Disruption With a Smile

Disruption with a Smile

By PB Floyd

Amidst the cold winds that have blown since 9-11, the possibility of militant resistance to the global corporate machine seems, at first glance, to be decreasing. The government and the media have seized on the terror created by the September 11 attacks to “unify” the majority of the US population around a program of more government control and surveillance at home and military intervention abroad. The implication is that the new “unity” should extend to unquestioned support for all government policies, as well as the corporate economic status quo. Government officials like attorney general Ashcroft have come right out and said that anyone who disagrees with the government’s new programs is “aiding and abetting” the terrorists. Its easy to imagine what would happen should a black bloc of anarchists attack a Starbucks or McDonalds with hammers, barricading the street with burning dumpsters. They would get, very literally, smashed, by the cops, by the media, in the Courts, possibly even by enraged, “unified”, flag waving regular citizens.

Meanwhile, while direct action options to resist corporate control seem limited, the need for such resistance is if anything much greater than it was before 9-11. The four months since the attack on the World Trade Center have seen a broad, comprehensive, some might even say historic series of authoritarian take-backs both in the USA and internationally. Generally, the bombing of Afghanistan and the new security measures in airports and against immigrants are the least of the matter.

The real authoritarian expansion lies in the many consolidations of capitalist power that would have been major news before 9-11, but barely warrant a short article in the newspaper now that everyone’s attention is focused on the 3 “A”s: anthrax, Afghanistan and airport security. In just a few months, Bush opened a trillion dollars of new military spending by canceling the ABM treaty. He obtained fast track trade authority to extend NAFTA to the entire American hemisphere, north and south. The forestland road building moratorium was ended. Wilderness areas were opened to gas drilling. Millions have been laid off. Its hard to even figure out all the things that happened as the nation stood paralyzed with terror.

All of this with hardly a peep from . . . anyone. While right after September 11 it was extremely encouraging to see lots of people mobilize to oppose the coming war, resist crackdowns on civil rights and privacy, and seek solidarity with the Arab and Muslim communities who were under racist attack, it now feels like a lot of these initial positive reactions to the 9-11 crisis have faded. At least around here, there’s hardly been an anti-war march over the past two months. And as necessary as these efforts to address the 9-11 crisis are, they’re all tied up with our reaction to power’s initiatives. These mobilizations are reactive , not proactive. The momentum coming off Seattle where thousands of people started to set the agenda by rejecting the corporate, capitalist, industrial vision for the future, and instead described an alternative option – this momentum is in danger of dying, if it hasn’t died already.

But the point of this little article isn’t just to endlessly depress everyone. The point is that now is a crucial time to put forward an anti-authoritarian political option – an alternative vision of society and of the future – to counteract the vast post 9-11 take-backs. Somehow, we need to go beyond the tired, comfortable but ineffective “reactive” politics we’re used to, and describe as accurately as possible what we really want.

The September 11 attack was a huge shock to the entire system, as if all the pieces in the social game were suddenly hurled into the air. Now they’re falling back to earth. Authoritarians have seized on the disruption to put the pieces back the way they want them. But these kinds of shocks are times when huge social change in many directions is possible. If there’s only one option presented, like over the past four months, the social change coming out of 9-11 will all be towards more authority, stronger power and more hierarchy. Its crucial that in the moment of shock and change, anti-authoritarians are present to paint another picture of what the world could look like.

In the post 9-11 world, we find ourselves caught between, on the one hand, religious fanatics bent on killing at random, using whatever blunt instruments are available, and on the other hand, carefully calculating fanatics of a different sort who kill systematically, in the quasi-religious pursuit of power and money. Both of these hands, seemingly diametrically opposed, function in tandem to squeeze out the alternative to either type of fanaticism; that of life and freedom from domination.

What the Taliban, Al Qaeda, the Bush Administration, the WTO and a long list of others have in common is their belief that they should be able to control the lives of others. The most widely felt exercises of power and domination aren’t dramatic events like the bombing of the World Trade Center or the carpet bombing of Afghanistan – they’re everyday occurrences like the cutting of forests, over fishing, pollution of water and air . . . comprehensively creating an SUV-drive to the mall-consume-watch TV-obey-die world.

The most amazing result of the 9-11 attack has been the wholesale retreat of fundamental critiques of power. In the face of violence like the destruction of the WTC, its easy for the media to convince folks to embrace “security” and “safety”, which is naturally provided by huge government organizations, the police and the military. Its up to us to point out that these institutions of power offer precisely the same menu offered by “terrorists” – violence and the concentration of power based on might that is then exercised to dominate everyone in society.

The alternative is trust and cooperation – people doing things for each other voluntarily, not because they’re forced by the government, a corporation, the market, or even a terrorist. In times of fear and danger, the alternative is to get together with community to protect ourselves, rather than looking to an authoritarian state to take care of our problems for us. The alternative must make clear the similarities between fanatical religious fundamentalism that denies freedom, and fanatical market based fundamentalism, that similarly denies freedom. The alternative is a social system organized around people, the earth, freedom and happiness, not one organized to serve machines and accumulation, with people and their happiness as a faint, possible, but not required, byproduct.

The so-called “anti-globalization movement” was getting closer to articulating something positive – something like a vision – before September 11. Such a vision was implicit in the critique promoted by the anti-globalization movement, but the movement’s failure to make its vision explicit was becoming more and more of a liability. It was easy to misunderstand the movement as just a vegetable soup of single issue causes that could be addressed piecemeal with the traditional, liberal solutions. If there’s a problem with sweatshops or turtles, or whatever, the official response can just be to tinker with the economic system to address these narrow concerns while ensuring that the underlying capitalist order is maintained. Only if critique of the whole order is articulated can liberal cooption be avoided. Many within the movement itself misunderstood its potential, anxiously hoping the government would buy them off.

To the extent it was becoming increasingly important for the anti-globalization movement to realize that only a comprehensive critique / vision could be effective in taking the movement to the next step, the September 11 attacks require articulating these alternatives – moving to the next level
– now, or damn soon. The post 9-11 political vacuum of alternatives is deafening. The importance of spending time and energy developing political thought, vision and alternatives – not just visually arresting actions – cannot be under estimated.

But to get across the anti-authoritarian alternative requires some kind of action in the real world, not just ideas, especially where purveyors of the establishment option have vast propaganda resources (the mainstream media) at their disposal. The only way to fight the ideological hegemony of the system is to actively disrupt that system and thereby shatter its version of reality – that everything is “okay.” Shattering popular understanding of reality opens the way for alternatives and critical thought.

In the post 9-11 environment, there is no excuse whatsoever to retreat from militancy, urgency and action, but simultaneously there is every reason to be smart about the kind of militancy we employ. What is called for is disruption with a smile – figuring out the most disruptive options available which bare the least resemblance possible to violence against people. Violence against people justifies state repression and doesn’t advance an alternative to power and coercion. While disruption with a smile will often be met with violent state repression, if the disruption is done right, that state repression will appear to lack justification and will end up hurting the state’s ideological and political control.

