Collective Process-2011

As we build new non-hierarchical projects, businesses, houses and institutions, efficient, clear and open group process can make our work a lot easier. Making decisions as a group shouldn’t have to mean sitting in endless disorganized, frustrating meetings or letting our groups be dominated by those with the loudest voices. Here are some tips on how to create effective, fun, cooperative structures for liberation.

Decision Making Process

• If possible, come to meetings having already thought about concrete things to say and discuss.

• Starting a meeting well sets the tone for what is to come. Make a clear agenda that everyone understands and agrees on. Select people to play roles at the meeting: a facilitator or co-facilitators, a time keeper, someone to take minutes, and maybe a stack-keeper and vibes watcher for bigger meetings. Go around the circle and have everyone introduce themselves and perhaps check-in with how they’re feeling to build a cohesive spirit for the meeting.

• Meetings are more fun when there’s food and drink served.

• It can be helpful to have a brainstorm to generate lots of ideas on a particular agenda item. Everyone throws out ideas and no one comments on them or discusses them at the time. They are written down and organized or discussed later.

• Sometimes people raise their hands to speak to a point. The facilitator or stack-keeper will call on people and keep their comments in order. Other times a “talking stick” gets passed around — only the person holding the stick can speak.

• Sometimes, it is nice to have a “go-round” so that everyone in the circle can speak to a point or say “pass.” That will give quieter people who might not raise their hand a chance to speak.

• During the meeting, after discussing a point on the agenda, one or several people can state specific proposals or counter-proposals for the group to act on. This avoids general discussion that doesn’t lead to a clear decision or action.

• When a meeting is having a hard time getting to a decision, it can be helpful to take a non-binding “straw poll” to get a sense of how people feel on an issue. It may be that most people already favor one course and a straw poll can move the meeting from discussion to reaching a decision.

• Many groups use consensus to reach a decision — the process of only making a decision when, after thorough discussion, everyone agrees to a proposal or agrees to stand aside and not block it. This can take longer because it takes time to hear everyone’s point of view and requires people to compromise but avoids a group splitting between winners and losers.

• At the end of the meeting, make sure the date is set for the next meeting. Doing a check-out to state how people thought the meeting went can help heal hard feelings that may have developed during the meeting. It also helps to have people repeat what they agreed to do at the meeting so everyone remembers who will do what later. Write up minutes and distribute them to the group.

Organizational Development

• Groups that grow slowly and organically — starting with small goals and letting the project expand with the group rather than biting off a huge task right from the start — tend to keep going rather than burning out. Avoid endless discussions of abstract structure before you’ve even done anything.

• Collectives work best when they stay pretty small — maybe the size of a band or at most a smaller chamber orchestra. If a project requires more people, several independent collectives can communicate and cooperate on it.

• Having an established welcoming ritual for new members will help the group seem open rather than a closed clique of friends.

• Some collectives are open to anyone who wants to join. Others are closed collectives — new members have to be invited to join by the existing group. Figure out which kind your group wants to be based on the goals and needs of the group. It is okay to decide who you want to work with — being closed can help deal with disruptive people. On the other hand, open groups can include new energy, people and diversity outside your personal friendship network.

• Finances should be open and not mixed with anyone’s personal money.

• Keep a binder with all the minutes of meetings to maintain history as membership changes.

• Avoid development of an “in-group” by rotating tasks, sharing information about how things work, publicly posting meeting times if the group is an open collective.


Discovering the romance of [books]


On Photography by Susan Sontag

The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property by Lewis Hyde

Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper by Diablo Cody

You are Here: Exposing the Vital Link Between What We Do and What That Does to Our Planet by Thomas M. Kostigen

Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It by Elizabeth Royle

America, Amerikkka by Rosemary Redford Ruether

Communes: Creating and Managing Collective Life by Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Severing the Ties That Bind: Government Repression of Indigenous Religious Ceremonies on the Prairies by Katherine Pettipas

Time On Two Crosses: Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin

Affirmative Acts by June Jordan

Brown Tide Rising: Metaphors of Latinos in Contemporary American Public Discourse by Otto Santa Ana

Massacre of the Dreamers: Essays on Xicanisma by Ana Castillo

The Embodiment of Disobedience: Fat Black Women’s Unruly Political Bodies by Andrea Elizabeth Shaw

