Thriving Colorful – infoshops and community centers

Every year the Slingshot collective spends the month of July trying to update the radical contact list for the next year’s Organizer. We call, email and snail mail letters all over. We always seem to get a lot of responses, corrections and additions right after the organizer goes to press in August – so we have to update the Organizer in the newspaper before the Organizer is even back from the printer! This year, we sent snail mail letters to all the contacts in Europe, Latin America and Asia and we’ve been getting back a lot of great greetings and information.

Many of us had the opportunity to travel over the summer and gather new contacts as well as visit existing spaces. It is incredibly inspiring to see so many amazing radical spaces all over – many of them well organized, bright, thriving, colorful and full of creative energy. Thanks to everyone across the world who lends a hand to keep the radical community and its amazing spaces going.

Las Vegas Zine Library – Nevada

A zine library at the Beat Coffeehouse. 520 Fremont Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101. (Mail zine donations to c/o Jeff, PO Box 72071, Las Vegas, NV 89170.),

The Burrow – Winona, MN

They have a library, social center, meeting room and kitchen. 713 Washington Street Winona, MN 55987,

Copyleft Infoshop / The Den Collective – St. Louis, MO

They have an infoshop with a zine library, urban farm and show space at a collective house. 3245 Knapp Street St., Louis, MO 63107

Bitch Media Community Lending Library – Portland, OR

A lending library at the Bitch magazine headquaters with 1500 books, zines and DVDs on feminism, gender and related topics. Open Tues/Thurs 5-8 and by appointment. 4930 NE 29th Avenue, Portland, OR 97211, 503-282-5699,

Hammer Time! Projects – Ft. Collins, CO

A warehouse with a music venue, meeting space, free store, tool cooperative and infoshop featuring books from the (defunct) 908 infoshop. 1000 E Laurel St. Fort Collins, CO 80524

Experimental Station – Chicago, IL

A bunch of independent projects on one corner including Blackstone Bicycle works (bike coop), Backstory Café plus community events and projects. 6100 S. Blackstone Ave., Chicago, IL 60637 773-241-6044

Bike Sauce – Toronto, Canada

DIY bike shop that sponsors community rides and events. 717 Queen Street East, Toronto, Canada 647 724 7880,

Revolver Infoshop – Prague, Czech Republic

A new infoshop – uh, does anyone read Czech? Mecislavova 8, Praha 4 – Nuscle.,

Casa da Lagartixa Preta – Santo Andre, Brazil

A house run by Anarchist Black Cross with a community library, garden and bike shop that hosts unschooling workshops, discussions and movies. Alcides de Queirós, 161, Santo André / Casa Branca, São Paulo / Brasil, 09015-550

Corrections to the 2011 Slingshot Organizer

• The Bloom Collectivein Grand Rapids, MI has a new address: c/o Steepletown Neighborhood Services, Rm. 7, 671 Davis Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504.

• We got a letter returned from Pitchfork Collective in Denver, Colorado. Please let us know if they have ceased to exist or if they just moved.

• We forgot to include the Empowerment Resource Centre at 636 Queens Avenue, London ON N5W 3H1 519-435-0307. They briefly shut down while we were making the 2011 list and then re-opened with a slightly changed name and focus.

• We forgot to include the phone # and website for C.S.A. La Torre in Rome: 06822869 / They told us that there is a list of squats in Rome at:

• The FuoriControllo Infoshop in Savona, Italy is closing their space. They’ll keep doing book distro and other work, just without a space.

• The Krtkova Kolona infoshop in Prague, Czech Republic has closed.

• We tried to send mail to the Zagreb Anarchist Movement in Zagreb, Croatia but it got returned – they may have moved or dissolved. Let us know if you know.

• We tried to send mail to Cafe Victoria in Mexico City but the letter got returned. We don’t know whether they just moved or no longer exists. Let us know if you know.

• We got the phone number for Shirouto no Ran (Amateur riot) in Tokyo: 03-3330-2939, (if you read Japanese).

• The folks at Bar Akane in Tokyo gave us their phone #: 03-5292-1877. They write: “Akane is 12 years old and is one of the oldest alternative spaces in Tokyo. We are here so that people can socialize, organize events, and get together so that people do not feel isolated in this competitive and money-oriented world. Each day of the week a volunteer staffs (for example I staff every Saturday) so each day of the week the atmosphere of the place is very different.”

