Trials of the century: Dissent on trial – the 70s

Class offered on The Gainesville 8, The Chicago 8, the takeover of Wounded Knee

In the second half of the 20th century, three trials captured national attention.

Following the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, “The Chicago 8,” including Abbie Hoffman, Tom Hayden and Bobby Seale, were charged with conspiracy to incite those riots. 

“The Gainesville 8,” seven of whom were Vietnam veterans and members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, were charged with the same thing regarding the Republican Party Convention in Miami Beach in ‘72 before the convention. 

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March 17 election endorsements

by Joe Courter

Those of you within Gainesville city limits will have one or two other races on your ballot March 17 beyond the presidential primary. 

These are in regard to the City Commission. Helen Warren is a current at large commissioner, and she is term limited out. Among the people running for her seat, Reina Saco stands out. She is an attorney with a history of advocacy on renters’ and immigrant rights. Hopefully enough people will vote for her to avoid a runoff, as there are four candidates in the race (see Jean Chalmer’s article on rank choice voting on page 6).

City folks in District 2 and 3 are encouraged to retain their current commissioners, Harvey Ward (2) and David Arreola (3). Both have good track records and are much more aware and active on issues like housing, transportation, human rights, and the environment than their opponents.

We support Saco, Ward, and Arreola. And of course Bernie Sanders for president (with Elizabeth Warren as a strong second place).

Celebrate Women 2020 events in Gainesville

Jan. 14 – March 14:  Pictures of Resistance
Hours vary – Gainesville Fine Arts Association Gallery, The UF Center for European Studies and the Gainesville Fine Arts Association 

Feb. 25 – March 21:  She FRI 2/28, 6pm. Reception during Art Walk 
GFAA exhibit: artists respond to the many dimensions of WOMEN in 2020

Feb. 26 – March 22:  Marchie and Rosetta  
Dates and times vary – Hippodrome Theatre, A story of letting loose, finding your voice, and freeing your soul 

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Celebrate Women 2020 and 100 years of women voting!


Start gathering at 11 am on Saturday, March 21 at the Supervisor of Elections office, 515 N. Main St., Gainesville.

At NOON, March/Parade down Main Street to University Avenue to Bo Diddley Plaza where there will be a RALLY with music, food trucks, and REASONS TO VOTE — climate change, racial justice, DEMOCRACY, voting access/suppression, immigration, social justice, gentrification, gun reform, living wage, reproductive freedom, local control and more.

Join the Parade with your energy and SIGNS about ISSUES, but not candidates. March/parade with your friends and your organizations. We’ll make space for historical time periods, such as the ’60s and ’70s if you’d like to represent an organization from “back then.”

Show Gainesville the issues that matter to YOU.



NOTE: This event has been canceled. Byllye Avery is in her eighties and her doctor has advised her not to fly because of the Coronavirus threat. Although we are disappointed that she won’t be here, we totally support her decision to stay safe and healthy. 

As a part of Celebrate Women 2020, Byllye Avery is coming to Gainesville from March 12-15 to ignite the activism in all of us. She is passionate about bringing together black and white women in order to create new paradigms which include all of us. She believes that it is imperative that we unite now in order to preserve the rights that we have EARNED, to recognize our interdependency, and to work together to create a world where compassion, justice, and mutual respect reign. She challenges us with “What will YOU do?”

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March 2020 Gainesville Iguana

The March issue of the Iguana is now available, and you can access it here! If you want to get your hands on a hard copy, check out our distro locations here.

CMC hiring part-time co-coordinator in March

The Civic Media Center will be hiring a new co-coordinator in March 2020. It is a part-time position, 20-35 paid hours per week. (The reality is that extra volunteer hours may be needed.) Progressive politics and community organizing interest, skills and experience are musts.

Familiarity with databases, spreadsheets, social media, and/or graphic design are all pluses; non-profit management experience more so. Good writing and communication skills, demonstrated movement commitment, and ability to work with and inspire volunteers also required. Pay is $14 an hour. A one-year commitment is requested.

Send your resumé and a cover letter via email to by Feb. 15. Selection and interviewing will begin after that. Please state a good day and times for a possible future interview with best means of contacting you. 

Extinction Rebellion fights for the Santa Fe

by Johnsie Cate

Join Extinction Rebellion for a direct action on the Santa Fe River to end the water grab for our springwater at Ginnie Springs. This water use is to be used in plastic bottles and sold back to us on the grocery shelves and in vending machines.  

On Saturday, Jan 18, from 10am-3pm we are planning a kayaktivism sit in at Ginnie Springs. The same people who own Seven Springs Water Company also own Ginnie Springs Outdoors campground. Seven Springs is selling the spring water that feeds Ginnie Springs and the Devil’s Eye/Ear Complex to Nestlé International.  

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History and the people who make it: Mary Hall Daniels

Mary Hall Daniels [MHD], last known survivor of the 1923 Rosewood, Florida, massacre, was interviewed by Ryan Morini and Sherri Sherrod Dupree [SSD] in January, 2012.

This is the 56th in a series of transcript excerpts from the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection.