Resistance: An Indigenous Response to Neo Liberalism edited by Maria Bargh

Queer Beats: How the Beats Turned America onto Sex by Regina Marier

No Crystal Stair: Visions of Race and Gender in Black Woman’s Fiction by Gloria Wade-Gayles

Science and Liberation edited by Rita Arditti, Pat Brennan, Steve Cavrak

Celluloid Closet by Tito Russo & Rob Epstein



The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon by Tom Spanbauer

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

After the Quake by Haruki Murakami

The Sand Pebbles by Richard Mckenna

The Prodigal Daughter by Jeffery Archer

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

The High Cost of Living by Marge Piercy

The Iron Heel by Jack London

This Perfect Day by Ira Levin

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathan Safran Foer


Children/Young Adult Fiction:

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Anna of Byzantium by Tracy Barrett

Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis

Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You by Hanna Jansen

We Shall Not Be Moved: The Women’s Factory Strike of 1909 by Joan Dash

Ties That Break, Ties That Bind by Lensey Namioka



Make/Shift – PO BOX 2697 Venice, CA 90294

Cracks in the Concrete – 101 B Coop St. Westmont, NJ 08108

No Gods, No Mattress – 3088 King St. Berkeley, CA 94703

Short Fast & Loud – 255 Lincoln Ave. Cotati, CA 94931

8 Letters – 1414 Lincoln Pl. Brooklyn, NY 11213

The Match – PO Box 3012 Tucson, AZ 85702

On T’ Road – 14 Hessle Mount, Leeds, England LS6 1EP UK

Give Me Back – PO Box 73691 Washington DC 20056

Cometbus – PO Box 4679 Berkeley, CA 94704

Out Of Time



Eat The State


Conspiracy Law and being true to yourself

In a number of recent cases, the police have used infiltrators/provocateurs posing as activists to entrap people on charges of conspiracy to set fires or blow things up. People went to jail just for talking about such actions, even though no property was ever damaged. In one case, a young punk woman got to know people over a period of years going to mass protests and radical convergences. She flirted and traveled with people, wrote posts for Indymedia, acted as a medic at mass protests, contributed money and resources to activist projects, and gained lots of people’s trust and respect for how radical she was. All the while, she was giving real-time reports to the police and FBI, wearing a wire to record conversations, and plotting her next move with government handlers and psychological consultants.

In the end, she put a lot of pressure on people to participate in illegal property destruction that she was suggesting, and her victims agreed in large part because they wanted to impress her, maintain her respect, and show her that they were “really radical” and totally devoted to the cause. This dynamic frequently operates even when a government agent is not involved. People get involved in militant actions that they may not feel comfortable with for the wrong reasons — due to peer pressure and out of the sometimes mistaken impression that being more militant always makes us more effective.

It’s important to understand how conspiracy charges work and not get yourself in trouble with a bunch of loose talk that you have no intention of ever acting on. You can be guilty of conspiracy just for agreeing with one other person to commit a crime even if you never go through with it — all that is required is an agreement to do something illegal and a single “overt act” in furtherance of the agreement, which can be a totally legal act like going to a store.

Sometimes activist campaigns involve breaking the law — for example trespassing at a powerplant or clearcut site. And sometimes masked figures disable a bulldozer or engage in other highly illegal property destruction. As you read the historical events in this calendar, you’ll see many times when illegal actions were reasonable, helpful or even necessary to move social change forward. Having said that, deciding to do such direct actions must involve a careful weighing of the risks (to others, to your own freedom, to public opinion about the movement) and the benefits. Actions with minimal risks are easier to consider. Hopefully, actions involving huge risks are considered very calmly and carefully.

You and only you have to determine if you feel comfortable with each particular action. If you feel unsure or uncomfortable with what other people are talking about doing, the brave thing isn’t necessarily to go along with someone else’s idea and suppress your own fear and misgivings. If someone is proposing something that you’re unsure about, it can require a lot of courage to excuse yourself from the situation. Responsible activists considering risky actions will want to respect other people’s boundaries and limits and won’t want to pressure you into doing things you’re not ready for. Doing so is coercive and disrespectful — hardly a good basis on which to build a new society or an effective action.

