2- Introduction to Slingshot issue 131

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

In the Bay Area right now, the houselessness crisis is getting so bad that it feels just like the climate crisis — like it is hard to imagine it getting any worse, but yet every day, it does. Walking through town, the ever-expanding tent cities stand in contrast to the trendy housing developments and rent increases (#rentcooties). But while addressing climate chaos feels like an unsurmountable challenge, the housing affordability crisis shouldn’t be. It just takes sharing resources more justly — everyone should have one house before anyone gets two.

But the world isn’t like that yet. As Slingshot went to press, sheriffs with AR-15s and tanks evicted 4 moms who who had been openly squatting an investor owned empty home for 2 months. The Moms for Housing remind us not to blame each other for the struggle to survive in the Bay, but to blame the corporations manipulating the market — and to call it what it is, an affordability crisis! Let the speculators get so pissed, they take an Uber to a Starbucks! While we are busy on the frontlines of struggles from houselessness to climate catastrophe, electoral politics threaten to totally distract us from what really matters. Does anyone know about any riots or protests planned against major-party conventions this year?

This year, we remember the 30th year since Judi Bari was bombed and nearly killed right here in Oakland, and was accused by the FBI of bombing herself. Judi’s spirit keeps us fighting in the woods and in the courts. Meanwhile, during this issue’s production, MOVE member and Black Panther Delbert Africa was released from prison after over 40 years — the sixth MOVE comrade released in the past year. For better or for worse, one of the threads that connects various radical movements is government repression.

Making Slingshot is a respite from environmental devastation, repression and corporate bullshit because it feels like we are doing something, but it’s still so inadequate in the face of the big yuck. Just a few weeks ago, after a US drone killed an Iranian general, one collective member found themselves crying over an encrypted call with relatives in Iran, fearing deadly international conflict manufactured by the ruling class. Shit is hitting the fan on all levels. We have to find joy in small things, like one collective member who is 7 years old doing circus arts while we are doing layout, in the inside jokes shared with the people beside us in the body blockade, or in storytelling about freebox scores.

Even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer, consider authoring a piece for Slingshot. We aren’t writers, either! The best articles are about a subject the author is directly engaged in. 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: Adam, Alina, Cat, Dickie, egg, Fern, Gerald, Ingrid, Isabel, Jesse, Lazer, Nyx, Rachelle, Reno Joey, Sylvia, 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 Sunday August 16, 2020 at 7 pm at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 132 by September 12, 2020 at 3 pm.

Volume 1, Number 131, Circulation 22,000

Printed January 24, 2020

Slingshot Newspaper

A publication of Long Haul

Office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue Berkeley CA 94705

Mailing: PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703

510-540-0751 slingshotcollective@protonmail.com

slingshotcollective.org • twitter @slingshotnews

Circulation information
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.