[R-G] GETTING THE WORD OUT [BRIEF THOUGHTS]

Hunter Gray hunterbadbear at hunterbear.org
Mon Jul 14 16:47:17 MDT 2008


Note by Hunter Bear:  July 14 2008 
Interesting discussion on RBB about getting the word out via conventional print and otherwise.  I'm attaching an older and nostalgic post herewith that discusses the traditional centrality -- for radicals and organizers generally -- of the Mimeograph Machine.  These days, there are usually several Fast Copy places -- e.g., Kinko Copy -- that are easy to find and reasonable [but sometimes, as is the case here in Pocatello, involving staff who report surreptitiously to the cops.]  So be careful to find a reasonably "secure" outfit.   Special leaflets for really special occasions, of course, can be done by a good print-shop.  

Some of all of the foregoing are unionized  but some are not. The buy-union principle and union "bug" are important to some of us at least.  

In some settings, I've been part of good efforts to launch a "real" newspaper -- e.g., the Chicago-based  and every couple of weeks Native American Publication in the early '70s.  But these efforts, back then and certainly now, take money. In Chicago, we were fortunate in receiving grants for our paper from the National Indian Lutheran Board -- this had no religious strings. In other situations, we had to go out and hustle hard.

Direct and personal talks to individuals, and to groups of whatever size, are obviously extremely crucial -- and should involve, on the talker/speaker's part, the art of listening..

If you're an activist, and making waves, you can usually, sooner or later, get pr from the local mainline newspapers, radio and tv.  But you gotta watch some -- some -- of those folks in charge.

Always do your press releases with care. [If you're advertising a meeting through any medium, make damn certain that you have the purpose, date, time, and location down -- explicitly.]

The Net generally and websites especially are obviously quite helpful -- though never a substitute for direct and personal grassroots organizing.  A novice about computers, "I" launched our initial one, Red Wobbly, in the late summer of 1999.  It had a long URL handle which included the word "revolution." I was a total novice re computer tech and the credit for that initial website goes to all of my children and our grandson-son, Thomas.  That was a Microsoft freebee with all sorts of general limitations but a major one became obvious at the beginning of December 1999 when it was suspiciously immobilized by Microsoft.  It remained immobilized for several weeks and in seeking help from Microsoft, I got almost one hundred "canned" messages of ostensible sympathy from a variety of obviously phony first names.  It was clear that we were one of many such sites indeed which were being summarily blocked.  In late January, 2000, operating in remote fashion from far away Lincoln, Nebraska, my youngest son, Mack, a newspaper editor, was able to get Red Wobbly going again. [When I brought his Magic to the attention of Microsoft, it didn't secure any compliments from them.]

So, on my birthday in 2000, we all launched Lair of Hunterbear, now into its ninth year and very well visited.  There were, of course, Microsoft Front Pages costs with which to get started [now about $200 - we now use the 2003 version]  -- and our web hosting server charges us about $340.00 annually.  It's always a challenge to get one's Site established but a moderately priced [around $140.00 a year] Submission Service is most useful in assisting in getting to the search engine summits.  And then, of course, as you go along, things proliferate very nicely -- but you still want to keep the submission service.

I could write a book about all of this -- getting the word out -- but, before I embark on that, I may try my hand at doing a Poem commemorating Mimeograph Machines.  Of course, I am a lousy poet [unlike the genuinely gifted Sam Friedman] -- but, still, I've learned a lot about computers.  So maybe there's hope for me.  In any case, here is this:

MIMEOGRAPHED REBELLION  [HUNTER GRAY  4/17/03]

Jim's interesting SSOC comments about mimeographed publications prompts this
from me.  In August, 1962, our growing Jackson NAACP Youth Council  was
planning what a few months later became the highly effective economic
boycott of Jackson -- out of which grew the large-scale Jackson Movement
which climaxed in May and June, '63.  I began that August to put together a
frequent [every three weeks or so] mimeographed journal, North Jackson
Action.[I'd had some journalism courses in college and had once even taught
the subject.]

Anyway, I typed  it out carefully on blue stencils -- on my ancient
Underwood -- and Tougaloo College mimeographed it for us.  It grew rapidly
in size -- to several pages on each side -- and the circulation moved out
into the general Jackson area and then nationally. At one point, we had a
basic  mail circ of about 250 -- not counting those many distributed
directly on the local scene. When I mailed them in Jackson -- via first
class in sealed envelopes-- we used no return addresses and I carried them
always to a number of outside mail boxes -- putting in a batch here and a
batch there. Well received, it drew financial contributions for our work --
and boycott support actions from around the United States.  And even in
Canada:  Kimberley [B.C.] Mine and Mill Workers sent us a check for one
hundred bucks!

By the same token, when Juan Chacon, president of Amalgamated Bayard
District Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers [Local 890] in Southwestern
New Mexico mailed us the three 16 mm reels of Salt of the Earth -- in which
he's the leading male role [we used Salt very effectively several times in
Jackson with Eldri running the film projector] -- it always came to me very
inconspicuously which is how we always sent it back to Local 890.  North
Jackson Action played an important role in developing the Jackson Boycott
and helping lay the foundation for the Jackson Movement.  All told, we put
out about 15 issues or so -- into May, '63, at which point all sorts of
Movement things and attendant publicity were surging up in the Jackson
setting.  I gave my file of North Jackson Action to Mississippi Dept of
Archives and History and it's among my collected papers.  [And a copy of the
file is also in my comparable collection at State Historical Society of
Wisconsin.]

Later, when I was SCEF Field Organizer, Jim Dombrowski gave us our own SCEF
mimeograph machine --  an eccentric creature which occasionally, in the
fashion of a Gatling Gun, sometimes threw huge globs of sticky ink on the
wall of my little office.

I miss those days when every Radical Movement had, first and foremost, its
mimeograph machine.  Kinko Copy and comparable outfits just don't begin to
have the same bated breath drama.


HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

Check out our Hunterbear website Directory http://hunterbear.org/directory.htm
[The site is dedicated to our one-half Bobcat, Cloudy Gray:
http://hunterbear.org/cloudy_gray.htm

See Forces and Faces Along the Activist Trail 
http://hunterbear.org/forces_and_faces_along_the_trail.htm

And see Wobbly Mentor  http://hunterbear.org/wobbly_mentor.htm

In our Gray Hole, the ghosts often dance in the junipers and sage, on the game trails, 
in the tributary canyons with the thick red maples, and on the high windy ridges -- and 
they dance from within the very essence of our own inner being. They do this especially 
when the bright night moon shines down on the clean white snow that covers the valley 
and its surroundings.  Then it is as bright as day -- but in an always soft and mysterious 
and remembering way.  



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