We shouldn’t be paranoid that everyone advocating militant action is a government agent, but it is reasonable to be suspicious of people in the scene who pressure us, manipulate us, offer to give us money or weapons, or make us feel like we aren’t cool if we don’t feel comfortable with a particular tactic, no matter why they do these things. Sometimes the most radical thing we can do is to be true to our own intuition and take the time to think through each situation.

Introduction to 2010 Organizer

The modern, fast-paced, money-oriented world is a harsh, unforgiving place for sensitive people. Projects like this organizer are tiny, fragile drops in a huge, often hostile bucket. It can seem like our modest acts of resistance have little effect in the scheme of things. But that sense of futility is manufactured. We live at a crossroads in time. In the not-so-distant past, everything was made by hand. This was slowly supplanted by the dawning of the industrial age. Now, the promise of the future looms ugly with its alienating, soulless gadgets that don’t decompose. This organizer is primarily made by hand, designed for you to work out your thoughts using your own hands. The seed of action is thought. We hope this organizer can inspire you to integrate a crafty approach to your thoughts and actions. The actions we take may or may not defend us and the planet from the menance of capitalism. Certainly they are in contrast to the instant gratification that capitalism promises with one hand while it holds the chains that are our doom with the other. But change created by you and a small group of people can have a ripple effect, and we toiled over this hand-made object you hold in your hand to catalyze change.

The people who created the organizer are ordinary people just like you. And yet when we make the organizer, unusual things happen, and we are transformed. People we’ve never met before wander in attracted by the explosion of creativity, lend a hand, and become part of us. Non-artists realize they can create art. As a collective, we rise far beyond the sum of our individual selves. The organizer comes out of a thriving radical community — like a bacteria nurtured in a petri dish — and in turn we hope we help nurture that same community.

• • •

Over the last few years, Samantha helped us make the organizer — sitting around with us late into the night with a scissors in her hand, passion in her heart and intense words on her lips. This spring, she lept from the world and we miss her.

• • •

This is the 16th year we’ve been privileged to publish the Organizer. It raises funds to publish the quarterly, radical, independent Slingshot Newspaper. We aim to distribute the newspaper for free everywhere in the US. Send us your mailing address to become a local distributor of Slingshot. This year we’re publishing our first book entitled People’s Park: Still Blooming to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the creation of People’s Park in Berkeley. Let us know if you want a copy. Thanks to the people who made this year’s Organizer: Abra, Ali, Arlo, Artnoose, Autumn, Brian, Bryan, Cindy, Coby, Crystal Math, Daryn, Derek, Dominique, Eggplant, Emily, Enola, Eric, Fil, Gregg, Hans, Heather, Jake, Joclyn, Julia, Justin, Karma, Kathryn, Kei, Kermit, Kerry, Knick, Laura, Lesley, Lew, Lilia, Maneli, Melissa, Mentation, Oliver, Pancho, Paseo, Patrick, PB, Rachel, Rezz, Sally, Samiya Bird, Socket, Stephanie, Xarick, Zöe.

Slingshot Collective

3124 Shattuck Avenue • Berkeley

CA 94705 • 510 540-0751 •

© Anti-Copyright. Borrow whatever you want. We did.


Note on Moon dates: We list the day on which a full moon or new moon occurs for Pacific Time. If you live in a time zone other than Pacific the DAY of the event may be a different day. Pacific time is three hours later than Eastern Time.


Note on Moon dates: We list the day on which a full moon or new moon occurs for Pacific Time. If you live in a time zone other than Pacific the DAY of the event may be a different day. Pacific time is three hours later than Eastern Time.



printed on recycled paper


All volunteer collective — no bosses, no workers, no pay.


printed on recycled paper


All volunteer collective — no bosses, no workers, no pay.


printed on recycled paper


All volunteer collective — no bosses, no workers, no pay.


I am real! If I wasn’t real, I shouldn’t be able to cry

A key to figuring out how to resist capitalism, earth-destroying mega-technology and velveeta culture is learning how to re-define our values based on what it means to be fully human, awake and free. All of us who’ve grow up within this system internalize its values in subtle as well as more obvious ways. In other words, perhaps without even realizing it we start to define what we like and don’t like, what we are willing to strive for and what we dismiss, what we see and what fades into the background based on a value system defined by an economic, technological and cultural environment structured by capitalism.

