Back cover – Finding the commons

Are you looking for a DIY underground music festival hidden in an abandoned army fort accessible only by boat? Us too! It’s word of mouth only — not promoted on-line since there’s no permits. If you wanna go, you’ll have to get to know some of the folks at your local all-ages venue, artists warehouse, free store, or radical library. Those who value joy and freedom more than the conformity and monotony of the rat race are coming together to make our own reality — and we want you here with us. Here’s some new spaces we’ve heard about as well as updates to the Radical Contact List in the 2023 Slingshot organizer. Please let us know if you hear about spaces we should include. There’s even more info on-line at

Rhizome House – Cleveland, OH

A new radical social center. 2174 Lee Road Cleveland Heights, OH 44118 

Paperhand Puppet Intervention – Saxapahaw, NC

They put on social change-promoting giant puppet shows similar to Bread & Puppet. 6079 Saxapahaw Swepsonville Rd. Saxapahaw, NC 27340 919-923-1857

Three Nations Market – Ajo, AZ

A non-profit maker space and market with a tool Library to promote upcycling and crafts. 20 West Brisa Street, Ajo, AZ 85321 520-270-2185

Humanitarian Aid Office – Ajo, AZ

The Ajo Samaritans provide humanitarian aid like water in the US/Mexico borderlands. “We also engage with our community and collaborative groups to raise awareness of the systemic causes of death and suffering of travelers near the US/Mexico border.” The Aid office is open open Fridays and Saturdays 9am to noon. 321 N Taladro Street, Ajo, AZ 85321 

PLAC – Ljubljana, Slovenia

An autonomous zone in a squatted, abandoned cafeteria that features weekly vegan diners, a library, lectures, musical and theatre performances, aikido and ju-jitsu practice. PLAC means place and is short for Participatory Autonomous Zone of Ljubljana. 43 Linhartova Street, behind Bežigrad.

Biblio>media:take – Vienna, Austria 

A bookshop and library that presents workshops and classes. The previously mobile infoshop now has a permanent location at culturenter 4lthangrund – open when there are events. Augasse 2-6, 1090 Wien, Austria.,

Lots of spaces in France

Our contact in France emailed a bunch of new spaces there, but narrowly missed the deadline to have them included in the printed version of the organizer. Here they are:

• Le Kiosk 36 Rue Danielle Casanova, 31000 Toulouse 

• Imprimerie Anarchiste l’Impatience 43 boulevard Pardigon, 13004 Marseille 

• Le Chat Noir 124 Rue de Negreneys, 31200 Toulouse 

• Lokal Autogéré 7 Rue Pierre Dupont, 38000 Grenoble

• le 102 102 Rue d’Alembert, 38000 Grenoble 

• la Turbine 3, rue des Cheminots, Toulouse 

• Local Piquemil 6 Rue Piquemil 31300 Toulouse 

Corrections to the 2023 Organizer

• We left South Bend Commons at 1799 Lakewood Terrace SE, Atlanta, GA 30315 off the list but they still exist. 

• We left Center for Rural Livelihoods at 80574 Hazelton Rd. Cottage Grove, OR 97424 541-942-8198 off the list. 

• We left Food Forest at 889 Camino Del Sur, Isla Vista, CA 93117 off the list. Its a project of the ecoVistaCommunity that promotes eco-justice with a zine and a bunch of projects.

a13 – People’s Budget initiative – our money, our voice, our power

By Laila R. Makled 

Doom. Existential dread. Powerlessness. These are words we come across everyday as we collect signatures for the People’s Budget Initiative. In a perfect world, this initiative would allow the people of Oakland to vote on where our tax dollars go through neighborhood assemblies. But, folks are skeptical. Skeptical something like this could actually work. Skeptical to trust their neighbors. Skeptical to change the status quo. And honestly, who can blame them? 

We know this distrust is bred, bred through propaganda manufactured by our elected officials to keep cops in the streets as the only way to keep us safe. In response to the murder of beloved community member Lili Xu in late August 2020, District 4 Supervisor Nate Miley said, “At this point the council needs to show more support for law enforcement and get the resources there.” To our elected officials we ask: Why? Why is it that after every devastating event that involves gun violence, the answer is to put more cops on the street? Why do we keep putting more money towards things the community doesn’t want, and that simply aren’t working? Aren’t you tired? Don’t you want to try something different?

As it stands, it doesn’t matter how many questions we have about why 47% of Oakland’s budget goes to cops. Or, why less than 10% goes to libraries, parks and rec, violence prevention, housing, transportation and other city services…combined. It doesn’t matter because at the end of the day eight city council members and one mayor have the power to decide where millions of dollars in Oakland go…in the words of Eqbal Ahmad, they are our elected democracy’s guardians, and their violations are constant. 

Gas prices are soaring, schools are closing, people can’t afford rent, gun violence is increasing, and the city’s response continues to be predictable: give more money to cops. What do you feel in your body when a cop is around? For us, we get nervous and scared. We feel small, powerless before the power they hold over us with their weapons and badge. 

Now, we’d like to ask an opposing question: what do you feel in your body when you imagine things like ending food deserts, funding robust violence prevention programs, or having access to free mental and physical health care? What about affordable housing, well-funded schools, or clean drinking water? For us, it’s pretty exciting. We feel warm, fuzzy, hopeful – like maybe there is a possibility for a better world. 

So, ultimately, the People’s Budget Initiative wants to give Oakland voters a chance at that choice. But, how do we trust our neighbors to make the same decisions? The truth is, there is no way to know how this will turn out. Maybe it will be worse. Maybe it will only be marginally better than before. 

In spite of that, we want to try, which is why we got involved with Community Democracy Action. The only thing we can say for certain is that power being in the hands of a few is not working, and we want to believe we can enact structural change on a large scale. Maybe, just maybe, the People’s Budget Initiative will fundamentally alter how democracy operates, and improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the process.

And we’ve seen it work, here in Oakland and globally. We have been hosting mock neighborhood assemblies in Oakland, and running them as they would run if the initiative passed. At these assemblies, various city departments and community leaders have come together to discuss their current budget, and what they would do if they had access to more funds. At the end of the presentations, those in attendance vote on where the money goes. Communities, coming together, discussing their needs and getting a choice on how their tax dollars are spent. That’s what the People’s Budget Initiative is about. We know what we need, and it is not 9 people making decisions for hundreds of thousands of us. 

Additionally, participatory budgeting has already been implemented in nearly 1,500 municipalities and institutions around the world! The first full participatory budgeting process for a city was implemented in 1989 in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil. At the time, Porto Alegre had a population of 1.2 million (more than twice the population of Oakland). It was a resounding success – sewer and water connections increased from 75% of households in 1988 to 98% in 1997. The number of schools quadrupled since 1986. The health and education budget increased from 13% (1985) to almost 40% (1996). Imagine, a world where we can make the choice to put our tax dollars towards schools, clean water, and healthcare. 

