a13 – Journey to Honduras

By Layla

The air in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, was filled with fresh promise and passion for justice, freedom from oppression and self-determination August 29, 2023 as a sea of people, clad in red, waving banners and flags, and agitating with bullhorns, wove their way through the winding streets of the Capital on their way to the legislative palace where the National Congress was meeting to discuss of the fate of its attorney general. We had just begun our journey in Honduras as a small delegation of activists from San Jose, Calif., ranging from board members of Human Agenda, grassroots leaders and activists, academic researchers and hondureño citizens, when we landed into what turned out to be one of the largest demonstrations in the country’s history – the largest convergence of left-wing Liberty and Refoundation (LIBRE) Party supporters had come together to demand the ouster of the country’s attorney general and to denounce the corrupt system of impunity that has engulfed the country, which has long shielded organized crime, drug trafficking and violence against activists, journalists and everyday citizens from prosecution. Although it was the largest convergence of Libre Party supporters in the country’s history, with international and Libre Party estimates placing the number of demonstrators at 50,000, the mainstream media outlets grossly underreported the number, some reporting merely hundreds or thousands of participants. Regardless of the skewed numbers being reported, there were too many demonstrators present that day to be ignored and the message was clear – the people are united and would no longer accept a government that was not serving their interests. 

The people of Honduras have had to overcome great obstacles to get to the place that they are at now. To give some background information to the situation there, the Libre Party had swept through the country in the 2021 general elections, winning a majority of seats in congress and electing Xiomara Castro as the country’s first female president, who happens to be the wife of former democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya, who was overthrown in a 2009 military coup d’état. 

President Castro has faced an uphill battle with multiple instances of U.S. and international interference in the country’s politics in order to undermine her progressive platforms, which saw her repeal legislation that had opened the gate to international, investor controlled Zones of Economic Development and Employment (ZEDEs), or model cities, and her attempts to address the country’s high poverty rates, energy prices and poor labor conditions with the passing of an Energy Reform Law and Temporary Labor Law. In response, a Delaware-based company has attempted to use the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement to seek $11 billion in damages from the country for repealing ZEDEs, while the U.S. Ambassador to Honduras has publicly stated, “Unfortunately, some policies are complicating your chances of success.” 

On our delegation trip, however, we saw time and again that people were willing to give up their lives for what they believe in and to fight for social justice in order to build sustainable and just alternatives to the neoliberal Capitalistic policies that were put in place by the previous governments.

One such alternative is the system of cooperatives, which more than one million people are members of in the country. For instance, we traveled to the fertile area of the Bajo Aguan Valley, where campesino activists have struggled for decades against mining and corporate farming interests that have seen the large-scale production of African palm oil, an unhealthy ingredient found in many processed foods. We visited the farming cooperative of El Chile, where a group of 248 families has reclaimed land, which once belonged to their parents, from the Dinant Corporation, which has been implicated in violence against and the disappearances of campesino activists and their families. These families are now living off of the land and producing chili peppers and other produce for market. Even though Dinant has intimidated and terrorized them by flying drones over their land and hitting them with rubber bullets, they refuse to leave, and have plans to further develop the land and become completely self-sufficient. Where before they were living in shacks, they now live on communal land, send their children to school, and grow food to feed their families. 

We also visited other cooperatives tucked away in the green, rolling hills of Santa Bárbara and Lempira. The Cooperativa Mixta Lempira Norte Limitada (COMIXLENL), for example, produces coffee and other products, and has established and is managing 10 farmer field schools that grow crops such as beans, soybeans, avocado, cardamon, ginger and cane sugar. They also shared with us that their members have never defaulted on any of their loans which they depend on to get through the growing season, and that they freely lend money to each other to help with the cost of fertilizer and tools needed to harvest their crops. They aim to be more independent and are looking for larger investments and microloans from external partners, as well as getting licensed to cut out the market’s middleman in order to directly sell their products to buyers. 

We met with Afro-indigenous Garifuna community members who are part of the nongovernmental organization of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH). We visited La Mariposa women’s cooperative which produces and sells coconut bread, and also met with community activists who are working to protect their natural resources and reclaim their land from investors that have illegally taken their communal land to develop resort hotels along the northern Caribbean coast. Shortly after we returned home from our trip, on September 19, 2023, an attempt was made on the life of OFRANEH leader Miriam Miranda by five armed men in her home. Thankfully, Miriam escaped with her life due to the protective measures that were put in place due to the previous threats and attempts on her life in the past. These threats have not deterred her from being active and she continues to speak out against the injustices that her community is facing. 

Another NGO that we met with was the Siria Valley Environmental Committee (SVEC). SVEC has been struggling for over two decades with the impacts of open pit gold mining in their community by a Canadian-based multinational corporation. Once a major supplier of food staples such as beans, milk, meat and other products, their community has experienced severe health impacts including cancer, birth defects, skin rashes, discoloration and lesions, hair loss, and gastrointestinal disorders caused by water contaminated with heavy metals and cyanide. Even though the gold mines have been closed, a geothermal project has been proposed on the site of the former mines. SVEC activists have met with the current government’s minister of the environment, who told them he was going to investigate the case of the geothermal project, yet they haven’t heard back from him in over a year, as the project is kept in bureaucratic limbo. SVEC is pushing for the state of Honduras to recover the 14,100 hectares given to Newmont, to halt the construction of the geothermal project within the area already damaged by gold mining, to protect the surface and subterranean water sources in the Siria Valley, and for national and international human rights organizations to use their leverage and energy to stop the threats against human rights and environmental defenders. 

In 2022, President Castro was able ban open-pit mining in the country, and with the help of Congress, repeal ZEDEs. The previous president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, was extradited to the U.S. that same year is currently awaiting trial, set for February 5, 2024, along with the country’s former head of police and a police official, for drug trafficking and weapons-related charges, adding some semblance of accountability to the country’s long history of narcotics trafficking and violence against innocent civilians. To be in Honduras at this time was extremely inspiring, as the people that we met were committed to working for social and environmental justice for their communities and families. It is a beautiful country filled with many natural resources and has a culture that is generous and community-based which is often absent in our Western culture. Most of the people that we met told us they wanted to remain in their country and for their countrymen to return home, however, the continued displacement of people from of their ancestral lands as well as the high poverty rates and violence were the driving forces which caused people to leave in search of a better life for themselves and their families. Whether the government will be able to uphold the progressive policies and reforms of the Castro regime remains to be unseen, however, the foundation has been laid for the people to build a better future for their country and their children.

There is an upcoming solidarity delegation trip being organized for January 2024 by Cross-Border Network for Justice & Solidarity crossbordernetwork.org/january-2024-honduras-delegation.html

a15 – Book Review – the ghosts still among us by ami weintraub

Review by IMP

Longing for place is a familiar echo to me. Home— both a concept a physical space. A place where trees and lakes remember you when people do not. This book wades deep into what it means to reconnect to home in our bodies and in our hearts, those spaces in us which carry the dreams and stories of ancestors, as well and in the physical places that our families lived and loved and played in for generations. 

This book explores home from the bone-deep longing of ami weintraub, an anti-zionist Jew living in and from the east coast. His lineage is one of brutal displacement and genocide. I’m also of this lineage. To read this book while the genocide of Palestinians splashes across my screen made the search for home and belonging on and to a land ring deeper yet. It is painful to see a desire for “home” distorted. To see the grief and pain of my Jewish ancestors used by the state of Israel to justify atrocities against the people of Gaza and the West Bank makes my stomach turn, and my skin crawl. 

