The easiest and most direct way people in the first world can reduce carbon footprint, unlearn oppression, decolonize their social networks, save money to fund resistance and challenge class, is by sharing domestic space with more people, producing and sharing food with neighbors and friends.
This doesn’t cost any extra money, or time, actually, it saves both! its also a needed first step to build the social capital needed for ¨the next level¨ of organizing, escalation of struggle, waging effective resistance campaigns, and developing the direct democratic alternatives to challenge industrialization, corporate development, private profit and exclusive-proletarian views, in any meaningful way.
Its simple. Share your space, share your time, share your resources. Reduce barriers to participation in your workplace, your organizations, your social networks. Grow your networks, exercise your new found capacity for change, liberating more space, time and resources as needed, and growing in real people power.
Mainstream left, the corporate non profit world, and bourgeois unionists, and centrist democrats, advocate for a more top down approach, they maintain barriers to participation to keep exclusive control over cultural, political, economic and social evolution in our communities and abroad.
Every organization has its own logic, and separates the inner leadership from those they serve, preventing them from making sound decisions. Lets unlearn top down management and leadership, and relearn democracy. There is no excuse for friends,family, neighbors, to struggle, while others enjoy the abundance within our communities.
Lets share in our abundance, everyone has something! Information, time, an extra room, a couch, a basement, an attic, an extra vehicle, extra bike, good credit, tools that go unused most the time. Whatever it is learn to share, find folks with the things you need, and share the things you have an abundance of.
If you need information on collectivizing your home, or developing other kinds of shared resources in your community, hit us up. Our community has a lot of passionate people who would love to share their experiences, offer advise, resources, and we can refer you to other like minded folks who will help you get started, or even join your new collective!
Collectivize everything, eat the rich!
Mobile Front is a zine archive, production and distribution collective in Portland Maine that also offers sliding scale printing and outreach services to the radical community. We plan to open an infoshop(non profit zinelibrary/bookstore/cafe/community-space) in southern maine within the next few years. For now we distribute free/pay what you can zines(booklets/pamphlets) to cafes, community spaces, libraries, households, schools and universities, and at info tables during events.
We have a collection of hundreds of titles, and access to countless thousands through international mail-in and electronic open-source zine networks. The topics are diverse, but we are right now focused on social/political critical theory and DIY skills. We cater topics to the specific event/group we are working in solidarity with, so things are relevant and accessible to the expected audiences.
Our interests as a group change with our membership, and are always looking to include more diverse members, who are passionate about zine culture, and willing to put in some serious footwork to make Mobile Front a valuable resource to our community.
We have our own copy machine, are set up in a friends basement, and take every step we can to reduce costs, so overhead is really low. Our zine revenue generally gets split 3 ways, 1/3 goes to volunteer stipends, 1/3 goes to the printshop for expenses, and 1/3 goes to fund an effort or group relevant to that days event.
We are critical about challenging class, and other forms of oppression, in our efforts. We pay stipends on an as-needed basis, compensating for economic status, parental status, medical needs, etc. We are just starting, and trying to structure an inclusive and participatory, deocraticly managed group, so that the most diverse and creative culture can be maintained, empowering to be a part of, socially and economically, and a great learning oppertunity for everyone involved.
I have hopes to branch out into organizing more workshops, educational events, trainings, freeskools, fundraising and promotional efforts to sustain more radical community projects in southern maine. This will double as ways of promoting zine culture in general, while creating distribution opportunities and recruit new members to help manage and sustain our efforts, and building an infoshop.
We hope to be a valuable resource in the community, by supporting projects we believe in financially, with our services, our voice, our connections, and sweat equity. We would like to see more of a formal solidarity network between co-ops, non profits and activist groups, so we can all work together to sustain the kinds of efforts, and build the kind of community we would like to see in the world.
If you are passionate about zine culture, want to be part of a co-op, or a growing network of radical community efforts, write to us or email us. Let us know your interests, any projects youd like us to know about or want to know more about, your prefered name gender and if any political identity, what inspires you, how you found out about mobile front, and if you want to be a part of this new collective. If you send us a dollar for shipping, we´ll send you a few free zines relevant to your interests/efforts.
