After 18 years of operating out of the same old building in Olympia, Columbia's mill village, the Natural Guard is moving its corporate headquarters to a barn in the woods.
For the past six years, the Natural Guard has been making the POINT. But this newspaper reflects only part of the work generated by the Natural Guard and its predecessor, the Grass Roots Organizing Workshop (GROW). It is a 20-year tradition of in-your-face advocacy of the Earth and its squatters, with a special interest in that corner of the planet known as the Palmetto State.
GROW, the cafe and the organizing office, was a cultural, intellectual and political oasis from 1978 until 1985. When the cafe closed, we turned that entrepreneurial spirit to running a print shop, Harbinger Publications, to pay the bills. (Grassroots activism has never been a lucrative business.)
Now it is time to shift gears again. We have decided to focus more of our energy on POINT and grassroots organizing and to scale back our printing schedule. The press will still run, but we hope to spend the bulk of our days newspapering and supporting the progressive community in South Carolina.
GROW can serve a new generation of idealists. A collaborative effort to rejuvenate the GROW building is underway; your ideas on the shape that might take are welcome.
We have decided to take some time off to finish building the barn and move our belongings, in itself no small thing. If you've ever visited us, you know. Housed in this building is the detritus of a generation of hippies: faded posters, old books, magazines and newspapers, funky carpet remnants, protest banners, cabinets stuffed with files headed "Bomb Plant," "Barnwell" and "Nicaragua," and the like, and boxes of photos, bong parts and candles from vigils past. There are heavier things too desks, presses, copiers, computers, paper cutters, refrigerators and a hulking, antique CompuGraphic.
We hope the move will make this a stronger paper in 1997. Thanks for sticking with us during the transition. See you next year.