Community Democracy Organizer Silver Zahn writes, “I’ve always been resistant to city and state level of political engagement. Maybe it’s because I believed I was too ‘uneducated’. Or because I was too poor to take a break from working and struggling to get informed. I just know our system is fucked and we need community collective care to survive these exploitative capitalist structures. The work of dismantling ultimately lies in many different avenues. I don’t know how this will turn out and its actual ability to create change, but I do know that by not engaging I automatically surrender power to the dominant stakeholders.”

Will you dream with us? We can’t do it without you. We still need 22,000 signatures out of 50,000. We are hiring signature collectors and volunteer recruiters. If you don’t live in Oakland, there are participatory budget campaigns happening all over the country. Go to or follow us at @cdpoaklandto get plugged in. We look forward to continuing to build a better world with you. 

Author info @push2exist,

a12 – Abortion resources

By Maggie Singer 

To fight back against the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, we can promote and distribute abortion pills and organize to help women travel to states where it’s still legal — but we can’t stop there. We need to describe and create the world we want, not just react to our opposition’s latest move. We demand not just basic bodily autonomy for women but liberation in all aspects of our lives. The right-wing Christian nationalists who’ve sought to ban abortion for the last 50 years aren’t satisfied with the Dobbs decision — they want abortion banned in all 50 states. They’re planning federal legislation if and when they take state power and seeking another Supreme Court ruling defining fetuses as people.

We need to take these threats seriously and push back hard.  The morality police have gone too far — let’s use this outrageous decision to get organized so we come out stronger in the end. A big majority of the population supports abortion rights but changing course doesn’t happen on its own — it needs your active participation. Struggles to decriminalize abortion succeeded in Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Ireland because of mass mobilization. January 20 and 21, 2023, pro-choice activists will be gathering to protest annual “march for life” events in Washington, DC, San Francisco and elsewhere where anti-abortion activists will be celebrating the overturning of Roe. See you there. 

Beyond street protests, grassroots aid efforts are forming and ongoing. Poor and BIPOC communities are disproportionately impacted in states where abortion is now illegal, and so they need particular support. 

Just because you live in a state where abortion is still currently legal doesn’t mean everything’s okay. As clinics have closed in dozens of states, the remaining clinics are dealing with overwhelming demand. Anti-abortion zealots are concentrating their threats and harassment on remaining clinics. Fake Pregnancy Resource Centers are stepping up efforts to spread confusion and misinformation to vulnerable women facing unplanned pregnancy. PRCs usually advertise free pregnancy tests and try to look like clinics by having ultrasound machines, staff in white coats and medical-sounding names. They are often located near real health centers. But because they aren’t real clinics, they don’t have to follow HIPAA to keep information private so they can pass their “patient” info along for future harassment.

Corporations are pouring money into PRCs, supported by state tax credits such as $3.5 million from Mississippi. Since PRCs are in almost every town coast-to-coast, they’re a prime target for direct action near you. 

Justice Thomas’ concurrence in Dobbs questioned three cases (GriswoldLawrence, and Obergefell) that legalized birth control, overturned sodomy laws and legalized same-sex marriage. Right-wing fanatics want to turn back the clock on the most personal and intimate subjects for millions of people, so we need to mobilize beyond just abortion rights. 

Do you need an abortion?

Only 1 in 3 American know that if you’re 11 weeks pregnant or less, you can take pills to have a safe, medical abortion – Plan C. Either Misoprostol alone or both mifepristone and misoprostol. Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, the abortion pill is 87-98% effective.

If it has been more than 11 weeks since the first day of your last period, you can have an in-clinic abortion to end your pregnancy. 
While this list is far from complete, here are some national (US) resources that provide Plan C and/or in-clinic abortions: 

• AidAccess – a bilingual website that provides online consultations to access an at-home abortion.

• Bedsider Birth Control Support Network – information on birth control, sexual wellness, and abortion.

• Handbook for a Post-Roe America – along with a printed handbook you can order, this site also has a national map that lists local clinics, reproductive justice and rights groups, practical support and abortion funding groups.

• Indigenous Women Rising Abortion Fund – specifically for Indigenous/Native American people in the US and Canada

• I Need An A – connects individuals to reproductive resources with an emphasis on privacy.

• National Abortion Federation – a directory of providers and funding. 1-800-772-9100

• National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice – serving Latina/x individuals seeking reproductive healthcare.

• National Network of Abortion Funds – connects people to clinics and funding.

• Plan C Pills – provides information and a national (US) directory of where to find abortion pills.

• Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest women’s healthcare provider. Provides pregnancy and STI testing, counseling, and reproductive healthcare for men and women. 1-800-230-PLAN

Abortion funds in the American South:

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee:  ARC Southeast (855) 227-2475

Arkansas: Arkansas Abortion Support Network

Kentucky: A Fund, Inc. 

Louisiana: New Orleans Abortion Fund Neworleansabortionfund 844.44.abort

North and South Carolina: Carolina Abortion Fund

Oklahoma: Roe Fund (918) 481-6444 

Texas: Avow and Lilith Fund

Virginia: Blue Ridge Abortion Fund 434-963-0669

West Virginia: Holler Health Justice 833-465-5379

3 – Glenn Fuller 1950 – 2022

Slingshot member and all around decent human Glenn Fuller died March 20, 2022. Like all of us, I guess, Glenn was an oddball. He wasn’t the stereotypical young punk kid that one might imagine populate the Slingshot staff. No — he was often the oldest person at a meeting, he was from the South and had a strong southern accent, he was disabled and walked with difficulty, and he didn’t dress or present like a freak. Except that he hung around us, attending the Anarchist Study Group almost every week and staffing the Long Haul Infoshop in Berkeley on Thursdays for over a decade. He ran the Long Haul’s website and programmed it so that a silly flying saucer hovered around the screen. 

Glenn was consistent and persistent in the way he made it to Long Haul’s frequently frustrating monthly meeting. He was passionate about reading and thinking about anarchism. At Slingshot and Long Haul meetings he would often surprise you with his ideas — challenging assumptions — he didn’t just go along with the crowd. He was generous — usually bringing a big plate of home-made marijuana shortbread to Slingshot mailing parties. When another Long Haul member died, he brought food for those left behind. When Will was deathly ill and needed to get to the hospital, he drove him there in his old convertible and made sure he got care. 

Glenn was private about his personal life. When he was younger, he worked at a nuclear power plant. We think he lived in Beirut when he was a kid. He had a connection with some property in Tennessee and talked about going there. It was an honor to have Glenn among us all these years and we’ll miss him.

