The Gainesville IguanaThe Gainesville Iguana is a semi-monthly progressive newsletter and calendar of events which first began publishing in October 1986. Through its calendar, directory of organizations, and content, it fosters the growth of movement consciousness and community organizing on issues from local to international.
by Joe Courter
We are back alive after the Covid shutdown. We have a new coordinator, John Wright, and he has really jumped into the job after health issues and personal setbacks caused our recently hired coordinator Chris Overly to resign in September.
Our 29th anniversary at the Matheson Museum went well and we greatly thank them for having such a great space and their support.
We were the site of a successful Queer the Fest benefit show on the Saturday of Fest weekend, and then we were a Fest venue on Sunday, which went well.
Free Grocery store take over on Tuesdays doing both deliveries and in CMC pick-ups.
We will have a table at the Downtown Arts Festival Nov. 19 and 20, right between Maude’s and the Hipp. There will be new stickers, an Art Raffle featuring a ceramics piece by Ana Varela and another piece by another CMC supporting artist TBA).
We will also have brand new 2023 Slingshot Organizers, which can also be ordered at www.civicmediacenter/store. On Dec. 7, we will host veteran peace activist George Lakey, in an event co-sponsored by Third House Books.
This is the beginning of our 30th year, and we hope to build up to a grand event in October 2023. We thank everyone who has supported us over the years, and for your continued support.
by Tina Certain, Alachua County School Board District 1
It’s hard to believe that the swearing in ceremony of the new Alachua County School Board members is just 12 days away, on Nov. 22. As I embark on my second term, I’ve done a lot of reflecting on where we have been and where we are going.Continue reading
This month, the SPOHP team is highlights two very important themes, antiracism and the political process.
This 2018 interview with Mr. William Atkins, former Director of UF’s Multicultural Affairs focuses on the Black experience at UF, while exploring what student activism looks like. Mr. Atkins [A] was interviewed by Cheyenne Chang [C].
C: How did the UF community take your activism? What was the environment like for people of color and when things happened what was it like?
A: Directly connected to my experience, one of my favorite quotes by Nelson Mandela, “Education is one of the most powerful weapons you can use to change the world.” To me, that’s my approach to raising awareness around things and engaging with different people, using education as a tool. Not formal education like you gotta go to high school and college and get all these degrees, but this idea of lifelong learning as part of the education process.Continue reading
By Fred Sowder
WGOT Station Coordinator
Prior to WGOT first going on the air in January 2008, I started attending meetings about its formation back when the Civic Media Center was still at 1021 West University Avenue. We had a crazy idea to start a low power FM radio station with two missions: to be the college radio station that Gainesville and UF didn’t have, as well as to be a counterpoint to right-wing talk radio that still dominates those formats to this day.Continue reading
UF in the Mississippi Delta: 15 years of documenting the Black Freedom Struggle and the modern Civil Rights Movement
The University of Florida’s Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP) will host a multimedia presentation featuring UF students and commuity supporters from Arkansas and Mississippi, who will share lively stories of freedom struggles in the Delta region.
The event will take place in Pugh Hall on the UF campus on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 5pm.
This is the inaugural event in the SPOHP’s Challenging Racism @ UF public program series. These programs will showcase how diverse communities are challenging racism on campus, in Florida and throughout the country.
The first 100 audience members will receive a free copy of the Proctor Program’s 50th anniversary of Mississippi Freedom Summer booklet featuring oral histories of civil rights movement legends in the Delta.
The Mississippi Freedom Project archive includes more than 350 oral histories, social movement symposia, organizing workshops, photographs and other materials highlighting the lives of civil rights activists, Black women mayors, labor organizers, educators, and history teachers on both sides of the Mississippi Delta.
Interviews contain stories from narrators who worked directly with Fannie Lou Hamer, John Lewis, Bob Moses as well as descendants of survivors of the 1919 Elaine Massacre.
Interested in joining MFP? Come and find out how! Refreshments and food will be provided. For information on MFP, visit oral.history.ufl.edu/projects/mfp/.
Facebook Event Page: fb.me/e/2PmliIKBN.
by Bread and Roses staff
Whew, this year has been difficult. In the span of a few months, people seeking clinic based abortion care in Florida have had to reckon with a forced delay in care/24 hour waiting period (necessitating two appointments), a ban on procedures over 15 weeks, and the reversal of Dobbs.*
In addition, and directly due to the Dobbs decision, Bread and Roses now cares for people from six different states.Continue reading
by Sheila Payne and Bobby Mermer, PhD,
Alachua County Labor Coalition
The Gainesville community has waited months after the mauling of resident Terrell Bradley to hear what the Gainesville Police Department and the Gainesville City Commission will do with the troubled GPD canine unit. Scheduled meetings for September and October were abruptly canceled.
In the interim, a highly stylized video produced by GPD excusing away any inconsistencies between the initial and final amended arrest reports was released, leaning heavily on ‘procedures’ being followed. That propaganda video also assassinates Mr. Bradley’s character. The takeaway: any terribly unfortunate incident happening to someone police interact with is always the suspect’s fault, so long as procedures written and interpreted by the police are followed.Continue reading
by Greg Mullaley
Two or three years ago I wrote to tell all of you about some wonderful people who call themselves Baker Interfaith Friends (see tinyurl.com/Iguana1474).
