Issue #104 introduction

Slingshot is an independent radical newspaper published in Berkeley since 1988.

Publishing each issue of Slingshot is like putting a note in a bottle and throwing it into the ocean — hoping that someone will find it and that it will brighten their day. If not, we enjoy the act of hurling the bottle anyway. It keeps us in good practice, just in case.

The shore we stand on is called the counter-culture or the radical community or the anarchist ghetto. The note in the bottle is the story of our lives and our struggles — what we’ve learned so far and what we still hope to know. It can be a complex, confusing, rambling note — perhaps written in a language the reader will need to get translated. As we throw this bottle, we have the strong sense that our lives are meaningful and worth sharing, though they may be marginalized and far off the beaten track. In our darker moods, we feel like we’re wasting our time chasing hopeless causes. There’s no TV reality show or video game based on our odd, funky lives. Gardens, long meetings, and crowded communal kitchens are not the most marketable stuff — though that may be the point behind the whole patchwork of do-it-yourself alternatives to the corporate machine that is killing the earth.

The process of editing and selecting articles for the paper is complicated. This issue we spent half of a five-hour meeting discussing just two articles because there were good reasons both for printing them and for deciding not to. We aspire to have real communication as part of our decision making process – that includes moments of friction, delirium, and hysterical laughter. While working as a collective can be hard, we admire each other and our differences and end up growing through the creative process. Sometimes the combination of our perspectives allows us to achieve something none of us could as individuals. Other times we miss the mark. Inevitably most issues have a little of both.

Often when working on Slingshot, we find it hard to put down our unfinished work and go to sleep. Over the hours before the sun rises, endless thoughts assault our minds — as if we don’t have enough in our world to keep us awake at night: friends getting hurt, police raids on our resistance houses — plus a million assorted hopes and fears. In the end, this issue is the result of multiple sleepless nights, and it is only when we put it to bed that we get to go as well.

When a new issue is published, it smells fresh and the paper feels soft. The words are close to their initial urgent thoughts. But like our bodies, each new issue gets old, becomes brittle, and slowly but surely yellows with age. Occasionally, our ideas seem wiser over time, even as the current events we cover become distant memories. Other times, we look back and see that we were naïve – which is both a good and a bad thing.

It goes without saying that all in this world is rare and wonderful — the people, the troubles, the ephemera. We hope that comes across in this note in a bottle.

Slingshot is always looking for new writers, artists, editors, photographers, translators, distributors, etc. to make this paper. If you send something written, please be open to editing.

Editorial decisions are made by the Slingshot Collective but not all the articles reflect the opinions of all collectives members. We welcome debate and constructive criticism.

Thanks to the people who made this: Aaron, Abhay, Arise, Autumn, Brian, Dee, Dominique, Eggplant, Glenn, Jesse/PB, Kathryn, Kermit, Kerry, Kwikness, Lew, Melissa, Ona, Peter, Sandy, Shannon, Terri.

Slingshot New Volunteer Meeting

Volunteers interested in getting involved with Slingshot can come to the new volunteer meeting on Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 4 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 105 by January 15, 2011 at 3 p.m.

Volume 1, Number 104, Circulation 20,000

Printed October 1, 2010

Slingshot Newspaper

Sponsored by Long Haul

Office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue

Mailing: PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703

Phone (510) 540-0751 •

Circulation Information

Subscriptions to Slingshot are free to prisoners, low income and anyone in the USA with a Slingshot Organizer, or $1 per issue or back issue. International $3 per issue. Outside the Bay Area we’ll mail you a free stack of copies if you give them out for free. In the Bay Area, pick up copies at Long Haul or Bound Together Books in SF.

Slingshot Back Issues

We’ll send you a random assortment of back issues of Slingshot for the cost of postage: Send $3 for 2 lbs. Free if you’re an infoshop or library. PO Box 3051 Berkeley, CA 94703.