-Mobile Front on facebook
-PO Box coming soon
Mobile Front is an indymedia, design, printing, and distribution collective. We print and distribute zines, design and post flyers, and share information on a variety of projects and groups we stand in solidarity with. Our objective is to share information on anti-authoritarian politics, activism and community organising in a diversity of ways to reach as broad a population as possible.
We’ve been able to set some roots in the community, and been fairly active. Though much of our infrastructure remains underground, we set up a public print shop up at MPC, this is free to use(within reason) for community projects. Please pay what you can!(hours 10-1 monday through friday).
We’ve been stocking the various infoshelves around town, MPC, Strange, Sprouts, Metro, Mayo,… if you know an infoshelf that needs radicalizing, please let us know. We’ve also been rolling out the mobile info center, tabling at popular events like farmers markets(wednesday 10-1 at monument square, saturday 10-1 at deering oaks), and during the food not bombs servings(friday 5-7 at congress square).
We’ve been meeting a lot of rad peeps, hooking them up with different groups and projects, having great conversations, and finding there is a lot of support and interest in building more visible and practical radical presence in the community.
We look forward to being a sustaining part of the building of this community. If you are part of an organization or project you’d like us to promote; If you have zines or litterature on any subject you’d like us to distribute; or if you want to get involved either by making a donation of supplies or cash, or by volunteering—- come see us in person, make a donation to the meg perry center infoshop, or donate electronically here https://www.wepay.com/donations/1054196587
Our Three Founding Principles are:
Decentralised Production and Distribution: We work with different people and groups to develop a networked infrastructure made up of production and distribution points, where each point is financially and and organisationally self sufficient, interdependent, with varying levels of interdependence and security. This way no one location can be shut down, and we can facilitate a diversity of activities, in a diversity of communities, and print for cheeper, more sustainably.
Street Level Presence: Autonomous groups set up info centers at farmers markets and other popular events, and in the streets, to distribute zines, stickers, pamphlets, books, cds or whatever else they feel like distributing. Everything at these centers is free or pay what you can. Different groups may go by different names, you can recognise us a “Mobile Front” and know you are in good company for anarchist networking and open radical discussion.
Open Volunteer-Membership: We are an open volunteer-member run collective. To join you just have to get involved, help with info centers, producing or distributing zines, designing/posting flyers, etc… find us if you want to help
For the few of us vocal critics of how the space has been mismanaged, exclusive and under-utilised for far too long, attempts to reform the MPC have been highly polarising, with a lot of conflicting views, visions and values. Patience and persistence seems to be paying off though, and the board of directors is listening and taking steps, albeit small, and understandably slow steps, to transition MPC to a more public and open, community based, inclusive and participatory community space. For those of you who haven’t been taking a vocal stance or paying too much attention to the reformation, maybe even avoiding the headache for your own sanity, thinking nothing positive would come of it, or not seeing the importance of the space to the growth of local radical community, here’s an update:
The Center now has open hours posted 10am-1pm, Monday through Friday, for general public use; and the board is transitioning to a member-supported and volunteer-run organisation. While certain economic, and social barriers are still largely going unrecognised, and unaddressed in any meaningful way, these are pivotal reforms to the day to day management of the space. MPC is now living up to, somewhat, and in an unavoidably imperfect way, its mission of providing a space where people can share resources, ideas and space. It’s becoming more democratic, and bottom up, a truly inclusive and empowering place to get involved.
If you’re one of the countless folks who have walked by the space countless times wondering what it is and why it’s usually closed, or haven’t had the privilege of being invited into the space, now’s your opportunity to visit freely, learn about Portland’s radical history, find information on different radical groups and projects to tap into, network with active people in the community, and access the resources available there.
-A copy machine for use by community groups, local artists, activists, educators, non profit and indymedia projects
-One of the greatest collections in Maine of books on radical, social, political a
nd progressive topics, as well as a handful of language, educational and DIY resources.
