A few years back I spent some time in the San Franscisco Bay area and had the privilege of hanging out at the Long Haul infoshop located in Berkeley, California. The infoshop hosted discussions about various radical topics and had a large library and meeting space where meals were occasionally served. Zines, books, and novel t-shirts were sold there to help make ends meet. And, of course, the Slingshot newspaper was published there along with the Slingshot organizer (which is distributed broadly at many other infoshops and independent bookstores). And, I'm sure, many of the things I've described still take place there.
However, it should be noted that the tone, tenor, and direction of the space (and particularly its publication) has undoubtedly fluctuated somewhat over the years. This is to be expected of such a public institution (as the prominent issues of the day change and those involved with the space come and go – bringing and taking various qualities or points of focus). And, when the space was raided in 2008, that undoubtedly shook things up. Since that incident... I imagine a certain hard-core has probably stayed away from the infoshop while undercover operatives have possibly filled the void or, at the very least, continued their presence. In any case, a tamer crowd has probably comprised more of the community since the raid.
With those things in mind, I'd like to make at clear that it is not my intention here to outright condemn the Long Haul. It may still be serving as very valuable resource within the broader anarchist milieu. But I must express my general disappointment with the latest issue of Slingshot (issue #111, Autumn 2012). And, with that disappointment, I must wonder who is hanging out at the Long Haul and what the community surrounding the space is like these days.