a11- Reviews – zines, books, radio

Radio Ava


Since 2016, Radio Ava has been broadcasting from East London, giving us the world’s only radio show for and by sex workers and their allies. The quirky team of anonymous DJs are both sex workers and activists, and offer reportbacks from sex work rights scenes all over the world, interspersed with music, interviews, and advice segments. Each episode is totally different—one episode might be a discussion between academics about the history of sex work unionization, and the next episode might be folks spilling about wanker clients. My favorite segments are when sex workers call in and tell their stories—they are all so unique, and it really blows away any stereotypes you might have about sex work. I’m not a sex worker, but I consider myself an ally, and was excited when someone who works on the show reached out to me and said “Hey! Listen to this!” Listening to Radio Ava has helped me be a better ally, and helped me understand the struggle on the ground. Sex work is an art form, and it is also a way for many to stay afloat who wouldn’t otherwise be able to.  Right now, as legislators actively strip the rights from sex workers, Radio Ava stands in defiance and refuses to let sex work be invisibilized. (Teresa)

Making Spaces Safer:

A Guide to Giving Harassment the Boot Wherever You Work, Play, and Gather

by Shawna Potter (AK Press, 2019)

Shawna Potter is the lead singer of War On Women, and for the last few years, this Baltimore-based punk has been touring venues and community spaces to offer workshops on how to combat harassment. Topics she covers in this book include how to avoid harassing others, what to do if you’re being harassed, what to do if someone else is being harassed in front of you, and how to create solid safer space policies. She is victim-centered in her approach, and encourages us to do the right thing while understanding the trauma that victims of harassment go through, recounting some stories from her own life. Working to remove harassment from our spaces and to hold harassers accountable is a huge step towards helping members of marginalized groups feel safe and welcome. This is a great book to read as a group, and I highly recommend it for anyone who runs a venue, community space, or workplace. Time to give harassment the boot! (Teresa)

Carceral Capitalism

by Jackie Wang (Semiotext(e), 2018)

Jackie Wang is no stranger to the prison system. The Harvard PhD student is the sister to someone suffering incarceration, and she thinks deeply and passionately through the topic in this text that merges economic theory, poetry, and cultural analysis.

As Wang shows us, a horrible transition occurred in the United States in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, as public debt increasingly came into the ownership of the financial sector. In order to pay off this debt, the state has transitioned towards extracting money from the populace via policing and incarceration, and we now find ourselves in a situation in which the government that is more accountable to its creditors than to the public. As Wang explains, “this has a de-democratizing effect.”

Wang ends this revolutionary book on a high note, evoking speculative futures beyond the prison system. Abolish debt and smash the prison state! (Teresa)

“how [and] where to live better for less.”

AB #22, AUG 2018

PO BOX 181 Alsea, OR 97324

This zine and its cryptographic content drew me in and pushed me out in waves. Close jumbles of mostly incoherent text compelled my eyes to scan over them, and an attention-grabbing format or word would pull me back in. It irked me that these choppy semantic waters made AB very hard to engage with, because part of me wanted to crack its “code” by persevering thru the text and reading every last character. AB stands out to me above all as a pristine Dadaist publication. Sometimes you might not care about actually reading the whole text, but are intrigued and amused by its seeming unpredictability and ingenuity. But AB pushes beyond the meaninglessness of its Dadaist ties by conveying important information about things such as dietary requirements, carcinogens, the benefits of different fruits/vegetables, and the overall logic of eating raw vegan. This issue of AB goes from a very well-researched nutritional health journal in support of veganism, to an examination of toxins and carcinogens in daily life, and to the grim reality of humanity’s destruction. It simply cannot be defined. (Rachelle)



PO BOX 181 Alsea, OR 97324

Continues to tell us the important stuff coming up on the cutting edge of experimental portable living spaces! A diagram of a large underwater structure kicks this issue off and it then dives straight into examining the miserable lives of Google employees dwelling portably in the Mountain View dormitories while critiquing the company itself. DP then touched on the life of Linda, a 64-yr-old grandma with basal-cell carcinoma who works as a campground host and dwells portably in her Jeep with a “tiny fiberglass trailer.” A review of CheapRVLiving.com and anecdotes of living and improvising on the road. DP shares a similar format with AB, a heavily abbreviated collection of summarized and analyzed sources loosely joined around a theme. The summaries proved informative and the analyses were vivid and incisive. These two zines could teach people a hell of a lot, they’re just pretty dang hard to read. Maybe the author added so many abbreviations to slow the reader’s eye down–force them to really look at and process the text….If that’s true, I don’t think they succeeded because I had a lot of trouble comprehending it due to those abbreviations.