• We didn’t list Espace autogéré, rue César-Roux 30, Lausanne, Switzerland,

Local Action worldwide

The struggle for liberation is going on all around us, all the time, in communities around the globe large and small, in a huge variety of ways — and yet it can be invisible. It is easy to get discouraged feeling that time is stalled, that individual people can’t make any difference, and that we’re doomed. I know I feel stuck like that a lot — watching endless traffic roll by, everyone marching off to work, stores full of shoppers and junk. Will people ever wake up? And yet, there are encouraging cracks pushing through the concrete.

While we were finishing up this issue, I kept searching for the “one big protest” of 2010 — some upcoming direct action or protest that would symbolize resistance to the corporate-industrial machine that is stealing our lives and killing the earth. But I decided maybe it would be better to adjust my focus and not get caught up in the same mega-thinking that is causing so many problems.

Centralization, gigantism and trying to reduce complex human interactions to alienated symbols are all part of the problem. Our minds and our activism have been polluted by the same thinking that creates multi-national corporations, huge media celebrities, global computer networks, and faceless government bureaucracies. To create grassroots radical change, we need to tackle the global problems on a local level as well as a global level and we need to realize how our local problems are connected with global issues. From this perspective, it is incredibly inspiring to see all the local campaigns going on all over — yet with common goals.

It seems to me that the process of social transformation invites us to work on a bunch of different levels all simultaneously. We can work on an internal psychological level to free ourselves from the cop in our head, our learned powerlessness, as well as our inability to appreciate ourselves, those around us, and the here and now unfiltered by corporations, consumerism and technology. We can struggle in our families and our communities to build alternative structures to meet human needs outside of unjust structures like the market system, the state, and the patriarchy. And at times, we can join with others to confront the systems that are killing the earth and constricting our freedom — using direct action and protest to target the activities, technologies, social institutions, companies and governments that serve the system.

There are so many folks resisting the machine this summer — here is a short list if you want to join in a particular action or organize your own action as part of an on-going campaign. The struggle for liberation is do-it-yourself — to the extent this list misses a lot of potential direct action targets, that is an invitation for you and your buddies to start something. Go for it.

• Mountain Justice Summer continues to use direct action to defend Appalachian forests and streams from destruction by coal companies that use mountaintop removal strip mining. There is a training camp May 27 – June 6 in Kentucky.

• Campaigns and actions against police brutality and murder are ongoing all over. In Portland, there was a spontaneous riot March 22 after police shot and killed Jack Dale Collins. On April 8, Bay Area folks occupied a subway train to protest the transit police murder of Oscar Grant. Grant’s killer is going on trial in Los Angeles and the trial is sure to be met with continued protest. And folks are participating in Copwatch groups all over that monitor and videotape police interactions on the streets.

• The 2010 G8 meeting of the world’s most powerful leaders is set for Huntsville, Ontario, Canada June 25 – 27. Whenever a few governments get together to figure out how to divide the worlds resources between multi-national companies, direct action in the streets is the inevitable result. (Even when they locate the summit 2 hours from the nearest city to limit protests . . . Did anyone hear an Ewok up in those trees?)

• Croatan Earth First! in Virginia has been waging an on-going campaign against Duke Energy’s plan to construct an 800-megawatt coal fired generator at the existing Cliffside Power Plant. The generator would operate for the next 50 years, emitting 312 million tons of CO2 over its lifetime. Direct action has included blockades of construction activities.

• Critical Mass bike rides continue across the globe — a monthly direct action that reclaims streets for human uses. These spontaneous actions require no organizational energy and are even fun. In many cities and towns the ride happens the last Friday of the month.

• Grassroots protest network has declared October 10, 2010 (10/10/10) a global work party to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They are inviting folks to plant trees, harvest gardens, create bikepaths, insulate homes, and take other concrete actions to raise the question: “we’re working on this, what are the social institutions doing?” There will also be protests at the next United Nations meeting on climate change in Mexico in December.

• Guerilla gardening is a direct action in which a group seizes a vacant piece of land to build a garden — often over a weekend — so that it becomes too beautiful to remove without looking like a heartless bully before anyone notices what is going on.

• Direct Action in Humboldt County, California to preserve old growth redwood trees continues with an on-going tree-sit. See

• Numerous states (Utah, Nebraska, Oklahoma) have recently passed laws making it more difficult and unpleasant for women to get abortions. Seems like this opens up a lot of direct action / protest opportunities.

