Occupy This – Infoshops and radical spaces

Compiled by Jesse D. Palmer

Here are some new radical community spaces we’ve learned about, plus updates to information published in the 2016 Slingshot Organizer. We collect info about these spaces not just so you can have a swell road trip this summer, but because autonomous, public radical spaces are an important tool in building the personal communities of trust, cooperation and love that are essential in fighting the grim forces of capitalism and building a livable world. DIY projects, independent art and music venues and other collective efforts are worthwhile on their own, but even more importantly they are where we meet others and make connections.

In many cases, such spaces are one of the only ways new people who want to join the radical “scene” can plug in, because all too often our projects are limited by their grounding in cliques and closed friendship circles. New connections people make at these spaces last and continue to expand for years.

In a way, radical spaces can be like the best part of an Occupy camp where there is a lot of cross-pollination between different types of people. And yes, like Occupy, these spaces can be fucking frustrating — sometimes all-too fragile and temporary. Sometimes they are disorganized, dominated by a few people, or subject to disruption by dysfunctional people. But claiming physical space is necessary if we really want to grow the resistance. And with all the frustration, there’s also a lot of space for experimentation, creativity, learning and growth. If you have any info about other spaces we don’t know about or have corrections for the 2017 Organizer, send them to us by July 29. We try to update the information on-line at slingshot.tao.ca/contacts.

Flyover Infoshop – Carbondale, IL

A one year old space with a stage, free zine library, a lending library, a kitchen made from scrap and salvaged items and the Carbondale Tool Lending Library which hosts classes. They host sewing workshops, jam nights, letter writing for prisoners, political reading groups, consent discussions, free massages, political presentations, community meals, parties, and training sessions. They also planted an organic vegetable garden in the abandoned lots across the street. The space is “founded on anarchist principles . . . an environment where no one has power over anyone else.” Across the street is also St. Shoe Shine, a store that employs formerly incarcerated folks and the newly opened Center for Empowerment and Justice that seeks to become a community space and currently focuses on getting legal and material aid to formerly incarcerated folks and families of currently incarcerated folks. 214 N Washington St. in Carbondale, IL 62901 flyoverinfoshop.org.

Bridgetown DIY – La Puente, CA

A DIY collectively operated zine library, lending library and meeting space that hosts shows, meetings, movies, dance classes, art classes, workshops, speakers and art shows. (They’ve been operating a ton of interesting events for 3 years and it seems like Slingshot fucked up for not listing them sooner. Sorry.) 1421 Valinda Ave., La Puente, CA 91744 facebook.com bridgetowndiy

The Universe Building – Detroit, MI

A collectively operated safe space that hosts art events, movies, a weekly community gathering / concert on Friday night, campfires, maker activities, and drum circles. They write: “Universal Intentional Organization is a grassroots movement of revitalization in community through cooperation & volunteer beautification work to restore & utilize abandoned, condemned or vacant space for intentional living along with the facilitation of cultural happenings & events, workshops & education for teaching independence to one another through environmental sustainability, permaculture knowledge & eco-friendly co-creation of our collective.” 1 E Montana, Detroit 48203 734-417-9233 / 616-570-1459

Savannah Tribe Intentional Community – Savannah, GA

An intentional community and safe space that hosts gardening and alternative living experiments, a Sunday cafe, workshops, Food Not Bombs, and couch surfers. 631 West 37th St., Savannah, GA 93415 912-999-6988

Common Gardens (AKA People’s Republic of Ketmora AKA West Driftless Church of the Flying Spaghetti monster) – Dane, WI

A large farm that hosts collectives and cooperatives and promotes art, radical feminism and agricultural innovation. They are training a new generation of farmers and work with local restaurants and food banks to build food security and food sovereignty. They host events with bands, brewers and speakers who address issues from homelessness to hunger to youth incarceration. They have space for Wwoofers, couch surfers and friends. 6389 Rimmel Ct. Dane WI, 53529, commongardens@gmail.com 608-849-7739

Vortex Coffee and Drinks Co-op at Donut Panic – San Diego, CA

A radical worker cooperative space that is vegan friendly with a small zine library. They say they are “a nexus for nourishment and finding other rad spaces in San Diego.” 6171 Mission Gorge Rd., #113, San Diego, CA 92102 619-280-1894

Quercus Community – Richmond, VA

Located at the former home of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective, the project hosts music and DIY events as well as Food Not Bombs cooking. They describe themselves as an “egalitarian, income-sharing community” that is “dedicated to ecological conservation, social justice, personal growth, and leading lives of beauty, agency, and fun.” 2005 Barton, Richmond, VA 23222 quercus.richmond@ gmail.com

Third Space Art Collective – Davis, CA

A DIY all-ages art, music and performance space. 946 Olive Drive, Davis, CA 95616. thirdspacedavis.com

Quincy Natural Foods Coop – Quincy, CA

A food coop in a small town in the beautiful Feather River canyon that is a community gathering spot. 269 Main St. Quincy, CA 95971. 530-283-3528. (Note: it is near the famous railroad-geek attraction the Keddie Wye bridge.) They also have a location in Portaola at 60 North Pine St. Portola, CA 96122 530-832-1642.

VerdEnergia Pacifica – San Jose, Costa Rica

A cooperatively owned permaculture community and reforestation project in the mountains of Lanas de Puriscal, Costa Rica. They have been working to repair destroyed cattle land into a food forest in one of the most

de-forested areas in the country. They are an educational/volunteer center and also offer permaculture classes. Please contact them before visiting – no drop-ins, please. 500 metros oeste de la escuela en Lanas, Mercedes Sur #2, Puriscal, San Jose Costa Rica. Verdenergia.org

Corrections to the 2016 Slingshot Organizer

• The new address for Sopo Bicycle Cooperative is 1270 Caroline St NE, Ste D120-392 Atlanta, GA 30307.

• Power U Center in Miami, FL moved – their new address is 745 NW 54th St Miami, FL 33127 305-576-7449 info@poweru.org.

• AK Press has moved. Their new address is 370 Ryan Avenue, Unit 100 Chico, CA 95973.

• The North Country Food Alliance moved to 2 East Franklin Ave, Suite #1, Minneapolis, MN 55404. It’s also the union hall for the Twin Cities Industrial Workers of the World.

• The Wingnut Anarchist Collective in Richmond, VA no longer exists.

• It appears the Heart of Art Gallery in Los Angeles, CA has lost their space.

• We got mail returned from the Blood Orange Infoshop in Riverside, CA. It seems like the project changed to the Black and Brown Underground, but it is hard to tell if that is still operating – let us know if you know.

• The Root Social Center in Brattleboro, VT hosts the Root Radical Lending Library which has its own projects, events, and website: therootsjclibrary.weebly.com

• The mailing address for Durham Bike coop is PO Box 1225 Durham, NC 27701.

• The Horn Of Plenty in Reservoir, Australia is now closed permanently.