2 – Introduction issue #135

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

Life seems too fast to make our newspaper these days. Capitalist economies are careening from one crisis to another, yet remain dynamic and nimble in finding new things to exploit. For those of us working, it’s no surprise the bosses are having a hard time hiring. As rents endlessly rise and the bosses scramble for workers, some of us are doubly pressured to work more hours or travel further to get to the Long Haul — taking away time to work on projects like this and draining our energy. Others are making a cheaper but more precarious life on the streets or in cars. Yet, most of the problems we’re talking about are the same ones that appeared in the pages of Slingshot decades ago. Delightfully, the solutions are within reach — if only more would take up the tools (and smash the bosses’).

The only way we’re gonna do any of this is together. We need real community spaces, controlled by ordinary fucking people rather than governments, foundations, non-profit executives, or wanna-bes. We need the same kinds of media, farms, technology, and housing.

Capitalism creates fake “perfect spaces” like retail stores and social media websites, where everything is clean and every day looks the same. Social media claims to be about self-expression, but the only possibility is to put these words or those words into their endless grid. There’s no graffiti, no illicit street vendors, no riots. And behind the scenes, thousands of low-wage workers in the global South manually scrub traumatic content from the platforms.

So Slingshot is a mess. We print our article drafts on a 20-year-old printer that puts a big streak down the middle. Sometimes an article is only read by two people before making it in the paper. Our numbers dwindle as meetings drag on into the night. And then suddenly the loft fills with a flood of artists until there’s no table space to work once the boring meeting is over. 

Anyone who walks into the art party is invited to design a page or draw a graphic. Being made a participant instead of a consumer flips the script. It can take longer this way — but people want to be here. A big contrast to being a cog at a job you hate or a mindless consumer of media

We’re making the paper ourselves, in our infoshop, with stolen sharpies and landfill-bound snacks. It is a rush — seeing art come out of thin air, being together until exhaustion sets in, struggling with sentences that don’t make sense. 

Slingshot is always looking for new writers, artists, editors, photographers and distributors.  Even if you feel you are not an essayist, illustrator, whistleblower you may know someone who is.  If you send an article, please be open to editing. We’re a collective, but not all the articles reflect the opinions of all collective members. We welcome debate and constructive criticism.

We are thinking about re-designing the Slingshot logo that has been used since 1988. Contact us if you think we should keep the existing one, or if you think it should change, please draw your suggestion and send it. 

Thanks to the people who made this: Alex, Ben, Daya, eggplant, Fern, Gerald, Hannah, Hound, Jesse, Joey, Lola, Luca, Mimi, Miriam, Nana, rachelle, Robin, Ryan, Seandunn, Sylvia, & all the authors and artists! 

Slingshot New Volunteer Meeting

Volunteers interested in getting involved with Slingshot can come to the new volunteer meeting on August 21, 2022 at 7 pm at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 136 by September 24, 2022 at 3 pm. 

Volume 1, Number 135, Circulation 22,000

Printed March 25, 2022

Slingshot Newspaper

A publication of Long Haul

Office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue Berkeley CA 94705

Mailing: PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703

510-540-0751 slingshotcollective@protonmail.com 

slingshotcollective.org • twitter @slingshotnews

instagram/ facebook @slingshotcollective

Circulation information

Subscriptions to Slingshot are free to prisoners, low income, or anyone in the USA with a Slingshot Organizer, or $1 per 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. Say how many copies and how long you’ll be at your address. In the Bay Area pick up copies at Long Haul and Bound Together books, SF.

Slingshot free stuff

We’ll send you a random assortment of back issues for the cost of postage. Send $4 for 2 lbs. Free if you’re an infoshop or library. slingshotcollective.org