• Everglades Earth First! is engaged in a continuing struggle against Florida Power & Light’s construction of a gas fired powerplant.

• Gay Shame creates a direct action each year during Gay Pride week to reject the “commercialized gay identity that denies the intrinsic links between queer struggle and challenging power.”

• Along the US/Mexico border, there is direct action to protect immigrants from armed right-wing “minutemen” groups and question the whole idea of borders.

• Squatting and eviction defense is particularly relevant with millions of people losing their homes to foreclosure. Why are so many buildings sitting vacant when people need a place to live?

• Oh yeah, and there are still two wars going on! Code Pink has been conducting a campaign against the use of drone airplanes to kill people by remote control half a world away. They are also carrying out citizens’ arrests of war mongers at (paid) speaking events around and about. Almost everyone lives near a military recruiting station or weapons supply corporation so its up to us to protest the ongoing carnage.

• Alberta, Canada is ground zero for the rapidly expanding and environmentally destructive oil sand industry — another last gasp effort to keep the fossil fuel system flowing while climate change looms. Efforts to block it are possible.

• In British Columbia, Canada, there could be direct action to save a stand of unusually twisted old growth cedar trees named the Avatar grove that are scheduled to be logged. There’s also action underway to stop the multi-billion dollar Gateway highway project in BC.

• In Chiapas, Mexico there are actions to defend the rainforest.

• Outside North America, there is an on-going direct action campaign against coal in Mainshill, Scotland. There is community resistance in Rosport, Ireland against a Shell gas terminal that threatens to ruin the coastal environment and wildlife habitat. Forest defense continues in Tasmania. Folks in Iceland are str
uggling to block construction of a dam. In Catalonia, Spain there is direct action for forest defense and against BP fossil fuelishness.

This just scratches the surface of direct actions and protests going on around us, and there’s no way to know about all the amazing internal transformations and struggles at the interpersonal, family, or community level. Enjoy your 2010 summer!

Thanks to the Earth First! Journal for information about on-going eco-actions world-wide. Check out

Tip of an iceberg of community: Infoshops and radical community centers

It’s summer traveling season so here’s a few places to visit on your travels that aren’t in the 2010 Slingshot organizer. Please let us know if you run into any other places we should list in the 2011 Organizer, or if you spot any errors. The deadline for the 2011 edition is August 1. I love putting this column together each issue. In a way, it is the most boring article in each issue ? just a list of places, names and numbers. No real plot development or analysis. And it is also more work per word than any other article ? each few lines requires a lot of research. But it is exciting because each listing is the tip of a huge, exciting iceberg of community, engagement, and action. When I read an email from a new project just starting up, behind the few lines of text is a flood of personal bonds developed at meetings, collecting zines, posting fliers, and building bookshelves. Cooperating with others to build something new ? a place for meetings, shows, learning and organizing ? is a beautiful act of caring, optimism and love. It is an expression of a community of people daring to seek social transformation and willing to struggle for a new world. Give these folks a hug, some support, buy a zine or a cup of coffee, or join in and volunteer to stock the shelves or do the dishes. Or maybe you’re already part of one of these projects ? if so, please accept my gratitude! Check Slingshot’s on-line radical contact list ( for more updated listings than what is in the printed organizer; it also includes web links where possible.

Bad Egg Books – Eugene, OR

Finally an infoshop back in my hometown! They have a reading room and store with zines and free wi-fi plus a members’ lending library for books and movies. 112 East 13th Ave, Eugene, OR 97401, (541) 636-3570.

NorthStar Center – Lansing, MI

A radical community center that features events, a reading group and a workers center. They also publish a newsletter. They’ve been around for 3 years. Visit Mon-Thurs 4-8. 106 Lathrop St., MI 48912 [mailing: P.O. Box 4794?E. Lansing, MI 48826] 517.371.2001,

The Wingnut – Richmond, VA

An all-ages, sober, social justice organizing and events space that hosts Food Not Bombs, a weekly craft night, acoustic shows, meetings and potlucks. 2005 Barton Avenue, Richmond, VA 23222, (804) 303 5449,

Brewing Grounds for Change – Milwaukee, WI

They are an all volunteer coffee shop and community organizing center with a zine library, a free store and they host music shows, art exhibits and meetings. Open 11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. 2008 N Farwell Ave Milwaukee, WI 53202 414-273-9777