Reading this book I unwound and rewound my Jewish heart. It felt like a healing thread in my own understanding of home. I want to curl up and reread it from the comfort and safety of the place I call home. 

a15 -Review of Boots Riley’s new show, I’m a Virgo

By H-Cat

Philosopher Boots Riley’s latest work of absurdist cinema isn’t a movie at all, but rather a TV show, which is great because this means we get over five hours of Boots exfoliating his brain of a new, wacky alternate universe version of Oakland that pushes back against the propaganda while offering a tender vision of ways systemic oppression, policing, and the artificial scarcities of capitalism mess with our consciousness. This show is laced with symbolism (the good stuff) and as you watch it, you might ask yourself how each magical problem, ghost, or superpower is a parable for how the shit that goes down in Oakland (and everywhere) impacts the way we perceive ourselves and others. For example, how might being sheltered from systemic oppression cause us to act larger than life? How might exposure to it shrink us? Do we become ghosts when we are denied access to care? 

This show urges us to dig deep and to fight systemic oppression at every level, all the way on down to the (sub)consciousness-rising that needs to happen so we can seize the means from our inner oppressors. This is to say, Boots really leans into that old skool New Left jazz that never fully got its day back in the late ‘70s, like for example, how Stuart Hall once wrote that race is “media, mediated.” How are our everyday lives shaped by the stories that others tell about us? How do those stories become congealed and reified onto arbitrary aspects of our bodies? How might we resist? 

But make no mistake: Boots never lets go of the struggle on the streets in this show, a point emphasized by the way the character most skillful at de-programming oppressor-types is also the most active in on-the-ground resistance efforts. This is a party and Boots is the MC and he’s turning the Althusser down and cranking the Gramsci up, while Jungian freestyling. Is it just me, or are patchwork clothes about to become the next big thing? 

I’m a Virgo urges us to forgive ourselves our eccentricities, and to laugh at the strange ways we sometimes must sell out if we want to eat and have money to take cuties on dates. We also get a near-future glimpse at what Oakland will be tomorrow (…or will it?) while asking some hard questions, like: What happens when our very heroes treat us as the enemy, and guide others to do the same? Is it time to retire the superhero archetype? Can we still dance in the revolution — and also have awkward, tender, amazing sex and honest relationships? 

The only drawback to this show is it could have featured more worker co-ops. And housing co-ops. And union co-ops. Come on Boots, give us more media with co-ops! 

Many mainstream reviewers have given this show five stars. Fuck stars. May 10,000 shows like this bloom. 

Cosplay recommendations:

Beyond sewing multiple clothes together to create bigger patchwork clothes, another great way to do a cosplay of I’m a Virgo is to take part in local mutual aid efforts—something that is sorely needed right now as neoliberalism’s corporate colonialism continues to strip the populace of the ability to care for each other while pandemic era social services are all being cut all at once. A wave of evictions and escalating local social tragedies are unfolding everywhere right now, and during this time, we are all going to have to make hard, fast decisions about where to direct our attention. I think Boots is giving us a subtle warning with this show to be weary of superhero thinking that can lead us down big, eco-driven, nonsensical revolution-like events that don’t really have much of an impact. Late capitalism has taught us to look away from our neighbors who are struggling, but what might happen if we look towards them and work together to build strategies to make sure everyone has their needs met in a way that centers solidarity, mutual aid, and “paying it forward”? As anarchists, many of us are interested in raising the net autonomy within our society, in making sure that everyone can be free, and I think Boots lays out a vision that engages with some of the harder questions we must grapple with when we do this kind of work, questions many of us have been struggling with since the Occupy Movement was pushed inside. What strange radical, new worlds might emerge if we get better at seeing and listening to the needs of our neighbors? Even if we can’t solve their problems at this moment, even just holding space for what your neighbors are going through can plant the seeds of something big…

a12 – Beautiful alternatives – radical spaces

Compiled by Jesse D. Palmer

Here’s some radical spaces Slingshot has heard about since the 2024 organizer was printed in June, 2023. It’s hard to push back against the killers, the oil companies and the authoritarians just by swiping on your phone. To build alternatives to  suicidal systems takes face-to-face, grassroots community spaces such as those listed here. Email Slingshot with your corrections and additions. Updates are at slingshotcollective.org. 

The Beautiful Idea – Charlottesville, VA

A queer market and community hub that hosts events. Features a bookstore and the F12 infoshop. 411 E. Main St. Charlottesville, VA 22902

People’s Solidarity Hub – Durham, NC

New radical hub that serves grassroots groups, cultural workers, political organizations, and local community members by providing an affordable event space. “People’s Solidarity Hub prioritizes partnerships with low-budget or no-budget projects or organizations that have shared values and seek to advance the Movement by building leadership and power among those most impacted by oppression and repression.” 1805 Chapel Hill Rd. Durham, NC 27707 Solidarityhubs.org

Book Club HQ – Los Angeles, CA

A community library and office space of the Noname Book Club, which is a “Black-led worker cooperative connecting community members both inside and outside carceral facilities with radical books. Each month, we uplift two books written by Black, indigenous, and other people of color. We believe building community through political education is crucial for our liberation.” They have 12 book club chapters across the US and send books to hundreds of incarcerated comrades from the HQ. Open Thursday – Saturday noon – 6pm. 2304 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018 323-840-2055 Nonamebooks.com.

I’ve Read It In Books – Charlotte, NC

An independent books and zine shop. 2902 N. Davidson St. Charlotte, NC 28205 readitinbooks.com

Lefty’s Records – Lincoln NE 

A record store with independent music and books. “struggling to fight the daily grind of spoon-fed conformity.” 2776 South Street Lincoln NE 68502 402-438-0038 

Autumn Leaves Books – Ithaca, NY

A bookstore with new and used radical books that hosts events. HQ for radical publisher PM press (pmpress.org). 115 East State Street Ithaca, NY 14850 607-273-8239

Blackbird Infoshop – Kingston, NY 

A cafe, store and event space that sells radical books, zines and has a library. Food is sold on a sliding scale with no one turned away for lack of funds. They host a free fridge and sell local and ethically-sourced goods. 587 Abeel St. Kingston NY 12401 201-621-3813 blackbirdinfoshop.com

Mother Foucault’s Bookshop – Portland, OR

A used bookstore featuring philosophy and foreign language that hosts author readings. 523 SE Morrison St. Portland, OR 97214 503-236-2665 motherfoucaultsbookshop.com

Daisy Chain – Eugene, OR 

A community center that offers free doula, lactation, pregnancy, birthing, and parenting resources addressing all pregnancy outcomes including birth, postpartum, termination, loss, adoption and more. Their Dandelion Street team focuses on folks who are pregnant or parenting while unhoused, experiencing housing instability and/or current or past substance users. 1270 Charnelton St. 2nd Floor Eugene OR 97401 541-505-1139 daisychainlane.org

Lazy Cow Bakery – Seattle, WA

Worker-owned vegan bakery that hosts a free community fridge and food pantry for La Casa Del Xoloitzcuintl. 3418 Fremont Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98103

Espacio Migrante – Tijuana, Mexico

A cultural and community center for migrants, with educational programs, cultural events, and health and legal services and a shelter for migrant families. Av. Negrete 8350, Zona Urbana Rio Tijuana, 22010 Tijuana, B.C. espaciomigrante.org/copy-of-quienes-somos

Corrections to the 2024 Organizer

•  What’s Left Records has moved to 2217 E. Platte Ave. Colorado Springs, CO 80909.