There are numerous options available for smiling disruptive actions. In general, actions which are celebratory can be disruptive and effective. In Ottawa, snake dancers shut down the business district. Reclaim the Streets street parties can tie up business as usual, permitting instructive cultural/political confrontations – dancers vs. lines of solemn cops. Another idea is building the future society within the old. How about community gardens and free schools down the middle of Wall Street?

The capitalist/corporate/industrial system is attacking the earth and its people on a daily basis. Time is running out. Its time to do something.


Can freak bohemians avoid becoming pawns in the capitalist ethnic cleansing game?

For five years most of my neighbors have been different than myself. I am white and from a middle class family; my neighbors have been latino or black and often working class. I am one small piece of the gentrification puzzle, one of the group of people the real estate analyzers call “risk oblivious”, willing to live in an area with little capital invested in it and high crime rates, eventually making the area palatable for other generally white people with higher incomes.

Gentrification happens when a neighborhood becomes attractive to a wealthier class of people than the group of people currently living in the area. Current residents get displaced as landlords jack up rents to milk the wealthier class and developers build with only the newer, wealthier class in mind. The newer, generally white residents, who have more political power, eventually grow intolerant of the old neighborhood culture, often a code word for the poorer, often non-white people who originally lived in the area.

While nobody should have to live in a neighborhood riddled with street drugs and crime, making a neighborhood ‘safe’ usually involves making it unsafe for certain classes of people, who are forced out to other low-rent neighborhoods, to shelters, or to prison. The version of ‘safety’ used by city government often involves cultural fascism: criminalizing ‘loud music’ and certain types of street congregating because they are supposedly associated with street drug trade. The key is figuring out how to protect mixed neighborhoods that are safe, fun, and sustaining for all kinds of people including the original residents.

Because our culture is based on race as well as class privilege, gentrification often goes down along race as well as class lines. It is hard to imagine stopping gentrification and displacement without a working analysis of race privilege. A race-based analysis of gentrification is not a clever way to make the racist assertion that white people make a neighborhood ‘better’ because they are white, thus implying that white people are better than people of color. That’s bullshit. The same privilege grid that lets white shoplifters skip past security guards and tracks white kids into the ‘smart’ classes follows white people when they move into not-white neighborhoods. The lecherous relationship between the (mostly) white counterculture and the (mostly) white hipster culture means that, when poor white counterculture people move into a neighborhood where rent is low, developers and landlords see hipsters with more money looming in the background and thus see a reason to invest in the neighborhood and raise rents.

For white people, a race based analysis should not be confused with a white guilt complex. White guilt is a luxurious excuse to do nothing because you assume that white people are “the problem” and therefore incapable of engaging in their own positive social action around race issues. Although whites act in the context of a twisted system of race privileged, they can take initiative and responsibility for their own actions and they way they, too, get used as pawns within a racist system. It is irresponsible to sidestep an analysis of race privilege because your politics are centered on an anarchic or democratic ideal free of race and class divisions. Actively dealing with the complex, sick reality of both race and class privilege is hard but essential in revolutionary work.

Like many people in the mainly-white activist community I’m part of, I am not entirely sure how to deal with my implicit role in gentrification. More than mere

thorns in the side of people inclined to traditional lives, I do think freak bohemians can have social and political purpose and contribute valuably to the glittering diversity that is an integral part of urban life. White bohemians are placed in a sticky position between our politics and ideals, and the reality of our unwilling but crucial role in promoting gentrification. Because of this role, we may face hostility from a number of fronts, including displaced tenants, the new yuppies, and the old property owners who appreciate the rise in property values that comes with gentrification.

How can gentrification be successfully fought? What is the place of white bohemians and activists in the struggle? Understanding the relation of property to capital is key; in this era of gentrification, city governments are working more closely than ever with development corporations. The battle can be fought both on the bureaucratic front, exposing developer-government connections, and by taking direct action against corporate developers. Tangible improvements to the neighborhood can be made directly by people in the neighborhood, although these improvements usually themselves encourage gentrification. In all these actions, it is important for newly-transplanted activists to respect the work of activists already in the area.

Real estate, the root of evil

When a friend of mine was in prison in the 1970’s, his history teacher said that the history of the world revolved around real estate. The root cause of gentrification is real estate, the relationship between property and capital. With the exception of tenant protections like rent control and subsidized “affordable housing”, housing costs are arbitrated by the market. Landlords charge what they can based upon the demand for an area. Landlords are most excited when a lot of people with money want to live in an area. When people with money aren’t interested in an area, landlords have little incentive to put money into their property, because they won’t earn enough of a profit since nobody will pay high enough rent. Buildings deteriorate and are torched so landlords can collect insurance money. Lots lay fallow, buildings deteriorate, and social services slump.

Gentrification happens because of this relationship between property and capital, because the land owner can make a profit off the fact that somebody is living on their land. It is this profit-motive that keeps poor people moving at the whim of the wealthier folks. Displacement of poor and working class people is built into the very structure of capitalism.

Cities encourage gentrification because it will generate more tax revenues, which city governments increasingly depend on as the federal government moves away from supporting local governments. Thus cities have an incentive to encourage reinvestment in an area through zoning concessions, tax structures, and reducing protection for affordable housing.

One manifestation of government-developer incest is the insidious Tax Increment Financing (TIF) zone. Instituted in 1977 and operating in 44 states, TIFs center around freezing the portion of property tax dollars that go into social services at current levels for some designated period of time, up to 30 years. The extra money earned from inflation and rising property values is channeled towards reinvestment in the neighborhood via city subsidies for developers. For an area to be designated a TIF by the mayor and city council, it must be officially considered ‘blighted’. The idea is that after all this city-supported development, the area will no longer be a haven for blight.

Neither will the area be a ‘haven’ for low-income people, who get their social services and then their homes taken away as rents and property taxes rise in response to the reinvestment. What’s worse, the excess money can be moved between TIF zones that border each other, so low income residents in a newer TIF area may be paying to further develop an area already gentrified by an existing TIF. Because TIFs can last for so long, developers may continue to get subsidies long after the area resembles a Starbucks-laced American Dream.

Government encouragement of gentrification also takes the form of zoning concessions, reduced protection for affordable housing, and weaker rent control laws.
For example, developer David Walentas tried for nearly 20 years to get permission to gentrify the DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) area of Brooklyn, NY, an industrial, non-residentially zoned area. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s city and state governments argued he lacked funding; if private market investors were not willing to fund him, why should they grant him the change in zoning necessary for him to redevelop the area residentially? But the state of New York did move their labor department into one of the buildings he purchased in the area, stabilizing his investment in the area enough to encourage several arts galleries to open. Finally in 1998, after a yuppified arts gallery community was set up, the city government broke down. They took the crucial step of rezoning the area, giving him full permission to develop luxury residential condos and an entertainment pier.

