More on Slingshot

One of the articles I’ve been brainstorming for the next issue of Slingshot is a call for submissions.

Disappointed in Slingshot?  Submit an Article or Art!

When I first read Slingshot around the turn of the century I wasn’t impressed at all.  I can’t remember why, I just didn’t like it.  Years later in either late 2005 or early ’06 I found myself at one of the worker run cafes in Portland, Oregon at the time, the Red and Black without reading material.  I grabbed a recent copy of Slingshot and read it cover to cover, enjoying every article!

Knowing myself, I’m sure at least some of the change in perception was from my own personal growth (and/or de-evolution).  Though I’m sure at least some of my change in opinion came from what was possibly a whole different slew of contributors from the first couple issues I perused of Slingshot, and the first one I actually read and enjoyed all the way through.  Since then, my readings of Slingshot have been mostly somewhere in the middle.

If I’m not mistaken, pretty much every issue includes a call for submissions in the introduction.  Though I’ve been writing political material and trying to get my work published much longer than I’ve been reading Slingshot, this didn’t register with me for years.  The first submission I made wasn’t accepted for publication, and I was asked to edit my second but didn’t.  Some months later after writing another version of the second submission, an article about writing prisoners, for the website People of Color Organize! I also sent it to Slingshot and it was accepted with a major edition from the collective which made it far better, and became a new draft which was published by both the journal and website People Not Profit.

In other words, I would recommend that radical writers and artists please consider submitting your work to Slingshot.  Even if your first submission doesn’t get printed, please don’t be discouraged but think about trying to get something else of yours in.

For non-writers and artists living in or visiting the San Francisco Bay Area, please consider volunteering for the collective anyways.  There are many ways to plug in and help from typing to folding and taping copies of the paper for mailing.  It’s a truly collective process and a great deal of fun, for the most part. or slingshot at tao dot ca

Slingshot Collective
P.O. Box 3051
Berkeley, CA 94703
510 540-0751 ex. 3


As published before on this blog, I’ve pasted my original draft for the intro to the last issue of Slingshot.  Then below it I’ve pasted what was published which if I’m not mistaken was created by adding and subtracting material from three other drafts, plus the notes of co-editors who looked over the drafts.

To me this shows the truly collective nature of the writing process that can take place on certain pieces, and was illustrated in other aspects of the creation and distribution of the journal.

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

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.

Some of the big stories that are absent from this issue of Slingshot! were still discussed as we worked such as government whistle blowers; revealing NSA surveillance and Chelsea Manning’s trial.  Other stories from the injustice system such as George Zimmerman’s acquittal after shooting and killing an unarmed African American youth, Treyvon Martin, and the subsequent protests including those in the East Bay, and other shootings such as the North Carolina police shooting and killing an unarmed, 24 year old African American, Jonathan Ferrel, 10 times after he was in a car wreck, and the most recent mass shooting, this case in the Washington DC Navy Yard.

All of this is happening as the U$ government continues to wage a war of terror including, renewed saber rattling over a potential Syrian war, and to ignore if not deny climate change that has showed itself through both massive flooding in areas such as Colorado and massive fires such as those in Arizona, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.  As if to increase this the tar sands pipeline continues to be worked on.

But amidst all this horror and injustice, we also see ongoing protests against the pipeline in both Canada and the U$, and the continued work on the institutions of a new society such as the gardens which came of the Biblioteca Popular Occupation which was reported in Slingshot! #113, ongoing movements such as Occupy the Farm, and new struggles such as even more squats being opened in Oakland.

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:  Hayley, Joey, Jesse, Aaron, Brooke, Glenn, J— (wants to be called something else, please don’t forget!), Alex, Darin, J, Chris, Eggplant, __________… and all the authors and artists who contributed work.

“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.”

Taken from:


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