• Peace & Justice Center in Burlington, VT has moved. The new address is 239 S Union Street Suite 3 Burlington, VT 05401.

• Gallery Aferro in Newark NJ wants to be removed from the list because they have very limited public hours and activity going on.

• Oops – we left out Andrými located at Bergþórugata 20, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland.

Projects without a physical space

The contact list in the organizer and on-line only lists projects with a physical space because that is an objective way to figure out what projects to include — having a space usually means a project isn’t just one person with an email but rather a community with enough energy to get a space. However this criterion means a lot of good projects get left out. For cities and towns with no physical spaces, it may make sense to include radical groups with only on-line contact info so long as they’re doing stuff. Such as: 

• Community Not Cages – Winona, MN – winonacommunitynotcages.org.

For a new Anarchist Center in Lisbon, Portugal!

The space that the Centro de Cultura Libertária (CCL) has rented for almost 50 years finally — after years of eviction processes that they resisted — must close in March 2024. In response, CCL along with the 100 year old newspaper A Batalha and Observatório dos Estragos da Sociedade Organizada Library are raising funds to purchase a joint space for an Anarchist Center in the Lisbon area with a library, archive, bookshop and meeting place. Contact culturalibertaria.blogspot.pt / ccl@ centroculturalibertaria.info if you can help.

a11 – The Lorax is armed – From Weelaunee River to the Mediterranean Sea: the land will all be free

By Will Lonnie

In the aftermath of the nation-wide Black Lives Matter riots of 2020, the Atlanta Police Foundation proposed the construction of a new police militarization facility — essentially, a training ground for urban warfare. The facility was conceived with the intention of boosting cop morale. It was set to be built on 381 acres of the largest green space in Atlanta — the Weelaunee Forest. Stop Cop City, the movement that has emerged in militant opposition to the new facility, recently had its 7th week of Action in the Weelaunee Forest. 

The week started at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta, on behalf of 61 forest defenders arraigned on charges of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act. Hundreds turned out to show love and support for the long list of members of the Stop Cop City / Defend The Atlanta Forest movement. These individuals are being targeted by the state for actions such as “collective care,” “mutual aid” and “solidarity” as stated at length in the indictment itself. 

Clearly, they’ve been reading some theory, and we must say, we were a little flattered about their obsession. However, they either ignored or were ignorant of the fact that solidarity is how we win. Their attempts to divide and silence us will only make us grow bigger and stronger, as we proved by our presence on the courthouse steps early that brisk fall morning. 

In addition to RICO charges, many face “domestic terrorism” charges as well. Both charges are weak with very little substantial evidence to back up the claims and will not likely hold up after scrutiny. Prosecutors don’t necessarily need a conviction or even a trial, and these would likely be very expensive and time-consuming. A strong case isn’t needed to create the idea of “terrorists” in the minds of the public with the help of media outlets like the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, its parent company Cox Enterprises, and publisher Alex Taylor, a member, donor and fundraiser for the Atlanta Police Foundation (APF).

After arraignment, many of the RICO defendants were jailed at Fulton County Rice Street Jail, notorious for overcrowded, unsanitary and violent conditions that have claimed the lives of 10 people in police custody so far in 2023 and 15 in 2022. Many are being held by the county indefinitely without trial, in some cases for years without even an indictment, held on cash bonds. 

The week of action was supposed to be when City of Atlanta residents would take to the polls, on November 7, to vote on the Cop City referendum. However, this legal means of democratic participation has been stalled by the mayor and a private legal team hired by the city, who are finding ways to invalidate the grassroots democratic effort. Not even a resolution to put the vote on the ballot as proposed by a council member was permitted to be introduced according to the attorney’s advice. 

On September 11, the vote coalition delivered over 116,000 signatures to the clerk’s office which were subsequently stuffed in a closet and have yet to be counted. However, the clerk’s office did scan each petition sheet and publicly shared unredacted personal info of organizers and petition signers including full names, addresses, and personal cell phone numbers, a state sponsored doxing. The scans were completed so that the clerk’s office could perform “signature matching,” a historically discriminatory policy decried by Georgia Democrats when Georgia Republicans and Governor Kemp, who was Secretary of State at the time, used it as a means of voter suppression. 

The petitions were delivered less than a week after the RICO indictments were made public and only four days after a coalition of activists and faith leaders temporarily halted construction on the Cop City site. Five protesters, including faith leaders, chained themselves to construction equipment to temporarily halt construction while dozens more protested outside the fence in the public right of way. The purpose of the action was to deliver The People’s Injunction to contractors and property owners as well as signal to the state, the city and the public that no amount of political repression by police would sway our determination, and that it would only strengthen our resolve. The five were charged with trespassing and released on signature bond, a departure from the state’s previous responses to protests on site.

This undying dedication was also displayed by a group of elder activists who once again blocked the entrance to the construction site on November 8. Atlanta Police arrested 4 elder women who sat in folding chairs at the entrance with a banner demanding that The People’s Injunction be respected and that the petition counting process begin immediately. 

These four were also charged with trespassing and released on signature bond, a trend that might reflect varying opinions within law enforcement on the prosecution of protesters. In June, DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston recused herself from the prosecution of domestic terrorism charges due to a difference of opinions between her and Georgia Attorney Chris Carr, who refused to drop the case against the clearly identified legal observer arrested at the music festival on March 5. 

This week of action also occurs while the Israeli military, backed by western nation states, relentlessly continues its fifth week of dropping US-made guided missiles on civilian populations across Gaza in a genocidal rampage against “terrorism.” Meanwhile, Israel continues its 75-year settler occupation and apartheid rule in the West Bank with top of the line, highly sophisticated surveillance technology. 

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens often repeats APF talking points and touts the “state of the art” training facility as some kind of technological savior that will prevent police brutality and eliminate crime. Atlanta police and other nearby agencies are already militarized and yet, for nearly two years, forest defenders kept cops and contractors at bay with simple blockades, sticks, stones, and bottles in ways similar to the Palestinian resistance. 

What has become clear in the month of Israeli genocide of Palestinians is that our freedom in the US is inherently tied up with the freedom of Palestinians. We will not be free ourselves in the belly of the beast until Palestine is free from Israeli occupation. The Palestinian resolve is unmatched and an inspiration to resistance groups all over the globe, particularly indigenous resistance to land theft, ecological devastation, and settler colonialism as result of western capitalist imperialism. 

In a fashion not dissimilar to the way the State of Georgia seeks to label dissenters and protesters as “domestic terrorists,” Israel, with the help of western state departments and media companies, seeks to label anyone that dares stand up to defend themselves from brutal occupation and the crushing reality of life under apartheid as radical religious extremist “terrorists.” Not only does this completely dehumanize Palestinians, but it serves as justification for all-out war on a besieged population.

The mayor, the APF, and their copaganda media team have long decried protesters as “outside agitators” but on March 5, the detention of 22 protestors without Georgia ID’s and the release of 13 local residents reveals that this rhetorical strategy is weak and baseless. Fear mongering surrounding pro-Palestine protests has caused the same political propagandists to spread unfounded anxiety about a non-existent threat of infiltration by foreign resistance groups, a move intended to resurrect post-9/11 Islamophobia in the minds of white Americans. 

