Oakland, Berkeley, And East Bay News, Events, Restaurants, Music, & Arts
"Those who may have a problem with an East Coast writer publishing an opinion on the place after living here for just four years."
Lots of new arrivals in Oakland, as well as Oakland's pols, absolutely love to read East Coast (NY Times) tourism writers on just how trendy Oakland is.
And creative too, if you think fancy cocktails are Art and spendy dining out is Art Appreciation.
But there are at least two Oaklands and never the twain shall meet.
Do you mean "grisly"? Grizzly refers to bears or gray-haired-ness, neither of which seem to pertain here.
The photo of the Shetman tank is a classic, and is emblematic of the the violence, racism, and inhumanity of 60's urban renewal. The tank is about to tear down a home in my neighborhood of Lower Bottoms. After this and over a hundred others were destroyed, the land at the heart of the neighborhood sat empty for more than a decade.
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This is really a great show, and every one, even the uncomfortable ones, are always entertaining and informative. I love it.
Renee you are beautiful and an asset to BIG FREEDIA...THE QUEEN DIVA. Freedia, I love you. You are perfect in every way. Also love KATY RED
Beautifully rendered tribute Lincoln. I raise my glass high. xo MJP
I was so glad to finally become an official ink worker in the early nineties. And it was you, Lincoln, that got me there. Always a pleasure to work with you and share struggles and laughs. haste la Victoria Siempre! Great article.
I worked at Pedal Express Courier for three years. What many folks don't know is that Inkworks delivered many of their jobs by bicycle! In fact, their shipping forms had a little box that they would check for orders officially delivered by Pedal Express. Clients loved receiving deliveries by bike and it felt wonderful to deliver work for a fellow worker-owned cooperative. I have many memories of picking up jobs of all sizes from their shop - ranging from a small stack of papers, to boxes weighing several hundred pounds. They were a longtime client of ours and we thank them for all the years of support!
Thanks Lincoln for the article. As a former Inkworks collective member for the last 8 years I would add this.
The most rewarding aspect of Inkworks for me was our customers. Many were social justice non-profits active on the cutting edge of their various issues and causes. Printing their position papers and reports was very educational. Two of my customers were the ACLU of Northern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation who I was so glad to be able to support their work. I am so grateful to them and our other customers that supported Inkworks for many years. I will miss them.
I'm proud to have been an Inkworks collective member for 7 years starting in 1995. And to have spent the past 14 years expanding on its mission via Design Action Collective. Thanks Lincoln, for the great recap. The struggle continues!
As another who brought jobs in over the counter and an even older comrade in SDS in Iowa with a founding member, Waukean McLean, I second all the kudos. Inkworks was not just a printshop with all the characteristics described above, but also an organizing node for many movement related tasks (cartooning, design, distribution, etc.) that many of us used and learned from. Most of all, it was a symbol of what is possible.
Thanks for this article/tribute, Lincoln. It certainly has been an accomplishment to be proud of. One difference with Polly Parks's description of FITS: We actually did survive political in-fighting- ugly and destructive as that was - but there was a self-conscious decision to close the shop because 1) technology was changing and we would need a lot of funds to update our equipment that we didn't have and 2) with the movement in decline after the election of Reagan business had declined. I had left by then - trying to organize the union at Lin Litho, then working at Inkworks and other work - but I was impressed by the very practical reasoning that went into closing the shop and, as a result, the entire San Francisco Printing Coop. One gratifying outcome was that Modern Times Bookstore moved into the space.
Thank you Lincoln for this piece. It is an honor to have been a collective member for the past 17 years. I joined Inkworks in 1998 as production manager and was a customer sales representative and estimator the past 6 years. I will continue to serve the movements with the support of Community Printers. I started my career in printing when it was letterpress only in Sri Lanka in the early 80's. The print shop was founded by breakaway members of the JVP, upon their release to public life in 1977. ( Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna - People's Liberation Front) a Marxist/Leninist group that staged a failed insurrection to topple the repressive government in 1971 .
We successfully published anti government - prodemocracy work in three languages for many Human Rights and labor advocacy groups, including students unions. The intellectual left movement builders at the time were challenged by draconian laws and party politics that instigated racial and ethnic division. The country was in a state of civil war for 30 years.
I fled the Island in 1989 amidst death threats to myself and family members.
I went to Canada as a political refugee in 1990. I certainly left my heart in San Francisco my port of landing. I was a collective member at Our Times, Canada's only independent Labor magazine for 7 years and met Inkworks and Community Printers through the Progressive Printers Network. I am grateful for the opportunity to grow with local political movements that take on global issues.
"¡Hasta la Victoria Siempre!"
Thank you, Lincoln, for this beautiful tribute to an iconic movement institution. RIP Inkworks! Your legacy lives on!
Thanks for this review of Inkworks, on the occasion of its demise. I was sorry to see it go. As a press operator at Inkworks from 1999 to 2008, I appreciated Inkworks as both a union shop and workers collective. Inkworks suffered from both the changing nature of the capitalist market, and the fact that small to medium-sized print sops just couldn't compete in these new conditions.
The demise of Inkworks was more than just a factor of its aging staff, of which I was one for a time. It was due to the fact that all co-ops, including worker-owned co-ops, are subject to operating within the capitalist market, which is a hostile and aggressive profit driven environment to say the least. Only by overthrowing capitalism can we establish a truly cooperative economy, in which we say that "from each according to his means, and to each according to his needs" is the guiding principle.
Comradely greetings to all
Chris Kinder, former Inkworker
In my activism days of the "new left," Inkworks was always the go to place. Loved the multiplicity of work. Each trip was like a museum visit, scorning the variety of recent printings -- posters, books, handouts, etc, always on display. Such beautiful, open, friendly people ... loved them all. and the holiday parties were to die for. No matter how many invitations, stopping by Inkworks was the only "must do." Surely miss you guys and gals all. Damn Economy !!
Appreciate all the excellent printing I did with Inkworks over 25 years, especially the Berkeley Earth Day poster and so many years of La Peña's calendar. Looking forward to the party and seeing the crew.
David Lance Goines' shop, St. Heironymous Press, is still around and going strong in the same space at which Mr. Goines' learned to print, 1705 MLK in Berkeley. It is coming up on 50 years as St. Heironymous Press, and it was a print shop prior to Mr. Goines' arrival. Rumors of its demise are premature.
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