Organizations originally intended to support low-income housing, like the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), are increasingly used to funnel money towards developers. FHA support was crucial in the development of the Queens neighborhood Long Island City, a mixed area of factories, warehouses, and working class apartment buildings. Developers were unable to gain a foothold for most of the 80’s; banks were unwilling to lend to smaller developers seeking projects in such a ‘risky’ area. In order to push the area towards more lucrative developments, a large corporation was formed in the mid 80’s including such key government players as the New York Port Authority and the city’s Economic Development Corporation.

As soon as neighborhood resistance to the corporation’s luxury development project was organized, a NY state organization intended to build affordable housing joined the behemoth corporation; the state organization perversely had the power to squash local opposition to development proposals. The final straw in the fight against luxury development was mortgage insurance for the project issued by, surprise, the Federal Housing Authority! The FHA justified the development by saying they were supposed to support development “pioneers”. By the end, these gentrification pioneers were supported by four government organizations including two intended to protect affordable housing. What the fuck?

The city cheats and lies

Real, tangible neighborhood improvements often originate not from corrupt government organizations but from within the neighborhood. People in a neighborhood often have specific ideas of what could make their neighborhood a better place to live- for example, where better lighting is needed, where traffic could be re-routed to make the roads safer, where gardens could be put in. People can do these things themselves even in the absence of city support, with immediate results. However, physical improvements are easily co-opted. For example, several south Berkeley neighborhoods, frustrated with cars speeding through their neighborhood streets, took initiative and created traffic-slowing detours with concrete barriers and planters at key intersections. Later, Berkeley cops used the same method to corral drug dealers in areas with lots of drug sales.

While homemade improvements can be immensely satisfying in the short term, the kicker is that once neighborhood improvements are made, the real estate is more valuable and so gentrification is likely to happen anyway. Yuppies love those quaint community gardens.

City-funded neighborhood improvement is usually not done with the community itself in mind. Rather it is a vehicle for social cleansing and social control. “Improvement” is often a justification for criminalizing whole populations of people. For example, Oakland has a whole set of laws regulating the way people congregate in the street. These laws are meant to control cruising and what the Oakland PD calls ‘sideshows’, and are only enforced in certain, predictably minority and poor areas of the city. You can, for instance, hang out in a parking lot after watching a movie in the posh College Avenue area, but not in the black/latino areas of East Oakland. Because of these cleansing laws, entire populations of people end up in prison, very convenient for the prison-industrial complex.

Blight control is another mechanism of control, allowing the city to decide who can live in an area through harassment by fines. Oakland is in the process of making it illegal to park a camper or RV on the street; RV owners must park their vehicles in a garage. Rich people can afford storage for campers; poor people often live in campers within city limits.

Safe, sustaining neighborhoods are an aspect of society everyone should enjoy. The way to prevent gentrification is definitely not to keep affordable neighborhoods crime-ridden and scary to both outsiders and the people that live there. And the way to prevent crime and drug abuse is not to criminalize the culture of youth of color and homeless people. A sensible strategy towards neighborhood improvement is to employ people who actually live in the area to do neighborhood cleanup and improvement. A number of these programs exist but are often in tenuous positions. For example Oakland has a youth program training and employing young people in street cleanup and environmental education. Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown is fixated on clean bus stops; the youth program offered to step in and clean up the stops, but Jerry Brown would rather cut the entire youth program in favor of a 24-hr city-wide bus stop clean up crew, a more expensive option without the benefits of youth employment. Where are Jerry Brown’s priorities??

The future of property

White activists and freaks should take responsibility for their role in gentrification and should actively work against it. Gentrification, housing, displacement issues are not new; groups all over the political spectrum are already waging campaigns and newer activists should see what the scene is. Obviously it is good to get in touch with existing groups to make sure you don’t step on their toes. The Autonomous Zone, an anarchist community center in Chicago, worked closely with the Brown Berets, a Latino activist group already active in the same area. When issues came up the two groups would contact each other, sometimes reserving different days for actions associated with a specific group.

Artists in the San Francisco Mission District were not quite so willing to work with housing and displacement activists. As live/work spaces first gained popularity among what was still the artist fringe, some artists thought city regulations were hindering their progress converting old warehouses into loft spaces. In their excitement they petitioned city hall for relaxed building code standards, less obligation to affordable housing, and zoning breaks. Against the recommendation of other artists working with housing groups, the artists refused to define “artist” in the code relaxation; essentially they wrote a blank check for corporate developers to build armies of loft space. The result is the San Francisco we see now, covered in boring bullshit post modern loft space. The politically unsavvy artists wrote their own eviction note.

Now is an excellent time for more militant activists to get involved in anti-gentrification campaigns. In the late 1980’s, community direct action against developers helped temporarily dry up enthusiasm for gentrification. For example, numerous riots supporting the squatter community in New York City’s Tompkins Square park brought international attention to the gentrification of the Lower East Side. However, as more militant organizations morphed into housing and tenant service organizations, developers encountered less opposition and charged full speed ahead. The time is particularly ripe for direct action in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the fall of the virtual E-conomy left many developers with unfinished projects. Once an area is cleared or tamed, it is ready for the newcomers whenever they will arrive; but it is also true that
the exact course of history is now unclear. Diverse, community based organization and activism may affect the future of all the property for sale now in the Bay area.

One successful example of gentrification resistance is Boston’s Dudley Street neighborhood. One of Boston’s poorest neighborhoods, the community got fed up with neighborhood decline in and in the early 80’s organized to improve their neighborhood. They managed to improve their neighborhood into an extremely pleasant place to live without gentrification, through community cohesion and involvement at every step of the process, and a vision that included social as well as economic improvements. The neighborhood organization, the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, got funding from a local foundation but retained control of the spending. In an unprecedented victory they gained eminent domain over the many empty lots in the neighborhood. They launched an impressive affordable housing project where families earning as little as 15,000 a year can buy into co-ops or new homes. The neighborhood set up a shopping area but allowed only local business to move in, with no chain stores or check-cashing outlets allowed. Local business started a campaign to keep local money in the neighborhood.

Specifically, what can white punks, bohemians, and activists do to fight the gentrification of their neighborhoods? There is not one formula; here are some ideas.

*Look around and talk to people about neighborhood change and anti-displacement work already being done. Do oral history projects of the neighborhood.

*Expose development plans on the part of corporations and various branches of government. Snake your way into the ‘public’ meetings held by the inner workings of the government bureaucracy. Oppose corporate development scams with a range of tactics.

*Support the foundation of neighborhood associations like the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative.