The intent behind pressing these outlandish charges against protestors and forest defenders is not only to dehumanize them and reduce them to a type of “other” that the public might expect to be targets of state repression, but also to dissuade any type of dissent or the exercise of free speech. These RICO and domestic terrorism cases are only a testing ground to see what the state can get away with – a type of repression we can expect to see again elsewhere. 

Open records requests have revealed that the Biden administration indicated that Cop City is “exemplary of what President Biden would like to see other municipalities emulate,” a major concern abolitionists have voiced since Cop City’s inception. Similar proposals have popped up across the country from Boston, MA, to Nashville, TN, to San Pablo, CA. It becomes clear that the only plan presented by politicians for any of the prevailing issues in our society is a militarized police force. 

Atlanta Police Foundation has admitted that nearly half of the police departments that would train at Cop City would come from out of state, which draws into question the legitimacy of claims by APF and the mayor that the facility is intended for Atlanta Police and Fire Rescue. Judging by the sheer scale, we can see that this is intended as a destination training location and a money-making venture for the private APF that would be constructed and operated with public tax dollars. They would then turn around and “gift” surveillance equipment, police vehicles, and bonuses to officers like the 2020 “blue flu” when Atlanta police claimed officer morale was low. 

Police departments across the state participate in a program called the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange, GILEE, which is hosted by Georgia State University and partners with Israeli police. Tactics taught to Atlanta police by Israel include high tech surveillance, drone operations, protest kettling, tear gas dispersal, and knee-on-neck restraints such as the one used by Minneapolis officer Chauvin that killed George Floyd. 

Israeli training in what is described as “urban policing” and “counterterrorism” serves to reinforce racial discrimination against Muslims and Arabs in occupied Palestine, but also against Black and Brown communities here in the Atlanta and the U.S. Advanced video surveillance techniques practiced by Israel that disproportionately target people of color are being taught and exported to police departments in the U.S. Atlanta’s Operation Shield video integration center was directly modeled after Israel’s apartheid security apparatus. Israel even has their own Cop City nicknamed “Little Gaza.”

With all the parallels between US and Israel laid out in the open, we start to see that Israel is to the western neo-liberal capitalist hegemonic empire what Cop City hopes to be for the domestic militarized police within US borders. It is both our right and our duty to defend ourselves and our friends in Palestine from state-sanctioned violence and environmental devastation. Now is the time to intertwine our solidarity with resistance movements across the globe and show our strength as the global majority. 

Some movement protesters have formed a new coalition of activists called Block Cop City. BCC organizers recently completed a cross country speaking tour visiting police abolitionists and climate change protesters to inform them about what to expect on site during the action. Organizers encouraged protesters to form affinity groups of trusted individuals to plan their courses of action and take precautions against police retaliation. 

According to their website, “this action will employ non-violent tactics not because we accept the state’s false dichotomy of legitimate and illegitimate protest, but rather, because we believe that a commitment to non-violent tactics will best allow us to stick together and overcome the police’s attempt to isolate and divide us.”

Palestinian American citizens and immigrants, Jewish anti-Zionist Americans, Holocaust survivors, and many more organizers across the country dedicated to the liberation of the people and the land are protesting the Biden’s administration’s unabashed support for Israel’s genocidal rampage. Others are blocking ships loaded with weapons shipments heading to Israel and defacing weapons manufacturers’ facilities. With the voter referendum effort indefinitely stalled, on-going construction of the facilities, and the indefinite closure of Weelaunee People’s Park (Intrenchment Creek Park) under Dekalb CEO Thurmond’s executive order, collective resistance answers the question: If not now, when?

a10 – Reflections on a fallen forest

By Big Yew

In late June 2023, mourners gathered at the site of Box of Rain, a publicly owned legacy forest in northern Washington State. Until a few months ago, the temperate rainforest eco-system there was moving towards recovery after being logged over a century ago. Big ferns and little white three-petal trillium flowers blossomed like mandalas in the green mossy undergrowth, as Clearwater Creek splashed at the forest’s base in a perpetual tumble towards the Nooksack River. All that is gone now.

Box of Rain was a public forest, owned by the people of Washington State. Many were opposed to the clearcut, and perhaps that is why the logging began suddenly, in the middle of the night, during a wet cold snap. The trees were gone before allies could be properly rallied, the land ravaged and ripped apart. 

The logging was arranged by public officials, specifically the Washington State DNR (Department of Natural Resources) under the leadership of Hilary Franz. Many have shared sassy tweets from the Washington DNR Twitter page without realizing that this very agency has been offering up our public forests wholesale to be clearcut by the highest bidder.

Presently, over a dozen publicly owned legacy forests are under the threat of clearcuts in Washington. Each forest is unique and important. Clearcuts must be resisted for many reasons — to protect ecosystems, to maintain carbon sinks to help mitigate climate change, and also, in the case of forests near rivers, to help prevent flooding that continues to increase because climate change has already begun. 

You may remember the deadly Nooksack River Floods of 2021. University of BC studies have shown that that logging next to rivers worsens flooding, and these floods were preceded by a series of alarming clearcuts of forests in the Nooksack River watershed. Box of Rain was just the latest of these. This new clearcut will make the next floods worse.

Back in 2021, we celebrated a huge victory, when, after a concerted campaign of publicity and public comment, another publicly owned legacy forest in the area, Upper Rutsatz, was saved. It seemed as if perhaps Washington State was finally going to end its lamentable policy of clear-cutting public forests. But then they came and chopped down Box of Rain brazenly, despite public pushback.

The felling of this forest is part of a larger pattern of deforestation that is causing great harm to all life on Earth. The Union of Concerned Scientists has estimated that deforestation is responsible for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Many are coming into awareness that the only true wealth is the planet’s habitability. A legacy forest is more precious than jewels or stocks. Our planet’s living ecology is the only true wealth we have.

Many of us became emotionally frozen after the loss of Box of Rain. It boggles the mind to try to understand why others would destroy something so precious. It is truly terrifying to be aware of the value of a forest like this, while others seem to be caught in a trance, a sort of trauma-fueled death march, making our planet less habitable for temporary individual gain.

As we do our important work to defend the planet and all living things, it is vital to remember to stop and grieve. Taking time to grieve together is a way to help our hearts heal, a necessary thing if we want to be able to keep fighting for what is left.

On June 27, 2023, a ceremony was held on the former site of Box of Rain, amidst the barren stumps. As part of the ceremony, we evoked our ancestors and brought water from our homes and poured it upon the ravaged land. Some of us shared poems, stories, music and things we’d created to honor the fallen forest. On this page,you can find words that were offered that day by Jillian Froebe. Unless we learn to make time and space for these forms of grief, these things will keep happening.

In Washington, we hear the line that “clear- cuts are necessary to fund public schools.” Yet school officials admitted to the Seattle Times in 2021 that these brazen acts of deforestation barely fund a percentage of a sub-category of school budgets. These acts of ecocide are being “kid-washed,” with schoolchildren being told this is happening in their names, when that is simply not true. Adults need to step up and find smarter ways to balance the budgets. Schoolchildren would be far better served by having a habitable planet to grow old on.