4 – The rise of the Fake Anarchists

By H-Cat and Pickleteeth 

For over a century, anarchists enjoyed the perks of having a bad reputation. Throughout the 1900s, we were the “bomb-throwing anarchists,” and in 1919, a number of radicals, including Emma Goldman, were forcibly removed from the United States simply for being anarchists. While the political oppression was shitty, it came with a fun bonus: there was no social currency in calling yourself an anarchist, and it was a label capitalist social climbers strived to avoid. Calling yourself an anarchist could cause you to lose your job, get deported, or end up in prison. 

That all changed in 2011, when the mainstream was introduced to anarchism through the Occupy movement, and anarchist academics like David Graeber gained a type of widespread recognition. Capitalism was collapsing (as usual), and suddenly, in a sort of panic, a great deal of public attention began to be directed towards anarchists, as if we had all the answers, as if we’ve found some sort of “secret sauce” to fix society. 

While the shift in the public’s imagination about anarchism has had its benefits (we seem to be getting less FBI raids, which is kind of nice), much of this attention directed towards anarchism has been superficial. Most people who say they’re excited about anarchism didn’t want to give up unearned forms of hierarchy or make the dramatic changes that would entail: ​​​​​​​they simply want to see if “anarchism” can be used as a band-aid so they can continue with business-as-usual. 

This has allowed a strange new trend to arise: a cohort of posers either pretending to be anarchists, or spouting anarchist-ish ideas in efforts to recruit for profoundly shitty projects. This includes the so-called Anarcho-Capitalists or “AnCaps” who falsely claim that anarchism and capitalism can co-exist. This also includes some hella scary white nationalists and extremists who draw upon anti-state rhetoric that sometimes sounds like anarchism as part of their recruiting. 

We ignore these fake anarchists at our peril. Some of them even have an explicit agenda to co-opt the term “anarchist” so that the term comes to mean the same thing that “libertarian” means in the U.S. Because of these attempts at co-optation, it has never been more important to articulate strong anti-racist and anti-capitalist stances within our movements. Anarchism means co-creating a society with autonomy for everyone, and that autonomy is infringed upon when racial capital rears its ugly head. White supremacists, sexists, and those who wish to advance the ecological destruction caused by bitcoin and other forms of capital are not anarchists. They are promoting and expanding unjust forms of hierarchies that erode autonomy and harm the ecology. Anarchism has no place for these types of people.

As you navigate this new strange landscape filled with fake anarchists and posers, here are some individuals and groups to watch out for: 

  • Michael Malice, fake anarchist. Some asshat named Michael Malice has been going around calling himself a “the world’s most prominent anarchist,” but he’s really just some fucking U.S.-style libertarian. Basically, he is trying to do to the term “anarchist” what Murray Rothbard did to “libertarian” in the U.S. If we let him get away with it, anarchist spaces will soon become overrun with Gadsden flag types. Ugh. Seriously, check out the video by Chill Goblin called “Anarcho-capitalism and the TRUTH about Michael Malice.” Link to video: 
  • The U.S. white power movement assholes. If someone in your organizing space won’t shut up about Waco or keeps talking about “The Turner Diaries,” you probably have a white supremacist in your mist. In Oakland, we had a couple folks like this try to join some organizing spaces about ten years ago. These types tend to corner and harass people of color, and will quietly drive them from your organizing spaces if you let them hang around. Don’t. There’s an episode of NPR’s Throughline that explores the evolution of the modern white power movement in the U.S., it is a good introduction to a number of white supremacist dog whistles so you can identify them when they show up in your spaces. Here’s the link:
  • Cryptocurrency (aka capitalist ecocide on steroids). Back in 2013 or so, a lot of us were fooled into letting Bitcoin people into our spaces. Many of us thought it was just another form of time-banking, just another experiment in alternative currency. Boy were we wrong! The more you understand the carbon footprint of the blockchain, the more you realize cryptocurrency is a MASSIVE polluter. Seriously, a 2018 scientific article published in Nature found that a single Bitcoin transaction uses more energy than an average single-family home in a year. Also, according to this article, cryptocurrency alone will put our planet over 1.5°C warming if left unchecked. This shit is wildly polluting; the bigger the blockchain gets, the more energy it needs. If we truly cared about the environment, we’d be smashing BitCoin mining rigs alongside pipelines. In some regions, BitCoin miners have even forced the grid to go back to burning coal because of their rapid need for more and more energy. There is nothing anti-capitalist about cryptocurrency, it is simply another form of capital, just like stocks and publicly traded commodities. It simply reinforces forms of pre-existing hierarchies while consuming monstrous amounts of energy. Crypto is also a pyramid scheme, so those who have bought into it find themselves compelled to trick others into buying it. For a clearheaded discussion of alternative currency models that are actually anti-capitalist, check out the “Is Cryptocurrency Good for the Next Economy?” episode of the Next Economy Now podcast: ​
  • The global white supremacist movement. It seems certain spokespeople for the global white supremacist movement have started blending forms of Marxist class analysis into their recruiting language, and at times, this can sound like anarchist rhetoric. Check out the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal podcast episode called “Inside the Global Fight for White Power” to see what we mean. In this episode, there’s an interview with neo-Nazi Matt Heimbach, who co-organized of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. As Heimbach explains his worldview, you’ll be shocked to hear that he has something resembling a class analysis, and even an anti-state “eat the rich” mindset. What’s wild is he and other neo-Nazis like him have folded these things in with racist, antisemitic conspiracy theories. This is literally an OG Nazi approach, and this is why it’s so damn important to resist forms of oppression beyond class oppression. Don’t let your space get co-opted by Nazis! Be sure to keep anti-racist (and anti-sexist!) analyses central to your organizing practice. Check out the podcast here to see what we’re talking about: 
  • Paleolibertarians (are not Anarcho-primitivists). While many of us are loathe to keep tabs on the libertarian party, it’s probably a good idea to peek over that fence every once in a while to see what stupid shit they are up to. Lately, the libertarian party has turned back the clock and is reviving paleolibertarianism from the 1980s. Parts of their rhetoric has been designed to appeal to some types of anarchists. Watch out for these chucklefucks. To learn more, check out this episode of the Its Going Down podcast: “Will Right-Libertarians Become The New Alt-Right?: A Discussion.” Link:

What real anarchism looks like 

At its core, anarchism is about co-creating a society with autonomy for everyone. It is about ending unjust hierarchies, which means ending racial capital, gendered empire, and colonial ecocide. Perhaps we don’t have all the answers, but we have some tactics we’ve been working on, tactics that are ever-evolving through trial and error. These tactics include direct action, consensus process, DIY, bossless workplaces, and less hierarchical leaderless/leaderful movements. 

As part of the anarcho-syndicalist and co-op movement, we’ve developed strategies to create homes, workplaces, and communities that remove (or strive to remove) patterns that reinforce unearned hierarchy. We resist bullshit forms of authority like the state, cryptocurrency, and the stock market. Sometimes this means engaging in direct actions that disrupt the flow of racial capital, gendered empire, and colonial ecocide. And yeah, sometimes we get hella smashy-smashy on bank windows, pipelines, and confederate monuments. 

