Slingshot issue #105 – introduction

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

A crucial aspect of creating this paper is breaking down the false barrier between publisher and reader — between a tiny group of active “experts” who impart knowledge and faceless masses of passive readers who soak it up. Over and over while we’re making the paper, we’re reminded how silly that division is and how it works against the paper we’re trying to publish and the world we want to live in.

While we were wrapping up work on this issue, we discussed how we wished we could have had an article on the revolution in Tunisia that was unfolding the week we made the paper. Or something about the sudden and surprising sale of local college station KUSF that threw dozens of volunteer djs off the air with no notice. And while we pulled together a tiny selection of upcoming actions and on-going campaigns, we know we could do a lot better if folks let us know about the work they’re doing or the things they’re experiencing.

Just like the poster in this issue declares, “we’re all artists”: We’re all journalists. We’re all publishers. We all have something important to share and contribute to the collective knowledge. If you could meet us, you might be disappointed to realize that the people who make Slingshot are pretty ordinary. Or maybe it would be empowering — we’re nothing special; we’re just like you. If you have some information you think might belong in Slingshot, chances are we won’t know about it unless you tell us. And chances are we would love to know about it and share it with others.

Each issue, people wander in to see if they can help out and end up designing a page or drawing the cover. This issue, one of us who thought of herself as “just” a cartoonist spoke up at a meeting wondering if we had a particular article, and ended up writing it for the front page.

We seek to create a supportive atmosphere so people can access their inner journalist and achieve their full potential for creativity and expression. This isn’t easy and we don’t necessarily know how — but we’re trying.

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Despite our landlord’s ongoing bankruptcy case, which could threaten us with eviction (mentioned in last issue), we’re still here at the moment. The threat hasn’t stopped us from discussing how we can encourage more active uses of the Long Haul space and from making lots of small changes and improvements over the last few months. We’re working on having more events, craft workshops and zine reading times. One of the most successful improvements has been our DIY zine space featuring everything you need to make your own zine. We even have a light table — fancy. Lots of people are typing, cutting, pasting and drawing.

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We’re changing the way we mail out copies off the paper this issue to comply with postal rules. If you are a free distributor, you’ll now get multiple one pound envelopes, rather than 1 six pound envelope, for example. Sorry for the waste of envelopes.

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Two years ago we published a full-color coffee table book to celebrate the 40th anniversary of People’s Park in Berkeley. It is a great book but apparently not commercially viable. We want it to be a powerful inspiration in people’s hands, not sitting unread in our basement. Please help by letting us know if we can send you a free copy for your infoshop, coop or local library. We’re also still selling and/or accepting donations for copies.

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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: Bird, Brian, Carolina, Citizen, David, Dee, Eggplant, Emmalee, Glenn, Heather, Hurricane, Jackie, Jake, Jayson, Jesse, Josh, Julia, Kathryn, Katrina, Kermit, Kerry, Kyle, Mando, Tristan.

Slingshot New Volunteer Meeting

Volunteers interested in getting involved with Slingshot can come to the new volunteer meeting on Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 4 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 106 by April 16, 2011 at 3 p.m.

Volume 1, Number 105, Circulation 19,000

Printed January 28, 2011

Slingshot Newspaper

A publication of 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. Note: they come in 1 lb. packages – you can order 1 package or up to 6 (6 lbs) for free – let us know how many you want. 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.