Overall, AB/DP was a very refreshing and unique reading experience, and I will definitely be rereading these snippets of VERY USEFUL information to fully absorb it all. (Rachelle)


[Supplementary inserts]:

At first I approached these passage like computer code. Words seemed to be mere jumbles of characters and special symbols were abound. After taking ten minutes to read though the same number of sentences, AB/DP language started to make sense, and took form as a stream-of-consciousness interspersed with new information…like a very discombobulated yet passionate newscaster who covers everything from police corruption to debates on veganism. The inserts were designed as supplements to the longer printed zines, to update them with new, pertinent information. (Rachelle)

Fifth Estate

PO BOX 201016 Ferndale, MI 48220

Long running, the Fifth Estate offers updates and stories from radical voices in our movements. In these pages we read about celebratory and commemorative anarchist ice cream socials to an article about Z (anarchist radio berlin) to words about the privatization of the welfare state. Clearly written, compelling voices draw us into global struggles as well as ones closer to home. Featuring lots of important information to digest, for 50+ years Fifth Estate has been an important piece of keeping us in the know (a kind antidote the head-in-the-sand approach so many favor). May this publication live on for another 50! (IMP)

a11- Organizer update

If you want to help draw art or otherwise create the 2020 Organizer, contact us now. We include the work of over 30 artists from all over — it could be you this year. Please contact us by June 10 to draw a section of the calendar. Art is due July 25.

We’ll be editing and adding more historical dates during May and June so please send suggestions and let us know if you want to help proofread. (You can do so remotely.) We also need corrections and suggestions of new radical contact list spaces by July 25.

We will put the organizer together by hand July 27/28 and August 3/4 in Berkeley. Please drop by and join us if you’re in town.

For the 2019 organizer, let us know if your organization can help distribute a few extra copies we have on hand to youth, immigrants or others who wouldn’t otherwise have access.

a12- Curbside communities fight back

By Anita De Asis Miralle, Program Coordinator at Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute and Co-founder of The Village in Oakland #feedthepeople

In the Fall and Winter of 2019, Housing and Dignity Village – a safe, sober, and self-organized tent village for unhoused women and children in East Oakland – filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Oakland to try and stop the City’s eviction of their encampment. A local civil rights advocacy organization, Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, then created templates from that lawsuit for other encampments to use to broaden and strengthen the fight of unsheltered communities by challenging the legality of the City’s treatment of curbside communities. To date, three more encampments have filed lawsuits – bringing the total number of lawsuits filed by curbside communities against the City to four. More are in the works.

The first encampment: E12th Street and 22nd Avenue
On March 6, 2019, the City of Oakland backed down from evicting the residents of a homeless encampment on a plot of land at the corner of E12th Street and 22nd Ave in East Oakland in response to a lawsuit one resident, Michael Bowen, filed on behalf of himself and the six other residents.

Bowen, who has been occupying the land with 6 other residents since Spring 2017, said, “No one has cared about this land for decades. So why now in the middle of a shelter crisis and homeless state of emergency?” Bowen asks. “The City never offered us services though they provided porta potties and trash pickup to the former encampment across the street – and suddenly they want to evict us?”

The second encampment: Union Point
On March 19, 2019, residents of an RV homeless encampment at the otherwise empty and unused Union Point Park parking lot were scheduled to be evicted. Instead, they decided they were going to fight the City of Oakland in court over their eviction – and for now, they have succeeded: U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer granted the Union Point residents a temporary restraining order, which will halt eviction proceedings until their case is heard. Their lawsuit, Le Van Hung et al. vs Libby Schaaf et al. is set to begin in the summer of 2019.

The plaintiffs claim that the City’s past encampment evictions have violated the 4th, 8th, and 14th amendment rights of unhoused Oaklanders all around the city. Residents assert the City’s eviction process is cruel and unusual punishment for being homeless, violates their right to have private property protected from unlawful seizures, and ignores their right for due process and equal treatment under the law.

In a signed declaration to the judge, Union Point Park plaintiff Amanda Veta states: “Every time I have been evicted I have lost my whole life. I have lost IDs, pictures of my family I can never replace, paperwork cuz the City throws my stuff away. And with this eviction, we won’t just lose our little things. We all live in vehicles. We could lose our homes too.”

Veta’s concerns are not far-fetched. In the Fall of 2018, the City and Oakland the Oakland Police Department towed at least three dozen RVs, campers and vehicles from an encampment in West Oakland. More than 40 people lost their homes on wheels and all their personal belongings. Three weeks after towing and impounding all the vehicles, the City had all the vehicles crushed.

In November 2018, when the Housing and Dignity Village encampment filed the first homeless encampment lawsuit against the City, the City Attorney assured Federal Judge Haywood Gilliam that when an encampment is evicted, personal property is stored for up to 90 days for free and all residents are offered adequate shelter. The judge took the City’s word and lifted the initial temporary restraining order protecting Housing and Dignity Village.

When the City evicted them, none of the 13 residents were offered housing that could adequately suit their needs. To this day, four truckloads of their personal property have yet to be recovered despite the plaintiffs’ and their legal team’s repeated attempts.