*Help fight individual evictions.

*Help with direct neighborhood improvement projects like kids projects, gardens, traffic slow-down devices (and do other things to fight the yuppies who want to leach off this good work).

Gentrification is essentially apartheid by race and class. There are always multiple cultures coexisting in one area; the question is which cultures are officially recognized, and what political power these recognized cultures have. As an area gentrifies, the range of activities and people considered acceptable in the area shrinks. Formerly vibrant urban areas become suburban monocultures were human creativity is replaced by packaged experiences OK’d by the market. Neighborhood gentrification mirrors global homogenization where culture and life are governed by an increasingly small number of rich, powerful organizations with no relevance to the immediate local. Imperialism stifles life; a Boston anti-gentrification activist shouts, “one longs for more bad taste, for more surprise, dirt and looseness, more anarchic, unself-conscious play.”

A New Normalcy

Riding the post 9-11 wave of mass hysteria, Congress enacted a sweeping new set of “anti-terrorism” laws October 26, 2001. According to President, George W. Bush, the new legislation was intended to “strengthen the fight against terrorism while protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans”. Bush then went on to state that “the overwhelming bipartisan support for the bill [a 98-1 vote in the Senate] stemmed from its respect for the civil liberties guaranteed by our constitution.” In light of the federal round up of over 1000 Arab Americans, one can’t help but wonder if President Bush has any idea what his beloved Constitution states.

In reality, the measures enacted with the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) only sanctioned common practices the Feds have been utilizing for decades. This is especially apparent in the environmental hotbed of Portland, Oregon, where “the war against terrorism” has justified repression of domestic radicals for years before the September 11 attacks. The experience in Portland could be repeated nationwide given the new license enjoyed by the Feds to crackdown on domestic radicals under the guise of fighting the “war on terrorism.”

Since as early as 1997, the Portland Police Department (PPD) has been working in close alliance with the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), US Customs and the Drug Enforcement Administration amongst several other undisclosed agencies to combat the growing underground movement of the Earth and Animal Liberation Fronts (ELF & ALF). It wasn’t until November of 2000 that the broad power of these dangerous allies became official in the form of the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force (PJTTF).

Joint Terrorism Task Forces have been utilized in other US cities dating back to the late seventies in NYC. The New York JTTF was established to combat a rash of bank robberies in the city, hardly the stuff of a domestic terrorist threat to the US government. Since the early days of JTTF’s, over 30 cities have taken on these allegiances between federal and local law enforcement agencies. Attorney General Ashcroft has now ordered the formation of JTTFs in every federal prosecutor’s territory.

The typical make-up of JTTF’s is comprised of a half dozen or so local law enforcement officers with an equal number of federal agents from the corresponding area branch. Indeed, the JTTF is nothing more then a training ground for officers to be deputized as federal agents, further blurring the line of exactly who is accountable for what and to whom.

As its primary mission statement, the PJTTF, vowed to “identify and target for prosecution those individuals or groups who are responsible for acts of criminal terrorism within the traditional criteria of the Right or Left Wing movements, as well as acts of criminal terrorism committed by special interest groups, such as the anti-abortion movement and the ALF/ELF. The PJTTF will enhance the effectiveness of federal, state, local law enforcement resources through a well coordinated initiative seeking the most effective investigative avenues by which to convict offenders.”

As is clearly evident in the loose language and structure of the mission statement, the PJTTF obviously doesn’t want the public to have any inkling of what they truly determine to be classified as terrorism. Obviously, large pockets of the populace in the Northwest are well informed about the existence of the Earth Liberation Front in the region. The FBI would love to have everyone believe that members of these underground organizations are “violent extremists hell bent on the destruction of all that we hold sacred in this country.” But when you start to read between the lines and sift through the mountains of misinformation the police channel through their allies running the major media outlets, you begin to uncover the true aim and goals of these partners in crime.

In April of 2001, Craig Rosebraugh, then the national spokesperson for the ELF and a Portland resident, faced an all-too-familiar scenario as he was stopped on a “routine traffic violation” and detained for 30 minutes while the FBI had time to prepare search warrants for Rosebraugh’s residency and business, the Calendula Baking Company. All told Rosebraugh’s home with fellow environmental activists Leslie James Pickering and Elaine Close was searched for six hours while a simultaneous four hour search was being carried out at the bakery. Upon leaving the bakery and the home, agents seized hundreds of items of property including computer equipment, phone lists, videos, literature and other items. High profile arrests and seizures attached to prominent above ground activists such as Rosebraugh have become one of the chief pillars of the FBI’s typical political investigation. These acts of harassment lend credibility to the notion that the FBI are close to cracking open the cells of ELF, when in actuality they have rarely ever convicted anyone even indirectly involved in acts of eco-sabotage.

After completion of the raid Rosebraugh was issued his seventh grand jury subpoena since 1997, this one in regards to a non-ELF arson of an SUV dealership in nearby Eugene. When asked to comment on the latest interrogation Rosebraugh said: “This is nothing more than another attempt by the thugs of the state and federal government to stop the legal work of the North American ELF press office.” He went on to say that “These random items which were seized have no connection to any crimes and this is quite obviously just another form of harassment by the state.”

Although Rosebraugh has garnered major independent and mainstream media coverage in the past few years, he is but a single victim in a sustained, highly sophisticated war of heavy-handed tactics that the PPD and their federal allies have initiated to dismantle the radical community in Portland. An anonymous anarchist and former resident of Portland recently told me of a continuous flurry of supposedly random pullovers at the hands of the PPD. During these encounters local anarchists and community activists would be questioned on the state of their involvement in various organizations and given extreme tickets on largely fabricated vehicular and bicycle infractions.

The Portland crackdown coincided with the heightened state of fear in the region in the period between the June 18, 1999 street riots in neighboring Eugene and that fall’s massive shutdown of the WTO meetings in Seattle, three hours to the north. In both cases anarchists from Portland were identified as instigators. Things became so hot in the wake of these two events that it became common for local activists to be pulled aside at demos by police who knew their name, their affiliation with various groups and their residencies by heart.

On the evening of March 29th, 2001 this building anti-anarchist witch hunt reached a pinnacle as a private party in a northeast Portland house was raided by 43 police cars who responded to a state of emergency call issued by the first cops to arrive on the scene. The original complaint was that of a reported noise complaint. Not more then two minutes after the cop was assured that the noise would be contained, cruisers began pouring into the area with sirens blazing, completely surrounding the house and blocking off streets in several directions in the immediate area of the party.

Accounts of the confrontation by activists and police are contrary. Police claimed that an officer was trapped inside of the house and was physically detained and beaten by several attendants of the party, all of whom just happened to be members of the local activist community and punk rock subculture. From the moment the squads began encircling the house, police brutality reigned upon the crowd. Pepper Spray was used and scores of individuals were questioned and photographed.

Three individuals were arrested at the scene and charged with assault and riot, both felonies. Later they w
ere released on their own recognizance and ordered to appear for a court date the following Monday afternoon. At the hearing, the three were re-arrested and all of their supporters were forced to leave the courtroom. In addition to the two felonies, the three were charged with kidnapping at the hearing. Months later one of the victims had all charges dropped after a private detective was hired. The other two individuals ended up doing month long stints in a work camp after they plead guilty to reduced charges.

In the time following the raid, widespread community condemnation of the PJTTF began to mount and it appeared that the fall review and proposal for renewal for the ordinance would be defeated. Before the hearing, however, the September 11 attacks squashed any hopes for de-escalation of federal or local police department activist harassment.

Since that time cities small and great have been whipped into a state of panic by the US government with warnings of a “new, different kind of war, where terror can and will strike without warning”. With the formal endorsement of joint terrorism task forces by attorney general Ashcroft and passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act, the experience in Portland may be just the beginning.

Steve Sherlag, a Portland lawyer who has testified against the PJTTF fears the worst. “There has been a movement to label people who question the military response as un-American”. People who are protesting the US government’s approach “can expect that they’re going to be investigated by the FBI and the Portland Police Bureau’s JTTF”. Dan Handelman, a member of the Portland chapter of the national police accountability group, Copwatch, echoes Sherlag’s sentiments, “Regardless of whether there is real terrorism or not, a task force that has such an ill-defined mission, and which keeps information secret from society, is a danger to civil rights”.

With the ramifications of September 11th being felt globally, nations from all political leanings are rushing to pass highly restrictive new laws. In Canada the always flimsy definition of what constitutes terrorism mentions threats against property in the same breath as those against human lives. In the war torn country of Columbia the executive branch is passing new legislation that enables the government to detain anyone who is suspected of terrorist activity without first obtaining incriminating evidence. And the beat goes on in Britain and India and Jamaica and. . . .

Here in the US, increasing use of terrorist laws to attack domestic radicals appears likely. With the lines between federal and local law enforcement being distorted with the proliferation of the JTTF phenomena, federal power is dramatically enhanced. With the new license for political surveillance, we must assume that every time you speak in opposition to the blood on the hands of the US government, they are listening. Every time you question the integrity of our great president, they are watching. Every time you receive Slingshot in the mail, they are keeping track of you.

To fight the descent into a security state justified by a perpetual war on terrorists, we have to understand what we’re up against and organize to smash it.

The author, Greg Wells, can be reached at: PO Box 5021 Richmond, VA. 23220

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Slingshot is a quarterly, independent, radical newspaper published in the East Bay since 1988.

We worked diligently, dressed in drag queen attire a la Hedwig for endless day after endless day. Failing computers, a short supply of waxer wax (only available in Florida!), and a chocolate famine were but a few of the obstacles that we confronted. As you can see, we have persevered to bring you this wonderful issue of Slingshot.

We’re putting this issue out right before the World Economic Forum (WEF) protests; consequently by the time you get this it will have happened and we won’t have an article on it. Such is the story of bad timing. We wish our friends who attend the best and we will be following closely on indymedia.

We’re always looking for writers, artists, photographers, editors, distributors, free-thinkers, and porn stars to make Slingshot better.

Editorial decisions about Slingshot are made by the Slingshot collective. Articles do not necessarily represent the opinions of everyone in Slingshot. We welcome debate, discussion, and criticism, even slander.

Also the 2002 Slingshot organizer is now available. Send $5 for one, $16 for four, or $27 for 8 (new discount for 8!). All postage is included and if you send an extra $1 with your order and we’ll throw in a one year subscription to Slingshot! What a deal.

slingshot volunteer meeting

Volunteers interested in getting involved with Slingshot can hang out with us on April 14 at 4 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below).

article deadline and next issue date

Submit your articles for issue 74 by May 17, 2002. We expect the issue out in early June.

Volume 1, Number 74 Circulation 10,000

Printed January 29, 2002

slingshot newspaper

Sponsored by Long Haul

3124 Shattuck Ave Berkeley Ca 94705

Phone: (510) 540-0751



Slingshot is free in the Bay Area and is available at Long Haul and Bound Together Books (1369 Haight St in SF) and at many other places. Contact us if you want to distribute Slingshot for free in the Bay Area.

Subsciptions to Slingshot are $1 (until the State is toppled) per issue (bulk mail pre-paid) or $2 for First Class Mail after the issue comes out. International is $2.50 an issue. Back issues are available. Amazing experimental free distribution program: We’ll mail free copies of Slingshot to distributors, infoshops and bookstores FREE in the U.S. if they give’em out for free.

Communicate for Revolution

Glam DIsco Punk

Dear Slingshot,

This is Sean “Goblin”. Just read your “No War” issue #73. Generally it’s good stuff (aside from the ancient clip art). The whole September 11th deal awoke or rather jelled the repressed @narchist in me…which i had basically given up on during my burning out on punk rock years…. Anyhow, I’ve done a lot of thinking and soul searching since 1994 and i’m ready to have a go at the revolution again. While I don’t subscribe to any particular philosophies, generally I lean on the Black Panther/Sun Ra, Crass/Discharge, MC5/ Donovan, T-rex/Bohansson/Tolkien side of things…fantasy laden, esoteric/spiritual fueled Jazz Rock Funk Folk Metal Glam Disco Punk Biker deal. Anyhow, “Planning for Revolution Requires Communication” and that’s what I’m doing. Even though I thot you cats were a bunch of P.C. squares when I was younger and less focused, I’m down with the plan, I’m devoted to freedom and putting us, the earth and the aminals above systems and I’m in West Oakland. Also here’s some of my new comix. Enjoy. Protest and Survive, Sean

Don’t Discount Potential Allies

Dear Slingshot,

It’s too bad that some elements within the anarchist community are defensive about dealing with racism, both in the larger world and within our smaller community. This defensiveness is well illustrated by Pirate Prentice’s article “Planning For Revolution Requires Communication”. Many of the suggestions Pirate makes are good ideas, but for some reason, and in contradiction to many of the other suggestions, s/he specifically advises against working with youth of color. S/he also recommends that we not deal with racism, sexism, homophobia and classism within “our”own groups, since we’ve all been raised with that stuff and it can be divisive. Well, as a white anti-racist lower class woman, I’ll “divisive” myself right out of any group not willing to deal with this shit, and I suspect many other folks from historically oppressed groups feel the same way, which would explain why a majority of the people who hold long term places of influence and recognition within our local anarchist scene are straight white men.