We say fuck the police—including the bathroom police. For over a decade here at the Long Haul Infoshop, we’ve made patches you can sew to your jacket that read “Gender Abolitionist.” This patch isn’t against any specific genders, but rather is about resisting non-consensual forms of gendering. 

We take consent very seriously, and are always working to understand how systemic forms of oppression rob people of consent and autonomy. And once we understand systems of oppression, we do everything we can to dismantle them—in our daily lives and in the world at large!

Are there other fake anarchists that should be added to this list? Other groups using anarchist talking points to further anti-anarchist causes? Let us know!

a15 – Zine Reviews

Reviews by Jose Fritz

You can do a lot with paper, sharpies and a long stapler: write, rant, scribble, edit, create, destroy, delete, crumple, burn and start again; or not and release your wildest, raw, unedited and untamed prose upon the outside world. Zines come to us in every state: pulp or polished, poetry or prose, fiction or farcewe don’t discriminate. Here’s some of the latest zines we’ve read:

Out from the Void


It’s easy to zoom out and see only the dry statistics: The National Missing and Unidentified Persons database (NamUS) reports that over 600,000 people go missing every year. Most are found, but on average, we have more than 20,000 active missing person cases at a time and 14,000 unidentified body cases remain open. 

The numbers are on the same scale as the population of large towns, small cities and whole midwestern states. On average, 90,000 people are missing in the USA at any given moment. That’s about the population of South Dakota. The numbers staggering but impersonal integers like these are completely unable to answer the horrible, haunting questions. Instead NamUS just reports that about 90% are “resolved.” The word “resolved” here is vague and ominous.

These numbers are people, and often disadvantaged people: single moms, students, children, Indigenous peoples, the homeless, the elderly, people living in poverty, the unemployed, sex workers, migrant workers and the mentally ill. The risk factors are complex and the data is replete with dubious pseudocorrelations. Editor Brenton Gicker takes it all on without judgment.

Gicker is a mental health crisis worker, emergency medical technician and registered nurse. His approach to the topic is professional, but never statistical. He zooms in on the missing persons of Eugene, Oregon. He collects stories with the names of people and places and the people left behind and the places where the bodies are found. 

I saw issue #2 of this zine. That issue bore the subtitle “A Chronicle of Eugene’s dead, missing and unidentified people.” That subtitle is absent from the cover of issue #5 but the focus has not waivered. The only thing I find notably lacking this time is the voice of Gicker himself which was more present in earlier issues. This time, aside from the introduction, he expresses himself only editorially. But peering into the darkness can take a toll on people. Perhaps that distance is necessary— for sanity, and for self-preservation — so that this personal quest can continue, unabated, like the disappearances themselves. 

Memory Loss – Collected Communiques from CLODO

Free on Libgen &

Deconstructionist International

In May 2022, the organization Destructionist International released a documentary named Machines in Flames, a research project into CLODO. The filmmakers were quoted as saying, “knowing CLODO meant becoming CLODO.”

This zine is about a now obscure, but important clandestine group from the early 1980s. Were they anarchists, were they primitivists? luddites?, perhaps anti-civ? They saw computers both as tools and as weapons in the era which predated mass-surveillance. There was no social media. Cell phones were still the size of a shoe, there was no facial recognition and no cloud computing. The word “email” was brand new. Their bombings and arson attacks were contemporary to cyberpunk, not cybersecurity.

CLODO stands for “Committee for liquidation or subversion of computers” and from looking at the zine alone you can be forgiven for mistaking it for a work of fiction. CLODO was very real. In the original French it stands for Comité Liquidant ou Détournant les Ordinateur. The name is also a pun, “clodo” is a slang word for homeless in French. Hebdo even published some of their communiques.

Their statements from 40 years ago seem prophetic today. “The computer is the favorite tool of the dominant. It is used to exploit, to put on file, to control, and to repress.” Statements like that are all the more prescient decades before Anonymous, Snowden, FAANG, X-Keyscore, and Artificial Intelligence. The mass surveillance they warned about has come to pass on a scale unimaginable in 1980. Today data storage is measured in numbers difficult for humans to even comprehend. The NSA processes 29 petabytes of data per day by their own estimate. In 1983 there weren’t 29 petabytes of storage in existence. Today we’re well into zettabytes.

Mixing quotes and excised texts with commentary, Memory Loss goes down a very dystopian rabbit hole. This might look like a good place for a Wachowskian red pill / blue bill metaphor but the truth is that the red pill can’t set you free. There is no irrevocable choice. Everyone is inside the Matrix and everyone knows it and there are no means of escape. To date none of the members of CLODO have been identified, nor the author of this zine. (It wasn’t me. I promise.)

Behind the Zines #13

$3 – 40 pages

One thing you can appreciate about zine culture is that it has never become locked into the nostalgia cycle. Unlike other aesthetics, which have collapsed into self-parody, zines persevere. Each individual zinester, every mimeograph, xerox, risograph and austere hand-drawn squiggle remains true to the format’s origins. The trajectory isn’t toward mockery or parody, instead it seems to be toward archivism and academic analysis: zines that examine zine culture. In short— it’s getting really meta in here. 

To that end, you have to appreciate the bibliography of Billy McCall. He’s now a published novelist. His perzine ‘Proof I exist’ has been running for over 20 years and is collected at multiple university libraries. That kind of academic and/or professional acceptance may feel good in the moment but it’s also awkward in light of the medium’s DIY roots. It forces the format to confront the dreaded “L” word… legitimacy. 

Billy McCall straddles both worlds, he’s been in a half a dozen punk bands and has been self-publishing longer than he’s been self-recording his own country music. Country music? Yes, but his mohawk is still pink and still crooked. His DIY resume is above reproach so he becomes the ideal person to publish a zine like Behind the Zines. 

This issue includes writers like Kari Tervo, Anna Jo Beck, Keith Helt, Anna Sellheim, Bradley Adita, and Todd Taylor… names you’ve seen in previous issues and often in other zines. This issue includes a really solid history of zine publication, comic articles on the zine-making process, a serious column about online distribution and autobiographical articles about both Razorcake and Junk Drawer. 

Behind the Zines makes a great companion to zines like Broken Pencil and Xerography Debt. The biannual publication is so consistent that they offer a subscription. Only 13 issues in, and Behind the Zines already needs a compendium of its own. 

From Staple to Spine – A Compendium of Zine-Related Books

(2022 Ed.) $2

How very meta: this is a zine review about a zine which is about books about zines. With thanks to editor A.J. Michel, we are deep inside the ouroboros today. You may better know her name from Xerography Debt, but back in 2015 she also edited the zine Unrecommended Reading, a genuinely hilarious metazine that reviewed exclusively bad books. Her commitment to the metazine format is unique in our universe, and special to me personally as a bibliophile. She remains a national treasure.

