Infoshops sprouting up . . . around the world

If you want to talk about real hope and change, check out the growing decentralized network of anti-profit community spaces around the world. Just since we printed the 2009 organizer, we’ve heard about a whole bunch of new spaces. Each of these spaces is the culmination of community, engagement, and a vision of a different way for people to relate to each other — pursuing cooperation and mutual aid, not just profit. Let us know if you have suggestions of other spaces and check-out updates to our radical contact list on-line at

SubRosa Infoshop – Santa Cruz, CA

Folks have opened an all-volunteer, collectively operated community space for art and radical projects next to the bike church in Santa Cruz. It features a lending library, zine and book shop, cafe with cheap coffee, art gallery, gardens and performance space. They transformed their parking lot into a garden courtyard with seating. The space hosts monthly art shows, Free Skool classes and a weekly Open Mic on Thursdays at 8pm. Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. M-F and 10 – 8 Sat/Sun. 703 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 831-426-5242,

Treasure City Thrift – Austin, TX

They are a volunteer/collectively run extra-cheap, anti-capitalist thrift store, infoshop, free store and reuse center. They direct money to a long and exciting list of grassroots organizations. They also host a community bike shop and various experiments in alternative economics. Open Mon- Sat, 11 – 6. Visit them at 1720 E 12th St. Austin, TX 78702 (512)524-2820

The Real School (A.K.A. Dragon Valley) – Houston, TX

A school run by a collective of anarchists and other de-schoolers. 1525 East 32nd 1/2 St, Houston Texas 77022 832-767-0404

Blast-O-Mat – Denver, CO

They are a collective show space, art gallery, and record store that hosts sliding scale shows and other events. Check them out at 2935 W 7th Ave Denver, CO 80204 (831)-331-1272

Biko Co-op – Isla Vista, CA

An activist house with some free literature. 6612 Sueno Road, Isla Vista, CA 93117 858-722-8768

Lichen Spiritual Archives – Chicago, IL

They have a lending library, zine distro and archive, wireless internet and radical community space for hosting meetings and workshops. They currently have weekly meals Sunday and Monday and free food pick up at other times. They have Spanish as a second language, a study group and meetings on radical mental health and police accountability. Open Fri- Sun 11-7, Mon 6-10 and Tues 11 – 7. 1921 S Blue Island, Chicago (mailing address PO BOX 08378, Chicago, IL, 60608.)

George Street Co-op – New Brunswick, NJ

They are a vegetarian natural food co-op with a small free literature section. They saw the cover art on the 2009 organizer and thought it was funny because they have a carrot on the front of their store and are across the street from a library, just like the food coop in the drawing. Open 10-8 Mon-Fri, 8-7 Sat and 10-6 Sun. 89 Morris Street New Brunswick, NJ 08901 732.247.8280

Mississippi Market – St. Paul, MN

A food co-op with two locations that you can check out: 1810 Randolph Ave. Saint Paul, MN 55105 651-690-0507 and 622 Selby Ave. Saint Paul, MN 55104

Peace Action and Education Center of Eastern Iowa – Iowa City, IA

They have meeting, office and event space for peace groups. 26 E. Market Street, Iowa City, IA 52245 319 354-1925

Birdhouse Collective – Buffalo, NY

A house that hosts shows and do-it-yourself activities. No regular hours. 92 Bird St. Buffalo, NY 14202 716-884-2797

ReBelle – Lexington, KY

A boutique store with some eco products, etc. 371 S. Limestone St. Lexington, KY 40508 859-389-9750

Gulf of Maine Books – Brunswick, Maine

They are a 30 year old independent alternative bookstore. 134 Maine Street, Brunswick, Maine 04011

Casa T.I.A.O. – Valparaiso, Chile

Which stands for Trabajadores Independientes de Artes y Oficios (Independent Art and Trade Workers). It is a casa okupa (occupied house) i.e. squat with a rehearsal/training space for various classes: trapeze, acrobatics, capoeira, African dance, screenprinting, wood-block printing, etc. 30 people live there and they host performances: circus, punk, traditional theatre, hip-hop, etc. Visit at Yungay 1772, Valparaiso, Chile,

Kulturhuset Underjorden/SPATT – Gothenburg, Sweden

A social center that hosts shows, do-it-yourself activities and an infoshop. (Mail: Box 30, 40120 Gothenburg, Sweden.)