We all need to work out asses off to stop the “War on Terrorism”, but we all also need to work our asses off to stop capitalism and the state (I mean, for revolution). I can’t imagine that the anarchist community will have much success in contributing to and participating in a broad based grass roots revolution if we insist on keeping ourselves in our self imposed ghetto, saying “other groups must organize themselves” and prioritizing work with groups like ALF, who are amazing and inspiring, no doubt, but not in the least revolutionary. Since the current war the United States is waging is very much grounded in racist ideas and assumptions, now is a really good time for us to explore what that means for us as an anarchist community and how to incorporate our understanding of the entrenched racism of the United States into our day to day networking, organizing, and action. Many communities of color, from youth in Oakland to Arab American groups everywhere, are providing amazing examples of resistance to the United States’ war machine and brutality. Now is not the time to hide behind our defensiveness about dealing with racism and other forms of oppression.

Pirate suggests we “discover who our allies are.” My allies are not only people who oppose this war, but who also oppose this entire messed up capitalist, patriarchal state, and I know for a fact that includes many youth of color.

These are hard times, and the work we have to do is hard. Discounting whole communities and potential allies will not stop the war and it will not help us down the road to positive revolution.

Thanks for putting out the special ‘9-11’ issue.

Yours in struggle (with each other and the state), Rahula Janowski



I agree that discounting whole communities will not stop the war or bring revolution but, then again, neither will misreading Slingshot articles.

Saying other groups must organize themselves is only the truth; I as a white person cannot organize in the Black community, they would laugh me out of there. And that was the point of the article, that older white guys trying to push their agenda onto youth of color doesn’t work. That doesn’t mean one shouldn’t work at all with folks of color, but one should do it as equals not as an organizer going into a community pushing an agenda that may not be wanted.

The article did not “recommend that we not deal with racism, sexism, homophobia and classism” in our own groups. The article said to “avoid the rhetoric and p.c. criticism”, notice–avoid the rhetoric not avoid dealing with oppression. The point being that, yes we all share a culture steeped in racism, sexism, homophobia and classism and we all need to be aware of our behavior and language, but it doesn’t help if we jump down the throat of a comrade if he doesn’t use the approved language. Different people are going to have different levels of proficiency at P.C. talk, but we should be sure of what the intent of the person is before we spew anti-racist dogma at her to educate him in group think.



Dear Slingshot:

I’m really upset to see that you listed act-up San Francisco as a contact in your organizers for 2002. This is a very right wing group with a gay twist. They work with right wing politicians to cut funding for aids drugs because they say hiv doesn’t lead to aids. They put out a lot of half truths and often manipulate facts. They also beat up people for taking aids drugs. They claim they just use “aggressive in your face tactics.” I seriously thought you people would know better. These people aren’t anarchists, they’re just conspiracy theorists.

-Joe Levasseur

Joe-we have already realized our mistake and they will certainly not be in next year’s organizer. -Astrogirl

Friends in Paris!!!

Dear Slingshot

Hi! Passing through San Francisco on November 14, I came upon a demonstration against the war, and someone gave me a flyer signed Jason Justice, from Slingshot. It is very comforting for some of us, in Europe, to see that Americans say everything we think. Of course we are in the same ship, against the same kind of power, for the same human world.

With a group of friends, we write a paper in Paris, France, for and with the people of our neighborhood – very pluri-ethnic and pluri-cultural. Our goal is to let people express their opinions and their creativity. We feel we have made a small step in the right direction when people of different origins speak to each other without referring to a French intermediary, when someone from Mauritania writes a paper on modern slavery with a Bangladeshi, or a Pakistanis reflections on terrorism with an Italian, when a Muslim woman who has never left her home before, comes and gives us a poem. Our paper is also multilingual. We try to have people write in their native language, and we translate in French, with the author’s help; for those who cannot understand. This is the reason why I was wondering if you would allow us to reprint one of your articles, the one that was handed to me and that uplifted my spirit or another from your paper (I found you on the web after I got back to Paris). We would love to have a fruitful exchange with you, so far and so close.

Peacefuly yours

Dominique, from the “Voice of Cultures”.

Jail Mail

Dear Slingshot:

Yet another year passes here in this Texas Gulag Hell Hole. Please note the above address and T.D.C.J. addition of two numeral slots on my prison number. We are in the millions now and still counting in State, Private, Federal prisons and jails. I have not moved physically, only in name.

Thanks for these past years in your mailings to me of Slingshot. You are the only one left who mails out on a regular basis. It seems all the others either have failed in some way, most pr
obably financial, to be able to produce their periodicals and have ceased to exist are just barely able to get by at their home base.

It is a shame that it has to be that way, because it is the only way that I can get the truth in news with alternative reporting in the state of affairs be they local, state or global. Much unlike the News Hour Bullshit on TV.

I am an avid reader. Due to manpower shortages here the prison library on this unit has been closed to all non school participating prisoners such as me for going on four months. I have a prison job. I refuse to work since at my age and length of prison term most probably I will not live to see any possible prison release.

All that I have to do is read, do crossword puzzles, or listen to the radio. TV nor recreation is an option in my case.

So, if you or anyone else you may know of who might be able to help in any way it would help immensely. These few things are the crux of my ability to be able to cope with and this ass load of time in any sort of way easier than T.D.C.J. would have do it.

Again thanks to all at Slingshot. Please put my poor old ass in the mail hopper for another year.

One who love ya


Edgar Waller #00738675 1800 Luther DR. O.L. Luther Unit Navasota, TX 77869

Undermining Land and Workers

Pacific Lumber Swings Their Axe Again

Forestt defenders in California’s northwoods are preparing for a spring of direct action protests as they struggle to preserve the last scraps of the worlds old growth redwood habitat – and they need your help. Keep your ears open for upcoming protests and campaigns, and keep your knapsack packed and ready to go! There will likely be protests against logging plans for residual old growth areas including Allen Creek if it gets approved, two more logging plans in Hole in the Headwaters (one section of forest in this area was already cut in the fall), and logging plans up for approval in the Mattole. Public action is also required around the Bureau of Land Management’s draft Management Plan on the (publicly owned) Headwaters Preserve. Public hearings are expected in April.

Pacific Lumber (PL), the largest private owner of redwoods in the Northwoods, recently submitted a proposal to log in the Allen Creek Grove, one of the six old growth groves set aside under protective status for 50 years under the infamous Headwaters Deal. These groves comprise the Marbled Murrelet (bird) Conservation Area, and are supposed to be protected under legally binding terms of the Deal, yet the company is poised to log mature second growth and residual old growth redwoods within the heart of this vitally important habitat.

PL is attempting to get around the agreement with the preposterous claim that their logging operation would “improve” Murrelet habitat. However, since these elusive seabirds rely on intact forest stands and are extremely susceptible to noise disturbances and predator species, their logging would have disastrous effects, resulting in reductions in canopy density and closure, increasing wind and weather impacts and increasing opportunities for predatory birds that predate on the Murrelet’s eggs.