Since the destruction of Housing and Dignity Village in December 2018, plaintiffs from Miralle vs. the City of Oakland have been collecting statements from other encampments who were evicted, and encouraging encampments facing eviction to file lawsuits. This has resulted in dozens of signed testimonies that counter the City’s false claims and two new lawsuits. “The city has never offered me housing the four times I have been evicted from my homeless encampment,” Veta said. “When I witnessed 6 other evictions, the city does not bag and tag anyone’s property or store it. They throw away everyone’s property and offer no one housing. The city has no remorse in what they do to us.”

Plaintiff Le Van Hung has lived at Union Point for two weeks. He has faced several evictions from the City, relocating to Union Point after being evicted from the E12th and 23rd Avenue parcel in late January. “It’s terrible to be moved around,” his signed testimony states. “It takes time to pack, clean and move. It takes a lot of time to find a new place to be homeless at. Every time I move I lose property because the city throws away our property when they evict us. We don’t move fast enough and they throw away our belongings,”

The plaintiffs at Union Point Park and homeless folks across Oakland also agree the evictions cause depression, stress, lack of motivation, instability, insecurity, and other major setbacks. “I am 61 years old and I am tired of being evicted and shuffled around. These evictions cause me depression that can last weeks or months. I have high blood pressure and these evictions make my condition worse,” Hung said. “The city said they have a Shelter Crisis and a Homeless State of Emergency. They have admitted there is not enough housing in Oakland and that has caused the homeless crisis. They have admitted they don’t have a solution. So why are they evicting people left and right when we are trying to house ourselves when the city can’t? The evictions cause so much hardship. They need to stop.”