As a relic of the print era myself, I am drawn to the exposition of books, magazines, zines, and other print ephemera. For me From Staple to Spine constitutes nothing less than a shopping list of must-read books. Ten years of British punk zines? Yes please. Hippie era underground press? A Punk Planet collection? The complete Noise For Heroes? Where do you even start?

It took a few hours, but somewhere in the bowels of my hippocampus I realized that I could contribute to future editions of From Staple to Spine. I checked the “I” section. There were only three entries: Inconspicuous Consumption, and both editions of the It’s alright Truckface Anthology. I went to my personal archive and pulled out I Shout “That’s Me!. A history of selected Czech zines from the 1980s. I typed out the standard MLA details and fired off a love note to We can all be part of the source code.

My highest hope is that this project grows to become a book in its own right: A compendium of zines, about books about zines. Then I can write a book review in a zine about a book collecting a series of books about zines. May the circle grow ever wider.

In the Basement: Punk Music Spaces $7 – 32 pages

If you are anything like me, these images sweat gravitas. Put emphasis on the word sweat there. Imagine rivulets of dank, salty water condensing from the breath of a hundred people on old latex paint, running down the walls, leaving trails in the grease and dirt, illuminated by yellowed flickering fluorescent bulbs… that kind of sweat. If you haven’t remembered the smell by now. You just haven’t been there. 

The images in In the Basement are a series of large format camera photographs of empty punk music spaces; no bands, no crowds. These are usually community spaces, political organizing spaces, art spaces, and safe spaces. Pretty much anyone reading this review has been in one of these places. 

I emailed the author Karen Kirchhoff to ask her thoughts and she responded very thoughtfully on both the substance and the transience of these kinds of performance spaces.

“Generally photographs of punk are focused on the people who make punk. Often the photos are of live music, made using a 35mm hand held camera. The large format photography I used for this series is a slow process using a cumbersome camera. The photos have a planned quality that is counter to the spontaneous images made by a hand held portable camera. Small format cameras are perfect for capturing the energy of the punk scene while my images admire the quieter moments in between the chaos. My photos are an appreciation of the places where punk happens.”

Every image evokes a memory: the gritty cement floor, frayed scrap carpet, flaking paint, speakers mounted to the rafters with orange tie down straps… danging, shreds of duct tape on linoleum, spray paint over wallpaper, spray paint over latex paint, spray paint on spray paint, dusty mattresses with concentric rings of stains, car seats on cinder blocks, stacks of mismatched drums to the ceiling, scraps of 2×4 nailed to the floor, and always christmas tree lights. I can even remember that particular melange of smells… sweat, stale beer, mold and that faint tang of urine. But the memories are all good… I assure you.

Shards of Glass In Your Eye

$3 +postage

Some sources refer to this as a comedy zine, but this is most definitely a perzine. It’s been a year and a half since Kari Tervo’s last issue and that’s about average. She has kept this series going since 1995, that’s a good run; 17 issues in 27 years.

But a lot has changed over those decades both for Ms. Tervo and for the rest of us. The sensation here is like watching a film that follows a long-running TV series. The writing is still good, but the actors have grown up. You recognize most of the faces, but we’ve all aged: crows feet, gray hair, comfortable shoes… Change is an inevitable consequence of life. 

So you find your expectations are incongruous with that new reality. Kari can still go to the rave if she wants to. But on the third day she might need a nap back at the tent. You cant’ tell me that it’s any different for you these days. She’s not quite so snarky anymore, but she’s still very silly in an endearing way, just like your own friends; the ones you first met back in the 1990s. 

Node Pajomo 2.7

$1 by Mail PO Box 2632, Ballingham, WA 98227

It only took three paragraphs into the first page of this issue of Node Pajomo to explain the premise. “In the Spirit of Global Mail and Fact Sheet 5…” Those are two enormously influential zines to call out as influences. Fact Sheet 5 was published by Mike Gunderloy in 1982 on a ditto machine cranking out collage and reviews. Global Mail started back in 1993 with Ashley Parker Owens editing reviews, articles and mail art into a publication that was at one time, about the size and format of Slingshot. Be there no doubt, Node Pajomo fits the bill.

The bulk of the content is zine reviews, succinct, fair and direct and by the hundreds. There are zines on every conceivable topic: extreme metal, French metal, poetry, police violence, innumerable perzines, communal living, UK punk, life in Sweden, collage, photography, playing cards, dictionary appreciation, writing prompts, bus tickets, dadaism, anarchism, surrealism, existentialism, zine reviews, podcast reviews, candy reviews, magik, devo, pulp adverts and did I mention mail art? Oh yes.

The listings are at the back but the mail art overflows the zine itself. The envelope it came in was stuffed with a literal confetti of ephemera: Four red images all cropped crudely labeled “scratch, test, zeta and adden” – A vinyl sticker with an image of a boy scout haloed by televisions with a note on the back – An orange carnival game ticket hand stamped “ADIOS” – A hand drawn face looking left, cut out by hand – A date stamped blue image on cardstock reading “Mailart is just one word like bullshit” – A small hand drawing of an inscrutable petroglyph – An art trading card from Private World – A series of cut up magazine images glued together and then stitched over with pink thread – a square cut from a salmon identification form – two blurry but continuous photographs of a statue taped together asymmetrically, an ad for the Eternal Darkness Creations catalog… and that’s not even all of it. 

Node Pajomo doesn’t usually score zines or render judgement but they review Slingshot 133-134 with the three words “Reccomended as fuck” which is all you need to know.

Rite or Riot

Issues #15 & 17

I am a music geek, a reader of music zines, musician biographies and genre histories. So when I saw the name of this zine I understood the reference immediately. The name of the zine comes from an infamous 1913 performance of Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” which degenerated into a riot: fights in the audience, objects thrown at the ballet dancers, shouting, fighting and rending of garments—total pandemonium. Many books have retold the story. But it’s that event which juxtaposes the two words “Rite” and “Riot” and inspired this zine combining punk and classical music.

I emailed the editor Naomi, and she confirmed it was indeed the Le Sacre du Printempts which inspired her zine title and topic. “Classical music” as we call it today was not always viewed as prim, proper, formal and stodgy. Compared to the chamber music of the day, Stravinsky was outlandish and utterly radical; and he wasn’t alone. 

So the two genres are mashed together, an interview with a cellist, an interview with a 2nd wave punk vocalist, a review of a book on piano technique, a review of a punk zine, a review of a heady foreign film, a review of a D.C. punk documentary… the record reviews go the same way. 

The last page of each issue is a single page of a lengthy, multi-part interview of Naomi by Kristen M. Zoom. Part 13 of the interview is in the back of issue 17 and even that segment ends with “to be continued…” I suppose I need to read issues 3 thru 12 to get more of the backstory about how this rogue punk pianist turned into a rogue zinestress. May the mystery endure.

