Slingshot is an independent radical newspaper published in Berkeley since 1988.
When the article deadline rolled around, we sat in the dark under the stars around a campfire feeing the cold air, and realized the articles were not ready, so we put off making the issue.
During this time, Slingshot turned 33. Our origin story is significant to who we are today — at our genesis, Berkeley was still palpably raging, just 20 years after the Summer of Love and uprisings in 1968. Outside of our meeting room, protests were a weekly staple — sometimes daily. Slingshot’s pages were filled with fights against atrocities like police abuse, chainstores, war and the destruction of communities like People’s Park. Issues that still resonate today. The Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 that rocked many cities worldwide are an example of the mind altering activities that fuel the production of this project. Last year, lots of people put themselves in harm’s way in street protests and direct action campaigns to effect long overdue change — although constantly being in go-mode is sorta an insane condition to remain in. Often people don’t come back either physically, mentally, or emotionally. Yet we find that turning off in the face of oppression is not a life worth living.
Over the years we’ve also maintained a little space inside The Long Haul Info Shop, a public space that is centered on resistance. Our shabby nest has allowed for a vibrant street culture to aide & abet in world revolution and evolution and their contributions often raises the value of our paper. It’s been a difficult year locking the doors and staying aglow by the heat of the screen instead of attending raucous protests and in-person gatherings. The longer days now stretch out before us, and the excitement of that acts as a cocktail with the uncertainty of our untenable situation with capitalism.
Despite the pandemic and everything, the issue came out. With only a small krew, our process resembled flying (in a lawnmower) by the seat of our pants — yet nonetheless, we think this issue kicks ass! It’s easy to feel pointless and wasted in this post-capitalistic sh!tshow of a world, but somehow coming together with your friends and comrades to make art, eat together, spin yarns, cozy up inside shelter together, argue, laugh, cry, doze off…. These are the things in life that we hold dear, and we are very grateful to have the privilege to do as such under the banner of Slingshot. We love you, and we hope that you can go out and perpetuate that gooey feeling.
A key value of Slingshot is that the perfect isn’t the enemy of the good. When we get hung up on the issue being perfect, it doesn’t happen. When we are gentle to ourselves and realize that nothing humans make is ever as good as they want it to be, then magic things can happen and the issue can turn out better than we expected. This is part of the essence of DIY and punk. Just Doing It – doing something – is really important. It empowers you – it makes you feel alive. The mainstream wants everyone to doubt themselves and feel like only “professionals” can do stuff – which leads to a world with corporate music and media with most people just consumers.
We demand a world where we make the media and the music and everything – and yeah a lot of it is going to be funky and maybe not polished – but it will be authentic and have heart and feel real – not plastic and boring. And that is what Slingshot really counts for — the feeling that it is from real people who are on the same level as the readers, not towering over them from on high. And yes, all collectives should perpetually be reexamining themselves, their rules, goals and processes. This is especially true for longstanding collectives such as ours.
Slingshot is always looking for new writers, artists, editors, photographers and distributors. If you send an article, please be open to editing. We’re a collective, but not all the articles reflect the opinions of all collective members. We welcome debate and constructive criticism.
Thanks to the people who made this: Bolton, eggplant, Elke, Emily, Emma, Fern, Gena, Grant, Jenna, Jesse, Lilian, Ramona, rác, Sean, Talia, and all the authors and artists!
Slingshot New Volunteer Meeting
Volunteers interested in getting involved with Slingshot can come to the new volunteer meeting on August 22, 2021 at 7 pm at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)
Article Deadline & Next Issue Date
Submit your articles for issue 134 by September 11, 2021 at 3 pm.
Volume 1, Number 133, Circulation 22,000
Printed March 19, 2021
A publication of Long Haul
Office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue Berkeley CA 94705
Mailing: PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703
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Subscriptions to Slingshot are free to prisoners, low income, or anyone in the USA with a Slingshot Organizer, or $1 per issue. International $3 per issue. Outside the Bay Area we’ll mail you a free stack of copies if you give them out for free. Say how many copies and how long you’ll be at your address. In the Bay Area pick up copies at Long Haul and Bound Together books, SF.
Slingshot free stuff
We’ll send you a random assortment of back issues for the cost of postage. Send $4 for 2 lbs. Free if you’re an infoshop or library. slingshotcollective.org