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(en) US, Berkeley, Alt. Media,the Long Haul Activism Center Marks a Decade

From Dan Clore <clore@columbia-center.org>
Date Fri, 15 Aug 2003 21:31:51 +0200 (CEST)


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Drag queens, punk bands, vegan food and anarchy rocked the
rooms of 3124 Shattuck Ave. last Friday celebrating 10 years
since the transformation of the Long Haul center and
creation of the Infoshop.

The Long Haul hosts community events and meetings and houses
activist groups.

"I first came to the Long Haul to get connected to the
activist community," said Molly Goulat, who moved to the
Berkeley area three weeks ago. "This is one of the few
places left where people are changing things."

The Long Haul consists of collectives, including the
Infoshop, a provider of alternative publications and radical
books; the Anarchist Study Group; Food Not Bombs, which
serves vegetarian meals to the homeless at People's Park;
Berkeley Liberation Radio (104.1 FM); the anarchist
publication Slingshot; and the Needle Exchange Emergency
Distribution, which distributes condoms and clean needles
for HIV prevention.

"There is no hierarchy or executive power," said volunteer
Jesse Palmer. "The Long Haul is an umbrella. The collectives
within do everything."

The Long Haul itself was initiated in 1979 by Berkeley
radical Alan Haber, earlier the founder of Students for a
Democratic Society.

In 1993, the Long Haul passed from Haber and the 1960s
veterans to a younger, anarchist group, which immediately
created the Infoshop. Palmer was part of that group.

He estimates that 25 people typically visit the Infoshop
during his three-hour shift to make use of the political
readings library, archive of '60s publications, public
Internet access and social critique 'zines from across the
country.

"The Infoshop is here to promote public education of peace
and justice," said Palmer.

The Long Haul also offers free film screenings,
gender-bending parties and Sunday dinners of vegan fare.
There are also occasional political speakers and educational
presentations. Before most local demonstrations, protesters
meet at the Long Haul to make signs and puppets.

The rent is divided among the collectives. The Long Haul is
able to provide a variety of events and publications on a
shoestring budget because it has no employees, only
volunteers.

"People can meet and learn for free, or at least not for
anyone's profit," said Palmer. "The Long Haul is a community
without commerce."


Contra Costa Times (or is it Berkeley Voice?)
Activism center marks a decade By Anukene Warda




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