The tide is rising. May we soon find a way to heal these earth/self-destructive patterns. 

No system but the ecosystem.

a10 – Everyday grief – Remembering Box of Rain

By Jillian Froebe 

This ceremony started as a vision of a funeral for Box of Rain. Some of us were blessed to be in intimate relationship with this forest before the clearcut. Spending time on the land, we witnessed, documented, slowed down and paid close attention to every step we took, noticing what we might harm by just the simple act of walking. We listened for a place on the land that called to us, observed, allowed our senses to receive the gifts of what was a beautifully diverse ecosystem. During our ceremony today, we’ve engaged in these same practices of walking and paying close attention in a now sadly ravaged environment. We experienced Death as indeed present, as was Life, evolving, trying to thrive.

In contemplating how to connect this moment with The Global Earth Exchange, the Jewish notion of Tikkun Olam arose. This is a practice of doing something in the world that will not only repair damage, but also improve what has been damaged. It is also taught that to truly repair, we must also deeply feel all the emotions that arise in the presence of this harm.

Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee, founder of Emergence Magazine, writes of a Primordial Covenant of Relationship. This is another way of naming what we have honored during our ceremony today. Each of us was invited to open to the grief embedded in actions that harm what is precious. These actions arise from stories and states of forgetfulness, from forgetting the sacred nature of creation, from the crisis of separation and forgetting the most essential nature of interconnection, from forgetting understandings and practices of reciprocal relationship that have existed since time immemorial.

To offer repair and to recognize we were in the presence of pain born in what has been forgotten, we turned towards our grief, with tenderness, with respect and with love. We acknowledged that we are also living a story of remembering, generating stories of beauty and love, stories as powerful as those of forgetfulness. As we beheld what is still alive in this clearcut forest, we invited love that seeds respect for the unknown, that generates awe, that attunes to the majesty and the mystery of what remains on this land, still fostering life.

In ceremony together, we returned to what we deeply know, to what already exists in the marrow of our bones, in our DNA. What lies there waiting, to be woken up. To be remembered. These primal, living, loving reciprocal relationships among us are often unlocked by heartbreak, by grief. The original inhabitants of this land know this all too well. And we committed to remember, to attune to deep listening, to hear the breezes and the rain as voices, the trees as relatives, the rocks as messengers, not just as background or part of the environment of our lives. As a complementary gesture to this listening, we acknowledged that we are active co-creators, offering tending, prayers, and reparation, while creating beauty with our hands and from our hearts as we stand together on common ground.

To learn about the ongoing struggle to defend legacy forests in Washington State, you can visit the Center for Responsible Forestry website at: c4rf.org

To learn about efforts to build meaning and ceremony within and in response to ecological collapse, you can visit the Multifaith Network for Climate Justice website at: earthministry.org/multifaith-network-for-climate-justice/

a16 – calendar

December 15-17 Free All Ages

Protest for the Climate “Don’t crash the planet” Code Rood-Rouge (Belgium) vs. the Aviation Industry code-rouge.be/en/home/

December 29 – 6 pm Free All Ages

San Francisco Critical Mass bike ride – Justin Herman Plaza – last Friday of each month sfcriticalmass.org

January 12 – 8 pm Free All Ages

East Bay Bike Party – at a BART station tba – 2nd Friday of each month eastbaybikeparty.wordpress.com 

January 25-27 Free All Ages
1st International Gathering of Anarchist and Anti-authoritarian Practices Against Borders Tijuana, Mexico eninpaacf.noblogs.org

February 2 – 8 pm Free All Ages

San Francisco Bike Party – at a BART station to be announced – 1st Friday of each month eastbaybikeparty.wordpress.com 

February 3-4 2024 Free All Ages
New Jersey Art Book Fair jerseyartbookfair.org

February 4-7International Artists’ Book Fair – Oakland, CA and various locations in the Bay codexfoundation.org

February 13 – Free All Ages

Mardi Gras – New Orleans plus Frog Church parade in Berkeley 

February 29 – Free All Ages

Leap Day Action – use your extra day to smash capitalism, patriarchy and the state – organize an action in your town – see page 3 for ideas 

March 8 – Free All Ages

International Women’s Day 

March 10 – 7 pm Free All Ages

Party to mark 36 years of Slingshot collective publishing – Long Haul 3124 Shattuck, Berkeley slingshotcollective.org

March 16 – April 15 Free All Ages

Contact Slingshot if you want to help edit and add dates for the 2025 Organizer slingshotcollective@protonmail.com 

March 30 11-4 pm Free All Ages

Denver Small Press Fest denversmallpressfest.co

March 30 Free All Ages
FLUKE Mini Comic & Zine Fest Athens, Georgia

April 6 11-5pm
Unbound Art Book Fair Providence, RI unbound.risd.edu

April 20 2024 10:30 Free All Ages

Milwaukee Zine Fest @ Central Library

April 6 & 7 2024

Capitol Art Book Fair Washington DC artbookfair.eastcityart.com

April 20-21 tbd  Free All Ages

People’s Park Anniversary concerts. East of Telegraph Ave between Haste & Dwight, Berkeley peoplespark.org

May 1 Free All Ages

International Workers Day – who wants to organize a general strike?

May 9  Free All Ages

Upstate Anarchist Bookfair (NY)

May 11 & 12 2024

Seattle Art Book Fair seattleartbookfair.org

June 1 & 2 Free All Ages

Art Party to make the 2024 Slingshot organizer – at Long Haul – 3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley

July 1-7 Free All Ages

52nd Rainbow Gathering – somewhere in California, Oklahoma or Washington… or..all three at the same time!!! ask a hippie for details. 

September 5-8 Free All Ages
Berlin-Kreuzberg Anarchist Bookfair Germany


Ongoing every First Sunday 

6-8:30pm Free All Ages

Triple Justice Film & discussion about the Climate Crisis, Capitalism, Racism, & more, and their connections

at Long Haul – 3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley


a14 – Zine Reviews

By Jose Fritz 

InfoShop, 30th Anniversary Zine

16 pages thelonghaul.org/

Only a few weeks ago I heard that NCLT, the landlord of Long Haul community space (and by extension the landlord of all the community groups that use their space), intends to demolish their building to make way for an 8-story, mixed use office building they’ve already branded Woolsey Gardens. So I fear for the future of Long Haul, Info shop, and Slingshot… but also East Bay CoHousing, the Needle Exchange, the Sunrise Movement, the Anarchist Study Group, East Bay Food Not Bombs, and the Reprographixxx Print Room. 

It was only in the Summer of 2022 that a proper real estate joke graced us for this very occasion. “Landlord and landlady are needlessly gendered words. Please be more inclusive by using landbastard instead.” At this point, even former 1960s hippies are vigorously extracting surplus value from whatever assets they control… turfing out community groups, and gentrifying neighborhoods. There seems to be no escape from this late-stage capitalist hellscape. 

But those are my worries. The 30th Anniversary Zine takes a calmer, longer view of the merciless march of change. An anonymous writer described the mood in the space over a few days and describes a busy, beehive-like place with unfinished zines laid out all over tables, screen-printed shirts stacked on every available flat surface — drying, people outside; waiting for the door to be unlocked — for food drop off, and library book returns. The space sounds alive, and vibrant like something with the weed-like persistence to grow back after it’s been cut down.