Fire Art & Style (Summer 2022)

Free at select infoshops

This is a self-described anti-capitalist art and style zine. The duotone cover is a nice piece of collage either piercing together cut ups or digitally imitating that classic aesthetic. Parts of newspaper and magazine headlines crash into images of suits shaking hands, pedestrians and art of uncertain origin. Ronathan and Multi contribute art and comics which help round out a zine otherwise monopolized by the voices of Lenin and Rhys. 

Lenin Downunder opens with a riff on cooperation between Anarchists and Socialists. It’s serious and he backs up his arguments with multiple historical references. I’ve read articles like this elsewhere previously. It’s not breaking new ground but it’s a good, concise, well-ordered piece. 

The balance of the verbage here is a single article by Rhys Anderson titled “A Meeting With Hungry Djen on the Road to Suranaq.” It reads like a folk tale, like the work of Raouf Mama or Isaac Bashevis Singer. Magical realism has its place. It takes center stage in South American fiction for example. Multiple publications from the Heinemann books African Writers Series come to mind as well. But in general, it’s not my bag. More critically, Downunder and Anderson’s two works are so dissimilar, that it creates a palpable dissonance in this issue. 

Setting aside that central conflict in this specific issue, I appreciate their model. On their Tumblr they proudly announce “…this zine operates at a loss because we don’t charge for it and we pay our writers.” They are paying for art, paying for writing and then publishing those works in a free zine. They’re flipping the literary journal model on its head. Then just for the lulz they set the rate so that one picture is equal to 1,000 words. At least they have a sense of humor.

Dynamite Hemorrhage 

Issue #10 – $7

Dynamite Hemorrhage is not just a zine, it’s also a podcast. While we’re only up to issue 10 of the zine, the podcast is currently on episode number 192. The big round, pear-shaped numbers suggest that it is about 20 times as easy to crank out a podcast as a radio show. (Having done both… I can confirm that is the case.) 

But put that thought aside, focus on their journey deep into the underground; down into the basement, down the stairs into the boiler room, and climb down the access hatch into the dank unlit tunnels below the city from whence all indie rock originates: in darkness, and obscurity. In the void it was amorphous and existed without shape and form until the day it is borne into the daylight. The act of writing about indie rock makes it real. That’s when it transcends its native media. Until then, it is another tree falling in the forest. 

The best part of Dynamite Hemorrhage is that Hinman writes whatever he wants. If he wants to write 8 pages about back issues of the 1980s Michael Koenig/Byron Coley hardcore punk zine Take It; he can. He’s also the editor, he’s not going to stop himself. In doing so, he contributes to the punk cannon in the same way that Koenig and Coley did. Their original writings on commerce and art rock in the 1980s reflect the obligate foundation of the indie rock ethos that followed. There is an unmistakable continuity of thought, style and ideology.

In an interview with Rockwrit, Jay Hinman tells the story of the first fanzines he ever read: Ripper and Maximum Rocknroll. At the time he was still listening to the Maximum Rocknroll radio show on KPFA in Berkeley, CA. But unlike many zinesters today, he waited until after college to start his first zine. That one-man operation, Superdope, was started back in 1991. That series ended in 1998, and Dynamite Hemorrhage began in 2013. Those were dark years in the tunnels without the words of Hinman. We don’t talk about it anymore, we’re just glad he’s back.

Dynamite Hemorrhage remains wholly devoted to only the most raw and unpolished underground rock and roll. You can tell from the first sentence of the first record review on the first page that it’s going to blow your mind. It opens with the words, “Some of it is not even music.” I want that carved on my gravestone.

8 – Life is still here – defend Washington’s legacy forests

By Smelly Bird
	The city I live in used to be an old growth forest, and likely yours too. 
	There were never streets filled with asphalt but streams filled with clean, clear water. Not parking garages and high rises casting shadows but trees, whose growth was uninterrupted, nurtured, and respected.  Now, our cities are miles from the nearest forest, concrete islands placated with a handful of green spaces and a mile or so of undeveloped waterfront.  
	Not long ago, almost the entire coast of the Pacific Northwest was densely forested. From the late 1800s to mid 1900s, forests within the borders of Washington became the seemingly endless bucket from which to pull in order to supply the rest of the country with lumber at the height of industrialization.  Now, old growth forests are rare, coveted survivors of settler colonization, landing pads for daydreams and mysteries and vacationers from the east coast.  
	When I walk through the timber sale labeled ‘Box of Rain’, stumps from the first logging boom stand out like monoliths, sometimes I feel like I can see their ghosts towering over the new canopy.  Forests like these are considered “Legacy Forests”, a term applied to a forest that was previously logged, but not reseeded as a plantation. These forests are unique because they were logged only for the biggest and easiest trees, before the days of chainsaws and herbicides, and thus still contain native and ancient biodiversity.  The largest trees in Box of Rain are eighty to one hundred and twenty years old, the understory is thick and healthy, and the forest rests above the banks of Clearwater Creek and the Nooksack river — prime salmon spawning habitat.  This forest, and all other legacy forests, have the potential to become the next generation of old growth, as long as Washington State doesn't clear cut them. There are hundreds of unprotected legacy forests like Box of Rain on state land slated to be logged in the next decade, totaling up to around 77,000 acres.
	Forest defense often starts many miles from the forest, in council meetings, living rooms, and backyards. In so-called Bellingham, a small group of activists have spearheaded a grassroots campaign to protect Legacy Forests long before the chainsaws will ever get a chance to bite wood. Awareness is rising and community support of forest protection is mounting. Box of Rain garnered the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) over one hundred and twenty letters of dissent before the sale was even approved for auction.  A larger campaign to convince DNR to drop the proposed plans to log all state owned legacy forests is underway — defenders are organizing community forest walks, field checking sale units, petitioning, talking to our neighbors, and speaking at local council meetings. This side of forest defense is often overlooked, but because of these above ground efforts the larger community is talking, engaging, and uniting with one another through a passion for preserving the old forests we have left. 
	Trying to get a corrupt system to listen to the people it’s supposed to serve can be exhausting, having to kiss up to a council is demoralizing, and writing letters and signing petitions doesn't necessarily make me feel like a radical — but it’s worked to pause the sales of two other legacy forests locally in the past year. We’re prepared to use frontlines tactics in the woods if we need to, but as of now see that as a last resort to protect these forests.  
	This is resistance, much like a forest it's sometimes slow moving, quiet, and always transforming.  
For more updates on the Box of Rain timber sale and the protection of Legacy Forests look for @bellingham.forest.defense on Instagram

8 – Revolutionary Free Lunch

East Bay Food not Bombs

Serving Location: People’s Park

Time: Everyday at 3:00 PM

By Nameless

I first encountered Food not Bombs while wandering the streets of Eureka, California. It was Sunday afternoon and the soup kitchens were closed. The local “Rescue Mission” in Eureka, which did serve dinners and breakfast, looked more like a military compound with high fences and gates surrounding it. They referred to the food they provided as “services”. If you pissed them off, were too loud, or were drunk, they would refuse you “services”. They also were always trying to help those in need find low paying service sector jobs. So, wandering the streets of Eureka on a Sunday, hungry and tired, I came across a group of people standing in a little plaza. Two people were handing out hot food: a vegan burrito (lentils, rice, and potatoes), some water, and pastries. People were standing around, cheerful, eating and talking. It was the most wonderful meal I have ever eaten. I asked them what group they were with and they replied, “Food not Bombs”. 