The capitalist economic system requires all participants to simplify their thinking and behavior to pursue narrow goals: the most efficient, quick, cheap method, technology or form of organization. It is important to understand that although these goals are easy to understand, they don’t really mean anything — they are means to an end, but the end itself (more stuff, more growth at the lowest cost) doesn’t really have any ultimate meaning. Capitalism has no internal way to determine whether anything — including, in particular, constant growth and cheapeness — is actually good. In fact, on an ecologically finite planet, limitless growth is not good. Capitalist growth may kill us all if we can’t somehow stop it soon. Just having more stuff does not make human beings happy or make their lives meaningful.

Because capitalism is designed around constant competition, the pressure to pursue its very narrow goals is almost irresistible for companies, communities, and individual people. If any element of the system rejects the pursuit of efficiency, others who are more efficient will out-compete the resister who will be forced out.

Human beings are not machines. We are not merely cogs in an economic machine. It makes no sense that psychologically, culturally and in our day-to-day decision making we should primarily pursue efficiency, the lowest costs, and other valueless means-to-an-ends forms of thinking.

The most fundamental aspect of being human is our ability to experience raw emotion, wonder, love, freedom, pleasure and sensation. These are experiences totally outside the awareness of economics, corporations or computers, but each of us knows they are what makes life meaningful on a deep level. When your face is stained with tears — of happiness or sadness, but in either case being-ness — those are the moments you know you’re really alive.

Humans seek freedom, self-determination, adventure and challenges, whereas corporations, hierarchical authority structures and machines seek control, order, routine and the easiest, quickest and most boring solution to problems. Humans seek to express their humanity — we sing, write, draw, dance and rebel. Only living creatures can love, which is an irrational emotion that is also essential and even magic. It is the glue that makes society possible, makes our lives worth living, and can give us the strength and courage to organize, resist the capitalist destruction of the world, and survive. Yet love is totally invisible to capitalism — computers and corporations can’t love. These structures can’t comprehend solidarity that is based on love and that doesn’t depend on trading something for something else.

To create a new society, we have to figure out ways to resist the social structures and institutions that oppress people and are destroying the earth. We have to create alternative institutions that can meet people’s needs based on cooperation, sharing, free will, beauty, pleasure and ecological sustainability. Doing these things means we are re-organizing our priorities away from mainstream goals such as achieving success and getting material possessions.

To the extent the process of our struggle as well as our goals are based on human vs. system values — and to the extent we’re conscious of when we’re being guided by system-values and when we’re being guided by human values — we can decrease burnout by increasing our sense of meaningfulness. We won’t be seeking one path in our politics while self-judging our lives based on internalized values from the system. The part of our mind structured by the system is filled with a lot of “shoulds” that upon closer inspection may not make a lot of sense. It can be easy for our “reasonable” system-mind to doubt our human impulses for adventure, freedom and ill-advised love that can leave us dangling out on a limb.

Taking a different path or doing it yourself for your own reasons will be slower, more difficult and often very confusing and messy. Resisting the global machine means you’ll miss out on the treats it has to offer, and it may role over and crush you if you don’t step out of the way at the right moment. The funny thing is that a lot of times, enjoying easy treats makes you feel empty, while seeking complex, tough pleasures makes you feel alive and engaged. Taking the human and therefore sometimes irrational and inconvenient path seriously and following it with all your heart is what the world needs most right now. We’ve gone as far as we can with making things fast and cheap — now its time to build something meaningful and human.


Introduction to 2013 Organizer

So many people walk through the world asleep – working a job, going shopping, checking and re-checking email . . . hoping for a little stimulation, following the rules and playing it safe on a treadmill. This sleepwalking and disengagement on a mass scale leads to a world of soulless concrete, toxic waste, economic injustice, isolation, bank bailouts, loneliness and global warming. Those who control the economic and political power thrive on sleepwalkers.

