There are so many pieces of the potential solution to this puzzle, and some of them are for you to put together. Whether they will multiply or ever add up to enough we don’t yet know. We need more: more people, more transformations, more ways to conquer and dismantle the oil companies, more of a vision of what is at stake, more of the great force that is civil society. Will we get it? I don’t know. Neither do you. Anything could happen.
Know who your enemies are.
We made a Writing to Prisoners FAQ zine. Check it out!
Also: Here is my quick list of shit that you should never do when writing to a prisoner-
1. Do not put a circle A on the letter or envelope. Many prisons and jails consider “anarchists” to be a gang. I once got thrown into a gang control unit in New Jersey because someone sent me a letter with a circle A and the words “vegan power” on the envelope.
2. Do not mention the prisoner’s sexual preferences unless they have expressed that they are comfortable with discussing it. All prisons have slightly varying cultures, but in general, men’s prisons are hyper masculine and homophobic. Mail does occasionally get stolen, mis-delivered, or read by the wrong folks. You could be putting someone in harms way! Even at women’s prisons, the guards read all incoming mail and a homophobic guard could do a lot of harm to someone.
3. Do not compare your situation to theirs. If I had a dollar for every fucking time someone in the free world referred to the outside as “minimum security” or told me that they understood what I was going through because the college dorms were so very hard on them… You don’t understand incarceration unless you have been incarcerated, and I don’t mean for a weekend after a protest. Spending years under constant surveillance, threat of violence, and without the most basic liberties is unique, if you haven’t been there don’t pretend that you have.
4. Write on plain paper with a plain ball point pen. Don’t put stickers on anything, and don’t enclose postage unless the prisoner has specifically said that they are allowed to receive it. Remember, no glitter, no staples, just paper!
New review of our Under the Radar zine! Thanks Dakota!
Just finished reading an advanced copy of Under the Radar: Notes from the Wild Mushroom Trade, by Olivier Matthon.
Under the Radar is an upcoming title from Pioneers Press (formerly Microcosm Distribution). Due out later this Spring, Under the Radar is a 40-ish page zine detailing the wild edible mushroom-picking circuit, a nearly year-round trade throughout the Pacific Northwest and a few other regions along the coastal US.
I really enjoyed Under the Radar for different reasons than I usually enjoy zines. When I find a zine that I am really into it’s usually because I can relate to it on a fairly acute level; zines pertaining to general woe, punk rock, or vegan cooking always hit certain chords in my heart, and I can’t help but feel a little something more when I flip through the bent-through-the-mail, crookedly photocopied pages. This zine, however, takes a little bit of a different approach than that which I’m used to seeing. Instead of reading like a personal zine about Oliver’s season picking mushrooms (like I honestly expected), Under the Radar is a unique piece of journalism, allowing a certain insight into a relatively unknown trade.
I know the word “journalism” scares a bunch of people. It sounds too stuffy, too corporate, but I assure you that Matthon’s piece is neither of these. Instead, what we get is a totally authentic view into the world of wild mushroom picking with a genuine respect for all those involved, from pickers to buyers.
I learned a lot from reading this zine and have since started conversations with co-workers and friends about the wild mushroom trade. They all seemed just as surprised as me to find out that hallucinogenic mushrooms aren’t the only mushrooms with questionable legality in the States.
If you want a zine that is not only entertaining and informative, but also inspiring, Under the Radar is the zine for you. Preorder now from Pioneers Press.
Last night I dreamed I was dating Julia Eff - obviously my zine crush has reached the deepest levels of my subconscious! - so today I’m making this the …
PIONEERS PRESS ZINE OF THE DAY!
WhatsTheirName: More Adventures without Gender
by Julia Eff
So it’s 3am and I just got done reading this one but I wanted to type at you real quick (“hot irons” and all) and tell you how important I think this zine is. Another thing I just got done doing was typing at Julia to tell them their zine captures one of my favorite things (in writing, in music, in life, whatever) and that is the ever-winning combination of intelligence and strength (or rather toughness; there’s a difference).
Pioneers Press Book of the Day!
The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City
by Kelly Coyne
The Urban Homestead is the essential handbook for a fast-growing new movement: urbanites are becoming gardeners and farmers. By growing their own food and harnessing natural energy, they are planting seeds for the future of our cities.
If you would like to harvest your own vegetables, make homemade jam or bread, raise chickens or convert to solar energy, this practical, hands-on book is full of step-by-step projects that will get you started homesteading immediately, whether you live in an apartment or a house. It is also a guidebook to the larger movement and will point you to the best books and Internet resources on self-sufficiency topics.