CSA La Torre – Rome Italy

A squatted radical community center. Visit at: via Bertero 13 Roma, Italy,

Katipo Books – Christchurch/Otautahi, New Zealand

They are a worker coop publishing group with a bookstore. 15 Winchfield Street, Aranui, Christchurch, New Zealand 8061 (mailing: PO Box 377, Christchurch Mail Centre Christchurch 8140)

India Däck Bookcafe – Lund, Sweden

A coffee shop/book exchange. Stora Algatan 3, 224 51 Lund, Sweden,

Smålands Nation – Lund, Sweden

A student community center. Kastanjegatan 7, 223 59 Lund, Sweden, 046-12 06 80,

Brian MacKenzie Center closes after 9 years

We are saddened to learn of the demise of the BMC infoshop. Keeping a volunteer collective together over a span of years requires constantly renewing the core group with new members. This is a challenge every similar project faces — we still have a lot to learn about solving this problem as a typically youthful scene. They are seeking donations to help them pay off debts. Check out: Until a planned radical library project gets going, Ryan suggests visiting some of these spots if you’re in DC:

• The People’s Media Center – an Independent media lab and event space for workshops, punk shows and all sorts of radical activist stuff. 4132 Georgia Ave NW, Washington DC, 20011

• Sankofa books and cafe – a radical and black liberation book and video store with a coffee shop and cafe attached. 2714 Georgia Avenue NW Washington, DC 202-234-4755

• Emergence – a community center that does a lot of theater type stuff, dance classes, herbal and other health workshops, arts and film screenings. Less of a drop-in space and more of a specific event space. 733 Euclid St. NW Washington, DC 20001 (202) 462-2285

Mistakes in the 2009 organizer

• The Fargo-Moorhead Community Bicycle Workshop in Fargo, ND recent moved. Their new address is 1418 1st Ave N #1 Fargo, ND 58102, 701-478-4021,

• The OKC Infoshop is at 29 (not 33) NE 27th St. in Oklahoma City, OK 73105.

• The In Our Hearts Infoshop in Brooklyn NY is now called the 123 Space. Same address.

• Spartacus Books in Vancouver, BC, Canada is on the ground floor, not the second floor. The street address listed is otherwise correct.

• It looks like we mis-spelled the name of the city in the Philippines in which Sadee’s Kitchen is located — it is Davao, not “Davae” as printed in the organizer.

Rest In Peace

• Broad Vocabulary, a long-standing feminist bookstore in Milwaukee, WI, closed at the end of 2008. They say that perhaps a co-op will re-open the store at a new location.

• We heard that Crow’s Place in Brooklyn, NY no longer exists.

• Someone told us the GLBT Center in Mishawaka, IN no longer exists.

• It looks like Feed Your Head books in Salem, MA is gone.

• We heard that the Pitchpipe Infoshop in Tacoma, WA closed.

• We got a letter saying that Southmore House in Houston no longer exists.

• Someone tried to visit the Tallahassee Infoshop at 825 Railroad — it wasn’t at that address anymore. Not sure if it moved or expired.

• We got packages returned from the following places — if you know whether they moved or died, let us know:

* Sweet Bee Infoshop at 513 E. St. Des Moines, IA 50309

* Rocktown Infoshop 85 E. Elizabeth St. Harrisonburg, VA 22802

* Sin Reading Room 918 Ward St. Nashville, TN 37207

* Rosetta News Collective 212 W. Freeman Carbondale, IL 62901

Bike Collective Network

For an impressive listing of community bike shops that encourage a do-it-yourself relationship with your bike on a non-profit, low-cost, sometimes volunteer-run, basis, check out Many have classes, space where you can work on your bike, and recycled parts. At the moment, Slingshot has been listing some of these spaces in our organizer and our radical contact list when they ask us to or when that is the only alternative group that has a physical space in a particular town. Let us know if you think we should include the entire list in our contact list.