-A newly stocked info shelf with a growing collection of zine
s, books, cds, posters
-a limited supply of snacks, coffee and tea(treat it as a potluck, and please bring in what you can afford to share)
-board games, art supplies and children’s toys
-multiple tables/workspaces, plenty of floor space and a stage for working on projects, playing, reading, relaxing, stretching, expressing, performing, collaborating and networking
The space continues to evolve with changing membership and participation, so feel free to bring your ideas, your skills, and your work to the space.
Come on in 10am-1pm Monday through Friday, hang out and access the resources, bring a snack to share, an instrument to play, donate a book, but mostly, just bring yourself and your ideas. Everything here is pay what you can, free within reason, and on the honour-system and/or gift-economic-system.
See you at the center!
***Don’t’ forget to ask about member perks, upcoming events, work-trade/volunteering, and ways you can support the space!***
***Also to further anti-authoritarian consciousness raising, democratic conflict resolution, and facilitate creative problem solving in our diverse communities, some of us are meeting to discuss non violent communication and form a group for training, support, mediation and advocacy for non-violent conflict resolution as an alternative to police, domination, prisons, punishment, alienation, harassment, etc. We’re meeting Monday, August 5, 11:30am at MPC***
***Upcoming Events and Meetings***
All open, all free/pay what you can
Monday August 5, 10am-11am: Homeless Defence League weekly meet-up. Peer run activist, advocacy, and support network. Corner of Preble St and Portland St, Across from PRC Courtyard.
Monday August 5, 11:30am-1pm: Non Violent Communication open discussion. @ Meg Perry Center, 644 Congress St, Portland
Monday August 5, 5pm-6:30pm: MPC Fundraising and Membership working group meeting. @ MPC 644 Congress St, Portland
Monday August 5, 7pm-10pm: Film “Exit Through the Gift Shop” + Discussion “Street Art” Suggested donation $3-$5. @ Meg Perry Center, 644 Congress St, Portland
Tuesday August 6, 10am-11am: Holistix “All-Recovery Circle” for anyone to share struggles(chemical, mental, social) and find peer support. @ Meg Perry Center, 644 Congress St, Portland
Tuesday August 6, 2pm-4pm: PRC Writer’s Group @ PRC, 5 Portland St, Portland, ME , upstairs in group room.
Tuesday August 6, 7pm-8:30pm: Anti-Capitalist Network weekly meeting. Location unknown(USM study room?)
Wednesday August 7, 10pm-1pm: Mobile Front “Mobile Info Center” distributing rad leftist, anti authoritarian, and other progressive lit @ Monument Square Farmer’s Market. Join us and help promote MPC, drive for members/donations, and/or distribute info on whatever rad topics you are into, or just hang out, read/talk/sign.
Wednesday August 7, 2pm-3pm: Holistix “All-Recovery Circle” for anyone to share struggles(chemical, mental, social) and find peer support. @ PRC Dining Commons, 5 Portland Street, downstairs.
Wednesday August 7, 5pm-6:30pm: Portland Maine General Assembly, for anyone interested in furthering the occupy movement, and/or organising direct democratic self governance of our city. Role of facilitation to be discussed.
Thursday August 8, 4-6pm Prep party(for friday’s serving) @ home near monument square. Contact Alex or myself for details.
Thursday August 8, 7pm-10pm: “Turnstyle Thursday” open mic night @ Meg Perry Center, 644 Congress St, Portland
Friday August 9, 2pm-3pm: Holistix “Super Terrific Happy Hour” celebrate accomplishments and support community involvement. @ PRC Dining Commons, 5 Portland Street, downstairs
Friday August 9, 3pm-4:30pm: Food Not Bombs prep party. @ home near monument square. Contact Alex or myself for details.
Friday August 9, 5pm-7pm: Food Not Bombs weekly serving, Free Meal for a Free People, Protest war greed and waste. Come hang out, eat, serve, read, talk, laugh, perform, hold signs, etc. @ Congress Square Park. Suggested donation $1.
