When we initiate Change – are you in it for the Long Haul

For the last 15 years, Slingshot has had its offices at Long Haul, a radical community center and infoshop in Berkeley. Long Haul has been going for 28 years — since 1979! For the last 10 or so years, Long Haul has hosted a Proposition 215 medical marijuana dispensary that is open during the day Tuesday – Saturday. Because it is necessary to consider privacy and security for that kind of activity, Long Haul has been basically closed for radical political activity during the hours they’ve been operating.

In early September, the medical marijuana folks started moving out and closing down their operation — they gave notice that they’ll be out altogether by December 15, 2007. They had been trying to move to a different space for several years, but ultimately the city wouldn’t give them the permits they needed and it became clear that the government was just stalling, hoping they would close down and go away.

This will mark a watershed moment for Long Haul and open up lots of exciting possibilities for transforming and expanding Long Haul. Folks involved in Long Haul want to reach out to the community for new energy and new ideas about what to do with the space once the medical marijuana project moves out.

So this is a call for new visions. If you’re in the East Bay and have ideas, let us know. Long Haul has relatively cheap operating expenses and is in a desirable area just 2 blocks from BART on a vibrant radical block across from La Peña and the Starry Plough. Long Haul needs new energy, new ideas, new projects and new folks to reach its full potential. There are available hours during the day Monday – Friday if you have a project that needs a place to operate during the day. There are also two office spaces available.

In the past, the Long Haul has been a petri dish for new groups getting started — it provided a cheap place for Prisoner Activist Resource Center and Spiral Gardens to start out, and it hosted the East Bay IWW, several local free skools and Food not Bombs for a time. Could your idea or project be the next exciting thing to be born at Long Haul? Contact Long Haul at 510 540-0751 / 3124 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley.