a10 – The struggle for the alleys of Seoul – drinking beer at the protest

By Ana

I woke up at around 7 a.m. on April 21, 2022, to a flurry of desperate, messages and photos sent frantically to a Korean group chat. They all meant one thing: yongyeok, a large company of hired goons, colloquially referred to as yongyeok gangpae (gangsters), had descended on a place that I had come to love. This was the long expected sixth and final forced eviction attempt of Eulji OB Bear, the original draft beer pub of Seoul, South Korea.

The eviction and franchise pub takeover of Eulji OB Bear represents the beginning and the end of Euljiro Nogari Alley in central Seoul’s historic Euljiro 3-ga neighborhood, which along with much of the city is undergoing rapid jaegaebal (redevelopment) and gentrification. Since opening the small, cozy pub in 1980, founder Kang Hyo-geun was committed to serving the local working-class metal shop enclave with fixed low prices. Kang created a unique culture of cold mugs of beer, served with nogari (dried pollack) grilled by hand on yeontan (coal briquettes) and dipped in the family’s special gochujang (spicy chili pepper paste) and mayo.

Korea has one of the highest rates of self-employed small business ownership in the OECD, but its laws do not provide eviction protection beyond the first few years. This is how the full-menu franchise pub Manseon Hof came in and capitalized on the growth of this so-called “Hipjiro,” gradually monopolizing the alleyway with eleven stores all under the same ownership. Still, they wanted more. Though OB Bear was willing to pay a higher rent, their landlord gave them an eviction notice. Unlike other mom-and-pop shops that are disappearing around Korea, Eulji OB Bear had extensive media coverage the support of its regulars and anti-gentrification activists, and was passed down to the second and third generations. 

Eulji OB Bear successfully resisted five forced eviction attempts that occurred between November 2020 and August 2021. From the end of September 2021 until the final eviction that April morning, I participated in a nightly volunteer rotation vigil alongside the young owner and activists. On most nights, there was live radio streamed from inside the pub with music and stories. 

By the time the older owners and others could arrive, the yongyeok had already torn up the interior and taken down the blue-and-red Eulji OB Bear sign. Several of the goons had dragged the young owner out of the shop and threw him on the pavement. The police, who don’t intervene in forced evictions, maintained their usual presence as passive bystanders. 

Rather than signaling defeat, the eviction ignited the most vivid and unforgettable part of the struggle. By that same night, the street and storage and parking area across from the pub had been transformed into a highly visible, public sustained nightly resistance. From April 21 until the last below-freezing night of November 30, a diverse mix of researchers, progressive Christians, vegan animal rights militants, musicians, artists, poets, and regular folks came together to create a peaceful yet in-your-face protest, with picketing, loud marches around the alley, prayer vigils, concerts, radio shows, DJ parties, vegan potlucks. and poetry readings, inviting passersby to join in support and buy cheap cold beer in plastic take-out OB Bear cups. 

I was a frequent participant in this legal, registered protest, standing with picket signs, and engaging with passersby who didn’t understand the situation.. Night after night, we faced down drunk bar-goers, some of whom came after us for disrupting their night out.

This is far from the first such on-site squatting-style protest in Seoul but at Eulji OB Bear, there was a particularly unique element of direct standoff with the landlord and bar patrons that had not been done before. There is no way to create change without loudly resisting the erasure of places that people in the city can call home. 

Eulji OB Bear is unable to return to Nogari Alley, now unrecognizable under the haze of construction. The owners and activists are legally fighting for a place to reopen their business while battling an obstruction of business lawsuit based on the protest, and they are using the visibility of this movement to change the tenant laws and the practice of forced evictions. The process is slow and complicated, with widespread corruption in real estate and the demolition and erasure of beloved places, replaced by tower cranes and blooming high-rise apartments. As redevelopment swallows up golmoks (alleys), the representative of a part of “old” Korea, it is the new franchises like Manseon Hof that get the payout.

As for me, a white American woman in solidarity through the chance invitation of artist activist friends, I continue to support Eulji OB Bear and other such sites of struggle with complicated, mixed feelings. On the one hand, as a former patron of the Manseon franchise and a target demographic for Korean tourist attractions, I feel a deep sense of privilege and honor at being able to participate in a visceral form of resistance. At the same time, despite living here for over a decade, speaking the language and knowing people in the movement, due to the strongly group and organization-oriented nature of Korean protests, it is not easy to avoid isolation and get to know comrades and the affected communities on a personal level. In the case of the OB Bear protest, despite it being an ostensibly open-to-all, no-barrier space, as I was almost the only non-Korean directly involved, I often couldn’t help feeling like a token “global” presence on passive display in front of passersby, sometimes inviting harassment, yet only acknowledged when needed for interpretation or a photo-op. Other times, I felt like a nuisance or burden.

When I find myself feeling disillusioned, angry, or dejected about this aspect of solidarity, I try to remember that I made the full, conscience choice to participate and that whatever inconveniences I may deal with, I am ultimately shielded from the serious legal consequences faced by many of my Korean comrades, not to mention the repeated trauma experienced by them and the evictees. Yet I don’t want to completely disregard the other issues I encounter, including a heavy reliance on social media imagery, with a creeping sense of dehumanization and depersonalization of the very real on-the-ground emotional and psychological impact of the struggle. There is also the question: who leads and represents the movement? The affected community of non-activist, older merchants and regulars? Or the new group of young, educated activist organizers? In Korea as in the US and everywhere else, I believe the struggle against the forces of capitalism and destruction for a better, more joyful existence will continue to grapple with all these contradictions. We are not perfect, but we can always keep growing.

8 – Stop Cop Block

By Imma Gene

Inspired and informed by the Stop Cop City movement in Atlanta, a grassroots coalition in Winona, MN was able to save their town’s recreation center from being replaced by a three-story police/fire complex after months of organizing culminating in September, 2022.

Community Not Cages (CNC) is a consensus-based, horizontal community network of artists, students, researchers, teachers, parents, and dreamers. We have built mutual aid sites at reclaimed spaces, like the site of a county jail, and have committed to public research for the purpose of political education and to demand investment in our community and divestment from the prison industrial complex. Winona has a population of ~27,000, and its governance will not stop prioritizing carceral visions. Cops in our schools, a jail, a juvenile detention center, and a new police station are all priorities that have been met by our neighbors with resistance. Community Not Cages is a primarily working class femme and mother-centered network that aims to build narratives around abolition. In 2020, in coalition with other racial justice organizers, we removed cops from schools. In 2021, we stopped plans for a regional juvenile detention center, planned for construction alongside the 98-bed jail (panopticon). We hope that our most recent rural abolitionist win to stop cop block motivates other small-town abolitionist communities to attempt similar feats.

Stop Cop Block: A Timeline of Resistance

In February 2022, after the city council unveiled a plan to build an overpriced new police station, CNC hosted a “People’s Public Comment” event on the steps of city hall with more than sixty community members. This direct action was necessary, because public comment was not allowed at city council meetings at that time. The key demands at the People’s Public Comment were:

  • An Alternative Response Team (ART);
  • Affordable housing NOW;
  • Keep cops out of community centers.

The multi-million dollar project would have demolished our town’s only free rec center in a working class neighborhood and replaced it with a three-story police/fire complex, with a gun range, a gym, and indoor parking for the Winona Sheriff and WPD’s Mine Resistant Armored Vehicle (MRAP). Cop block was branded by the city as a “public safety” building, and simultaneously we had to contend with the local nonprofit industrial complex’s liberal reformism, which manifested in tone-policing of righteous anger and cooptation of movement language. CNC reminded our neighbors that the rec center is already a place of public safety. The rec is the only free, indoor space for children, making it an integral resource for working families. It also hosts the winter farmers market, vaccine clinics, youth and adult sports, and other programming. It acts as an emergency shelter, and it maintains a space for community gardens. Preserving this space and keeping cops out was a win for our collective care!

The most historic moment of this fight was the July 5th, 2022 public hearing. Despite an attempt by some city council members to discourage attendance by scheduling the hearing directly after a holiday, more than 200 people showed up at city hall, filling the council chambers and spilling out into the hallway. During the almost three hours of public comment, 68 testimonies were made to save the rec, while only three supported the proposal. Children, moms, grandmas, farmers, teachers, and artists spoke truth to power. 

Throughout the summer, we hosted multiple pop-up community events. Members of our community shared food and educated neighbors about the campaign to stop cop block and save the rec. Nearly 150 community members were fed this summer, and together we dreamed up a people’s budget! After this sustained pressure and solidarity, we stopped cop block in September 2022.

Community Not Cages is committed to ongoing political education, as the best praxis is grounded in the strategies, wins, and pitfalls of other movements. We learned from the campaign to Stop Cop City in Atlanta, GA, which provided an analysis of the prison industrial complex’s interconnected state violence via policing, militarism, and settler colonial environmental injustices. Stop Cop City and defend the Weelaunee Forest in Atlanta.

8 – Earth shall not live in fear – Viva Tortuguita

By Lola

WEELAUNEE PEOPLE’S PARK, SOUTHEAST ATLANTA — a pine tree stretches across the forest floor, torn up by its roots. Surrounding it: more signs of disturbance. A crumpled-up tarp, broken glass, splintered plywood. A tent flipped sideways, with slashes running through it. 

A few minutes ago, soft sunset light was weaving in through a canopy of tight-knit pines and casting a warm glow over the forest floor, but now the shadows are lengthening. I am here alone. The forest creaks and the leaves shuffle with creatures hidden just out of sight, somehow reminding me that just a week ago, a life was lost on the very ground I now stand upon. Maybe I should be more afraid? I’m not exactly sure where I will be sleeping or how reliable the MARTA is. I’ve never been to Georgia before. And there’s someone else here — besides the creatures, I mean. In the distance. I hear them whistling. 

It is a strange evening, made all the more strange by the fact that no part of me feels any fear. 


The 2020 George Floyd-inspired riots may not have amounted to as much as some had hoped, but they did manage to seriously freak out the cops. In response to officer complaints of “low morale” and “increased crime” following the Black Lives Matter movement, the Atlanta Police Foundation requested 381 acres of the Weelaunee Forest to create a military training base on the outskirts of the city. Despite public dissent, the request was approved by the City of Atlanta in September 2021 and financially backed by various large corporations (including Amazon, Wells Fargo, Delta Airlines, The Home Depot, and UPS) in the months that followed.

Of the $90 million that the Atlanta Police Foundation plans to spend on the project, two-thirds will come from corporate funding and the remaining third from tax-payer dollars. The APF plans on converting this huge amount of space and money into a military base complete with shooting ranges, bomb and tear-gas testing zones, a helicopter landing pad, a burn building, and a “mock city” where cops can practice urban warfare techniques — the surveillance, control, arrest, and murder of city residents. 

The zone has been dubbed Cop City by its overwhelming opposition, and as forest defenders have graffitied all over the city, it will never be built. 

As 2021 drew to a close, Atlantans decided to take a more literal approach to their opposition, moving into the Weelaunee Forest in a last-resort effort at preservation. The forest defenders built tree-houses, set up tents, organized meeting areas and events, vandalized weapons and construction tools of the state, and established a welcoming yet non-authoritarian culture of occupation and resistance over the following year. The occupation of the Weelaunee Forest was an anarchist movement — an untelevised revolution. There aren’t any records on who was in the forest, when they were there, or what they were doing. But they werethere — plenty of them. In the trees, on the streets, peaceful and barefoot on the forest floor, hooded and full of rage at the CNN Center in downtown Atlanta. They were there, and then they were gone.

While Stop Cop City was a horizontally organized movement — no captains, all captains — there were undoubtedly certain individuals who kept the movement alive with their unique charisma, wisdom, and capacity to organize. Manuel Teran, known in the forest by their alias “Tortuguita,” belonged in that group. Warm, intelligent, funny, brave, and abolitionist to the core, Tortuguita was murdered by the Georgia State Patrol on January 18th, 2023, in a final violent raid of the Weelaunee Forest.

A recent autopsy has revealed that Tortuguita was shot at least 13 times. Georgia Stage Patrol claimed it was in self-defense; that the shooting took place after Tortuguita shot one of their officers in the abdomen (he was wearing a bullet-proof vest and has sustained non-life threatening injuries). However, in early February, body camera footage from just after the event revealed what Forest Defenders have insisted since the fatal shooting: this officer was shot not by Tortuguita, but by The Georgia State Patrol themselves. In the video, one cop clearly says, “man, you fucked your own officer up.” There is footage of almost the entire raid except for the moment in which Tortuguita was murdered.

There’s something shocking about the state-sanctioned murder of a climate activist in the US. Then again. People have been killed by police in this country for less than tree-sitting. Just a week before Tortuguita’s death, 29-year-old father, photographer, and skateboarder Tyre Nicholas was beaten to death by five cops after being pulled over at a traffic stop. 

When the Georgia State Patrol killed Manuel Teran, they tore down the entire camp. Many Forest Defenders stayed only temporarily in Weelaunee, but others considered it their home. After their tents were slashed, their tree-sits destroyed, the trees bulldozed, their banners ripped down, and their friend murdered, Forest Defenders were forced to abandon their physical occupation of Weelaunee and take their fight to the city streets. 

The Atlanta riots that followed Tortuguita’s death inspired the city to take a tried-and-true route: round up a few protestors, charge them with domestic terrorism, give them bail exceeding $300,000, and see who’s still got the nerve to keep smashing bank windows. Fear is just another one of their weapons, no less effective than rubber bullets and tear gas. Maybe much more effective. Personally, the lack of autonomy that comes with imprisonment is my biggest fear. And who isn’t scared of dying? So the state leverages these fears to dissuade us from radical protest, just like it generates an artificial distrust in us of all potential comrades: women, people of color, people living in poverty, people living in prison, people living on the streets — in the forests. 

A quote from Frank Herbert’s “Litany Against Fear” has been circulating on social media and around Weelaunee: “Fear is the mind killer.” Apparently, Tortuguita referenced it once or twice. As I made my way around Atlanta on the MARTA, as I walked through the Weelaunee Forest, and as I talked to different people in the city, I thought a lot about fear. When I felt it, and when I didn’t, and what kind of power it held over me. Fear is the mind killer. I don’t think the quote means that it is wrong to feel fear. I think it means that fear is used to prevent revolutionary thought. But in Atlanta, I realized something wonderful and unsurprising: it goes the other way, too. Thinking revolutionary thoughts rewires your fears. Walking around the city, I felt safest in “sketchy” neighborhoods, on the bus at night, and in the Weelaunee Forest as the shadows lengthened, the footsteps of an unknown anarchist echoing in the distance. I felt the most afraid walking down streets lined with American flags, and when talking to guys who looked fratty, and in the presence of police. And it was a triumphant feeling — fearing the genuinely dangerous over the potentially revolutionary — black cats and street loiterers and the number 13. 


In an attempt to locate the source of the whistling, I step up onto the fallen pine. “Hello?” I call out, slightly tentatively. In the remaining light, I see them dismount their bike and turn in my direction. “Hey,” they say, slowly weaving between trees to reach me. 

“So everyone is gone…” I offer in greeting. They seem neither surprised by my presence nor my dreamy declaration, but take their time in answering. 

“Everything was destroyed. They have nowhere to stay. They’re gone for now.” We both reflexively look around us, as if to confirm that we really are alone; that the carefully constructed forest dwellings and tree-houses have indeed been demolished. All of a sudden, there is a lot to say. They lean their bike up on their hip. Their name is Turkey Tail, and they take it upon themself to bring me up to speed. 

“…And that tree you are standing on,” Turkey Tail says at one point, pausing in their summary. I step off of the trunk. “Did you see the banners on the ground? This tree held up one end of a Land Acknowledgement. Instead of just tearing down the banner, the cops ripped out the entire tree.” A few feet away, I see the strings that must have held the banner tangled on the ground. I feel I know where he is going with this — an anarchist argument as old as time.

“This right here, this is the key to the whole thing. What crime did this tree commit to deserve such harm? It simply existed and supported a tree sitter. What crime did the tree sitter commit to deserve such harm? It simply existed to defend a tree — 

“How they treat the land is how they treat the people.” 

The next day, I return to the forest. A man wearing a trench coat is hauling trash bags to the main entrance. We say hello, and I ask him if he was involved in the movement. “I am now,” he says with a grimace. “Let me ask you — what do you think of the whole thing?”

Something in his tone tells me to let him do the talking — I don’t want to start any fights with this guy. “I think it’s…well it’s definitely…what do you think?” I finish lamely. Is anarchist written all over my face? 

“It’s a fucking mess, that’s what I think. People come from out of state. All excited. And then they leave, and they leave more than trash. Today I picked up two notebooks full of people’s names and numbers.” He looks around, takes a more conspiratorial tone. “If anyone were to find those…it’s game over. Game over.” 

I think I know what he’s saying, but I still can’t tell whose side he’s on. Before I can respond, though, someone is hollering at us. I jump — from the distance, he looks like a frat boy: short hair and backwards hat — and it’s the first time I felt afraid since arriving. But then he’s walking toward us with his hands held up in surrender.

“Friends of Tort? Friends of Tort?” he yells. I nod until I realize he can’t see me, and then shout back my affirmation. 

“What the fuuuuck!” He stops a few feet away from us. “What the fuck man. This is the first time I’ve been back since they killed Tort. It’s a fucking warzone. No one’s down at Space. Have you seen anyone? They tore it all down. This is my wife,” he adds, gesturing to the young woman beside him. She looks like she has been crying. He is restless, looking back and forth as he speaks, not seeming to care too much about who we are. 

“Tort was my best friend in the forest. Didn’t know too many others. It started out, I was his weed dealer. But we became friends — ”

“He was everyone’s friend. He was so friendly,” the woman interjects.

“I’ll give you my two cents — ” Trench coat man breaks in. 

“If they had killed anyone else, anyone else,” he continues. “I’m not saying it would be any less terrible. But man. Without Tort…Tort was…”

“Did they… did they do a lot of the organizing?” I ask. 

“…Tort was the heart of the whole thing.” 

“Look — ” Trench coat man explains about the names and numbers he found. “After Standing Rock they put me on the FBI watch list. I’ve been there seven years. And listen, I don’t know how I feel about Antifa coming in here. Antifa comes and then it’s not long before it’s the Klan. All I’m saying is I don’t want a bloodbath. It’s Georgia, everyone’s got a gun. You don’t realize — ”

“You don’t understand what kind of operation this was,” Tortuguita’s friend interrupts. “I showed up here on my first day, gave people my real name. They said if I keep doing that I’m not allowed back.” He continues his surveillance of the forest — rubble on the ground, trees splintered at the edge of the trail — and shakes his head slowly. “It’s fucking trashed. But I think some people are still up at OPL…”

“What?” Trench coat and I say in unison. He just looks at us, as if realizing for the first time we never lived in the forest. “Look, I didn’t say anything. And we gotta run.” The couple turns and continues up the path. 

We watch them go in silence. “I’m so sorry about your friend,” I call after them, maybe not loud enough.

But they hear me. “Yeah. Us too.” 

I’m from Northern California and the Weelaunee trees aren’t my trees. I couldn’t tell if Trench Coat Man was “on my side” or not. It was hard to discern whether or not Tortuguita’s weed dealer was a fratty flag-waver or a well-meaning insurgent. Uncertainty breeds fear. Fear is the mind killer. And yet, walking out of the forest on that second day, I realized that there are many complex layers to the oppressed and to the resistance they create. Layers and layers that I may not fully understand, nuanced strategies that won’t always resonate with me specifically, ancient & varied forms of defense — including these Atlantan trees and flowers — that I may not even be able to name.

Coming out of the woods, three cop cars pulled into the parking lot and idled there at the edge of the forest. And there was nothing complicated, nothing nuanced about the three cars and the people and weapons within them. I realized that even if these aren’t my trees, those cops will always be my cops. 


Before it was the crime scene of Tortuguita’s murder, the Weelaunee Forest was the site of the “Old Atlanta Prison Farm” — a deceiving title, considering the prison was running into the 1990s. There is very limited information available on the Old Prison Farm, undoubtedly due to an effort on the city’s part to gloss over what appears to be a dark history: brutal treatment of prisoners; violent racism; negligence of inmate rights; even multiple prisoners being killed after having to use tetraethyl dithiopyrophosphate — a lethal chemical — as soap. According to the Atlanta Press Collective, there is ample evidence of “systemic abuse, torture, overcrowding, neglect, and racialized violence throughout the prison farm’s history, as well as the possibility that unmarked graves of prisoners exist on the grounds.”

Before it was the Old Prison Farm, Weelaunee was a stop along the Trail of Tears. 

This land has seen the police murder of an environmental activist, the brutal treatment and murder of countless Black prisoners, the forceful removal and premeditated genocide of Indigenous tribes, and even more, random yet incomprehensible tragedies — the draining of the nearby Lake Charlotte in search of victims connected to the “Atlanta Child Murders,” the burial of several abused elephants from the Atlanta Zoo. 

Maybe you’ve heard of Emoto’s theory on water emotion. He says that water has memory — that its molecules can be shaped by the emotions of the person submerged within it, that it can hold an imprint of substances long after they have been dissolved or removed. That snowflakes form symmetrically when music is played, but come out distorted when they are spoken to harshly. 

If water has memory, I wonder about trees. 


Tortuguita’s altar is situated at the park entrance, where the majority of the painted rubble is amassed. People have left photos, letters, candles, camping materials, cigarettes, flowers, quotes, even a pair of shoes on the memorial. Each time I pass it, the candles are lit. As I walk out of Weelaunee People’s Park for the last time, I leave a light blue spirit, a pink stone, and a stick of cedar for Tort. Kneeling closer to the altar, a quote someone had jotted down on ripped notebook paper catches my eye. “This little light of mine…will burn it down.” 

Someone is coming out of the woods. A journalist, like me. 

“Have you been in there?” He asks, out of breath. I nod. 

“There’s just…owls flying overhead. Owls. What they’ve done to these people…” His face falls; the writer is lost for words. 

As I am nearing the main road, I turn around to get one last glimpse of the forest. I feel I should say something besides for thank you, but all that comes out is, “and good luck.” 

Thank you — and good luck — and we will do what we can. 

Solidarity from Berkeley, CA

7 – Save the Long Haul – By any means necessary

By Friends of Crime

The pale worm called ‘Progress’ wriggles on… And today we find it darkening our door under the euphemism ‘development’. We learned this unhappy news when the Northern California Land Trust (sic) recently announced plans to build condominiums on the corner of Woolsey and Shattuck that The Long Haul occupies. What details we’ve heard have predictably been couched in rhetoric around “affordable housing”, “sustainability”, “building community”, and other equivocations. It isn’t hard to discern the actual motive here: profit — as usual. This kind of progressive phraseology is now routinely invoked to allow exploitation to proceed unimpeded, with the glowing approval of the flies who feast on such shameless babble.

We have heard the braying of a few mystified donkeys in our midst (“Ye-ah, ye-ah…”) who cite the lack of affordable housing to justify and celebrate our potential displacement. To this, we say that any meaningful response to the housing crisis must end the crisis that is development. Halting environmental destruction necessarily means the total obstruction of rapacious developers. Raising condos over the ruins of our shared home in no way ameliorates the nightmares produced by the functionaries of Capital. What it does is sacrifice a space used primarily by poor and marginalized individuals to the very forces that brought about this perpetual catastrophe. This is how the death march of economic progress stalks onward: the specter of ‘The Community’ is used to annihilate living communities; the specter of ‘Ecology’ is used to legitimize the regimes currently trampling life wherever we look.

Those of us writing this do not presume to speak for or represent The Long Haul. We speak in our own capacity as wild, lawless beings fiercely protective of our home and unwilling to indulge investors and their flunkeys in steamrolling over our lives. We intend to resist this attempt to displace us to the bitter end, by any means necessary and hope you will join us in this effort.

7 – Save the Long Haul – Dodging the wrecking ball

By Jesse D. Palmer

When I first heard about the plan to tear down the Long Haul building where Slingshot has had its offices for more than 30 years, it felt like a gut punch. My initial reaction was Fuck that — we’ll contact everyone we can think of — Save The Long Haul!  I’ve staffed a shift every Sunday since 1993…gulp. Long Haul houses something unique — a space not devoted to commerce, operated collectively by volunteers that welcomes all types of freaks. It is the perfect place to make Slingshot.

The precious thing isn’t the old building — it’s the community and the continuity with radical struggles that have taken place here over the last 44 years. Long Haul has (roughly) a 99 year lease with cheap rent and can’t afford market-rate rent in the ultra-expensive Bay Area rat race. All the shelves, lofts, paint, stairs we made ourselves. When a collective does stuff for itself — not because it’s a paid job but because people want to do it — there’s emotion that gets infused into otherwise ordinary physical objects. If you’ve never been to Long Haul, there’s 10 skylights so it’s cheerful during the day and you can hear rain fall. Everything is made of wood and painted crazy colors. There’s murals, radical posters and countless shelves stuffed with ancient zines, books and phonograph records. 

The place has a funky grassroots feeling to it that is missing from new sterile buildings. Which is not to say that me and other collective members aren’t often frustrated at how messy Long Haul is or how dysfunctional the social dynamics can be. When no one is in charge, a place can suffer all the worst problems of a punk house where no one does their dishes. Being open to the public no matter how ragged is hard. Long Haul is known for its regulars with poor social skills / boundaries that make people uncomfortable and push them away. And yet at the moment, Long Haul is experiencing a post-pandemic renaissance of fresh new energy and events.

The landlord just sees Long Haul as underperforming real estate that can be replaced with something better because capitalism reduces land, people and nature to objects — profit and loss numbers. The landlord can do whatever they want even though they have no human connection to this place, whereas those of us who use the space and love it — who have history here and a connection to it — have no part in decisions. In that way it’s a microcosm — capitalism always gives power to owners over users or those who do the work.

But I don’t just want to express my certainty about wanting to save the Long Haul at all costs. It turns out that as I’ve sat with the threat of demolition, my thoughts and feelings have turned contradictory and complex — which is more interesting. I think we should distrust certainty and simplicity — that is the realm of computers and authoritarians. Nature, voluntary communities and our hearts aren’t defined by sharp edges but rather lots of messy gray areas. 

After my initial shock, I had doubts about pouring all my energy into a fight to save Long Haul. In nature and in our lives, things change — people and projects die — change is a natural part of life. Each closing door inevitably opens other doors. Clinging onto things has its own risks. I don’t want to end up bitter or spend a bunch of my life force being against stuff. I want to focus on joy and living. I want to spend my energy making and building stuff. Being in favor of things. 

While I’m in mourning at the idea that Long Haul might end up rubble, I’m also curious what opportunities might be out there for me personally, for the projects like Slingshot that call Long Haul home, and for the thriving community that exists at Long Haul. 

Thinking about all the people I could call and try to rally against our landlord, I keep wondering if it wouldn’t be better to spend that time marching with those people against oil companies, banks and repressive political and cultural forces. 

Which raises a funny question — I’m pretty sure it would be much easier to get people to protest to save Long Haul vs. organizing those same people against climate change or capitalism. Why? As humans we have an easier time fighting something our brains can grasp rather than overwhelming, faceless, global crisis. 

I’m hesitant to add to this problem by injecting another campaign into the world. The proliferation of single-issue, micro-focused protests takes up a lot of time and gets a lot of us off the hook of doing harder forms of organizing that feel scary and overwhelming. These local campaigns can be a form of procrastination — like cleaning the living room when you’re supposed to be writing a term paper. 

If we’re to survive as a species, we need to stare straight into the overwhelming problems we face and stay focused so we can come together to build broad-based movements that take on systems, not just the symptoms. Our best response to the death culture is to make communities full of art and pleasure independent from the economy. 

We build community and sharpen our organizing with local campaigns, but we need to get better about picking what’s really crucial. The main reason I care about saving Long Haul is because I’m personally involved — which is the force motivating every NIMBY fight against change whether it is against a clean injection site, windmills or a new apartment building. Change is always painful to those personally affected — and yet change is essential in so many areas, particularly the big changes necessary to make life more sustainable by reducing emissions. Replacing a single-story building like Long Haul with an 8 story low-income apartment building close to BART, stores and jobs helps the housing crisis and reduces driving. If it wasn’t the Long Haul being knocked down, I would be for it. 

I’ve been volunteering at Long haul for 30 years — when I tell people, they look at me like I have two heads. It is a pleasure and a privilege doing my 3 hour shift every Sunday — hearing what’s going on in various corners of the counterculture and constantly meeting new people. The collective meets once a month and a lot of times, we face the same unsolvable problems repeated over and over. But nevertheless, there’s jokes and people I like seeing at those meetings. In normal life I’m sometimes the weirdest person in a room, but not at Long Haul — we’re all misfits here. 

I’ve often wondered would I just keep volunteering at Long Haul until I got too old? Sometime I’ve thought “if there was an earthquake and the building collapsed I would be sad but I would also consider it a gift” — getting me out of a situation I can’t end on my own. The landlord taking Long Haul down isn’t poetic — it’s an arrogant exercise of power — but the resulting freedom and change might be the same. 

As of Slingshot’s publication date, the Long Haul collective is having a lot of meetings to figure out what to do. A lot of us want to fight hard — don’t take my complex feelings as a eulogy or a sign that Long Haul is giving in. Save the Long Haul! The landlord wanted to tear the building down 15 years ago and we helped save the building back then — don’t count us out. We need help.

And as we fight to stay here, we’re simultaneously always trying to improve. Right now we’re only open 3 hours a day in the evening — it would be great to have more exciting projects using the space when we’re not open as well as more well attended eventing events. The Long Haul sometimes is diverse and welcoming but other times it is dominated by entitled dudes — there’s a lot that can be done to make the Long Haul worth saving. Let’s not just write articles mired in nostalgia or shit talking the landlord for being a landlord — let’s keep our eyes on the prize of a world without landlords. That’s why we need the Long Haul and a thousand places like it. 

If you’ve spent time at Long Haul since 1979, contact us now for updates: longhaulinfoshop @protonmail.com. The Infoshop opened in 1993 so we’re making a 30th anniversary zine. Send articles by Bastille Day – July 14. We want to reconnect with old friends and celebrate the good times. 

6 – If UC Berkeley was a woolly mammoth, People’s Park would be its La Brea tar pit

By P. Wingnut

When 100 police raided People’s Park in the middle the night August 3 to fence it so the University of California could build an 1,100 bed, $312 million dorm, no UC bureaucrat could have imagined in their worst nightmares that 6 months later the Park would remain — construction stalled indefinitely by a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lawsuit. 

But those of us who love and inhabit the Park knew that any attempt to develop the park would be a long, strange trip. The Park is coated in a form of revolutionary teflon so powerful that no one can grab hold very tightly — including us! 

Construction vehicles that were destroyed by Park supporters after the police raid had blocked the Park’s basketball court for months, but they’ve recently been removed — which is great because we need the Park to be more functional if we’re to have any chance of saving it. The Park is still cluttered with a bunch of tree rubbish from the slaughter when the University cut down 47 trees during the 12 hours they controlled the Park — so let’s do a Park makeover this spring. Stay tuned for a day of action to fix the stage, clean the bathrooms and plant trees!

A decision in the CEQA lawsuit might be announced by the time you read this article, but an appeal is expected. The appeals court’s preliminary ruling was in favor of Park supporters, and during oral arguments the 3 judge panel was openly skeptical of te University lawyers’ silly arguments. Even if the University were to win in Court, police are unlikely to attack again until the University’s 30,000 students are out of town — so maybe the middle of the night in June or July? 

The City and the University have spent years trying to isolate the Park by framing it as an outdated vestige of the 1960s or just another homeless encampment that should be “cleaned up” to make way for progress. The only way to protect the Park long-term is to make it a wonderful Park full of life and beauty right now in 2023— not just a tattered nostalgia trip. There are a lot of events and activities at the Park these days you can plug into — gardening, Food Not Bombs, Open Air Temple … you can add your own. 

The Park has always been about seizing institutional land, returning it to the commons, and operating it through user development. Since it was constructed in 1969 without University permission on land where UC had razed houses, UC has always claimed to own the Park, but has never been able to control it. Thousands built the Park in a communal eruption of freedom, love and joy, only to have UC destroy it weeks later, with police shooting randomly into crowds, killing bystander James Rector and wounding over 100. The National Guard occupied Berkeley for a week. Their land title is dripping in blood. 

Those of us who use, enjoy, occupy and love the Park are unstoppable. UC Berkeley and their lackeys had better get out of the way if they can’t lend a hand. 

The 54th anniversary Park concerts will be April 22 and 23. Park co-founder Michael Delacour is currently in hospice so send him and his nephew Dusk your thoughts and loving energy. Join the Park email list for legal updates and event announcements by emailing: info@peoplespark.org. Text SAVETHEPARK to 41372 to join the bulldozer alarm text alert. For more info peoplespark.org 

6 – Save the Long Haul – Beyond defense towards revolution

By S

The Northern California Land Trust (NCLT) has announced new plans to demolish the building housing the Long Haul and replace it with an 8-story building of co-op apartments, condominiums, and ground-floor space which they promise will be similar to the ones that exist now.

Almost everyone is torn up about it. The planning process only focuses on the shiny new thing, but doesn’t offer opportunities to reflect on what we have now or grieve the possible loss of a beautiful building.

But I think saying that this project is simply ‘gentrification,’ or ugly condominiums, is sloppy and something to be more thoughtful about. Under the private property regime, every new development opens up some opportunities for use of the land and closes off other possibilities.

My grandparents moved to California in the late 1950s, around the time the amerikan housing market was starting to be formally ‘de-segregated.’ Previously most new construction would have covenants for buyers, “No Jews, No Blacks, No Mexicans.” This change allowed a lower middle-class mexican family, both unionized workers, to think about buying a house in a new subdivision.

Today, the plan proposed by NCLT is clearly designed to provide opportunities to lower-middle class Black families for home ownership in South berkeley. South berkeley has experienced significant Black displacement over the past decades, despite few dramatic changes in the built environment besides BART. Within the current system, there is little hope of reversing this besides constructing new housing. Even eviction defense and so on cannot create opportunities to reverse 30+years of demographic change.

Anti-development radicalism has a troubled history when it comes to housing in the Bay Area. In San Francisco’s Western Addition in the 80s, some radical queer activists aligned with the local neighborhood and property owner groups to oppose the re-construction of a large public housing project which had been demolished. (Before its demolition it was squatted by traveling anarchists attending a conference.) While the activists and property owners had major differences, they were united around opposition to what was considered to be a tall and ugly tower. The project was almost spiked, but eventually got built as SF’s first new public housing in a quarter-century. Read about this in Lorenzo Gomez’s book Full City: Gentrification, Hope VI, and the end of Public Housing Communities in San Francisco: 1970-2003.