Friday August 9, 8pm-Midnight: “Movie Movie Night Night!” Entertainment double feature: 8:30pm “The Lorax” + 10pm “Flatland” @ MPC 644 Congress Street, Portland. Suggested donation $5-$8
Saturday August 10, 10am-1pm : Mobile Front “Mobile Info Center” distributing rad leftist, anti authoritarian, and other progressive lit @ Deering Oaks, Farmer’s Market. Join us and help promote MPC, drive for members/donations, and/or distribute info on whatever rad topics you are into, or just hang out, read/talk/sign.
Monday August 12, 10am-11am: Homeless Defence League weekly meet-up. Peer run homeless solidarity, activist, advocacy, and support network. Corner of Preble St and Portland St, Across from PRC Courtyard.
Monday August 12, 7pm-10pm: Film Sreening: “Just Do It” + Discussion “Climate Activism and Direct Action” @ MPC 644 Congress Street, Portland. Suggested Donation $6-$10.
We say no to racist fear. Immigrants are welcome here!
No borders, no nations. No more deportation!
For those of you who missed the action on May Day, there were hundreds of us in the streets, marching and chanting, to support immigrants and challenge our racist culture. There was drumming and dancing, inspirational and emotional speeches, Food Not Bombs and a significant Chalkupy presence.
Here are some links of articles and videos documenting what happened, enjoy!
I take a lot of inspiration from groups like No One Is Illegal big in Canada and the UK and some US cities. I think any radical community needs to talk about what is an appropriate way for those with privilege to participate in the struggles of those without. In this case, I think we need to discuss ways of making our communities safer for those at risk of deportation and violence due to racial prejudices, hate or legal status, and help people access resources they need, whatever their status might be.
Anyone interested in helping form a local No One Is Illegal group can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “No one is illegal” in the status. We’ll put together a list serve for all those interested to communicate with each-other, and help with whatever it takes to bring interested parties and stake holders together, so the group can self define.
The Meg Perry Center & Community Building Collaborative is hosting a meeting Wednesday April 10th at 7pm to talk about the future of the center and explore possibilities for a new community organizing space in Portland. The landlord of the Meg Perry Center is not renewing a lease for the center and so we are inviting community members and organizations to come together to explore collaborations in a new space.
For almost 6 years, the Meg Perry Center has been a home to a variety of different organizations including Centro Latino, the Fur Cultural Revival, Peace Action Maine, Local Sprouts Cooperative, the Southern Maine Workers Center, the Portland Food Co-op, the Green Party, Occupy Maine and more. The space has helped to incubate new projects and had hosted hundreds of art shows, speakers, video screenings, music shows, workshops, organizing meetings and more.
With the uncertain future of our space, we are reaching out to other members of community to see what possible collaborations could arise and start the conversation of what’s next for the Meg Perry Center. We have heard of lots of great possible community projects that people are looking to create including art studio spaces, a larger performance and event space, a makers space, a print shop, rehearsal spaces, more office space for organizations, a progressive/radical bookshop, and more. Some of these ideas may work together and others may not, but we believe there is a power in collaboration and cooperation and possibilities for accomplishing more together in our community.
If you are interested in coming to this meeting please RSVP to this email so that we can know who is coming. And if you are interested in this but can’t make it, please get in touch as well so we can keep you in the loop. Also please feel free to pass this invite on to anyone you think may be interested in exploring a new space.
Local Sprouts Cooperative
Meg Perry Center & Community Building Collaborative
Spring is here and everything is gearing up for a great season of organizing, gardening, building, sharing, learning, exploring… and yeah RISING!
We were granted $1000 from Pine Tree Youth Organizing for the different projects taking place: Food Not Bombs, Mobile Front and Freeskool. We also received a check today for another $50 from a generous individual to put towards the new print shop project we are starting.
This support is going to help us get off to a great start this spring and summer: providing projects with resources like a bike cart and bike(both made from mostly scavenged parts); supplies, materials and tools; and paying for use of space for meetings, freeschools and other events; and organizing fundraisers.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed, either financially, with your time, sharing your ideas, or offering your support, as well as constructive criticisms-thank you all!