L@s Quixotes Infoshop & Radical Library – Seattle, WA

They are building a radical lending library and infoshop, starting off in rent-free space upstairs at Pilot Books until they can find their own space and raise enough money for a full scale project. Visit at 219 E Broadway, Seattle, WA 98102,

Bici Bike Coop – Birmingham, AL

A community bike shop with classes on bike repair, cheap parts and service, and bike education, rides and activism. Open Mon – Thurs, 6-8. 1211 28th Street South, Suite G2, Birmingham, AL 35205 (Behind Rhodes Park)

Baltimore Free Farms – Baltimore, MD

A community garden collective that opens up and rehabilitates green spaces for food production and skill shares. They have three gardens and are expanding. Visit their flagship garden at 3519 Ash Street, Baltimore, MD 21211 443-740-8183

Dandelion Communitea Cafe – Orlando, FL

An organic vegetarian cafe that hosts art openings, a poetry night, film nights, moon circles and vegan potlucks. 618 N Thornton Ave, Orlando FL 32803 407.362.1864,

Phoenix Project Collective – Dallas, TX

An all volunteer radical community center and arts and all-ages music space that hosts shows and speakers, has a bike coop, and a book exchange. 406 S. Haskell, Dallas, TX 75226

Ethos Vegan Kitchen – Orlando, FL

A vegan restaurant ? rare in the area ? that is a for-profit mom and pop business. 1235 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL, 32804 407.228.3898

Florida School of Holistic Living – Orlando, FL

A non-profit school teaching herbalism and natural stuff. 622A N. Thornton Ave. Orlando, FL 32803 – 407.595.3731

ISKCON – Tampa Bay, FL

They are a Krishna temple that asked to be listed as a radical contact. Check them out and let us know what you think: 14610 N. 17th St., Lutz, Fl 33549(813) 971-6474

Feraldom Gallery – Motueka, New Zealand

A free radical gallery that hosts a pirate radio station (88.5 B Aware FM) featuring music and talk shows on dumpster diving and local actions. 111 High St. Motueka – NZ.

Corrections to the 2010 Slingshot Organizer:

• The Catalyst Infoshop in Prescott, AZ has lost their space at 109 N. McCormick – we don’t know their new address yet.

• Liberty Hall in Portland, OR has closed.

• The Peace and Justice Center (& store) in Burlington, VT has moved to 60 Lake St, 1C, Burlington, VT 05401.

• The Taala Hooghan Infoshop in Flagstaff, AZ has moved again for the second time in 6 months: now they’re at 1704 N. 2nd St. Flagstaff, AZ 86004 with a 2 year lease.

• The City Thrift in Austin, TX has moved to 2943 East 12th St., Austin, TX 78702, same phone.

• The Third Space Infoshop in Norma, OK got shut down in December for fire code violations and all their materials are now in storage. There are no current plans to reopen.

• The Stonewall library in Ft. Lauderdale, FL has moved – the new address is 1300 E. Sunrise Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304.

• Confluence Books in Grand Junction, CO has moved – their new address is 749 Rood Ave. suite A, Grand Junction, CO 81501 970-245-4442,

• We listed the Train Yard in Las Cruces, NM in last issue. Their contact phone # is 575-640-2280 – you have to search for them on facebook for information on their physical location.

• Bread and Roses Workers’ Cultural Center in Denver has just moved – they are not defunct. Their new address is 2727 27th Ave, unit D, Denver, CO 80211.

• The Empowerment Infoshop in London, Ontario, Canada has changed their phone # to 519-435-0307. They may be changing locations September so stay tuned.

• The Hamilton Zine Library does still exist at 27 King William St., Hamilton, ON L8N 1A3, Canada.

• The infoshop in Savona, Italy has a new mailing address: Via Chiavella 3R, C.P. 249, 17100 Savona, Italy. They are the only place carrying the Slingshot organizer in Italy (at least to our knowledge.)

• The phone number for the 128 Community House in New Zealand is 04 9727260. Also, our friend confirmed that Blackstar books in Dunedin is still there.

• We got a package returned from Sandpaper books in Los Angeles. Does anyone know if they still exist or not?

• We got a note saying that the Sarasota Florida infoshop closed ? let us know if you have any more info.

• Greencup Books in Birmingham, AL closed.