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Comment Archives: stories: Arts & Culture: Culture Spy

Re: “Inkworks Press, 1974–2016

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.

Posted by Hilton Obenzinger on 02/11/2016 at 7:56 AM

Re: “Inkworks Press, 1974–2016

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!"

Posted by Ranil Abeysekera on 02/10/2016 at 11:14 PM

Re: “Inkworks Press, 1974–2016

Thank you, Lincoln, for this beautiful tribute to an iconic movement institution. RIP Inkworks! Your legacy lives on!

Posted by Myrna Cozen on 02/10/2016 at 8:29 PM

Re: “Inkworks Press, 1974–2016


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

Posted by Chris Kinder on 02/10/2016 at 8:27 PM

Re: “Inkworks Press, 1974–2016

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 !!

Posted by James Vann on 02/10/2016 at 5:59 PM

Re: “Inkworks Press, 1974–2016

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.

Posted by Karen Hester on 02/10/2016 at 4:37 PM

Re: “Inkworks Press, 1974–2016

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.

Posted by Amy Lee on 02/10/2016 at 4:06 PM

Re: “Inkworks Press, 1974–2016

Another part of my ink-stained fingers goes out of business (FITS having been eaten by its children in the early 80s). Thanks for the heads up, Lincoln and say hey to old friends.

Posted by Polly Parks on 02/10/2016 at 9:55 AM

Re: “Inkworks Press, 1974–2016

Another part of my ink-stained fingers goes out of business (FITS having been eaten by its children in the early 80s). Thanks for the heads up, Lincoln and say hey to old friends.

Polly Parks

Posted by Polly Parks on 02/10/2016 at 9:55 AM

Re: “Inkworks Press, 1974–2016

Inkworks was a tremendous asset for many organizations and movements in the Bay Area. I would add one clarification to the article. Glad Day Press in Ithaca moved to Oakland and joined with LSM Press to form Sequoyah Graphics. Though it had a different organizational basis, Sequoyah did a lot of similar printing for many organizations and movements. Sequoyah is also history now.

Posted by stevegoldfield on 02/10/2016 at 8:57 AM

Re: “Inkworks Press, 1974–2016

I did not know all this - excellent article. Thank you.
Three cheers for Inkworks Press!

Posted by Liz Fowler on 02/10/2016 at 8:33 AM

Re: “Photographing Forgotten Cities

Great story about an accomplished, as well as committed, artist.

If only an elected person who spends so much time in city hall would see the show at Betty Ono and think about it. Or engage some feeling. Possibly.

We need an open-minded pol or two in city hall who just might be capable of understanding that so many of Oakland's folks are invisible to them.

It's a short walk from city hall to Betty Ono's gallery. Unfortunately our pols never seem to put their feet on the ground.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 02/03/2016 at 10:43 AM

Re: “BAMPFA Is Back

Above opening date for Ciampi building is incorrect. It opened in 1970. I was on staff as a guard on opening day.

Posted by Bruce Borgerson on 01/29/2016 at 9:54 AM

Re: “BAMPFA Is Back

Congrats BAMPFA

Posted by Gary Kohler on 01/27/2016 at 5:11 PM

Re: “'Bodily Engagements' is a Dialectic Between Dancers and Sculptors

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Posted by Editor on 01/12/2016 at 9:20 PM

Re: “Oakland Archivist Revives 1917 Feminist Film

APEXX huh?

Posted by Aram Attarian on 01/10/2016 at 2:44 PM

Re: “Oakland Archivist Revives 1917 Feminist Film

Hey, everyone should nominate this film to the National Film Registry! That way, we can guarantee that the government will see to it that it doesn't get lost again.

Posted by Nana Amuah on 01/09/2016 at 1:17 PM

Re: “Oakland Archivist Revives 1917 Feminist Film

This Marxist-fascist film reference is good and points to the social confusion within East Coast Cities, Ivy Schools and Euro cities. And across all media genre. For instance, the 1925 best seller was An American Tragedy promoting baby killings while simultaneously setting up the Christian Church as scapegoat. 1913 gave us the international Federal Reserve and a little later the income tax slave system. Wilson further added the problem of WWI which caused Lenin and Trotsky to enter Russia with American gold to create the first Marxist-fascist state that cause world conflict and divisions and deaths for decades. All these social principles are in Communist Manifesto at the end of Chapter 1. The time precursor was around Andrew Jackson's time period.

This film is an excellent find. Thank you!

Posted by Apexx Mandilk on 01/06/2016 at 1:15 PM

Re: “Oakland Archivist Revives 1917 Feminist Film

What frame rate was used in the vimeo xfer ? Looks good!

Posted by Robert Hodge on 01/06/2016 at 12:09 PM

Re: “Oakland Archivist Revives 1917 Feminist Film

Terrific news, though I think the author meant to write "need to scan each individual FRAME digitally". Can't wait to see this film!

Posted by John Seal on 01/06/2016 at 11:34 AM

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