The contract between Pacific Lumber and the state of California for the release of the bucketloads of money paid them as part of the Headwaters Deal ($480 million) clearly prohibits any kind of logging within the 13 Marbled Murrelet Conservation Areas for a period of 50 years. PL and the Calif. Dept. of Forestry are trying to ignore this fact and use their own creative interpretations of PL’s Habitat Conservation Plan to claim the logging could be allowed.

People are urged to contact the Calif. Dept. of Forestry (CDF) while the plan is still in comment period (no end date set; contact BACH for info) and tell them this logging plan, THP 1-01-352 HUM should be denied.

In addition, PL has plans in the hopper that would allow them to go into “occupied” Marbled Murrelet habitat (they have already logged 5000 acres of Murrelet habitat since the Headwaters Deal.) There was a lull before the storm after the 1999 Headwaters Deal that may have led some to think there would be a reduced level of logging in Humboldt county. There will be soon, as PL has about used up all the prime timber land under their ownership (see layoffs, below). But this lull was only due to plans being brought into compliance with the Deal’s so-called Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), and we are braced for a stormy spring.

In addition, cynically blaming not only environmentalists and state regulations, but claiming to be constrained by their own HCP, Pacific Lumber put 140 of its workers out of work in December. PL’s overcutting, which spiraled out of control with the takeover of the company by Maxxam Corporation in 1985, landed them where they are today, with a very depleted resource base but a wealthy parent company. (Charles Hurwitz, CEO of Maxxam, got an $11 million bonus for the Headwaters Deal, which could go a long way toward helping the people living in a county in economic decline.) Operations will continue at PL’s smaller Carlotta mill, but the Scotia mill is the visible PL icon on Highway 101, and central to Scotia, one of the last company towns in America. PL said those employees laid off must move out of their company-owned homes in 6 months.

For news about all of these upcoming actions, keep in touch with the Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters hotline (510) 835-6303, monthly meetings (2nd Tues. @ Rockridge Library) their listserve and website: www.HeadwaterPreserve. And keep your knapsack packed.

Don't Wave Your Finger At Us

Beware! The groundwork is quickly being laid for use of the “War on Terrorism” against domestic political radicals, anarchists, and environmentalists. Will the term “terrorist” be used to suppress anyone who questions the corporate/industrial system, in a kind of “new-McCarthyism”?

The danger of being labeled a terrorist for engaging in domestic political activity is high because once labeled, there is no way to fight the label. Groups or people labeled terrorists may be subject to increasingly extreme and unpredictable forms of government repression.

The definition of terrorist activity is so broad and includes so many types of activities that virtually anyone opposing corporate or government action using tactics other than voting and letter-writing could be labeled a “terrorist.” Federal law defines terrorism as “acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of criminal laws of the U.S. or any state; that appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population and to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.” The FBI defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce” the government or the civilian population.

Six days after the September 11 attacks, attorney general John Ashcroft announced the creation of anti-terrorism task forces in all federal district attorney offices across the country. His announcement appears to revive COINTELPRO tactics, although this time to disrupt and neutralize “terrorists” instead of “subversives.” He noted: “Once substantial credible information is received indicating that individuals or groups in a particular district may be terrorists or abetting terrorism or aiding terrorism, the members of the anti-terrorism task force in conjunction with the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice will determine and implement the most effective strategy for incapacitating any terrorist activity on their part.”

Since Ashcrofts announcement, numerous articles in the mainstream press have appeared to lay groundwork for labeling anarchist and radical environmentalist groups as terrorists who should be “incapacitated.” The New York Times recently published an article on the dangers posed by rowdy anarchists to the Olympic games. In another article, the Times noted that anarchist-based anti-racists who had protested a Nazi gathering in Pennsylvania were more violent and dangerous than the Nazis they came to protest. And a recent preview article about the protests against the World Economic Forum featured photographs of black-clad anarchists trashing a McDonald’s restaurant in Davos, Switzerland, and pictures of police and protesters clashing in Melbourne and Salzburg, Austria. All these articles, and many others found in papers across the country, appear designed to justify repression.

One of the most blatant war on terrorism based attacks on domestic dissent so far has been against the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (EFL). On October 31, Craig Rosenbraugh, the former press spokesperson for the ELF, was subpoenaed to testify before a FEBRUARY 12 Congressional hearing on Ecoterrorism. Rosenbraugh has said he won’t cooperate, and could be jailed indefinitely for refusing to respond to Congressional questions. The FBI has an on-going investigation against the ALF and the ELF (they were listed as terrorist groups before September 11) and it is unclear what might happen after the congressional hearing. “In probing the threat of terrorism, it only stands to reason that Congress should probe the threat of eco-terrorism as well,” Representative Scott McInnis (R-Colorado) said.

Soon after scheduling the hearing on ecoterrorism, McInnis and other congressmen sent letters to a number of mainstream environmental groups asking them to condemn the ALF and the ELF. The letter stated “As our Nation begins the recovery and healing process following the tragedy of September 11, we believe it is critical for Americans of every background and political stripe to disavow terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. No matter its shape, source or motivation, Americans simply cannot tolerate, either overtly or through silence, the use of violence and terror as an instrument of promoting social and political change. ”

When it comes right down to it, the corporations and governments and industrialism and property are killing the earth and killing far more people than any terrorists’ bombs. The kind of terrorism which seeks to butcher people at random so the terrorist can obtain power – the same kind of power wielded by the corporations and the governments the terrorist attacks – that kind of terrorism is not liberation, but just more of the same death and domination.

But the struggle for liberation from power is a struggle that requires disruption of the system it seeks to destroy. “Working within the system” only strengthens the system and cannot free us from the system. The struggle for liberation doesn’t seek to kill people – it seeks to fight a system of power which dominates people. We must not permit those who seek to retain power to label our struggle for libaration as “terrorist” thereby justifing use of the system’s violence against liberation.

Give Capitalism the Rope to Hang Itself

I was sitting and waiting for the train to come when something that had been stirring in my brain for nearly a year began to ferment once again. I wasn’t thinking about this “something” at all. Unsurprisingly, I was daydreaming of Emma Goldman and imagining that I might at some point in my life come close to touching upon her sincerity. In Living My Life she tells of one of her first experiences speaking in front of people. She has been strongly influenced by Johann Most and is speaking in Cleveland to a group of animated workers. She gives them a “sarcastic arraignment” and prods them to fight for more than temporary gains. It is then that an old worker rises to speak

“he said that he understood my impatience with such small demands as a few hours less a day, or a few dollars more a week. It was legitimate for young people to take time lightly. But what were men of his age to do? They were not likely to see the ultimate overthrow of the capitalist system. Were they also to forgo the release of perhaps two hours a day from the hated work? That was all they could hope to see realized in their lifetime. Should they deny themselves even that small achievement? Should they never have a little more time for reading or being out in the open? Why not be fair to people chained to the block?”