There are People Destroying the Atlanta Forest and They Have Names and Addresses

Free 18 pages


It’s easy to appreciate a zine written with such an explicit sense of purpose. There is not a single word of poetry or prose here. This review is already more verbose. The front page bears the title and the back page reads “We will make our class enemies tremble and bend to our will.” Below it is the URL srycampaign.org. The 16 pages in between are just names and addresses: the mayor of Atlanta, members of the city council, committee members, executive committee members, young executive board members, boards of trustees, Atlanta police foundation (APF) members, investors, bankers, business association members, realtors, attorneys, insurers, construction companies, architects, project managers and even subcontractors. 

The SRY campaign, Defend the Forest and other civic groups operate under the assumption that the Atlanta Police Foundation cannot build Cop City alone. The related campaigns aim to dissuade those parties who would collude, combine and conspire with APF…. and it’s been working. Multiple subcontractors have dropped the expensive and unpopular project due to mounting public pressure and targeted boycotts. 

A first class stamp costs 63¢. Anyone can participate in this kind of direct democratic action. Long live the USPS. 

Cardigan Punk

Free – 14 pages


I briefly debated the validity of the term “cardigan punk” but Jules quickly won me over. Librarians can be punk and therefore by extension libraries can also be punk. I apologize for my initial reticence. It’s a strange world we live in where rebellion can take the form of defending basic government services and revolutionaries are driven to write zines in defense of public institutions. But if that is where the Maginot line must be drawn, so be it.

In the last year states like Iowa, Florida, and Montana have been banning books from libraries. The most high-profile event was a tiny town in Michigan which actually defunded their library after failing to ban some books about LGBTQ+ people. Multiple school districts in Tennessee and Missouri banned Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus and other holocaust books. Florida schools banned a whole take-out menu of books including a biography of civil rights icon Rosa Parks. This is driven by white nationalism plain and simple. 

Jules wades into this very serious topic with levity and an adorable level of reverence for libraries. She jumps from 1960s civil rights events to little free libraries with a single flip of the page. Perhaps this zine lacks the gravitas of a Rafael Uzcategui Anarchist communique, but there’s room in the library for both.

1001 Ways To Live Without Working (2023 Edition)

15 £ – 22 pages


The original 1961 edition of this pamphlet by Tuli Kupferberg sells on antiquarian book markets for a hefty price tag. One might expect the market to be rife with bootlegs but no such luck. Even scans of his work are scarce so I’m happy to review this gem in its native format printed on fresh crisp 20 lb printer paper from a boutique UK label that actually pays royalties to his estate. 

1962 was an entire boomer ago which stands to reason as we’re going to have to talk about one boomer in particular. Tuli Kupferberg is better known as the co-founder of the rock band the Fugs and perhaps to some as a Beat poet. But Kupferberg also was a prolific self-publisher, a zinester by modern standards. He and his wife Sylvia Topp ran the countercultural Birth Press in the East Village during the early 1960s. Birth Press distributed experimental and anarchist literature and poetry. Kupferberg put the Birth Press label on several of his own works: Rub Ya Out of Omore Diem, Pedantic Pamphlet, Swing, Selected Fruits & Nuts and all 10 issues of Yeah Magazine.

By now you’re wondering what 1001 Ways To Live Without Working is? Is it poetry? Is it prose? Oh, you have no idea. This is a type of zine they just don’t make anymore. The Beats were somewhat influenced by dada and other artistic forms of absurdism. It’s formatted one column per page and what follows is 1001 consecutive rows of ridiculous suggestions and only Kupferberg was disciplined enough to be that absurd. His suggestions range from rolling your own cigarettes to burning down the Reichstag. Somewhere around number 970 he writes “Accept yourself; Love life; Be like a little child; Be loved; Ask forgiveness; Go on the road; Stop reading this book & figure it out for yourself.” I think it’s the one real answer in the list.

Bum Lung #2

$5 – 16 pages etsy.com/shop/BumLung

If you remember issue number 1, our protagonist was last seen living in a van, and vigorously dissociating to cope with our feudal tech hellscape. There is a continuity gap and Issue two starts with the pandemic and the George Floyd uprising. Years have passed and we’re in Minneapolis feeling the weight of dead generations and engaged in open conflict with the police and if it wasn’t clear already… Bum Lung is a fan. 

But the narrative is somewhat less coherent than the first issue. There’s a post-vasectomy mystic experience, and a reptilian brain recovery. The dissociation of the past had given way to a terrible sunrise: a stone-cold sober moment in a boarded up squat. They needed to leave the hobo life. 

In 2016 they started an ABO Comix abolitionist project distributing the art of queer prisoners. Bum Lung added an old graffiti tag to the fundraiser: “Be gay do crime.” Excuse my gender neutral grammaring here but they was perhaps all too familiar with the true origin of this graffiti tag. Please do not misunderstand the phase. They has been crystal clear as to what it means. I’ll quote from the infamous interview on the Gender Reveal podcast:

“It comes from a place of joyful queer militancy. I made it when I was living in abandoned houses and eating trash and going out and fighting Nazis and being very very depressed. Not so that these fuckers can sell it alongside Notorious RBG shirts. It absolutely means crime as a means of survival, joy and revolt.”

The phrase became a motto and a mantra to some. It crossed cultural lines at a time that the definition of the word “gender” itself was truly in question. Consequently, it took off and ended up commercialized, sanitized, exploited, re-branded, bought and sold by hucksters the world over. But it also ended up in the Phineas Fisher manifesto so there’s that. But there the zine ends abruptly, without any closure or resolution. But that’s fitting for a creator actively rejecting structural norms and forms. It’s like IO says on that podcast, “Gender? I never touch the stuff.” 

A Brief and Inconclusive History of Protests on San Francisco’s Market Street

#8 – 20 pages  currenteditions.bigcartel.com/

This is a beautiful piece of Risograph work. It features images, quotes, and text documenting 122 years of protest on this one 4.5-mile long street stretching from Embarcadero Plaza to Portola Drive. On a weedy traffic island there is actually a sign that reads “End Market” facing the intersection with a good view of the bay. It’s good weather and you’re not joined by 10,000 protesters, it’s a solid 90 minute walk.

The images are familiar-looking halftone images of densely packed crowds stretching off into infinity down Market street, raised fists, hand-made signs, and cops dragging limp bodies along the pavement. Each image is paired with a short description, like a tag at an art museum. The descriptions are dry and a bit terse but they’re balanced with quotes from protesters and revolutionaries which have a bit more sizzle. 

If you’ve been to the barricades you already know what it looks, smells and sounds like. Those pictures are all up close, in the crowd; fully embedded. They depict the protesters themselves often cropped so close you can’t see the building facades behind them: fists, faces, raised arms and bared teeth. Everyone has the right to protest but it often falls to the oppressed themselves: the transgendered, African Americans, gays and lesbians, the unemployed, the handicapped, women, farm workers, student groups, AIDS victims, immigrants, and workers on strike— Viva la huelga mis amigos. 

Dan Baker: Essays & Letters

$5 – 60 pages etsy.com/shop/


As of this writing, Daniel Alan Baker is being held at the Federal Correctional Institute in Memphis, TN. He had the misfortune of being sentenced by the extremely conservative Judge Allen Winsor, a Trump nominee and member of the radical Federalist Society. Dan Baker was sentenced to 44 months in federal prison for posting on social media. It’s hard to parse the irony, but Baker was calling for people to defend the Capitol against an attack from the actual insurrectionists. Some news outlets get this wrong and describe it as an armed “response” but most of his “call to arms” posts were from the months prior. The bulk of the 25-page criminal complaint just fixates on his politics, which largely validates the idea that Baker is a political prisoner.

