Slingshot Box

Slingshot is an independent, volunteer-run, more-often-than-quarterly radical newspaper published in the East Bay since 1988.

You’ll notice that this issue is slightly shorter than usual — only 12 pages. Slingshot has been publishing more often (every two months) and our distribution keeps improving, but one critical deficiency has been good articles to publish. We get a lot of submissions, but almost all of them are rants, which isn’t really what we’re looking for. What we need is hard-hitting, well researched and carefully reasoned articles that address the critical political situation we’re in. Between the war, the increasing tide of right-wing religious intolerance, prisons and the continuing environmental crisis, radical media like this paper are important. We want it to be as well written and relevant as possible. If you’re thinking of writing something, the article “Media that inspires action” on this page contains a few ideas about the kind of articles we would like to see. Send something or call us.

A lot of heavy shit is going on in the world right now, and while we were creating this issue, some of us felt a kind of personal/ political crisis because we couldn’t seem to figure out how to publish the kind of powerful, radical response to these events that we had hoped for. So this is our best shot. Given all the death and destruction going on right now — not to mention Bush’s reelection — you’ll probably join us in finding this issue a bit fluffy. But we’re happy that at least it isn’t negative or depressing. And some of the articles, after a lot of editing and revisions, are turning out really great.

Part of the reason this issue felt like a crisis to some of us is that creating Slingshot is a cathartic personal and political process. When scary political stuff happens — the war in Iraq, 9-11, domestic political crackdown — it is easy to feel totally powerless. But then we remember “oh yeah, at least we have a paper so we can respond!”

By writing our Slingshot articles, we try to work through the political situation in our minds and regain our sense of courage and pragmatic optimism. We spell out our vision for a different world. While we can’t always realize this vision right now, a lot of times putting it on paper makes it clear that we are living little pieces of that vision all the time without realizing it — that change is happening and that we’re participating in the struggle everyday. We recognize that we’re far from powerless and that we’re not alone. We hope you’ll join us in this process of searching, writing, inspiration and ultimately, action.

This issue marks the return of Spanish translation pages, which took a vacation last issue. A huge thanks to the numerous translators who made this possible on short notice and under stressful conditions. Including the Spanish translations is extremely challenging — we dream of having a more consistent and stable translation committee that could make the Spanish pages a routine part of our process, instead of a mini-crisis that gets repeated each issue.

As always, editorial decisions are made by the Slingshot collective, but not all the articles reflect the opinions of collective members. We welcome debate, constructive criticism and discussion.