a12- “You can do nothing” A Moroccan punk scene report

By Brian Trott
It was my fourth stay in Morocco, in the fall of 2016. I was on my own, hopping around hostels and couches between Rabat and Casablanca, conducting interviews for my graduate research on the history of punk rock and heavy metal in the country. When I got there the punk scene was in decline, but there were enough participants to qualify a scene. Z.W.M., the patrons of Moroccan punk rock had relocated to Toulouse a few years prior, where they continue to perform and record. W.O.R.M., the first hardcore punk band in the country split up in 2015, as their drummer relocated to Beijing to teach and form bands there. Tachamarod was actively practicing and playing gigs. Riot Stones was on a hiatus, but still present in the punk community. Betweenatna was gaining ever increasing national attention. A bar-venue, B-Rock, had recently shut its doors, but Boultek, L’Uzine, and ABC Cinema continued providing space for alternative musicians to practice and perform. The DIY art and music festival Hardzazate had just concluded its second edition. Punk rock was not flourishing, but it was present and active.
I started listening to punk rock in middle school. After a brief nu-metal and classic rock phase, a combination of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Rockabilia catalogs made me aware of some of the basic punk standards: Dead Kennedys, Black Flack, Bad Religion, and Bad Brains. I quickly immersed myself in the genre, branching off into various subgenres: street punk, crust, fastcore, raw punk, post punk, etc. I began participating in my local scene: playing and booking shows in the Sacramento area with my high school street punk band, and hosting a punk show at the UC-Davis radio station, KDVS.
DJing at KDVS since the age of 15 had convinced me to pursue my bachelor’s degree at UC-Davis. With a growing interest in the history of the Middle East, I began studying Arabic. In 2008, I travelled to Ifrane, Morocco, to spend an academic year learning Arabic at Al Akhawayn University. I was aware of the extent that punk rock had been globalized.
The fact is punk rock has never been huge in Morocco, but extreme sports have always been integral to the extreme music scene there. Skate videos and copies of Thrasher Magazine circulated among friend groups and across cities, which is how a particular five skaters in Rabat were exposed to punk rock. In 2004, these individuals formed Z.W.M., the first Moroccan punk band. Their main musical influence were the bands that were popularly played in skate videos at the time, generally Epitaph and Fat Wreck Chords bands: NOFX, Rancid, Satanic Surfers, and Bad Religion. They also integrated elements of local popular music, such as Gnawa, into their brand of skate punk. Unlike other rock bands in the country, Z.W.M. primarily sang in Moroccan dialect Arabic. It was widely accepted up to that point that rock music should only be sung in English or French and the idea of an Arabic singing punk band was met of with some skepticism. After two years of playing sporadic shows, mostly around Rabat, Z.W.M. entered the 2006 Boulevard competition and won. The band gained national recognition, but by 2010 left for France where they continue to play and record. They still periodically return to perform.
Following Z.W.M.’s departure, a second wave of punk bands spread across the country. Casablanca produced W.O.R.M. and Riot Stones, the first two hardcore punk bands in the country. There’s something about Casablanca and Rabat, two coastal cities roughly two hours apart by train, that produces very different artists. Rabat is a relatively quiet and small city in contrast to the aggressive density of Casablanca, and was the town that introduced punk to Morocco in the form of ska infused skate punk. Casablanca introduced hardcore.
Further bands formed in the early 2010s. Coming from the same neighborhood as Z.W.M., Tachamarod played a similar brand of Arabic skate punk. Featuring members of Riot Stones, the Protesters played a blend of ska and street punk. Blast, from Meknes, played politically charged pop punk, and remains one of the only punk bands outside of Rabat and Casablanca. In 2013, Tien An Men 89 Records, released Chaos in Morocco, a compilation LP featuring Z.W.M., W.O.R.M., the Protesters, Riot Stones, and the Casablanca fusion band Hoba Hoba Spirit. Prior to Chaos in Morocco, no Moroccan punk recordings had been released in a physical format.
Betweenatna resides in a musical grey zone. Fusion is one of the most popular genres in Morocco, generally consisting of a blend of popular traditional music, reggae, hip hop, and rock. Betweenatna is essentially a fusion supergroup featuring members of Immortal Spirit, Darga, and Hoba Hoba Spirit. Their brand of fusion blends some traditional genres with punk, metal, and hip hop. While they are essentially a fusion band, their sound leans heavily in the direction of punk and metal. They even perform an Arabic rendition of Pennywise’s “Bro Hymn.” Their narrative driven lyrics generally tell absurd stories of everyday life for youth on the streets of urban Morocco. Their whimsical performances, relatable lyrics, and scene clout has led Betweenatna to be one of the most popular bands in the country at this moment.
In 2016, I attended a Betweenatna show at Boultek. With limited opportunities for DIY shows at informal venues; basements, garages, warehouses, etc; the majority of concerts take place at cultural centers like Boultek. They generally have tight security, only tolerating some light moshing and no drugs or alcohol. Boultek is more lax than other such spaces. The venue is located in an office building in the parking lot of a mall in the California neighborhood of Casablanca, and the performance space connects to a parking garage where kids can sneak off to discreetly drink and smoke hash. The large space was packed with what I would estimate was well over 100 attendees, boys and girls mostly in their late teens and twenties. I saw kids with stick and poke Black Flag tattoos, wearing denim vests patched up with the logos of the Misfits and Ska-P, alongside individuals in Korn and Slipknot hoodies. Betweenatna played a rowdy set and drew an equally rowdy crowd. Moshing was tolerated.
During my last visit in 2018, I found little left of the punk scene I had documented in my graduate research. Betweenatna and Blast were the only remaining punk bands actively playing. My partner and I spent the majority of our time hanging out with Saad, the bassist of Tachamarod. He was hoping to join his bandmate in China, where they would continue to play as Tachamarod, but his visa application was denied, again. He was spending most of his afternoons and evenings hanging out in downtown Rabat with the regular crowd of punks, hippies, and skaters. Unable to find work, Saad had to return to his old gig, flipping used clothes in Rabat’s old medina. When we last talked, Saad was pessimistic about his future.
During the last week of our visit, Saad, my partner, and I took a trip to Casablanca. We hung around the new skatepark outside the old colonial cathedral in downtown. There we met a young skater who told us about the punk band she was forming, Reason of Anarchy. I have yet to hear anything more of that band, but maybe there is a future for punk rock in Morocco. For now, the scene appears to be in semi-hibernation, or maybe it’s dying. As a fanatic of international punk, I would like to see it grow and hear how Moroccan youth continue to grapple with, interpret, and localize punk. But also I’m cynical towards globalized popular culture. The youth of Morocco don’t need punk. Nobody needs punk, but it has long provided an alternative network, community, and performative outlet for young people across the world, myself included. I like watching the international punk scene expand and mutate, but maybe Morocco doesn’t want it and that’s okay. We can only wait and see.

Brian Trott currently performs in the hardcore punk band Curbsitter in Milwaukee, where he resides. For a more detailed account of the punk and metal scenes in Morocco, you can read his graduate thesis online here: goo.gl/mYDZV1. If you have any questions for him, or are in a band and are interested in playing in Morocco, please inquire at faoudawaruina@gmail.com.

a13 – Why does People’s Park Matter

By Lunatic Liberation Front

People’s Park in Berkeley just turned 50 years old and while it might be an old relic of the 1960’s, it still matters and it’s still worth defending. Slingshot has a special connection to the Park. Riots in the 1980s and 1990s defending the Park brought our collective together and taught important lessons about direct action street protests and engaging with the issues of the day. The experience of dodging rubber bullets and police lines forged personal relationships that have endured ever since. The lessons learned were used numerous ways; from Copwatch & Critical Mass to Reclaim the Streets & Anti-Globalization/WTO/IMF organizing. And that was just the fuckin’ 1990’s. The politics of taking space propelled us into the 21st Century, from resisting wars and police abuse to opening squats and spreading ideas like Occupy near and far.