Earth First! Roadshow

Earth First! road show

Earth First! has been organizing a cross-country road show that is slated to hit the road in February. The road show will be traveling with a variety of topics, skills and resources, including (but not limited to): forming affinity groups and planning direct action, blockading, climbing and occupations, bioregional news from campaigns and projects around the country, tools for challenging oppression, up-to-date news on resisting the Greenscare, independent and corporate media work, community organizing strategies and more.

For more info on setting up shows or if you want to share your thoughts and insights, visit or

Tentative Schedule

Phoenix/Flagstaff/Prescott, AZ 2/24

Austin/San Antonio, TX 3/3

New Orleans, LA 3/10

Gainesville, FL 3/17

Athens/Atlanta, GA 3/24

Appalachia/Blue Ridge area 3/31

Maine/Vermont 4/14

NYC/Hudson Valley 4/27

Michigan/Indiana/Ohio 5/5

Wisconsin/Minnesota 5/12

Great Plains 5/19

Colorado/Utah/Tetons 6/2

Bay Area 6/9

Humboldt/Ashland 6/16

Olympia/Seattle/Bellingham 6/23

Organizer update –

Thanks to everyone who got a 2009 Slingshot organizer — selling them enables us to publish and distribute this paper. Perhaps in part because of the economic collapse, we have a ton of extra organizers hanging around looking for a home. If you want to order some or know of someone who might want some, please let us know. We’re about 60 percent of the way to paying the printing bill, so if you have an outstanding invoice, please pay us anything you can even if you can’t afford to pay the whole bill. We realize many projects are on the verge of collapsing financially — hopefully we can all pull through this together. If you are an infoshop or bookstore with extra organizers that you want to return, please contact us before you physically return them since we’re so overstocked.

We tried a few new things in the 2009 organizer and we would love to get feedback on whether we should try them again in 2010 (assuming a revolution or famine prior to 2010 doesn’t make next year’s organizer a moot point.) If you noticed, liked, or didn’t like these changes, drop us a card or email to let us know:

• Laminated cover for pocket organizer: good, bad or didn’t notice

• Month-at-a-glance calendars in pocket organizer: good, bad or didn’t notice

• Lay flat binding in pocket organizer: good, bad or didn’t notice

Each of these features costs extra money and uses additional natural resources. The lamination uses plastic, which we don’t like, but if it keeps the organizer from falling apart it may be worth it. This year we did half laminated and half non-laminated so people could decide which they liked better. Should we make both kinds again next year or just make them all either laminated or non-laminated? The month-at-a-glance calendar makes the organizer 16 pages longer which increases the printing bill by about 10%. We could add it to the spiral calendar in 2010 but we might have to raise the price because the spiral calendar is already expensive to print and bind. Do you think it is worth it?

We’ve noticed a few mistakes in the 2009 organizer and we’re sorry about them:

• We got the wrong address for a zine listed in our zine reading list: Cracks in the Concrete is really at PO Box 2748 Tucson, AZ 85702.

• We mistakenly described the subject matter of POZ magazine — it is about people living with HIV/AIDS.

• The wrong date was given for Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s birthday, his real birthday is March 24. He turns “90.”

Let us know if you spot any other errors.

Work on the 2010 organizer will start in June. We send it to the printer in mid-August. Please send us cover art, corrections, additions, historical dates, ideas for features, doodles, radical contacts, and/or move to the Bay Area to join our collective by July 31. If you think the organizer is hard to use, you can make some pages next year that address the problems. The 2010 organizer will be available October 1, 2009.