This was a turning point for Emma that impressed upon her the need for independent thinking. For some reason this particular sentiment hit me when I was tossing around the current Roe vs. Wade situation in my malcontent brain. The thought of losing Roe Vs. Wade with the impending implantation of one more demonic “supreme” court “justice” makes me grimace and choke back vomit. I do not believe in petitioning the state and this leads me to wonder what is the female anarchist role in the struggle to maintain control of our bodies? Those who will suffer from the overturning of Roe vs. Wade more than just ideologically like myself, are the poor, uneducated, people of color, i.e. the same people who always lose under capitalism.

Should I organize demonstrations? Should I implement abortion workshops? Should I tour the poorest areas of every city and town with information? What would be effective?

I am not writing this to supply answers or information but to provoke thought in the hopes that the thought will provoke action, and that action a reaction. I have found that when I have a question it is best to ask it because questions either supply answers or deliberation. Both of which I consider productive. It is from these humble musings that I found myself scratching at the walls of the beast. Perhaps, this particular issue seems too liberal for some. Many, in my experience, see it the way Goldman leered out over the crowd of haggard workers.

It is time that we begin to educate and organize everyone possible, from every angle. The system doesn’t work and there is always a personal connection to that. For womyn, this is a good example. Let us tie every struggle into a knot (also a good birth control method) and point at the big mess of capitalism.

For information on herbal emmenagogues (stimulating menstruation) or herbal abortifacients (encouraging abortion) go to:


New Infoshops Opening

In the last few months several new infoshops have opened up around the land, and some have moved. If you’re in the area, stop by and help support them. If you know of other openings, let us know.

New Autonomous Zone in Chicago

The Azone in Chicago has moved. The new address is 2129 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647 and the new phone # is (773) 460-0237. The mailing address remains the same; 1573 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60622. The new space should be fully constructed by this printing and will include a full kitchen, computer lab, infoshop, library, bike shop and darkroom, and a basement for shows. Sounds cool! If you’re in Chicago check it out.

Flor y Canto opens in LA

Flor y Canto Centro Comunitario Flor y Canto has a bookstore, internet hookup, a meeting space and a foosball table! They are a not-for-profit space seeking social change. They also have films, potlucks, study groups and other classes. Hours are–Tuesday through Saturday 1-6 pm. 3706 N. Figueroa Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90065 www.florycanto.org mail@florycanto.org

Corner Books opens in Yellow Springs

Corner Books is located at 108A Dayton Street, Yellow Springs, OH. They offer free alternative literature, new and used books, and a weekly video showing. Corner Books is run by a collective of local Yellow Springs residents and Antioch College students. Hours are Saturday 12-5 and Sunday 1-5, and other hours as volunteer effort allows. email: CornerBooks@mail.com web: www.CornerBooks.org. Phone: 937-374-1552.

New Activist Resorce Center in DC

The Gaea Foundation will soon open a public resource center for activism and arts (no name yet) at 1730 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 2nd floor, Washington, DC 20036. It will have a library, Internet access, a web portal, art display space and a video projector. It will be staffed by a trained reference librarian and will support study groups and present guest speakers.

Boxcar Books open in Bloomington, IN

Boxcar Books will be opening February 1st at 310 A S. Washington St. Bloomington, IN 47401. We can be reached at (812) 339-8710, boxcar@softhome.net, or www.boxcarbooks.org Our hours are 11-9 Mon – Sat and 12-5 Sun. The bookstore specializes in new and used books, zines, periodicals, graphic novels, and comics. The meeting space is open to any groups and discussion groups interested in using it. And, The Midwest Pages to Prisoners Project is officially part of our non-profit and uses the back part of the space to fulfill 80-100 requests for books a week.

Urbana-Champaign IMC & library

Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center and Library collective located at 218 West Main Street in Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 344-8820. We’re open every day, noon-9pm on Sun., Tues., and Sat., 4-9 all other days. We will be celebrating the 1-year anniversary of the opening of our space later this month. The library holds a growing number of materials in print, audio and video from alternative and/or small, independent publishers as well as independently produced zines, alternative journals and a media archive of work produced by IMC members.

Brycc House Library, Louisville

The Brycc House Library is located at 1055 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40204, (502) 456-1006, brycc@brycchouse.org, www.brycchouse.org. The library is part of the Brycc House, a collectively-run center with a venue, computer lab, internet radio station, and art studio. The library takes zines and radical/independent books and literature. We are looking for more volunteer librarians.

Arise Resource Center, Minneapolis

Arise Resource Center and Bookstore. 2441 Lyndale Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55405. We are a collectively run infoshop offering meeting space, office space, and research facilities for the Twin Cities activist community and the community at large. Groups actively meeting currently are; ARA, NORML, Minnesotans for a United Ireland, Mumia Coalition, Women’s Prison Book Project, and Free Radio. Our hours are 9am-8pm everyday.

Black Oyster Infoshop: Williamsburg

This is a great opportunity for us, because we recently formed. We’d like to offer a free and alternative forum for various events in Williamsburg, Virginia such as poetry readings, discussions, film presentations, and later offer anarchist and other radical literature. Our address is Black Oyster Infoshop 206 South Boundary Street Williamsburg, VA 23187 We want to offer a free forum for progressive issues and events, as well as attempt to build a community solidarity with labor or other groups. We plan to have alternative and anarchist literature available. For now we are more event oriented.

Internationalist Books & Community Center

We’ve been around as a bookstore for 21 years now, but just got 501(c)3 status last month. We carry new and used books and magazines and should have a lending library started within the month, and hopefully a computer resource center by summer(depending on grant moneys). We’re open Tues-Sat from 11-8, Sun 12-6 and Mon2-8, with Food Not Bombs on Sundays at 3:30 and Earth First! meetings Tuesdays at 8pm. 405 W. Franklin St. Chapel Hill, NC 27516, (919)942-1740,

Those BASTARDS Are At It Again

Anarchist Conference In San Francisco

The second BASTARD (Berkeley Anarchist Students of Theory And Research & Development) anarchist conference will be happening at New College in San Francisco this year. This one-day event will be Sunday March 31, probably 10:00am – 6:00pm, the day after the San Francisco Anarchist Bookfair. There will be two panel discussions, one on race , the other to be announced. The panel on race will feature Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin. (He will also be at several other events around the Bay Area that week, look for them). BASTARD is still looking for workshop proposals for the conference so if you are inclined to, send along a proposal. Facilitated discussions will get priority for longer workshop slots. Futher details will be available when they become clear.

For the proposal form and more up to date details, go to www.bay-anarchists.org or send email to asg@onebox.com. Regular post to Anarchist Study Group c/o 3124 Shattuck Av. Berkeley, CA 94705 or you can call (510) 239-2239 x2662