There are glimmers of Baker’s core self here, where he advocates for others; for the memory of inmate Patrick Rogers, for the protection of fellow Anarchist Eric King who was beaten by skinheads, prisoners like Bobby Sand, Toby Shone and Jessica Reznicek. He writes out whole paragraphs of names, places to donate, where to send letters of support. There is a selflessness here that’s rare in the wild.

But there’s also a very sad part of the zine, under the April 16th entry, where Dan imagines a utopian world. Instead of being inspirational it feels like escapist science fiction. He wanders deep into a heroic fantasy written in the present-tense. I think it’s a place deep in his mind where he’s free from prison life, as he will be again one day.

Pigeon, Issue 3

$10 – 48 pages sybilpress.org

It was a blazing hot day on the asphalt, I was already sunburnt and my attorney was already three lagers into the day at 11:00 AM. But it was the only way to survive the atrocious heat. In a survival situation you can’t be selective about your beverage options. The flea market vendors cooked inside their tents and tried to protect their vinyl LPs as the available shade shrunk to an island directly under the center of each personal canopy. We were all drying out like fish and chips sat under the heat lamp overnight. 

Somehow Norberto Gomez Jr. from Sybil Press looked calm and unbothered by the sun. His hand was cool and dry when I shook it. He cheerfully explained the joys of risograph, and the backgrounds of the writers while I turned red and splotchy, and dripped sweat on his table. He gave the impression, while we were developing sunstroke, that this was but a mote in his eye. He had already endured all the world had to offer. The rusting, 100-year old Municipal Pier Building #40 loomed behind us inert and enduring nothing but the passage of time itself.

I bought the latest issue of Pigeon, which is what it says on the tin… a radical animal reader. It’s rich in radical writing, with mad risograph experiments splashed across its pages. It’s full of odes to alligators, artistic paeans to veganism and an unexpectedly serious article on Dolphin communications. 

My attorney was unfamiliar with risograph, and Gomez happily explained the logistics of the uncoated paper, the colors and the seething tension of discovering what the drum feels like doing when it rotates for the first time and the ink first passes through the voids. The results are imperfect, uneven, and unpredictable. It has some of the qualities of real magic, as much as any still remains in the world.

Fluke, #20

$4.99 – 64 pages flukefanzine.com

This is by far the best edition of Fluke I’ve read. Though I think I’ve said that before. That’s a bold claim after the 19th issue which was all mail art, and the 18th issue and its Aaron Cometbus interview and that piece on train hopping. The 17th issue was already really good, I liked that interview with Nate Powell. But #16 explained the connection between NXOEED and Fluke, that was like a villain origin story. I remember #15 really spoke to me, it was about aging punk rockers and had a good Ian MacKaye interview. Issue #14 was super obscure; a collection of punk show flyers from Little Rock, Arkansas that was wild. #11 and #13 also had sections about the Little Rock Punk scene, I really dig that. 

I could probably just keep going. Has there been a weak issue of Fluke? As early as 2012, around issue #12 Razor cake wrote that “Fluke never disappoints.” That was probably how I first heard of it. 

So let me rephrase, Issue #20 maintains that legacy of true greatness. The Mike Watt interview is rambling, and borderline incoherent which is really on-brand for him. The story about Marcher Errant sneaking into the catacombs below the streets of Paris was top notch. It goes on: road trips, mixtapes, piss drinkers, skateboarding in the desert… it goes on and stretches out to the horizon. 

Rite or Riot – Issue #31


I reviewed issues 15 & 17 for Slingshot back in October of 2022. That means in a year Naomi has cranked out at least another 14 issues. I do think Naomi is averaging at least one issue per month. Her level of productivity is pretty notable, and possibly diagnostic. I am reminded of other writers afflicted with hypergraphia. First recognized in the 1970s, some of the more famous and prolific writers with the diagnosis are Isaac Asimov, and Lewis Carroll. A more contemporary example would be Naomi Mitchison who has published 90 books to date. 

The last page of each issue I’ve read has one part of a multi-part interview of Naomi by Kristen M. This issue contains part 27 which appears to bridge two topics in this long conversation with a few “yeah’s” and “IDKs” and consequently reveals very little new information. Though the hypergraphia might drive a need for canonical completeness. The interview with Vinicio is much the same, including a verbatim interaction on call quality. “…Can you hear me now?”

This issue continues the format mixing classical music topics and interviews. That’s how you end up with Bad Religion and Strauss on consecutive pages. But the most interesting and enduring zine topic remains the zinestress herself. But only by reading the other 25 segments of that interview can I learn more. 

Municipal Threat, #3

$5 – 72 pages


The first time I read Municipal Threat I was struck by the odd combination of indie comics and B-movie reviews. The two topics seem unrelated, so the editorial decision is unusual. Most zines either by design or by default stick to a single theme. But I quickly came to appreciate it and explaining why just requires some exposition… 

A long time ago, in a place far away there was a radio DJ named Dan. He was super into Krishnacore as some metal dudes were at the time. On his radio program he played hours of hardcore, back in an era when “hardcore” exclusively meant punk or metal (not EDM, not porn). But every so many songs, Dan would put on a jazz number. Just one track, something calm and mid-tempo. It was jarring to the metal bros, but it served a purpose.

He explained to me that if everything is hard, heavy and fast then nothing is hard, heavy and fast. You become numb to the intensity, and it loses its effect. Municipal Threat’s comics have the same effect. If everything is violent, sadistic and depraved, then nothing is violent, sadistic and depraved. And what are B movies without violence, sadism and depravity? 

As Municipal Threat often illustrates, the je ne sais quoi of slasher movies is that very sense of transgression: the grotesque disembowelments, the raw artless nudity, the explosive diarrhea. If it causes someone to barf into their popcorn at the drive-in, even better. That is the stuff of legend. The films and comics inspire each to cross boundaries and genres. Artist Javier Hernandez’s comic books became a B-movie. And we see it in the comics as well: Frankenstein’s monster fighting dinosaurs, vampires fighting headless torsos, Bigfoot fighting Kareem Abdul Jabar, am I making any of this up? All things are equally possible.

TinderboxIssue #1 – 16 pages


The subtitle on the top fold is “An offline journal of Combative Anarchy” and it’s everything that it says on the tin. I’m sure there is an FBI field agent sitting at 3000 Flowers Road in South Atlanta tasked with reading each issue of this publication. He’s sipping his bitter GSA-approved coffee blend and sniffing a fresh yellow highlighter. That poor bloke. 

So I’ll extend my condolences, it’s a dense exploration of Anarchist politics, and tales of interplay between various radical groups and their various and sundry websites. It’s genuinely hard to parse for a tourist. But I gather from the articles that some of the authors previously worked on the “Night Owls” pamphlets hosted on the website itsgoingdown.org; the most recent of which was April of 2023. You can feel the continuity. Both publications place an emphasis on reporting actions, smashed windows, superglued ATMs, sand in the gas tank, ACAB graffiti… all the classics. 