I came across FnB again in Berkeley, CA while staying around People’s Park. One day after eating a meal, I asked members if they needed help preparing the food. I found out that Wednesdays and Thursdays were always accepting volunteers. That’s how I learned the difference between solidarity and charity: preparing food with Greg on Wednesday mornings…

Wednesday morning I walked into the kitchen, pots and pans clanging. Greg is standing at the sink draining beans. Boxes of produce line the counter. I pick out a knife and a cutting board. I sort through the produce: lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, fennel, greens. I grab a bowl and a colander. I grab the ripest tomatoes, some peppers, some fennel, and some celery. I stand at the sink and wash each vegetable. Then, I sort through the lettuce, tearing off and discarding bad pieces. The fresh pieces I wash, each leaf. I start cutting the produce for the salad while Greg is making the pasta. I’ve been watching him make it every Wednesday and Thursday for months but I still haven’t figured out why Greg’s pasta is so damn good. 

I ask Greg when he started volunteering with Food not Bombs. He tells me he’s been volunteering for 14 years. He had traveled here to support his friend Brian Willson who was an activist trying to prevent weapons from the Concord Naval Weapons Station from being shipped to Central America. In one such action, Willson and other activists tried to block a weapons train from leaving, but the conductor of the train had been advised not to stop the train. The train struck Willson, leading to the amputation of both of his legs. Greg had originally planned to travel to Nicaragua to prevent the Contras from terrorizing the population, but had decided first to try to prevent the weapons from being transported overseas. Greg arrived in the East Bay and began participating in anti-weapon actions at Concord. That’s also when he started eating Food not Bombs meals. Years later after the financial crisis of 2008, which Greg calls the “great bank robbery of 08,” he was freed to spend more time participating with Food Not Bombs. Greg tells me, “It was a Friday at the park. Dickie showed up and had to tell a bunch of hungry people that there was no food. He hadn’t been able to get the keys to the truck to pick up the food. I decided that day to make it my mission in life to ensure that that never happened again.” One of Greg’s qualities, common to many Food not Bombs volunteers is that they are not deterred from providing free food to people. I recall one time when the FnB truck didn’t show up on time at the kitchen for volunteers to take the food to the park. Greg loaded all the food onto food carts and volunteers pushed the food 8 blocks to Peoples Park. Greg serves every Wednesday and Thursday at People’s Park at 3:00 PM and every Sunday in Oakland. The determination of Food not Bombs to its principles has existed since its founding.

I spoke with Keith McHenry who helped start the first Food not Bombs chapter in Cambridge, MA, and later the second chapter in San Francisco. After 8 years of providing meals and conducting activist actions around Boston, McHenry said it was a little shocking how the city of San Francisco responded to Food not Bombs. In August of 1988, McHenry and eight others were arrested for serving free food. The arrests continued for years. Thousands of volunteers were arrested.McHenry was arrested over 100 times. I asked McHenry if he was ever deterred from continuing with Food not Bombs after the police crackdown. He responded, “Hell no, no one is going to stop me from serving Food not Bombs meals.” McHenry stated that he believed it wasn’t the fact that they were providing free food that caused the city to respond in such a manner, but rather that they had a political message. They were serving food to the public in busy places where diverse groups of people of all economic classes were present. They were shining a light on the failures of capitalism, providing activist literature, sparking conversations, and asking a simple question: “With all of this wealth and resources, why are we building, selling, and using weapons to kill, maim, and terrorize populations overseas, when we could be using those resources to feed people, to provide housing, education, healthcare, opportunities for learning.”

It wasn’t just the city of San Francisco that had a problem with the political nature of Food not Bombs. The federal government has considered FnB a potential terrorist threat. In a guest lecture at the University of Texas School of Law a senior FBI agent, Charles Rasner listed Food not Bombs as an organization on the FBI’s local terror watch list. Food not Bombs chapters, overseas, have also been targeted with violence and repression from other governments as well as neo-nazi groups. 

The most beautiful thing about FnB is that you can start it anywhere. There are thousands of Food not Bombs groups all over the world. The groups are autonomous, they have no leadership, no hierarchies. They adhere to the simple set of principles:

1.The food is always vegan and vegetarian and free to everyone without restriction, rich or poor, stoned, drunk, or sober.

2. Food not Bombs has no formal leaders or headquarters, and every group is autonomous and makes decisions using the consensus process.

3. Food not Bombs is dedicated to nonviolent direct action and works for nonviolent social change.

McHenry’s advice for a FnB group is to serve food in a busier location and at a time of day when lots of people are on the streets. He said that in addition to food, groups should have a literature table with pamphlets or zines. 

Food not Bombs is a powerful model for solidarity and mutual aid. They provide some relief from the suffering caused by capitalism while also shining a light on the causes of that suffering by engaging with the wider public in conversations as to the causes of poverty and food insecurity. Food not Bombs also confronts us constantly with a simple question: “Why should our resources and taxes go into killing, maiming, and terrorizing populations overseas when it could be spent on feeding every person, providing resources for learning, for healthcare, for housing?” 

a14 – If we divide, they will conquer

By David Rovics 

The left, especially in the United States, has become more of a circular firing squad than it’s ever been. Left people calling out other left people for their perceived transgressions, microaggressions, or language use has become far more commonplace than left organizations or movements actually challenging those in positions of power.

There are reasons we got to this point, and there is a way out. The way out starts with understanding how destructive the exclusive culture of so much of the left has become, and how to build an inclusive movement based on the ideas of solidarity, and having a forward-thinking vision around how we can build a new, egalitarian, sustainable society.

These are bleak times. The ongoing catastrophes of climate change are picking up the pace dramatically. There are major wars ongoing, the potentially imminent prospect of nuclear war. There are billions of people around the world going hungry. The real wages of the average worker are falling fast as food and energy costs skyrocket, along with the prices of houses, mortgages, and rents. Far right politicians and parties are in the ascendancy in the US, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, India, Brazil, and many, many other places. Some elements of the population face particular forms of persecution and discrimination, due to factors like skin color, gender, and sexual orientation.

We are far from achieving an egalitarian society, where everyone has enough of all the good things in life, by virtue of being alive, not because they’ve managed to work two jobs and step over the dead bodies on the sidewalk, in order to pay the ever-increasing monthly rent for their moldy apartment.

