Compiled by Jesse D. Palmer
The 2017 Slingshot Organizer’s Radical Contact list has dozens of corrections and updates, but below are a few radical spaces that we missed. It is super inspiring as well as exhausting going through and updating the list each summer. Thanks to everyone who helped and all the projects that contacted us. This year, we couldn’t find anyone to update Latin America or parts of Europe, so if you want to volunteer to update those lists, contact us. We’re still missing lots of regions, so if you know of contacts we missed, fill us in. The on-line contact list at slingshot.tao.ca/contacts has the latest updates.
Wasted Ink Zine Distro – Tempe, AZ
A small library and store that hosts events and serves as “a home base for Arizona zinesters.” 2121 W University Dr, Ste 110, Tempe, AZ 85281, wizd-az.com
Hive Mind – Akron, OH
A collectively run art space and all ages music venue for music, poetry, film, crafting, food preservation and anything you might be interested in sharing. Participation and experimentation is encouraged. 373 W Exchange St. Akron, OH 44302 firstname.lastname@example.org
Alaska Center for Alternative Lifestyles – Anchorage, AK
A safe meeting place for queer, poly, and alternative lifestyles people with workshops on non-monogamous relationships, safety and the gender spectrum. 420 W. 3rd Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 907-775-8419, alaskakink.com
Land of Plenty – Akron, OH
They have herbs, books and local art. 339 W. Market St. Akron OH, 44303 330-703-5633 landofplentyakron.com
Identity Inc. – Anchorage, AK
A non-profit queer safe space that hosts support groups. 336 E. 5th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 907-929-4528, identityinc.org
Berkeley Animal Rights Center
A community center supporting animal rights and social justice with a vegan store, communal work area, meeting location, event space, yoga studio and art gallery. Open Mon-Fri: 11am-7pm. 2425 Channing Way, Suite C, Berkeley, CA 94704, 510-984-0865 berkeleyarc.com
Feral Space Collective – Elgin, IL
A queer, vegan straight edge/sober anarchist space in an apartment that operates a zine distro. They host travelers in a guest room but can’t publish their address for security reasons. email@example.com or theferalspacecollectivexvx.blogspot.com.
Battery Street Jeans Exchange – Burlington, VT
A store that hosts shows and art exhibits. 7 Marble Ave. Burlington, VT 05401. 802-865-6223.
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By the way, Slingshot is published out of the Long Haul Infoshop in Berkeley. I’ve staffed the Sunday 6-9 shift for 23 years. My shifts continue to be fun and meaningful and I’m glad I can keep doing them even now that I have a 4 year old daughter. On a typical shift, a handful of people will drop by to look at zines, check a book out from the library, buy something, or ask questions. About half are travelers and I try to suggest interesting places to visit during their stay or connect them with local activities. The other half are people walking by. In the winter I host movies and over the summer and other times there are a lot of Slingshot meetings. There are usually 1 or 2 “regulars” who are either wingnut activist-types or homeless people here to use the public computer, the toilet, or sometimes chat. I fill the gaps with cleaning, bookkeeping, and doing Slingshot-related chores. I almost always leave my shift feeling happy that I came in and better about the space than I expected I would when I arrived.
Nonetheless, in general the Long Haul is struggling and has been struggling for 20+ years. Recently, the number of volunteers has dwindled so much that we’re having trouble keeping all the shifts staffed, resulting in a vicious cycle of decline because the collective isn’t investing enough time in outreach to find new volunteers or organizing events that would attract them. Long Haul has a terrible reputation amongst activists in the Bay Area for being dominated by homeless people or the Anarchist Study Group, being messy, politically embarrassing and stuck in its ways. There are only a handful of weekly events and projects, which is a shame because it leaves huge chunks of time and space with nothing going on. There’s also 2 vacant offices . . .
Everyone I know at Long Haul seems to agree that the project needs renewal — more events, better organization, new projects and more communities plugged in. I want to sincerely invite folks around the bay area to drop by and consider staffing a shift or hosting a meeting or event. A re-boot can ultimately only happen if some new people with fresh energy and ideas get involved.