With this organizer, we demand to stay awake. And yet we can still dream wild dreams — with our eyes open — of a transformed world. It’s time to focus on what winning will look like. We seek adventure, freedom, and pleasure first — not as an afterthought or a hobby relegated to weekends and two weeks of paid vacation. Structures must serve human needs, be based on love, engagement, and harmony with the earth, and be directly controlled by those who participate in them. Any structures that don’t must be obliterated. We don’t have time to waste dealing with corporations, bosses, cops or machines that seek to manage and control our lives. Our community and love for each other is powerful. Will you join us as we stay awake this year?

This is the 19th time we’ve amused ourselves by publishing the Slingshot organizer. Its sale raises funds to publish the quarterly, radical, independent Slingshot Newspaper. We try to distribute the newspaper for free everywhere in the US. Let us know if you can be a local newspaper distributor. We are working on making a smartphone app-version of this organizer that will come out by 2013 so if you know how to program apps, please contact us because we need help to make it happen. We’re also trying to post updates about the Slingshot universe on our Twitter (@slingshotnews). Thanks to the volunteers who created this year’s organizer: Alex, Ali, Amara, Angie, Anole, Ben, Bernadette, Calentine, Claire, Collin, Crystal, Dominique, Douglas, Eggplant, Enola, Fil, Gina, Heather, Jesse, Joey, Jonathon, Judy, Julia, Kate, Kazoo, Kermit, Kim, Lew, Melissa, Moxy, Rachel, Solomon, Sofie Jo, Stephanie, Susie, Suzanne and Zoe.


Slingshot Collective

A Project of Long Haul

Physical office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue Berkeley, CA 94705

Mail: PO box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703

510-540-0751 ex. 3 • • • @slingshotnews


Printed on recycled paper




All volunteer collective – no bosses, no workers, no pay.


Print we like – nonfiction, art/poetry, fiction/zines






Midnight at the Palace: My Life As A Fabulous Cockette by Pam Tent

Add Toner by Aaron Cometbus

Blues Legacies and Black Feminism by Angela Davis

Half Breed by Maria Campbell

Dinning in the Raw by Rita Romano

The Free Speech Movement by Robert Cohen and David

Rotten by Johnny Lydon

Female Ejaculation by Deborah Sundahl

The Naked Civil Servant by Quentin Crisp

Graffiti Women Street Art from Five Continents by Nicholas Ganz

The Collected Writings of Zelda Fitzgerald

Complicated Women by Mick Lasalle

Girl Zines Making Media, Doing Feminism by Alison Piepmeier

Infinite Variety by Scot D. Ryersson, Michael Orlando Yaccarino and Quentin Crisp

The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti

Screened Out by Richard Barrios

Occupy Everything edited by Aragorn!

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi

The Many-Headed Hydra by Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker

Caliban and the Witch by Silvia Federici

A Cavalier History of Surrealism by Raoul Vaneigem

The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon

An Essay on Liberation by Herbert Marcuse

Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault

Walking with the Comrades by Arundhati Roy

America Beyond Capitalism by Gar Alperovitz



Who Are You? by Anna Kavan

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Deathless by Catherynne Valente

City of Night by John Rechy

Wonder Tales edited by Marina Warner

The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

Forbidden Journeys edited by Nina Auerbach & U.C. Knoepflmacher

The Lost Ones by Samuel Beckett

The Resistible Rise of Artuto Ui by Bertolt Brecht

The Unseen by Nanni Balestrini

Amulet by Roberto Bolano

Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon


Art & Poetry

The School Among the Ruins: Poems, 2000-2004 by Adrienne Rich

Illuminated Poems by Allen Ginsberg & Eric Drooker

Idols by Gilles Larrain

The Brinkley Girls edited by Trina Robbins





Baitline, No Gods No Mattress, Padjo Nome, Muchacha, Dreams of Donuts, The Match, Dwelling Portablly, Anything by Rob Noxious, Maximum Rock’n’Roll, Pipe Bomb, Rad Dad, Hack This Zine, Mission Mini Comix Doris, Absolutely Zippo, Cometbus, Communicating Vessels, Morgenmuffel, Full Metal Faggot


Young Adult/Children

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Memoirs of a Bookbat by Kathryn Lasky

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie


Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger

Freak Show by James St. James






Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi (auto-bio in comics/graphic

novel form)




Loving Garbo: The Story of Greta Garbo, Cecil Beaton, & Mercedes de Acosta by Hugo Vickers (interesting bio of this sexuality twisting love traingle. The radical Mercedes would at least be of interest to readers)———

