Slingshot is an independent radical newspaper published in Berkeley since 1988.
The Occupy movement introduced the “human microphone” — when a speaker has their words repeated and thereby amplified by a crowd without the need for a PA. This is a slow way of communicating, but the advantages can be pretty inspired. The speaker has this explosive sensation of a large crowd not only hearing what they’re saying, but have their own words given back to them with emotion and energy. This is a useful metaphor of the condition we are in. There are entrenched systems and people holding back things from changing. Climate chaos, racism, stolen lives at the service of capitalism is seemingly never going to recede. Using force and violence to intervene has its limitations. The older, slower way of working is to inform and inspire more people to go in the directions that are needed.
A newspaper is in this tradition – relaying the speeches, ideas and urgency of those on the front line. Microphone. This paper is made by regular people who are not professional journalists or activists or even hardcore revolutionaries. This issue and recent issues testify to how Slingshot puts out a call for submissions and is often met with something worse than silence. Many of the articles we consider are lacking. We do our best considering what’s given to us. As with those dramatic days of Occupy sometimes we are amplifying something that is awkward or we don’t entirely agree with. We appreciate the authors who worked hard on what you hold in your hands.
To get this issue out, we extended the article deadline twice for two months to finally get enough material for a paper. Even though we made an issue, it was just a skeleton crew making the decisions and attending meetings. Like so much else in the world, it doesn’t feel sustainable to work like this. The pandemic cut the collective off from its typical process of gradually incorporating new members who drift in. The Long Haul was closed and the lockdown caused the whole society to turn inward — sticking with a tiny pod of people you already knew. Worse yet was only seeing people on a computer screen. The pandemic isn’t exactly over — it is unknown how we can heal this damage and reinvigorate our grassroots communities. But we gotta try — write it in your organizer.
While we were making the issue up in the loft, the meeting room downstairs filled to capacity with an 8 hour long anarchist conference — the biggest public gathering at Long Haul in two years. While the endless lectures made it hard to concentrate, it was so nourishing to be amidst the rabble.
Slingshot’s normal practice is to publish an article deadline a few months out and then wait and hope. We’re doing so again — but with reservations and some anxiety. Another attractive option is to take a break and try different things for a while. Perhaps exciting articles and folks wanting to join the collective will accumulate over time — and perhaps patience is the best way forward? If you don’t see another issue of Slingshot for a while, that may be why. And if we end up taking a longer break than usual and you miss Slingshot,feel free to start your own zine. When the time is right, Slingshot hopes to sprout like the mushrooms after a heavy rain.
One collective member asked her middle school students what they want to learn and discuss in school? We would like to invite more responses from students beyond the Bay Area and may publish some responses in the future. Another collective member suggested we start a People’s Park vision quest so we can publish ideas for parks and commons in a future issue. On the back cover, Slingshot for years published a calendar of upcoming events. But with the pandemic there’s hardly any events. So we’re experimenting and hope to get the calendar BACK soon.
Slingshot is always looking for new writers, artists, editors, photographers and distributors. Even if you feel you are not an essayist, illustrator, or 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.
Thanks to the people who made this: Alex, Andrei, Daisy, Darby, eggplant, elke, Emily, Fern, Gina, Heval, Jacob, Jack, Jesse, Jax, Josette, Juan-Carlos, Luis, rachelle, Robin,Salmon, Seandunn, Sylvia, Will & all the authors and artists!
Slingshot New Volunteer Meeting
Volunteers interested in getting involved with Slingshot can come to the new volunteer meeting on February 6, 2022 at 7 pm at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)
Article Deadline & Next Issue Date
Submit your articles for issue 135 by March 4, 2022 at 11 pm.
Volume 1, Number 134, Circulation 22,000
Printed November 19, 2021
A publication of Long Haul
Office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue Berkeley CA 94705
Mailing: PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703
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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