Most people get their needs met (or NOT met) through mainline housing markets. Without projects such as this, there are limited opportunities for many non-white people to find housing in these areas. And as long-time advocates on homelessness recognize, housing availability and homelessness are intimately connected. WRAP (Western Regional Advocacy Project), the group who opposes sweeps and anti-poor street laws, often point out how giving tax subsidies to homeowners has basically replaced the amerikan government’s spending on building housing.

For example, WRAP points out in House Keys, Not Handcuffs, that from 1996-2005, less than 2,000 units of affordable rural housing were built by the government. That’s only 6% of how many were built in the same time from 1976-1985. State run housing has plenty of problems, like bad maintenance and management, but its abandonment is clearly one reason for displacement and growing homelessness of low income people as the general population continues to increase.

By declining to acknowledge some of these facts, radicals often cede the territory to sold-out politicians and non-profits – whose ideas are for sale, and many of whom are all too eager to facilitate any real estate deal that can line their pockets or pad their prestige.

What radicals have to offer is a dedication to genuine social transformation: revolution, and the abolition of the class system. The Long Haul is one of only a few spaces where it is possible to think about revolution, without somebody breathing down your back to stay on script, or trying to buy you off. It’s the best kind of (un)development, that’s led by the people who use it, rather than the state or some company. That’s something worth fighting for.

The NCLT’s history of broken promises and poor communication with tenants does not seem to bode well for the future of the Long Haul post-demolition. So there are very good reasons to oppose this project all together.

Usually, the people who oppose projects like this are local property owners who at best are concerned with keeping a good thing going. We need to look beyond political alignments which seek only to prevent or reverse forms of privatization happening now or since Reagan, but to create coalitions which can meaningfully oppose private property altogether.

Anarchism was once a powerful multi-racial, working-class movement in north amerika. Millions of people dedicated their lives to fighting to abolish the wage system and the state. In the early 20th century, these efforts revolved around rank-and-file trade unionism and got crushed by the Red Scare government crackdown. Today, the state is using divide-and-conquer tactics to keep people away from each other and possibilities to change life as we know it.

Rather than accepting it as a given that anarchism will be limited to a small subcultural milieus, we should be welcoming everybody to the table for shelter from the terrible landscape of pollution, mass shootings, war, and so on, in order to fight the common enemy – the system and its rulers – together. Rather than playing into the property system’s game of scarcity, or mocking those who want safe and decent housing for their family, we should be thinking about how to rejuvenate our radicalism to take over urban land being squandered. What if we could take land away from distant owners to turn parking lots into community parks, or sprawling bank branches into housing? How about side streets being liberated from asphalt to meet everyone’s needs? This seems impossible on a large scale. But what if there were more of us? How do we get there?

5 – Anarchist social network build support tips

By Umi Molter (they/them), Gold Nugget Zine creator, @g0lden_nugget

As a social worker, I see on a daily basis how people are failed by institutions that are (supposedly) created to support them, and it is heartbreaking to see people fall through the cracks. There is something that I have noticed though: People who have stronger support communities end up having a better quality of life and are more likely to bounce back from hardships. For those of us who struggle with executive function, the hoops we have to jump through while trying to get our needs met by institutions often make it so that they’re truly inaccessible, and that’s where our communities can jump in.

Do you know anyone who lives with any of these conditions? ADHD, Chronic Pain/Fatigue, Alzheimer’s/Dementia, Complex Grief, Anxiety, Connective Tissue Disorders, Autism, Depression, Behavioral Disorders, Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Epilepsy, BPD or Fibromyalgia?

If you do, chances are, you or someone in your closest circle or larger community struggles with Executive “Dysfunction.” It is commonly referred to as having a difficulty with one or more of the executive functions which are either cognitive, behavioral or emotional. And it’s actually much more common than one might think. According to learning and language specialist Craig Selinger, these are the 10 different types of Executive Function commonly referenced: Emotional control, Task initiation, Planning and prioritizing, Sustained attention, Response inhibition, Organization, Time management, Flexibility & Adaptation, Metacognition and Goal-directed persistence.

Having a hard time with any of these different functions may create barriers for us to access services that we need for our biological, psychological or social health and wellbeing. For example, if we have trouble with starting tasks, creating that telehealth account may never happen and we might never get the appointment we need to address a health problem we’re having, leaving our health needs unmet. 

We all need support sometimes. One day you may be in the supporting role, and other days, you may be in the receiving role. We need each other. And that is okay! You can use these tips to get some ideas flowing on how to support your people, or you can send this article to your community to give them ideas on how to collaborate with you in getting your needs met…

1. Open up the communication 

Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help. lf you perceive that someone in your community’s needs are going unmet, you could mention that to them and ask how they’re really doing. You could ask about different types of needs, like those regarding physical health, mental health, employment difficulties, challenging bureaucratic processes like applying for ID’s, legal status in the country, financial aid, disability evaluations, etc.

2. Ask for consent to support

If the person decided to open up and talk about certain needs that are going unmet, and you personally (or collectively, if you have others willing to collaborate, which is the more ideal situation) feel that you have the capacity in your life right now to advocate for them, ask them for their consent to support them. Be as specific as possible. You could ask, “Can I research some services that address to these kinds of things in our area on your behalf?” If the person says yes, let them know that you’ll get back to them and touch base with what options you found. 

3. Research local services

Look up local services that address those kind of needs, and also inform yourself on the legal rights your friend might have. Make sure to read through local laws and check out what kind of services the public institutions offer for these kind of problems as well. Make a list of different services that they would be eligible for and make a detailed list of all the requirements, documents, copies and forms that would need to be presented in order to access the service. Maintain privacy by not divulging any information they didn’t explicitly give you their consent to share.

4. Support with paperwork

Ask if the person wants or needs help with getting the required documentation together. This can take time and some planning, especially if they have to apply for certain documents that they don’t already have, such as getting a government ID, birth certificate, social security number or medical documents. If you’re supporting your friend through teamwork, the team could split up these tasks to make it lighter for everyone, always with the explicit, enthusiastic consent of the person that you’re advocating for.

5. Make phone calls or use online portals

For some people, making phone calls might be impossible or cause distress, overwhelm or confusion. If this is the case, they can consent to you making necessary phone calls on their behalf, either in their presence or privately. You could also offer to be present while they make phone calls in case they get overwhelmed or anxious, for example. Some people may also have difficulty using online platforms, so you could also offer to create the required logins to book appointments, always with their consent. Make sure you write down their logins, passwords and any other important information like doctor or social worker names and phone numbers, appointment times, etc.

6. Support through organization

Ask if they would like support with organizing their documents, medicines and general paperwork. You could get a folder and organize the documents by service provided or by topic, such as “health”, “work”, “disability”, “legal status”, etc. One of my partners has an ADHD diagnosis and this is usually the hardest part for them, so when they go to their appointments, they just stick all the papers they’re given in the folder and later we go through it together and write To Do’s on a whiteboard. It has actually turned into a nice moment of connection for us. <3

7. Offer to accompany them

You can offer to accompany them to appointments. They can decide if they want you to just go with them and drop them off, wait for them in the waiting area, or go in with them to their appointment (when allowed). I have chronic stomach issues and my partners always alternate taking me to appointments, and honestly even when they’re only allowed to wait in the waiting room with me, I feel so supported knowing I have someone to hold hands with before and after, and to be there for me if something upsetting happened in the appointment. 