Finally, because we have so many extra organizers hanging around, we would like to figure out ways to give some extra organizers away to projects that could get them out to people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the organizer or who could not afford to pay for it — think inmates, oppressed high school students, homeless, etc. Contact us if you have any ideas.

DIY root beer

Long before Coke, Pepsi, or any other soft drink, people were brewing their own small, (less alcoholic), beers for the “Pause that refreshes.” Shakespeare was noted to have drunk small beer and a recipe for it is found in George Washington’s notebooks. In Colonial America these small beers were generally brewed from herbs, berries and bark, with each individual having their own recipe. They were originally brewed for celebrations and family reunions. They were never intended to be stored away in casks or bottles. Early American industrialists, ever greedy for new products to sell, substituted forced carbonation for natural fermentation, longer shelf life, and marketed these beers as Birch Beer, Sarsaparilla, Ginger Beer and Root Beer. This article will show you how to brew an original simple root beer using roots, herbs, spices, and/or using a commercial extract. I’ve fucked up these recipes a few times (as well as exploding a few bottles), so I’ll list any mishaps I’ve had in each step, so that you can avoid repeating my mistakes.

To create 5 gallons of Root Beer:

Before starting, I can’t emphasize the importance of having all of your equipment clean. Bacteria can easily contaminate your root beer and make it really nasty. Scrupulously wash all of your bottles, pots and other equipment and rinse with hot water, unless you want your root beer to taste like old socks.

If you’re using commercial root beer extract, (obtained from your local brewing supply store or off of the internet), proceed to step #4, substituting lukewarm water for the root-beer tea. Be sure to add the commercial extract to the sugars before dissolving them into the water.

One of the primary ingredients in all of the following recipes is sassafras root bark, which contains safrole. Safrole is listed as a carcinogenic by the Food and Drug Administration because it causes cancer in laboratory rats. However, those of you who view the FDA’s pronouncements with a bit of skepticism might note that Sassafras root bark was commonly used by the Native Americans and is still brewed as a tea and tonic in the Southern United States. The fact that Safrole can be used as precursor to synthesize several Hallucinogenic drugs might have also have something to do with the continuing ban.

Step #1 Start by gathering the roots, herbs and spices for brewing a root beer tea. You can buy these from your local herbal supply and/or health food store, but a better way is to harvest most of them yourself.

Sassafras root-bark in particular should be foraged. The brew tastes much more flavorful and less woody than that made using the dried root bark sold in stores. Sassafras has a wide distribution range throughout the eastern United States and is commonly found in scrub woods, abandoned playing fields, and along roadsides. In fact, you can even find it Central Park in New York City. But you shouldn’t forage the roots from road-sides because of lead contamination. Also avoid harvesting any root bark in the late spring, unless you like the taste of brewed tree sap.

I’ve made a tasty brew using just Sassafras, Sarsaparilla Wintergreen, and a little bit of allspice.

Sassafras root-bark, 5 oz / 5 Gallon

Sarsaparilla, 5 oz / 5 Gallon

Wintergreen 5 oz / 5 Gallon

Whole Allspice 1 1/4 oz / 5 Gallon

Below is a list of common flavoring ingredients I’ve compiled from a number of different recipes. The final root/herb mixture should be about 3 ~ 4 oz / Gallon. The spices should be adjusted to taste.

Burdock root

Dandelion root

Ginger root

Hops (go light on the hops it’s pretty strong and can easily overwhelm the other flavors)

Juniper berries

Prickly Ash bark


Spikenard root

Wild Cherry bark

Yellow Dock, Yellow Dock root

Stick Cinnamon

Licorice root

Star Anise

Vanilla bean

Coriander seed

Step #2 Add a few handfuls of raisins to 5 gallons of cold water and bring to a boil. Add the herbs, roots and spices, just like making a tea. Then immediately reduce the heat and simmer for the next twenty minutes or so.

