna, Heather, Jesse (PB), Kathryn, Kermit, Kerry, Kristi, Lesley, Mando, Rena, Samiya Bird, Sandy, Will, Winship, Y.

Slingshot New Volunteer Meeting

Volunteers interested in getting involved with Slingshot can come to the new volunteer meeting on Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 4 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 104 by September 18, 2010 at 3 p.m.

Volume 1, Number 103, Circulation 19,000

Printed April 30, 2010

Slingshot Newspaper

Sponsored by Long Haul

3124 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94705

Phone (510) 540-0751 •

Circulation Information

Subscriptions to Slingshot are free to prisoners, low income and anyone in the USA with a Slingshot Organizer, or $1 per issue or back issue. International $3 per issue. Outside the Bay Area we’ll mail you a free stack of copies if you give them out for free.

Slingshot Back Issues

We’ll send you a random assortment of back issues of Slingshot and other publications for the cost of postage: Send $3 for 2 lbs. or $5 for 5 lbs. Free if you’re an infoshop or library. Or drop by our office with cash or check to Slingshot 3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA 94705.