8. Provide non-judgmental emotional support

For some of us, even thinking about these processes can be overwhelming, exhausting and disabling. It’s important to be aware of this whether or not the tasks at hand seem “hard” to us personally. Offering a non-judgmental ear without trying to fix everything for the other person or change their mind about how good or bad the process is going can make a world of a difference.

9. Be mindful to acknowledge agency

Do not assume that someone can’t do something. If in doubt, ask directly if they would like support. Practicing explicit, verbal consent is one of the most important ways that we can acknowledge someone’s agency amidst these often dehumanizing processes. Ask them how they want to be supported, and then listen and respect their boundaries. Try not to question their capability when they tell you that they want to do something you know they’re struggling with on their own. If it doesn’t work, be there to help them get back on the horse. Our role is to support, not to be anyone’s superhero. For many of us, receiving help is incredibly difficult as it is. Don’t underestimate the power of the person in question having the last word regarding their processes — this can be what restores justice to people who have been disabled by an inaccessible system. 

10. Remind ourselves of the horizontality 

Remind yourself that although you are supporting the person in question with certain aspects of their process that are difficult for them, this does not grant you any type of power over them whatsoever. The support being offered should always be horizontal. Any type of power dynamic needs to be absolutely avoided in order for the dignity of everyone to be preserved. Let’s check ourselves!

11. Deconstruct social hierarchies

While reading this article, who have you thought about when I’ve talked about your “community”? In heteronormative, nuclear family-based societies, we often have certain social hierarchies ingrained in us. This kind of society tells us that our immediate, blood family comes first and before anyone else, then behind them comes our spouse or romantic/sexual partner, then friends, then maybe — maybe, the people we see everyday at work or school, completely forgetting about our neighbors and more distant community members! I encourage you to de-hierarchize and diversify your care giving and receiving network. Providing or receiving the kind of support listed in this article doesn’t only have to be directed towards your family and potential romantic/sexual partner(s). You can include your friends in this self-made care giving and receiving network. You can include other people you see on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. You can include long-distance friends. You can include past lovers that you hold a healthy, caring relationship with. You can include coworkers, neighbors, and the people who caregive to people important to you. You can include so many people here, and the more we include in our care-giving and receiving networks, the stronger, more diverse and resilient our community becomes. 

12. Respect your capacity

Acknowledging that you may have “more” executive function than some of your community members at a specific time or for a specific task doesn’t mean that you have an unlimited capacity to advocate for them. We are not and can not be superheroes, that’s simply not realistic, nor sustainable, nor healthy. Remember to rest and fill your own cup by advocating for your own needs and asking for support from your community members when you need it. Don’t make yourself a martyr to the cause. Rest.

13. Call upon community

When your cup is empty or you’re out of energy, call upon your community, with the enthusiastic consent of the person you’ve been helping. These systems are sometimes so fucked up, complex and coercive that we literally can’t do these things alone. We build community when we allow ourselves to be aided by it. We build community when we freely and proactively offer our support to it. 

The art of enthusiastically giving support

and openly allowing ourselves to receive it

is the primordial Heartbeat of Community. 

Umi (they/them) can be reached at 

you.me.molter@gmail.com or on Instagram at @g0lden_nugget. 

4 – Path to zero – climate change most complex puzzle ever created

By A Pack of Cats

Our future is at stake, quickly slipping through our fingers. Those in power have been trying to lull everyone to sleep with fairytales and false claims about how greenhouse emissions are going to start declining really soon — but they keep rising. They keep telling us not to talk about climate data because “it might depress people.” …or it might stir us to action!

  We are on pace to hit 5 degrees of planetary warming by 2100 — which would cause massive species extinction, human displacement and famine if not worse. Over the last 12 months, Earth saw the greatest output of CO2 emissions ever. We already locked in 1°C of warming back in 2012. We have got to create a zero emissions society fast if we want to avoid more warming, but this is going to require massive social pressure on those who profit from the status quo to rapidly replace technologies humans have used for the last century.

  Fossil-fuel-funded media outlets often present fake solutions that tell people to focus on individual choices rather than working together to end fossil fuel use and build alternatives. Perhaps the most common “divide and conquer” fake solution is the “carbon footprint” — designed by BP Oil. We need to stop just focusing on individual choices and focus on systemic changes.

  These two changes are necessary to get to a zero emissions society:

1)  Stop burning fossil fuels (this accounts for roughly 89% of global CO2 emissions)

2)  Stop deforestation (this accounts for 10% of all greenhouse emissions)

The pathway to fixing these two things is complex but we can pinpoint social-power structures that are causing emissions to accelerate. Some are overt — like the fossil fuel extraction apparatus — while others are more subtle — like the way fossil fuel use has been woven into the way we structure our lives, or the way governments have built deforestation and fossil fuel extraction into the funding of social programs. 

We can’t just address one thing. This is the most complicated puzzle ever created. Every aspect needs to be addressed at once, and no single person or single sector has all the skills to address it alone. We all need to work in concert, all doing very different types of tasks. 

If everyone works together, it is possible to get to a zero emissions society within five years. Here is a list of things that — if all done fast enough at the same time — would get us closer to a zero emissions society. The list below draws upon conversations with climate scientists, social scientists, and engineers who have taken time to break things down to members of the Slingshot collective.

Individually, we do not control these things which is why collective action is essential. Different folks need to work on different stuff, and to respect the work of those with different fields of expertise. This is a cooperative game.

Getting to Zero Emissions

1) Rapidly build solar panels and windmills. Electricity generation accounts for 1/3 of CO2 emissions. If we were to divert 25% of steel production into building windmills over the next five years, we could meet the entire 5 TerraWatt Global Energy Budget with windmills alone. Solar panels are also a great option. Solar panels with an efficiency of 20% placed over just 0.1% of the Earth’s surface would completely meet The Energy Budget. (See: tinyurl.com/UWClimateBook)

2) It’s time for an Energy Storage Revolution. A common excuse to continue to use fossil fuels to generate electricity is that they can provide electricity when the wind is not blowing or at night. Saying goodbye to fossil fuels means rapidly expanding secondary storage methods. There are two basic kinds of energy storage:

Bulk methods. Ways to store lots of energy in bulk include gravity batteries, flywheel storage, and pumped hydro. Lots of great bulk storage methods already exist and just need to be rolled out quickly.

Micro methods. Smaller, more precise forms of energy storage are also needed. There’s definitely a nuanced conversation to be had here, especially in terms of the way smaller batteries often use rare minerals with harmful mining practices. Presently, there are efforts underway to develop Rare-Mineral-Free batteries. These efforts absolutely need more attention and public support. (See: tinyurl.com/OSUbatteries)

3) Freeze new investments in fossil fuel extraction and combustion. Global energy investment was $2.2 trillion in 2022. About $1.1 was invested in fossil fuels — infrastructure that is designed to operate for decades. Net income for oil and gas producers was $4 trillion.  While renewable investments are rising rapidly, why is any money still being invested in suicide energy?