The social movement inspired by the killing of George Floyd that was on the streets of the US throughout the summer of 2020 and beyond has at this point died a pretty horrible death. With so many of the best organizers across the country having been targeted by cancellation campaigns and rendered inert, leaving progressive networks and organizations paralyzed with an inability to function under the circumstances, it’s a fairly obvious moment to take stock of the situation. How did we get here?

It’s a complicated answer.  The US is a country with an astounding degree of inequality between the rich and the poor. The degree of inequality between the classes is wildly greater than any other difference between members of the population. The inequality in the US is worse now than at any point since the Age of the Robber Barons, around the turn of the 20th century.

In a country with such severe inequality, maintaining stability is a challenge for the capitalist/landlord class that is in power. They have employed various techniques. One of the perennial ones include giving concessions to certain parts of the population while withholding them from others, in order to continually foment division within the population, with some elements wanting to hold onto the crumbs they’ve been given, and others wanting their share of the crumbs that have been withheld.

Despite these efforts at divide and conquer, huge sections of the population frequently manage to see past these strategies, and form movements across the lines of race, national origin, region of the country, rural vs. urban, and so on. Notable examples of intensely inclusive social movements that accomplished great things include the radical, multiracial, immigrant-led labor movement of the early 20th century, and the civil rights movement that followed it, which shared many of its strategies and goals.

In the ongoing efforts of progressive forces in society to make a better world, or at least a less miserable one, there have at various points been widespread understanding of the methods used by the capitalists, their witting agents, and their unwitting collaborators. The IWW, for one, produced volumes of educational materials such as the Mr. Block cartoon series in an effort to create an awareness among the ranks of the working class (of all backgrounds) about these methods of divide and conquer practiced by the oligarchs in charge.

The IWW recognized the vital importance of including all of the working class in their One Big Union. In so many cases for the first time, they welcomed people of color, women, and others who had so often been excluded from joining unions in the past. The bosses still used their favorite technique of hiring strikebreakers from a different race or national background when workers of another race or national origin were going on strike. This technique successfully broke strikes and led to what were called race riots.

Particularly in the wake of the exposure of the FBI’s massive, secret Counterintelligence Program known widely as Cointelpro, in the early 1970’s, elements of the progressive movement became more keenly aware than ever about the many methods of destabilizing and breaking apart organizations and social movements that were widely employed by the secret police.

Meanwhile, the general tendencies within the left that had existed for centuries continued to exist. At the risk of oversimplifying things, I’d suggest that one way we can understand two major tendencies that have long been a big part of the left around the world might be to look at how some movements, groups, and individuals orient towards a more narrow definition of common interests, or a broader definition — a more exclusive definition or a more inclusive one.

The civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s also broadly recognized how race had been used as a tool for division. Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King, Jr., and so many other leaders of the movement deeply understand the importance of leading a movement that sought the betterment of the entire working class. Typical of MLK’s thinking, when he was shot to death he was about to lead a massive march on Washington called the Poor People’s March, that explicitly was to include poor people from all backgrounds.

Later, at the end of the 20th century, the global justice movement that arose in response to the wildly growing divide between the rich and the poor both within the US and around the world recognized how the interests of the labor movement and the interests of the environmental movement were being systematically used as a tool of divide and rule, and this movement went about different ways to unite “Teamsters and turtles.”

But there has also long been the more exclusive left tendencies. If they didn’t exist, Cointelpro makes very clear, they would have been manufactured — and in many cases, they were. If they didn’t exist, the corporate-controlled media would give us the exclusive narrative, and assign it to groups and individuals, hoping it sticks.

The corporate media rarely mentions the existence of a working class that has broadly common interests, such as housing, health care, education, jobs, a clean and sustainable environment, etc. Rather, it prefers to focus on all the different ways society is divided, other than by class. If class enters the picture, it’s only in the context of race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. 

This is a divide and conquer technique on the part of the corporate media and the class that owns the corporate media (the ruling class). And it’s one that many, many people in our society have enthusiastically participated in, thinking that by talking about how oppressed they are and how privileged other people are, they will hopefully eventually advance the interests of the marginalized group(s) they identify with.

To my knowledge, it’s a tactic that has historically failed dramatically, and is doing so again now. With the advent of “social media,” the capacity for social movements, and society in general, to become sectarian, polarized, antagonistic, and otherwise broken, is multiplied. As well-intentioned as so many people calling for the liberation of different marginalized groups are, with the help of highly selective corporate media coverage and narrative-creating, along with extremely destructive social media algorithms that are designed to foment conflict, all we’re really left with is a circular firing squad, and no one is left standing, except for the ruling class, who no one in the squad seemed to be aiming for.

It is clear that our movement is broken. The liberals currently in power are failing to provide for the population, as usual, and the rightwing is using the failure of so-called liberal democracy (that is, capitalist pseudo-democracy) and the hopelessly divided band of identity-obsessed people shouting at each other that we once called the left as a stepping stone in their ongoing rise to power.

If there was ever a time when we needed to find common ground with as big a section of the working class as possible, and create an egalitarian society before the fascists take advantage of our society’s divided state and destroy everything, that time is now. While the building of such a movement is an endlessly complex and challenging proposition, we can be sure that the path we’re on — the path of trying to build a movement that’s based on attempting to make some elements of the working class feel guilty for their relative privilege while other elements of the working class work on getting accepted by a broken capitalist system — is not going anywhere good.

When you’re in a hole, the best thing to do first is to stop digging. 

a11 – Dickie Haskell 1977 – 2022

Dickie Haskell died doing something he loved, sailing, July 13, 2022. He came to Berkeley around the Fall of 2007, which he recounted to friends as a low point in his life. The thing that he claimed saved him was People’s Park. He started volunteering with Food not Bombs and helping at the park, which led him to moving intolegendary Oakland squat Hellarity house. He contributed to many projects around the East Bay including Race to Zero Waste, Gill Tract Farm, Occupy Oakland, the Oak Grove tree sit, and Slingshot.

In the months before passing he was sharing an extensive portfolio detailing a proposal to convert landfill refuse into resources, before the liners fail and toxins leach out. Considerate and caring, Dickie frequently checked in with friends to see if they needed support and was willing to ask for a hand when he was down. He was a stellar, resourceful chef, often cooking common redistributed “Natty Choice” (FNB) foods into gourmet dishes for the people by utilizing the “entire” Long Haul spice rack. His enthusiasm was often infectious, a kind of naked idealism that one might mistake for satire if they didn’t know better. He truly believed that the solutions arewithin our grasp, and fiercely but in a friendly way encouraged others to join the cause. He was committed to life and growth, with a strong green thumb that he put to work remediating the land at the Gill Tract farm and People’s Park, in Huchiun, un-ceded Lisjan territory. Dickie was a fervent and enthusiastic composter, leading workshops, teach-ins, and a compost affinity group at the Gill Tract farm.