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

MHD: I was born in Rosewood, Florida, June 7, 1919. Only thing I really know is what my mother told me, because I was three years old when this happened. But I can remember everything my mother told me. It all was started because of a lie; a lie of a White lady. She had a boyfriend, and there was two other people working in the house. She ran out in the streets and was hollering, “Rape! Rape! A Black man raped me!” The White men started to riot and they was driving around with shotguns and rifles in the back of a truck looking for a man they call — what was this man’s name, Ms. Dupree?

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Join the Working Family Lobby Corps

by Jeremiah Tattersall

The 2020 Florida legislative session is underway and so is our push for a pro working families agenda. We’d love for you to join the Working Family Lobby Corps in lobbying our elected officials this session. Major issues this session will be:

Preemption and elimination of local pro-worker ordinances such as the Alachua County Wage Theft, non-discrimination human rights, and living wage ordinances.

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Film showing at the Civic Media Center, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 7pm

Film maker Jeff Cohen of Roots Action will be there to introduce the film and to hold Q&A afterward.

About the Film: 

Director: Fred Peabody
Producer: Peter Raymont
Executive Producers: Peter Raymont, Fred Peabody, Steve Ord, Jeff Cohen, Hans Robert Eisenhauer

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‘The McCarthy Moment’ opens at Matheson

What: “The McCarthy Moment” Exhibition
Where: Matheson History Museum
When: Starting Jan. 28, Tues-Sat, 11am-4pm
Cost: Free

Have you ever been engaged in any homosexual activities here in Gainesville?” 

This question forever altered dozens of lives at the University of Florida between 1958 and 1959. In 1956, State Senator Charley Eugene Johns created the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee. Better known as the Johns Committee, it tried to uncover subversive activity in Florida.

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Book talk: The Committee with Sterling Watson

What: The Committee Book Talk with Sterling Watson
Where: Matheson History Museum
When: Thursday, Jan. 30, 7 pm
Cost: Free

The Matheson Museum will present a book talk with author Sterling Watson on Jan. 30. His book, The Committee, is a novelization of the infamous Johns Committee, a 1950s witch hunt for communists and homosexuals.

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Trials of the Century at Santa Fe College

What: “Trials of the Century” 
Where: Santa Fe College NW
When: Jan. 28 and Feb. 4
Time: 6:45-9:15pm

Former Mayor and current musician Gary Gordon will be teaching a Community Education class on Trials of the Century at SFCC on the Tuesday evenings of Jan. 28 and Feb. 4.

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When unacceptable becomes normal

by Gary Gordon

It’s become a normal practice at Gainesville City Commission meetings to have people removed by armed police officers. A normal occurrence.  Acceptable.

Who’s being removed? Generally it’s people who disagree with Commission decisions or contemplated plans. But their specific crime is speaking longer than the allotted three minutes.

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Alachua County Charter Review Commission asks for public engagement: ideas, proposals

by Penny Wheat, Chair
2020 Alachua County Charter Review Commission

In 1986, Alachua County voters approved the Alachua County Charter, giving us more powers of local self-government and freedom from State control. The Charter requires that a Review Commission of electors be appointed in 1990 and every ten years thereafter, to review the County Charter and propose amendments or revisions which may be advisable for placement on the general election ballot. 

The time is now.

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Gainesville’s Housing Action Plan wants neighbors’ input

The Gainesville Housing and Community Development Department is creating a long-term Housing Action Plan, and we need input from our neighbors. 

After hosting a series of public workshops in 2019, we are broadening our reach and community input in 2020 to hear from more of our neighbors about how Gainesville can provide, support and foster more affordable housing. We know many people have many different ideas about housing, and we’d love to hear from you. 

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In memory of Arupa Freeman

by Bob Freeman with Liz McCullogh

Arupa Freeman passed away December 22, after several months of illness.

Arupa was born Kathleen Emond in North Bennington, Vermont. She took great pride in her family’s long history in Vermont, going back to colonial times. Though raised by her grandmother in difficult circumstances, Arupa relished small town childhood memories: flying kites, picking wild strawberries, ice skating, Christmas caroling. She studied English and French literature at the University of Oklahoma. 

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Driver’s License Restoration Clinic

Florida has an awful situation in its judicial codes resulting in driver’s license suspension for a huge array of offenses, really screwing up people’s lives. Until the Legislature rewrites the overly broad suspensions, Jess Irby, our Clerk of the Court, has instituted a program to help. Periodic clinics are run to assist people in getting their situations taken care of. Yeah, folks still need to pay the fines, but this program really helps navigate the process.

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New legislation threatens Santa Fe River Bill of Rights

by Merrillee Jipson

As a New Year’s present to local groups looking to restore, protect and preserve living natural systems—such as rivers and springs and the groundwater that is the source of drinking water—in their individual areas around Florida, Senator Albritton, chair of the Agricultural Committee, introduced SB 1382 on January 3, 2020. Section 1 of the bill introduces a spate of new programs associated with Florida’s already anemic environmental protections, complete with language such as “where technically and financially practical” that render those protections optional, giving Florida’s citizens only the illusion of protection.

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