I hope you can use some of these! If you do, you don’t have go give me credit (not sure how this works). The list is mostly women & queer type things. Women revolting, maybe not in the traditional sense, but by writing fairy tales, becoming living works of art such as the Marchesa Casati who wore live snakes & malfunctioning lights, genius physicist Emilie du Chatelet, artist of vibrant girl in motion Nell Brinkley…and Zelda Fitzgerald. She’s too often thought of as a crazy woman, harpy who brought Scott down, bah on that. She was a talented writer,

very lush sentences thick with atmosphere. Scott sometimes stold parts from her letters & diaries & put them in his books. The best parts of This Side of Paradise & The Beautiful & the Damaned are from what he took of her.

The Idols book by Gilles Larrainis pictures of beautiful gender bending people in the 70s. Some of the Cockettes make appearances!

Hard Love I read almost two years ago and made me nostalgic for zines, seeking them out again. Written over ten years ago so there’s references to Factsheet Five & zines at Tower Records in there.


Freak Show needs to be given to all Middle Schoolers & High Schoolers upon entering the building. I hope James St. James writes more fiction.




Hi Slingshot creators!


I saw your call for submissions on We Make Zines blog and want to

submit the attached booklist for the 2013 Slingshot Organizer.


This book list was compiled by a radical librarian coworker of mine

from Hennepin County Library (Hennepin County, Minnesota).


Thank you for considering,


Sarah M. Sosa




The great transformation: the political and economic origins of our

time / Karl Polanyi

The many-headed hydra: sailors, slaves, commoners, and the hidden

history of the revolutionary Atlantic / Peter Linebaugh and Marcus


Caliban and the witch: women, the body and primitive accumulation /

Silvia Federici

The society of spectacle / Guy Debord

The coming insurrection / The Invisible Committee

A cavalier history of surrealism / Raoul Veneigem

The wretched of the earth / Frantz Fanon

The communist hypothesis / Alain Badiou

Trial / Tom Hayden

Pedagogy of the oppressed / Paulo Freire

An essay on liberation / Herbert Marcuse

Discipline and punish: the birth of the prison / Michel Foucault

Eaarth / Bill McKibben

Walking with the comrades / Arundhati Roy

America beyond Capitalism / Gar Alperovitz



The Penguin book of Socialist verse / Alan Norman Bold, editor

First hymn to Lenin, and other poems / Hugh MacDiarmid

The school among the ruins: poems, 2000-2004 / Adrienne Rich


Botanicals for healing

Herbs are a beautiful way out of a medical system dominated by an elite class of white men. Start with trying to heal yourself or a loved one by using plants. Most people are familiar with the uses of kitchen herbs such as mint and ginger. However, most don’t know there is an alternative to the uninformative advice most doctors give to people who experience problems with the reproductive/ fun organs, especially in the case of those who have ovaries and/or a uterus. Instead of birth control or pain-pills for menstrual cramps, try building your system with a foundation of nutritious food and a roof of medicinal plants. Eliminating caffeine and alcohol stops the constriction of blood vessels and the masking of exhaustion that fuels menstrual pain. Replace sugar, white flour, high-glycemic dried fruits, trans fat, and omega-6 rich vegetable oils with olive oil, flaxseeds, a prudent amount of saturated fat, seaweed, dark leafy greens, fresh fruits, organic protein, and broths. Exhaustion and anemia are common ailments that, once reversed, will allow the ovaries and uterus to heal themselves. Iron syrups typically contain: nettle, dandelion leaf and root, raspberry leaf, watercress, alfalfa leaf, hawthorn berries, yellow dock root, and dulse. Iron syrups can be bought at herb shops or made using a recipe. Taking iron in liquid form is important: iron tablets are ineffective and can be dangerous. To ease cramps (even debilitating, nauseous menstrual pain) try cramp bark. Cramp bark is not toxic to the liver as pain-pills are. Enlargement of the prostate can often be corrected by anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting foods such as flax, echinacea, tomatoes, soy, and pomegranate.