Food Not Bombs…
It’s been a while since I’ve actually organized anything, other than meetings. Actually, its been since the big Tar Sands coalition rally when Food Not Bombs served some drinks and distributed radical lit. We’ll, I’ve been getting antsy this winter, distracted by a lot of really great and not so great things, and not doing much organizing. Been doing a lot of reading and planning, plotting, scheming, agitating, relaxing, burning bridges, learning to swim, stressing over nothing. But now the weather is getting better, slowly.
A handful of us decided to go serve a free meal today at Monument Square without much/any foresight, as these things tend to go.
It was intended to be a solidarity action, to show support for a group of homeless who said they would be there flying kites, celebrating homeless pride. They never showed up, but we served anyway, and brought our own kites just in case.
It was fun, as always, hanging out with the street kids, hipsters, spangers, at least one tourist, and a couple of parents with little ones… you know, the usual Portland Monument square afternoon on a chilly Saturday crowd. People talked a little, laughed a lot, got high on sugar and electrolytes. It was a good time.
We tried to fly the kites, and the wind was probably about perfect, but we concluded that we suck. It was kite tragic! Cross pieces, from the kites’ frames, scattered the ground. One doomed kites after another would rise up with it’s eyes towards the sky before plunging into an unstoppable death spiral, coming just inches from blinding unsuspecting pedestrians, who were quite jolly to see kites, considering the proximity they were to high velocity pokey things.
After every kite was destroyed we entertained ourselves with bubbles, and aggressive acts of charity, coercing people to take hand full of chocolate bars and candy, or if they stood around too long, a bowl of delicious matzo ball soup, which possessed enough salt to cause various forms of neurosis in bears, moose and other large mammals not used to an American diet, and still healthier and more appetizing than your average fast food joint…. not to mention, free, and surplus. Can you say, carbon negative? take that liberal green washers!
While everyone was recovering from sugar and electrolyte induced blackouts, we discovered that some food ninja had spontaneously redistributed our candy all around the area. There were sour straws on park benches, chocolate bars on bulletin boards, laffy taffy in trees, and not a hungry soul in sight. We were suddenly scared, that whatever ninja managed to do this while we weren’t looking, might return, and spontaneously redistribute our radical organs, and we need those.
The place was thoroughly food not bombed, and we were scared of ninjas, and our fingers were frozen off, so we packed up, after raising the tail ribbons of each martyred kite, on a pole around the monument, as a testament to
To sum it up… you really should have been there.
We have a print shop now! It happened kind of by chance, but was really great timing. I started talking about starting an infospace/printshop, and not long after a friend found a free copy machine on craigslist, another friend picked it up, I asked if I could put it to use for this project, and now it’s in my bedroom, woot!
The first wave of flyers promoting printing and outreach services are up around town, and I’m reaching out to bands, activist groups, community organizers, artists and local businesses to let them know, there is a new print shop in town, and that it’s a legit way to support radical community organizing, just by using our services. Let your friends know, and the next project you are part of organizing, suggest SUMAC Printing, as a way to practice real solidarity, instead of going to a commercial printer.
Precedes go right back into radical projects like Food Not Bombs, Mobile Front and Free School. I don’t just do printing, but can help with flyering, canvassing, and pretty much any footwork you might need help with, so long as I agree with the cause of course. This isn’t a commercial service, it’s solidarity in action!
Here are some articles I wanted to share. Really awesome articles, in two of my favorite publications.
I’m hoping to distribute these zines as well as others, out of the Mobile Front info center. I’ll be looking into bartering shelf space at places like Strange Maine and MPC, as well as just lending to friends and allies. Contact me if you are interested in pre-ordering any of these, pre-orders will be sold AT COST, while post orders will be sold for a minimal markup.
If there is a zine you want to see distributed locally, or if you have an idea for a zine or newsletter you want to see put together, on music, hipsters, artists, poetry, politics, nature, anarchy, peace, love, justice, gardening, fermentation, making soap, generic vegan recipes, bad relationship advice, existential calls to action, whatevah you might be interested in and are willing to help produce, please contact me personally at email@example.com
I hope others are as excited as I am about these projects! And if you are, don’t forget about the SUMAC gathering April 6. It will be a great place to hear more about these and other projects, network and get involved, and strategize for the mid to long-term vision for building a radical counter-culture in Portland Maine. See the new “Event Listings” page for more details on this and other events.