It is amazing how so many of the issues faced by the radicals who created the Park in the 1960s are still in play today. We’re still struggling against a dehumanizing, unfair, militarized, racist system that values land for profit more than it values people’s lives or the earth. Today as the Bay area struggles to retain grassroots communities in the face of forces that want to turn it into a hyper-capitalist hellhole, the Park provides a refuge open to everyone.

The ethos of the Park is that it is controlled by the people: “User Development” means that gardens and landscaping are created by the people who feel the impact, not government managers who hardly spend five minutes in the space. Right at its inception the Park’s rallying cry encouraged participation from all with, “Everyone gets a blister.”

Hundreds of people — ranging from freaks and radicals to regular Berkeley folks — built the Park as a community in 1969 to provide a free speech venue for concerts and activist events on vacant land owned (and many contend stolen) by the University of California Berkeley. The scene was a popping counter culture with growing numbers of people determined to make a new America — a new world. UC’s first attempt to seize back and destroy People’s Park lead to rioting, police shootings that left bystander James Rector dead and dozens wounded, and a week-long National Guard occupation of Berkeley. Since then, although UC has always claimed to legally own the land, they have never been able to control it.
Failing that, UC has done everything it could to undermine community efforts and support for the Park. For a few years an advisory board existed where activists and campus officials could meet and discuss the Park. Since the board was dissolved, the University has continued with the practice of making controversial changes without warning or public input. Often, this happens during class breaks when the nearby student population is low. They cut down trees as well as destroy gardens and have even confiscated tools activists use for general maintenance. If the Park looks like a festering eye sore, that’s intentional on the part of UC Berkeley.
The scene in the Park can be pretty dysfunctional at times. But our enemies work overtime to make the Park ugly and encourage social disintegration. For decades, during orientation, the university has told new students to stay away from the Park claiming it was a center of criminal activity. At the same time, UC police were directing crime and drugs to the Park and harassing regulars. The university’s claimed concern for student safety is curious, because the UC has covered up sexual assault in fraternities and numerous sexual harassment cases perpetrated by faculty.
As the Park is stigmatized for being a sanctuary only for drug dealers and crazy people, we’ve seen the greater community change significantly. On nearby Telegraph Avenue you can purchase legal marijuana. Since the opioid crisis, drug usage and overdose has forced many mainstream people to reconsider the drug war. San Francisco is on the cusp of being the first city in the U.S. to have a legal safe injection facility — a model that has been successful for saving lives. And after numerous mass shootings, national discourse often goes into the importance of having awareness of mental health issues and the possible remedies. To my knowledge no Berkeley crazy person has ever gone on a shooting spree.
Most telling are the thousands of encampments that have taken over public space. Urban campsites are a global phenomenon. In this light, the most allegedly negative aspects of the Park such as it being a “homeless camp” are clearly symptoms of capitalism.
UC has been widely criticized for both admitting more students each year and continuously raising tuition. It cries about a lack of housing while exacerbating the issue. On the eve of the Park’s 50 year anniversary, UC announced plans to raze the Park to construct a dorm that can hold up to 1,000 beds and then tested continued community support by cutting dozens of trees in late 2018 and continuing into early 2019. “While the UC cut our trees, the People’s Park Community grew flowers breaking through the institution, hosting event after event — protest after protest, to demand its right to exist” commented Park activist Aidan Hill. “Chancellor Christ, after announcing the Park would be the first university ‘owned’ parcel developed under her leadership, quietly told ASUC (student government) senators that People’s Park would be developed after Oxford and Hearst projects which would take ‘many years’.”
Are they getting desperate? Recently the Berkeley Free Clinic — which was created to treat people wounded by police during protests over the Park in 1969 — was approached by a UC official promising a space for the clinic in the proposed dorm to be built on the Park. This is an old tactic of pitting two groups to fight each other who would otherwise be allies. It is not going to work!
“Park activists spoke out — reassuring that the land and the people who occupy it and enhance it would not go down without a fight.”
“The question is: How can People’s Park foster a future in which the entire community benefits. The Park stands parallel to the most pressing challenges facing our society. As we move further into a police state, the Park brings us democratic governance, alternative forms of healthcare, methods to challenge inequalities and a solid first-line of climate resilience. The Park is partnering with the People’s Open Network to bring communication technology into the People’s hands with free and open internet access for all,” added Aidan.

People’s Park meetings are Sundays at 1pm. Food Not Bombs serves Monday through Friday at 3PM. The space is open at all times for you and your affinity group to hold court in. Its a great place to notice what’s up with the sky, to people watch and talk about the news of the day. Check out Tom Dalzell’s new book “The Battle for People’s Park 1969” by Heyday Books. Let 1,000 Parks Bloom! More info at peoplespark.org.


a15- Intense and wild radical spaces

Compiled by Jesse D. Palmer

Goddamn we need more underground and alternative spaces these days — places organized around meeting our needs for music, art, creativity, fun and liberation. Rebel bases supporting the struggle against the ugly fossil fueled consumption monster that is destroying the world.