Basic botanical healing can also be about incorporating a few plants into the diet for general wellness. The following common weeds can be eaten like kitchen greens, proving that weeds are awesome. However, please don’t gather these plants from industrial sites, as the leaves absorb heavy metals. Dandelion helps the digestive system and liver. The result is increased nutrient absorption and an overall cleansing action: helping clear the skin, decrease inflammation, and increase energy. Eat chickweed to gain a wealth of vitamins and minerals and to kick-start the lymphatic system. Nettle tea is great for allergies and asthma if taken on a daily basis. The plant’s nutritional and cleansing abilities will invigorate the thyroid, kidneys, and adrenal glands. The work of nettle on your insides will show up on your outside, improving the health of teeth, nails, skin, and hair. Burdock is a weed that produces tiny round burrs from which the idea for velcro sprang. The roots are eaten in soups in parts of Asia and Europe. Burdock is a blood purifier, helping the kidneys and liver. It puts out the excess flames of inflammation, soothing arthritis, bursitis, acne, eczema, and herpes outbreaks.

Self-education about both alternative and allopathic paths to healing is the best weapon against the dangers of many state/ corporate health care systems. Keep in mind however, that western medicine might be the only way to save your life or cure a disease in some cases. Nevertheless, there persists a disturbing loyalty of doctors to western medicine. This article is too short to address the alternative medical systems of various traditions. Please go to a local herb shop or library to learn more.

DIY medicine necessitates caution. Learn everything you can about the treatments you are thinking of using, get to know an herbal teacher (they come in all ages and titles), and take great pause before collecting plants in the wild. MISidentification is extremely easy. Arm yourself with the knowledge to thrive.



–Plants Gone Wild: Redefining Ethical Wildcrafting (Decolonize perspective)

–Spectacular Specula: An Activist Dyke Discusses Self Care, Queer Reproductive Rights and Her Os: The Mimi Reproductive and Sexual Health Zine Distro

–Trans Care: What to Eat, Supplements and Herbs to Prepare and Heal Around Surgery: The Mimi Reproductive and Sexual Health Zine Distro

–Hot Pantz: Do it Yourself Gynecology

–Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Healing for Women: Simple Home Remedies for Women of all Ages. Fireside: 1993

–Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Remedies for Men’s Health. Fireside: 1999


Feed the radical mind – breaking into the underground press

There is still at this time an active and free radical press. The purpose of this page is to compel and excite you to write for the revolution. Perhaps the first step is to establish the determination to write. Many publications can be intimidating when you first approach their ideology and tastes. It’s a good idea to read some of what they published and get a feel for them. The better publishers will give feedback on submitted material and communicate their needs for accepting your work. If their response is negative, don’t take it personally. Instead focus on how to make improvements. You may want to ask your friends to review your work and note their reactions to it. Consider their suggested edits, but have in mind that you don’t really have to change everything.

The approach you take to your writing may be the essence of what makes it radical, so take a look at what’s considered standard. The mainstream media divides journalism into three forms: front page news, feature and editorial. There’s nothing wrong with this but it has done a lot to create robots and perpetuate life under constant war and slavery. The front page news article usually comes in the form of an upside down pyramid, with the most important information the title and first paragraph. The style has the veneer of being objective, but there are many ways publishers disseminate bias in the way they frame the stories. Then there is the feature story. This is writing that builds up atmosphere or story and is common to magazines as well as newspapers. And then there is the editorial, which is basically an opinion piece. Radicals tend to write heavily in this style, with it usually resembling a rant. On the other side of this are the academic radicals that write as if arguing in a debate. They tend to use $5 words meant to stun the reader with their intelligence. This could be considered another form of soap box rambling.

The Counter-Culture press is at its best when it goes beyond just talking about problems and instead points to solutions—areas available for struggle, the development of new and creative tactics, hopeful stories about people who are changing things. An ideal radical article contains four parts. First, it ought to contain an analysis of a particular aspect of social reality that looks at the problem or phenomenon from a new angle or in a way that goes beyond “common wisdom” about the issue. Second, the article should suggest solutions, not just point out how fucked up things are. Third, the article should inspire folks to actually do something. Just understanding an issue and knowing a theoretical solution is not enough. Finally, the best articles have heart and are personal. We need media that goes beyond an academic, cold discourse and touches what is really human, precious and unique about each of our lives.

