Introduction to Slingshot #114

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

This issue comes into the world as the light is fading and we are entering the season of long nights. More state oppression surrounds us with back room deals bent on fucking up the planet and depriving people of a free life… Visible resistance seems to spike from the early spring until now as we progress to the seed of winter. We will fucking rock into the night.

The events in this issue give a slight nod to the ground recently taken. Since our last issue, governments worldwide continued repression of direct action activists — from Chelsea Manning and the NSA to banner droppers in the Arctic. It hasn’t stopped large numbers of us from taking the streets demanding immigrant rights, an increase of the minimum wage to $15 an hour, justice for Trayvon Martin and others killed by racists and cops, protests over mineral and land rights, and defeat of corrupt overseers in Honduras, Bahrain, etc. The Shit’s On!!

On the surface the ferment may not appear as contagious and hip as the awe inspiring numbers who laid siege to Seattle or the wild fire spread of Occupy. But people are still pursuing that same kind of engagement whether the mainstream news reports it or not. The writing and ideas printed here aspire to express that spirit as it converges wrapped with a crudely made Anarchy sign.

This issue we had one of the largest groups working on the journal in a while. Meetings were attended by upwards of 15 people at a time, including many new folks. There is very little pre-planned about this paper. The articles that make it into print are usually from random sources — but that makes the final paper multifaceted — like the movement itself. Of course it also makes our “voice” Off Beat, and not in a good way. Vital struggles and victories are happening as we are publicizing half cooked ideas and tepid analysis of (non)-events.

This paper pulls together so many disparate voices, sometimes it seems like it’s fighting itself. Our individual ideas are frequently discordant. But when you place our voices side-by-side rather than against each other, you get a choir rather than a battlefield still harmonizing towards a better world.

If you squint your eyes while turning the pages, you may just see this as another paint by numbers political waste of space. A big yawn. You may regard this as the same old recycled (issues) pictures, slogans and manifestos. And worse — presently this project is preoccupied with fluffy solutions. We lack visible and visceral anger and daring illegal acts. No unpleasant invites for those still awake beaconing a dash across barbed wire to freedom in the face of exponentially increasing rules and traps. At best you may hear a familiar song, “Diversity of Tactics” that may drive you from the dance floor entirely. But don’t go. If it’s missing in this paper…write for it, collect info for it, paint for it…

This issue we used full-color rather than the two-tone spot color we’ve been using the last few years. We miss the low-tech simplicity of spot color even while full-color offers new toys to play with.

Often we disparage our relation to money. Money offers poor security as compared with community. This paper allows you to enter a circle of people struggling to make its way without clinging to a bottom line that is determined to sell us out. A free paper for a free people on a free planet. Now is an exciting time for us when we ship off the Slingshot Organizer. That little dayplanner ultimately pays for this project — and enhances so many people’s lives. We hope we’ve done well with the support you have given us.

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, Alex, Brooke, Carey, Darin, Eggplant, Emily, Fred, Gina, Glenn, Hayley, Heather, Jesse, Joey, Jordan, J-tronn, Kris, Mama Gramps, Mason, Susan, Vanessa, and all the authors and artists who contributed work.

Slingshot New Volunteer Meeting

Volunteers interested in getting involved with Slingshot can come to the new volunteer meeting on October 20, 2013 at 4 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 115 by November 30, 2013 at 3 p.m.

Volume 1, Number 114, Circulation 19,000

Printed October 4, 2013

Slingshot Newspaper

A publication of Long Haul

Office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue

Mailing: PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703

Phone (510) 540-0751 fucking twitter @slingshotnews

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. Each envelope is one lb. (9 copies) — let us know how many envelopes you want. In the Bay Area, pick up copies at Long Haul or Bound Together Books in SF & other places.

Slingshot Free stuff

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. Also, our full-color coffee table book about People’s Park is free or by sliding scale donation: send $1 – $25 for a copy. / Box 3051 Berkeley, 94703.