While our spaces may be leaky warehouses or cluttered and cramped basement libraries, they are filled with life and love. Meanwhile the mainstream world — with all their money and training — is a catalog of the miserable: people sleepwalking through their lives checking facebook and buying shit they don’t need on amazon — their car engine idling while they absent mindedly munch on junk food. Fuck that — let’s live intense and wild sorting through dumpsters and conspiring late into the night.

Here’s some updates to the Radical Contact List published in the 2019 Slingshot Organizer. Please send us your updates about new spaces for the 2020 version by July 25. Look for updates at slingshotcollective.org.

Franklin Street Works – Stamford, CT

An alternative art space available for meetings and events. “Our exhibitions tend to challenge the conceptual norms of our society in the hopes of sparking a bigger discussion.” 41 Franklin Street, Stamford CT 06901 203-595-5581 franklinstreetworks.org

Phoenix Allies for Community Health – Phoenix, AZ

A volunteer-run clinic for the underserved community in downtown Phoenix. 2902 W. Clarendon Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85017 623-455-6470 Azpach.org

Never Ending Books – New Haven, CT

A free book shop in New Haven that hosts music, performance and art events. They also provide space for ElmCity InfoShop Thursday and Friday. 810 State St, New Haven, CT 06511 neverendingbooks.net

Anchor Health Initiative – Stamford, CT

A non-profit LGBTQ health and medical center that offers general checkups, transgender medical services and support with legal name changes. 30 Myano Ln #16, Stamford, CT 06902 203-674-1102 and 2200 Whitney Ave #360, Hamden, CT 06518 203-903-8308 anchorhealthinitiative.org

Molten Java – Bethel, CT

A community centered cafe, art gallery and music venue that hosts weekly open mics, and has vegan and vegetarian options. Our CT contact reports: “an overall friendly place for punky humans to hang out. I think their slogan is something like.. make coffee not war.” 213 Greenwood Ave, Bethel, CT 06801 203-739-0313 moltenjava.wordpress.com

Far Out Farm – Kittrell, TX

A permaculture farm that spreads knowledge about organic gardening medicinal and native plants and building with reclaimed materials. 16198 FM 230 Kittrell TX 75851 936-661-8964

Port Orford Community Co-op – Port Orford, WA

A tiny co-op health food store in a rural area that hosts underground events. 812 Oregon St. Port Orford, OR 97465 541-366-2067

Prostor39 – Prague, Czech Republic

A new DIY space that hosts events, film, an art gallery and workshops. Řehořova 33/39 Praha 3 – Žižkov 130 00 420-608-051-226 prostor39.cz

Changes to the 2019 Slingshot Organizer & notes

• The Red and Black Coop moved. Their new address is 4232 Whiteside St. Los Angeles 90063 (mail: PO Box 65052 LA, CA 90065.)

• Charis Circle Books was in Atlanta, GA and they have moved to 84 S. Candler St., Decatur GA 30030.

• Klinika Squat in Prague was evicted.

• The Bike Kitchen at 22 Gibson Street Bowden (enter off Third St) Adelaide South Australia just got an 18 month so will be there until the end of 2020.

• Bluestockings in New York City — a radical hub, bookstore and event space — is celebrating its 20th anniversary all summer long through a series of events and the launch of a membership program to “mobilize community support for trans-affirming and sex worker-affirming spaces and make a powerful statement that radical spaces can survive and thrive now and for years to come.” There will be a kick off party at the end of May – check bluestockings.com for a list of events.

a10- I am not your family

By I Steve

Identification of organizations and social circles as “families” in radical culture is common. Since families tend to live together, the identification feels natural in collective, cooperative, or squatted houses. Insecure hippies try to label everyone as their family, so the metaphor pervades food distribution, ecological direct action, and so on.

Many of us are outcasts and deviants who couldn’t relate to our normal families of origin. Many of us were rejected by our families for being queer. And/or never had anything like a functional family, leaving a resentment and a craving.

Is this natural—did small bands of related humans build broader networks, clans and tribes to create a society grounded in affinity? Is it harmless, a sort of platonic puppy-love that eases rather than obstructs intentional social organization?

Interestingly, the family model pervades all society. In my college class on gender, a guest speaker on workplace sexism told us of a corporate culture where the family metaphor informally buttressed submissive roles for women. How could family be bad, thought 20-year-old Steve. Family identity is key for many marginalized groups, from the Manson Family to the Mafia to the Evangelical Christian La Familia terrorist drug cartel.

On the other hand, The Communist Manifesto calls for the abolition of the family. This is partly about opposition to inherited wealth, but also for society as a whole taking responsibility for the nurturing and development of children, rather than leaving the task to perhaps isolated incompetents. I’m not against family in that way: I promised the gods I would love and cherish my family if I didn’t have to adopt a metaphorical one.