But the zine also includes some astrology and tales of failed platypus romance. There is some incongruity, it’s a big tent. But to paraphrase a friend of mine “Anarchists that can’t work in groups are secretly Libertarians.” He was kidding, probably. It’s hard to tell with some people. A zine like this is always a group effort, writers, layout, distribution… teamwork makes the dream work.

9 – Climax catastrophe or ‘petite mort’ Climate Data is Hottt

By Eco-Thang 2

Climate data is hot, there’s no doubt about it. The ability to pressure politicians into creating precise policy that steers us toward the best possible climate outcome? Oh baby, I’m in.

But did you know there are data-negative people out there trying to yuck the yum of our climate data engagement? Personally, I want to ride that data hard, but supposedly “climate-friendly” liberals in the media are saying stuff like, “Don’t look at data, it might stress you out.” This is puritanical rubbish that has the effect of setting up false expectations that climate data is supposed to be painful, which can thwart people from getting in the mood, if you know what I mean.

Here at the Data-Positivity Alliance, we are promoting the reality that climate data can be sexy and fun, as long as we indulge responsibly.

Here are some tips (just the tip!) for responsible engagement with climate data:

Tip #1 – Do It In a Group

One of the best ways to engage with climate data is in groups, such as a reading group where you all read the data and talk about it together in a safe space kind of way. You might try getting creative with this: Rather than a traditional reading group, what if you try holding an improv dance session in which someone is reading a climate data report out loud with musical accompaniment, and you all move your bodies into shapes depending on how the words make you feel? Or what if you have a group project of making a zine artistically showcasing the latest climate data and each person writes about how it makes them feel in the zine and you give it to all your friends and neighbors? Group play is a wonderful way to make the climate data more fun and engaging, and it can also really help to come together to process your emotions with others. There’s no doubt about it: climate data is better in a group!

Tip #2 – Don’t Forget the Humor

A great comedian once said, “If you don’t have gallows humor, all you are left with is the gallows.” Yikes! But also, there’s maybe something to it? Climate comedy advocate Andrew Boyd has argued that there’s a secret 6th stage of grief that is often neglected, and the name of that stage: Gallows humor. 

Climate humor can take the edge off, and some folks have a much easier time engaging with climate data with humor, mirth, and even a sprinkling of snark. If humor is not your thing, that’s fine, but don’t rain on someone’s parade if they need to crack jokes and use humor and sarcasm to help them stay engaged. 

Grief is also a totally valid reaction too. There’s no one right way to feel about climate data, and engaging with it can lead to all sorts of reactions. Feeling those reactions, and holding space for them, is the first step. 

A great book to use as a guide for those processing their feelings about climate data is Andrew Boyd’s book, I Want A Better Catastrophe: Navigating the Climate Crisis with Grief, Hope, and Gallows Humor (2023)As Boyd argues, learning to crack jokes about climate data can be an important step in shaking off our collective inaction so we can steer towards the best outcome that’s still possible. 

Tip #3 – Climate Data and Sex are sometimes intense. And that’s okay.

In sex, we lose ourselves, which is why the French term for orgasm is “petite mort,” meaning “little death.” 

When we look at climate data or have a really good orgasm, there’s a moment of ego-less-ness, a moment that might be wrapped in pleasure, shame, exhilaration, and the desire to scream out all at the same time. Let it out, baby, let it out! Stay with the feelings as they come.

Tip #4 – Practice Consent, and Stay Data-Positive  

Consent is like a bike lane. You might think you have it, but then quite suddenly, you don’t, and it’s important and slow down or stop if that’s the case. 

It’s important to ask folks if they are in the mood to talk about climate data, and even if they are in the mood, they might need to slow things down or stop mid-conversation, and that’s okay.

It can help to explore with a person how they want to interact with climate data, rather than approaching the situation with your preconceived notions of what you think they want. Instead of listening to the data, they might want to share their feelings on the topic instead, or even rant about some bad experiences they had with climate data in the past. If that happens, it’s good to just listen. Sometimes having someone hear them out can help them feel ready to engage with climate data in the future. When that time comes, they might end up not reaching out to you, but rather to a different data-positive person or group in the area. That’s okay! You can know that you helped them on their journey to reach a more empowered place of data-positivity just by hearing them out and by letting them set a boundary.

Tip #5 – Find the clearest, most accurate data possible 

Not all climate data is communicated equally, and sometimes climate data reports are written by exhausted graduate students with the communication skills of a stump. Don’t get bogged down by the low-quality communication skills in some climate data reports. There’s lots of super clear, sexy climate data out there if you know how to look for it. 

For true climate data connoisseurs, we recommend the 2023 IPCC Synthesis Report’s Summary for Policymakers (also known as the IPCC: SYR: SPM). This report is like a finely aged wine. Seven years in the making, climate scientists and policymakers from across the globe agreed on the language of it line-by-line, meaning many passionate, underpaid interns wasted quality hours of their youth making sure the writing and images are clear and easy to understand. This is the good sh*t. You can find it here report.ipcc.ch/ar6syr/pdf/IPCC_AR6_SYR_SPM.pdf.

Here is our favorite graph from the SYR:SPM:

^ This graph shows how we have some gaps between implemented policies and climate targets right now. If those policy gaps aren’t closed, this planet’s temperature is going to hit some unmentionable numbers (hee hee, unmentionables…). That’s some pretty hot climate data, babe, don’t you think?

Another rather hot climate data source is the Global Carbon Budget Project, which can be found at globalcarbonproject.org. We recommend the “Summary Highlights” section, where you can see quite clearly the present rate of emissions. (It’s a little silly that this site acts as if there is even a carbon budget left, considering we surpassed the dangerous level of 350 parts per million of atmospheric CO2 back in 1988… but hey, we can still try and lubricate the situation by keeping things below 1.5°C, right? Am I right??)

Tip #6. – Don’t Forget to Finish – with Solutions 

Try finishing off every sexy, radical encounter with climate data with some solutions. Be careful that you avoid solutions that don’t make sense, as this can turn into “toxic positivity” that can ruin the whole encounter. (No one likes to be told that everything will be fine unless there’s good reason to believe that.) That’s why it’s important to talk about solutions. There are lots of smart, pragmatic ways to get to net zero while also keeping sight on all of our social justice goals (Spoiler Alert: this is a positive-sum game — the more equity for everyone, the better the climate outcomes that can be achieved). 

Last year, Slingshot published a step-by-step data-backed plan to get to zero emissions within five years, which can be found here: tinyurl.com/ZeroEmissionsPlan. Our plan isn’t the only way to get to zero emissions, but it’s at least one way, and it’s the best we could come up with in time for our publication deadline. This plan is like a jigsaw puzzle with 15 pieces, and if we can collectively put all the pieces into place, we’ll get to net zero within five years. If you’re struggling to find a good way to finish a hot climate data encounter, try going through the plan and having everyone pick which of the 15 tactics is their favorite. This can be a nice way to acknowledge how all of us have different, unique things we can contribute to the project of getting to net zero, while focusing on solutions — and diversity of tactics — can be a great way to leave things on an upbeat note after a hot, sexy climate data encounter. 

Steering towards climate solutions is going to mean working together to build awareness of what’s going on. And that’s where data positivity comes in.

Remember: Consume that climate data responsibly, cute stuff! 😉

And yeah, in case you were wondering, I’m not an Extrovert, I’m an Ecovert. <3

— This message has been brought to you by the Berkeley Center for Half-Baked Ideas