I find it a lot easier to wrap the herbs and roots in a pre-boiled large undyed cotton bag rather than placing them directly to the boiling water. This makes the next step, (filtration), much easier.

Do not continue to boil the water after you’ve added the root/herb mixture or it’ll taste like tree bark!!!!

Step #3 Filter the mixture into a second container. You can accomplish this by pouring the mixture through a several layers of boiled cheese cloth or boiled flannel placed in the bottom a large sieve. As an alternate method, you can just use a standard coffee filter and a lot of patience.

Do not skip this step. If you have particulate matter in your root beer, the finished product will erupt from the bottle. When I opened a bottle once, the resulting geyser splashed against a twelve-foot high ceiling.

Step #4 Dissolve 4 pounds of cane sugar into the tea. Substitute brown sugar, molasses, malt and/or honey for part or all of the cane sugar.

Be sure NOT to use honey as only sweetener. Honey ferments very slowly and you probably don’t want to wait the months it will take to drink your finished product (See the “Drink Mead” article in Slingshot issue #69).

Step #5 Wait until the tea has become lukewarm, (about the temperature of a nice but not too hot bath). Dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup of lukewarm water, then stir and let sit for a few minutes. Add this yeast mixture to your root beer tea and mix thoroughly. You can use bread yeast, but the yeast greatly effects the final flavor so my suggestion is that you experiment with the many different brewing yeasts available.

Most ale yeasts ferment fairly quickly and become inactive once your root beer is refrigerated (no exploding bottles). Champagne yeast works slower, but the bubbles are also smaller and produces a fizzier brew . However, champagne yeast, (as well as bread and lager yeasts), continue to work even after refrigeration. So you don’t want to leave the bottles in the refrigerator for three months if you’re using these yeasts.

Step #6 Cover the container and wait for at least a day. The yeast will start eating the sugar and huge amounts of carbonation and foam will result and then subside. After the foaming subsides, is time to bottle.

The resulting beverage will contain between 2% and 5% alcohol. If you don’t want to consume alcohol or are just in hurry to drink this, you can skip this initial fermentation and proceed directly to bottling. While there will still be alcohol in the finished product, it will be a very minimal amount (less than 1%). Most people’s bodies metabolize alcohol so quickly that you’d have to drink a gallon at once in order to feel any affect..

Step #7 Bottle it. You can buy a bottle-capper and caps from your local brew supply store and recycled glass bottles that don’t have twist-off tops. As an alternative, you can use plastic screw-top bottles. Plastic screw top bottles are an increasingly popular choice because they minimize the potential of exploding bottles. However, recycled plastic bottles will always retain some of the flavor of their original contents, they don’t get as clean as glass, and there are limited number of times you can reuse the plastic bottles.

If you’re one of those non-alcoholic folks that skipped step #6, I suggest you bottle your brew with the plastic instead of glass bottles. Your brew will ferment in the bottles much faster than the alcoholic stuff and give the nasty bacteria less time to to reproduce and dominate your brew and there will be a much higher possibility of exploding bottles. (Once, I forgot that the root beer I was brewing was supposed to be non-alcoholic and left the brew outside for three weeks. Almost
all of the glass bottles and the top of the picnic cooler they were stored in exploded. An incredibly sticky mess and I’m still finding shards of glass.)

Whether you using glass or plastic bottles, fill each bottle to within about 1 ½ to 2 inches from the top.

If you are planning to serve your root beer at a large party you might try fermenting your root beer into one of those stainless steel beer kegs instead of bottling it. I’ve never tried this method, but it should work.

Step #8 Place the bottles on their side in a cool dry place. This should take approximately two to three weeks for the standard root beer and two to four days for the N/A, (if you’re using the plastic bottles, the sides of the bottle should feel hard after a forceful squeeze), and refrigerate for twelve hours. If the drink is not bubbly enough, simply let the remaining brew stay outside until it is.

Step #9 Now, you can’t drink all 5 gallons of root beer by yourself. So, throw a big party!