Indeed, rather than express how we come to love each other as we struggle together in the struggle, the family model is a red flag for when we bring our family of origin baggage to our political culture—unspoken rules passed on without words from the Middle Ages; molestation and other unresolved traumas; dinner-table racism whispered as the realism behind the idealism; and sexism, misogyny, rape culture, and sexism.

Embracing family dynamics in radical organization produces a culture of anti-accountability, favored by those who will lose from accountability. It is a key source of the informal leaderships, which are not countered by “structure. ”(I’ve seen too many apostles of “The Tyranny of Structurelessness” manipulate formal process via their unaccountable informal leadership roles).

Our exertion and reception of informal leadership is rooted in family roles we learned before our memories. Someone in the group as the matriarch or patriarch, another is the emotionless overachiever, another the bitter scapegoat, and another as the family clown (aw …)

Rejecting the family metaphor doesn’t mean our political relationships must be cold and businesslike. Showing up together as functional adults doing important work is empowering. If we came from families where trust was an illusion, real solidarity is found in responsible peer relationships.

Of course we can’t just leave our family baggage behind. Rather than act it out, though, we can support self-care for family dynamics just as we would for a comrade with a physical illness. Instead of rehearsing familiar family formulae—including labeling the deviant as the insane family secret—we can invest in radical approaches to mental health and deconstruct psycho-abilism.

We live in a traumatized world. The damages from war, colonization and genocide are passed on through families. But our movements can start a different story.

5- Defend Matole Forest

For 20 years, forest defenders on California’s Lost Coast have blockaded logging roads leading into the ancient forests at the headwaters of the wild Mattole river. The forest is once again under threat and the blockaders need hands in the woods, allies in town, funds and gear. Contact us to get involved! efhum@riseup.net @blockade.babes. Stay tuned for an action camp in June! Read about the Mattole in Slingshot 127 and 128 and the Winter 2019 Earth First! Journal.

5- Seize the commons – Community Economics Collaborative – coming to a town near you

By Samara

Since September of 2018, a group of University of California (UC) students, grad students, and faculty calling ourselves the Community Economies Collaborative (CEC) has been growing a movement to bring the study of community-based economics to the university, and to likewise leverage the UC’s resources towards supporting community-based economic efforts. Starting with a small group at UC Davis, this movement is rapidly growing and is now represented on six of the UC campuses statewide.

As a point of calibration, we are drawing upon the economic writings of Katherine Gibson and Julie Graham, two feminist geographers who jointly write under the moniker J.K. Gibson-Graham. This spring we are reading Gibson-Graham’s, A Postcapitalist Politics, in which they queer both capitalism and Marxism, while exploring practical ways that community economics unfold on the ground. Gibson-Graham’s work, however, is only one articulation of alternative economic thinking, and we are excited to explore a number of alternative models as we build a dynamic and engaging understanding of the way community economies are expressed in language and on the ground. Below are some of the key ideas that we have been working with in our discussions.

The Commons – The “commons” typically refers to natural resources owned and managed by a community. Economist Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2012 for her work on common pool resource management. Her work stands in contrast to Garret Hardin’s pessimistic formulation of the “tragedy of the commons” and gives hope that communities can, under certain conditions, cooperatively manage their resources for the public good. As such, “commons” or “commoning” is at the root of a wide array of cooperative economic activity right now such as community land trusts, time banks, tool libraries, and certain types of venue organization such as that found at the Omni Commons in Oakland. A key advocacy organization for promoting the commons in the United States is the Schumacher Center for New Economics, named for the economist E.F. Schumacher, author of Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, who since the 1960s has been promoting the idea of Buddhist economics, which relates closely to the vision Gandhi laid out for the economy of postcolonial India.

Localism – “Localism” has many different meanings in the literature, but recently, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) has adopted the term to advocate for economic development rooted in community-based enterprises. Their primary argument is that local ownership and control of economic decision-making allows for more democratic and ecological accountability. The term “local living economy” comes from author David Korten, who wrote the 1994 bestseller When Corporations Rule the World. David’s thinking influenced Judy Wicks, a Philadelphia-based activist who owned one of the first restaurants in the country to intentionally seek out locally-sourced ingredients. Judy joined David and several other likeminded individuals to found BALLE in 2001. Their original framework for the organization described several building blocks for a localized economy: sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, zero-waste manufacturing, green building, independent retail and media.

The Anti-Globalization Movement – The takeover of several towns and villages in the Mexican state of Chiapas by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation on January 1, 1994 was a protest against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which went into effect on that date. The uprising became a rallying cry for civil society groups around the world that protested global trade negotiations that were dominated by multinational corporations and global financial institutions at the expense of local communities. These decades-long trade negotiations resulted in the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which has the power to invalidate laws protecting workers and the environment as “trade violations.” Following Chiapas, the wave of anti-globalization protests reached another flashpoint in 1999 during the WTO meeting in Seattle. The violent police response to the protesters captured worldwide attention. Other moments of resistance have included the G8 summit protests and Occupy Wall Street. Beyond protests, this branch of community economies connects to grassroots community development work in the Global South, the rise of the fair trade and the slow food movements, and more recently Buen Vivir, a holistic set of economic and spiritual practices arising from

indigenous communities of South America.