4) End Fossil Fuel Subsidies. Fossil fuel subsidies lock fossil fuel consumption in place. In 2020, $5.9 trillion was provided by the IMF and national governments to subsidize fossil fuels. These funds should be directed towards carbon-free energy alternatives instead.

5) Reduce the distance goods and food need to travel to get to us. Rapidly localizing production of food & goods would make a big difference in reducing the emissions produced from shipping. This includes developing robust local networks of urban farms and local means of producing goods. What if fabrication labs were like public libraries? Why not 3-D print & fabricate most stuff locally? What if there was a farm on every corner?

6) Make the built environment more habitat-dense & engaging. Biophilic design brings more habitat into urban spaces. Making cities greener and more inviting increases the likelihood that people will want to walk, ride bikes, or use public transit. 

7) Build reliable public transit and EV infrastructure. Burning fossil fuels for transportation accounts for about 1/3 of CO2 emissions, so decarbonizing transport is essential. Public transit helps. Making it easier to walk and bike and drive less also helps. But some folks will still need to drive and for that Electric Vehicles (EVs) are a form of harm reduction: it’s a less harmful replacement for a deadly behavior.

7) Stop subsidizing air travel.  Air travel is a heavy emitter and there is no good technology to replace it at this time. Less than 10% of the population flies in a given year, yet governments heavily subsidize air travel. Let’s use the funds for rail and other options. 

8) End Investor Ownership of Energy Companies. Presently, most utility companies are owned by Wall Street investors who also have holdings in fossil fuels. This means they have a “conflict-of-interest” incentive to promote accelerated burning of fossil fuels. This is partly why most of our grids haven’t switched to renewables. In 2023, around 60% of the U.S. grid is still powered by fossil fuels. All energy companies need to be immediately transitioned to co-ops or public utilities. (See: tinyurl.com/fossilfuelgrid)

9) Switch to Regenerative Agriculture (RA). Unsustainable agricultural practices drive 90% of deforestation. Switching to RA would mean building resilient ways of meeting food supply needs while protecting the ecology. More info here: tinyurl.com/RAfood101. 

10) Improve Gender Equity. Data continue to show that gender-based oppression is linked to ecological harm. Even when controlling for other factors, one study found that countries with better gender equity experienced a 11.51% decrease in emissions over a roughly four-decade period. Having better gender equity throughout society improves decision-making, and has been proven to accelerate de-carbonization efforts. For more on this: tinyurl.com/GenderClimateJustice

11) Dismantle structural racism. There are countless examples of how structural racism contributes to climate change. Racist forms of gentrification increases the distances people have to drive to get to work. Sociologist Julius McGee coined the term “energy racism” to describe how racialized wealth gaps prevent marginalized groups from owning energy efficient appliances, locking them into poverty while locking in higher emissions. Info: pdx.academia.edu/JuliusMcGee

12) Improve Indigenous Sovereignty. Analysis of satellite data shows that when Indigenous people have better control over ancestral land, ecosystems are more likely to be preserved, combating climate change by protecting carbon sinks and preventing deforestation. tinyurl.com/ICCAreport2021

13) Build the Cooperative Economy. Cooperatives are a form of business or housing project owned by those who use it, rather than outside investors. Since the 1800s, the co-op movement has slowly been growing. Building resilient co-op networks have been found to be better for the environment, since they factor out Wall Street algorithms and keep decision-making in the hands of real people who live on earth, rather than letting dumb math run the show. See 2021 International Co-op Alliance report: tinyurl.com/Coops4Climate

14) Diversify eco-aesthetics and rhetoric. Right now, ecology-positive aesthetics are pretty limited, and the rhetoric of getting to zero emissions tends to only appeal to some groups. There is a need for artists, designers, and media-makers to develop a full range of visions, eco-aesthetics and ways of talking about a more ecologically grounded society that appeals to all types of folks. 

15) Switch to renewable construction and fabrication supplies. Construction & fabrication materials can be sourced locally in a variety of ways, including mushroom bricks, hemp, bamboo, and more! Switching to renewable fabrication and construction supplies would make a big difference. (In 2021, 7% of global emissions came from the cement industry.)

If we take care of everything on this list, it would get us past a 90% reduction in emissions, while laying the groundwork for the social process that would get us to zero.

3 – Sharing skills and creating culture

By Chris, Nikki, Julie
“All struggles are essentially power struggles. Who will rule, who will lead, who will define, refine, confine, design.” – Earthseed, memories of the living
In Octavia Butler’s dystopian sci-fi Parable series, almost too real to read in 2023 California, protagonist Lauren Oya Olamina and her family and neighbors survive a drought, an uncaring government, and the ever-present threat of violence through the practical skills and knowledge they have shared with one another. Their society mirrors some of the world we know today, the world we struggle through, the world whose future we control. Many recognize that information-sharing can help us adapt to these adverse circumstances. However, the Left often concerns itself with academic knowledge and theory to the exclusion of practical knowledge: the building blocks in fighting for a more just future. In society, many life skills are passed down almost solely through family ties. That flow of knowledge has withered away as corporations stand to benefit from commodifying life skills into services. Things like car maintenance have been gatekept by gender; others like homesteading/land stewardship have been gatekept by race and class. Classes on basic life skills cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Complex intersecting identities, including queer and trans identities, make the concepts of family, community belonging, and generational skill-sharing even more complicated. That’s why Nikki and Micha started Queer Survival Skillshare (IG: @queersurvivalskillshare). It’s a group that meets on Sundays in different spaces around the East Bay, to equip queer folks with essential life skills in a free/ donation-based decentralized workshop structure. From and for the queer community, workshops they’ve arranged so far include pasta-making, changing car oil, weightlifting, bike maintenance, herbal remedies, firestarting, and growing microgreens.
“The title Queer Survival Skillshare is both in reference to the workshops’ focus on survivalist, homesteading, and permaculture type skills, and also the idea that acquiring these skills might better the chances for the literal survival of the queer community through times of upheaval that we find ourselves in,” explains Nikki, one of the cofounders.
Queer Survival Skillshare joins other community event spaces like 2727 California, the East Bay Community Hub, and the Long Haul (see the Slingshot community directory for a much more complete list) and free workshop series held by mutual aid groups and the PLACE for Sustainable Living in Oakland. In Nikki’s words, skillshares can become a “queer Yellow Pages” that provide a network of mutual aid, a support system to rely on, and a space for queer joy and fun. It is a re-imagination of a found family, of breaking capitalist cycles of having to purchase goods and services to survive. It is one of many potential solutions to the question: What does it look like to provide for oneself and for one’s communities?
Its founders are excited for what lies in the future. They hope to empower attendees to lead their own workshops, and inspire folks in other areas to start similar groups. It’s an iterative process, but they define success as “people coming out and leaving one skill richer, and seeing their knowledge as something to teach and be proud of.”
Great changes to our environment and our lives are coming, or have already arrived. We are all that we have, and sharing what we have with one another might be what gets us all through.