~Solidarity in Action~
Southern Maine Action Network is having the first SUMAC Council. Don’t let the title scare you away, it’s an informal, open space, where ideas are shared, projects organized, and visions developed, to form a progressive strategy for building radical community.
After talking about different ideas, and maybe networking with people and putting together a plan of action for organizing a handful of new projects, we’ll share dinner, potluck style, around the fire, hear stories, music, poetry, words of lamentation, inspiration and dreams.
It will be a great opportunity to network, meet people, organize, and find out about projects being organized, and ways you can get involved. Please come and invite your friends, your family, everyone.
This wont be like your standard activist meeting because SUMAC is not your standard activist group!
It is a radical community building network.
While we have strong ties to the activist community, and find a great deal of experience and inspiration for community building among activists, we are reaching out to the wider community–to people of diverse perspectives, and methods–and organizing based on shared needs.
This is what the SUMAC slogan “Solidarity in Action” means, by working together on shared needs, we can build connections that are stronger than ideological, and tactical differences.
Lets share what we have, build what we need, and learn from eachother!
SOLIDARITY IN ACTION!!
If this gets you excited, if you have ideas for projects that need support, or you just want to come and find ways you can help build radical community-
Join us April 6 at Eswhy Eskay a Farm in Cape Elizabeth
2-6 Open Council: Projects for Radical Community Building.
6-10 Celebrate Spring and Community: Potluck, fire, open mic, dancing and drumming (suggested donation $10-$20, pay what you can)
Ever since envisioning SUMAC, there has been a great deal of these discussions taking place.
PTYO organized a discussion about ways to fund projects, or even create jobs to support organizers; and another group organized a discussion about how to organize co-operative housing projects, and at least one housing co-op is in the planning stage.
These are the kinds of things we need to think about, that is, real tangible every day things, that people need to survive, that also serve as tools, enabling radical communities to flourish.
Food Not Bombs redistributing food, housing co-ops offering affordable housing can free up some finances among the radical community, while also providing a valuable service, and example of mutual aid and direct action, in practice.
Lower cost of living, allows radical communities to sustain more active, and well organized projects.
These “bread and butter” organizing projects, that help liberate time and resources currently being used to sustain ourselves, are the greatest way we can build power as radical communities, by simply reclaiming what is ours, our sweat, our blood, our tears, as our own, to be used to sustain our own communities, and the efforts we find most meaningful.
Make it what you will, get involved with whatever projects excite you the most, ignore the rest. I will personally do everything I can to connect you with the resources available in the community, or help organize a project to fill a gap.
Maybe you want to organize a radical day care, or write a zine about addiction and domestic abuse, maybe you want to help build a print shop, or organize a food co-op, maybe you like fixing bikes, or cars, or want to organize an accessible ride share network, maybe you want to open your house up for radical meetings, start a hack lab, or teach about something you love.
What do you want to do? How can you help build radical community? Everyone has something to offer, so lets get together, share what we have, build what we need and learn from eachother.
Join us April 6! again that’s at Eswhy Eskay a Farm in Cape Elizabeth. The Council starts at 2, the celebration starts at 6.
~SOLIDARITY IN ACTION~
Food Not Bombs is celebrating autonomy once again this Friday the night of the art walk. Same place, same time as last month, we’ll be setting up food and info tables at the corner of Congress and High streets in front of the blighted news building, 5pm until at least 8pm or whenever the riot disperses.
We’ve invited a handful of street performers, and it’s an open mic, so come play your little instrument, make sounds with your face, shake your boots, raise your fistcuffs, whatever your art may be. Half the donation money will be split up among performers, because hell, our appreciation for performers being awesome doesn’t pay the bills.
If the energy is high and people are down, we’ll be having spontaneous marches up and down the art walk, distributing literature, and inviting people for a free meal, and sharing radical community.
There will be the latest in FNB fashions, art supplies for decorating the space(or eachother), possibly a free book store(bring your old dusty volumes), drums for making a ruckus, and of course free vegitarian and vegan food, and radical literature.
Hope to see everyone there!