Sustainability – The term “Sustainable Development” came into wide use after the 1987 publication of Our Common Future, a report by a United Nations commission on the rapid deterioration of the planet’s ecology. Sustainability as a framework emphasizes flows of energy, water, food, and waste and treats ecological resources as a form of wealth that should be saved and cultivated with the same conservationist spirit that was once directed towards the saving of money.

The focus on climate change became one of the key concerns within the sustainability framework in the early 2000s after the Bush Administration withdrew the United States from the Kyoto Climate Accords. The concept of “Peak Oil” also gained public attention during this period, an idea that says that after a certain peak, extraction of oil will reach a point of diminishing returns, meaning oil extraction will become increasingly expensive and necessitate a transition to a low-carbon society. This realization sparked the Transition Town Movement in Great Britain and then the United States. More recently, the concept of “resilience” has emerged as new way to think about how to respond to climate change.

Naomi Klein’s recent book and film This Changes Everything directly links the climate crisis to capitalism and the need for re-localization. Klein argues for paying close attention to the economic frameworks coming from indigenous peoples and argues for self-determined economic futures.

Ecological economics – Herman Daly was once the Senior Economist for the Environmental Department of the World Bank, where he worked to develop policy guidelines related to sustainable development. He co-founded the journal Ecological Economics and has argued forcefully since the 1970s against the use of gross domestic product to measure economic wellbeing, saying that instead, we should use what he and John Cobb developed called the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) as form of measuring economies. Daly and others have advocated for a steady-state economy, with some calling for degrowth in order to avoid environmental disaster. This is absolute heresy to the economic establishment, and there are still very few ecological economists in university departments. The 1975 book Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach is an early work of science fiction imagining a steady-state economy on the US West Coast. A leading advocacy organization is the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.

Diverse Economies – Katherine Gibson and Julie Graham met as Ph.D. students in geography at Clark University in the 1970s. They began to develop a critique of Marxist analysis, showing the problems of an economic theory that requires the state to be seized before the new economy can be implemented. Instead, they have developed a queer, feminist approach to economics, a practice that “encourages us to make visible the hidden alternative economic activities that everywhere abound, and to connect them through a language of economic difference.” Only by working to collectively see noncapitalistic activities, and treating them as both present and viable, are we able to “actively build on them in the here and now to transform our local economies.” Gibson-Graham’s work moves us past forms of essentialism that dominate traditional Marxist thought. They suggest that the real economy is like an iceberg. What’s most visible is capitalist exchange, but most economic activity happens informally below the surface. Thinking through these “diverse economies” is a way of opening up our imagination to the diverse economic practices and possibilities all around us.

These are just some of many ideas we are exploring as we come together to rethink our roles as academics, community members, and inhabitants of the planet at this moment in time. As climate chaos ravages the planet, the need to course-correct towards more resilient and sustainable community-based economics has never been more urgent. We are eager to continue to develop and grow our understanding of “community economies” within and outside of the academy, while also working to leverage the UC system towards growing more sustainable, just, and democratic economies locally, and around the world. We hope that our work will inspire others to build similar projects within their communities and workplaces, and we hope that others will join us!

In January of 2020, we plan to hold a conference at UC Davis which we hope will be the beginning of this process to develop curriculum and policy changes within the UC and beyond. Currently, we are hoping for more UC graduate students from around the state to join our steering committee, and to join us on our quarterly retreats. We are also looking to connect with community partners who are working to build and advocate for resilient community economies to join us in developing policy and practices. If you would like to be part of the conference, or are interested in this project, please reach out to us at shsteele@ucdavis.edu. If you would like to follow our efforts, you can subscribe to our listserv by sending an email to SYMPA@ucdavis.edu – in the subject line put “subscribe cec-list@ucdavis.edu” followed by your name and leave the body of the email blank.


4- To our incarcerated subscribers

What we do: We provide free subscriptions to incarcerated individuals in the US who request them. For $3.50 we can send you an assortment of back issues and for $3.00 we can send you a pocket Slingshot Organizer. If you send money or stamps please write $ on the envelope. Not all prisons allow these materials so please make sure yours does before ordering so it doesn’t get rejected. We do accept submissions of art and articles from incarcerated subscribers. If you submit art, please write ART on the envelope. If you submit an article please write ARTICLE on the envelope. We don’t publish poetry or fiction, and only run personal narratives or stories about your case if they are framed within radical analysis. We can only publish a fraction of what we receive. If you’re okay with us editing your article/art without your input please say so when you submit.

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Other resources:

You can get a free resource directory and ordering guidelines for receiving free books from:

Prisoner Literature Project

C/O Bound Together Bookstore

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San Francisco, CA 94117

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Prison Activist Resource Center

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