In addition to contributing to radical publications consider writing for mainstream publications, but injecting a radical perspective into them. Letters to the editor or op-eds are the most accessible. And of course we always recommend people start their own radical publication. Here are some radical publications that accept submissions:

The Earth First! Journal:,

Fifth Estate: or Po Box 201016 Ferndale, MI 48220

Left Curve : Po Box 472 Oakland, CA 94604


MR&R: PO Box 460760 San Francisco, CA 94146-0760


RAD DAD: or 1636 Fairview St. Berkeley, CA 94703

Bitch Magazine:

Venue Menu

Playing music, signing, storytelling — these are the raw creative acts that make us human. Where “the music industry” seeks to control music venues to make a buck, a thriving do-it-yourself, underground network of decentralized house shows seeks to keep music accessible to everyone. Here are some tips on hosting shows.

After you’ve decided you want to host shows you’ll want to answer these questions:

• Is your space sufficient, i.e. big enough, soundproofed, and/or isolated enough?

• Neighbors going to complain / cops going to get called / know how to diffuse that situation if it comes?

• Have you set basic ground rules for events at your space?

• What are/aren’t you going to allow in your space (Drinking / smoking / etc.)?

• Is there an age restriction? / Are you going to ID/card people?

• Are there sections of the venue / house that are off limits?

• Do you know how to handle it if someone is being harmful?

• Can you swing buying a few extra rolls of toilet paper?

After you have that all figured out, ask:

• What sort of genres do you want to host?

• What cheeky name will you give your space?

• Will you charge a “suggested donation” at the door for shows? How much?

• What portion of the donations will be given to bands? (Preferably, 100%!) Are you going to let the musicians crash after a show? Feed them? (Not necessity- but certainly is a nicety.)

• Do you have sound equipment (PA / mics / cables / etc.)? (If you don’t and can’t borrow from someone or afford to rent equipment, make sure you let bands know BEFORE you book them that you do not have a PA. The band will then either decide to bring one, go acoustic, or to not play.)
How many bands would you like (ideally) per show? (You won’t like the outcome of cramming too many bands into one show)

In this digital age, you can start a “page” of some sort for your space & build up anticipation for your first show / followers / fans / common-minds / band connections.

There are several ways to book bands:


• You can actively seek out musicians you dig, and invite them (in person or via Internet) to come play a date at your space that you have pre-determined to be show-day.

• You can scope out a band’s show schedule to find dates they are available to come play.

• You can ask a band to give you some dates that would work for them, pick one, and then build around it.

If you’re going to go seeking out bands to play, you probably want to, until your space builds a crowd, stick to local bands. It would be a bummer to have a band travel to play your space & end up not having a crowd for them to play to & an empty donation jar.

• Most bands have a facebook, bandcamp, or website that has their booking contact information. You could also go to a show, and ask them in person either to play, or for their booking contact info. Once a band agrees to play a show, keep them up to date with new information as it unfolds, such as other bands playing the show, any press, fliers, event pages, schedules, so on.


• You can post info about your show space on websites like or

• Find other DIY spaces & communities & collectives & organizations in your area. Let them know that you are an available space, how to contact you, to send bands your way cause you wanna make some shows happen!

• Once a band seeks you out, you decide whether you want to host them. It is polite to respond even if you don’t want the band to play at your venue.


Consider if you want your address on fliers / social networking sites. Some spaces can advertise their whereabouts without a hitch, and some do & end up fucked over by police or random assholes that show up.

Sometimes the band(s) will take care of most of the promotion, and sometimes it will be up to you. You can:

• Make a flyer: Be sure to include: Date / time / name of your space / band names / cover / acceptable ages / either the address or your email address. Friends can help with graphics if you are not artsy. Hang your flyer about town, places with good traffic. Leave handbills (smaller versions of your flyer) at other area venues.

• Have the information about the show accessible on the Internet. The more sites the more people that will see it. Facebook event pages are a good move. Send the info to music blogs and local publications.

• Call your local radio stations (college stations are the most receptive) and tell them about your event.

• Tell your friends, tell them to tell their friends. Word of mouth goes a long way. In time your space will develop a reputation, a following, and it will become much easier to book & promote shows. Tough it out until that happens. It’s totally worth it.