Twice a month a couple of car loads of volunteers would travel the hour north to the Baker County Detention Center where people are being detained by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) pending deportation hearings.Continue reading
by Joe Courter
We can look back on Election 2022, see how things went and where we are. We are done here in Florida but vote counting continues elsewhere, and happily the Nevada Senate just came in for the Democrats. Now Georgia remains on Dec. 6 to hopefully add an insurance vote. The hyped and feared “Red Wave’ did not happen, and it appears the Democrats will hold the Senate. There seems to be a rebuke of election-denying Trumpers in many states. The strong Republican showing in Florida was actually an outlier nationwide. Our Blue Dot here held firm for the most part. It’s a shame James Ingle lost, and then there’s that “Single-Member District” vote … ugh.Continue reading
by Aron Ali-McClory
On Tuesday, Nov. 1, a Republican senator from Nebraska, Ben Sasse, was appointed unanimously by the University of Florida Board of Trustees to be UF’s 13th president.
However, as much as this story has centered around Ben Sasse himself in the past month, it’s deeply important to consider the context in which his coronation happened.
As the right-wing Tallahassee regime has flexed its muscle in Alachua County, the university has responded by falling into lockstep with their demands. Under the administration of UF President Kent Fuchs, the DeSantis-appointed Board of Trustees has all but made it their mission to wipe out the notion of academic freedom at the University of Florida.Continue reading
by Joi Rose
All over Florida, Democrats are scratching their heads and wondering what is happening to the state they have lived in for decades and what this means for their future here. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t cut and dried. Many factors played into the state’s devastating red takeover: low registered Democratic voter turnout, lack of Florida Democratic Party enthusiasm and structural organization, a deficiency in field coordination and Get Out the Vote volunteers, lackluster candidates, further gerrymandered districts, and massive amounts of Republican funding further bolstered by dark money Political Action Committees.Continue reading
• Abortion is a bread-and-butter economic issue. We need to treat it that way
by Rebecca Solnit | The Guardian | Nov 3 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1481
Parenthood, criminality or death: these are now the all-too-expensive options for many women in the wake of the Dobbs decision. Abortion is an economic issue, a labor issue, a human rights issue and a healthcare issue.
• Abortion rights won in every state it was on the ballot. Let’s keep doing that
by Joan McCarter | Daily Kos | Nov. 10 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1489
Abortion rights are six for six in 2022, with voters in three states ensconcing the right and three fighting off efforts by Republican lawmakers to further restrict them.
WHEN: Sat., Oct. 15 , 7-9:30pm
WHERE: Matheson Museum, 513 E. University Ave.
SPEAKER: Dr. Robert Cassanello
by Joe Courter
The Civic Media Center will mark its 29th anniversary on Saturday evening, Oct. 15, at 7pm in the Matheson Museum, 513 E. University Ave. The guest speaker will be Dr Robert Cassanello, an associate professor at the University of Central Florida, and the head of the UCF faculty union. He has served on the board of the Florida Historical Society, and has a research background on voter suppression and the Jim Crow era.Continue reading
During the contentious Bush/Gore presidential election of 2000, Sue Gunzberger served as county commissioner for Broward County Florida. On Dec. 19, 2001, Julian M. Pleasants, as representative for the University of Florida’s Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, interviewed Commissioner Gunzberger about her experiences as part of the historical ballot recounts. The following excerpts are part of that interview.
To read the full interview, visit the UF digital collections at tinyurl.com/Iguana1447 and click the document image on the upper right. Use the double arrow keys to advance pages.
JP: Give me some idea of what Election Day was like for you.
SG: It was the longest day of my life, because I was on the canvassing board. I started with a commission meeting at 10 [a.m.] and by 7 [p.m.] I had to be at the warehouse to start supervising the counting of all the ballots. Usually on an election that large, it is finished by 2 in the morning. We finished at around 7 in the morning, knew that there was less than [a] one percent margin of difference and that we would have to have a recount. We had to be back at the warehouse by about 1 p.m., I believe.Continue reading
WHEN: 5 Monday classes from 7-9:15pm
WHERE: SF NW Campus, C-122 INSTRUCTOR: Gary Gordon
Learn about screenplay structure, to think about your protagonist and antagonist, to plot your story in a screenplay format, and to avoid some classic mistakes made by beginning screenplay writers. You may even achieve writing the first ten pages (or the first act).
Bring a laptop/notebook. It’s helpful to already have an idea of the story you wish to write.
Write a paragraph or a page about your favorite movie – what it is and why, and bring any writing you’ve done or started if you have previously taken the class; we’ll work on continuing to develop your script.
The first class is 10/31, no class 11/28, last class on 12/5. Register online starting Oct. 5 at SF Community Ed under Arts-Writing or call 352-395-5193.
10/6 5-7pm: Oral History Program open house, Pugh Hall Ocora, UF, https://tinyurl.com/Iguana1469
10/7 2-4:30pm: Radical Rush, Civic Media Center (433 S. Main St); civicmediacenter.org
7pm: The Band’s Last Waltz, Bo Diddley Plaza (111 E. University Ave); free; tinyurl.com/Iguana1452
10/8 UF Homecoming – Parade, football (vs Missouri) at noon, partying all over: join in or stand clear!Continue reading
by Michelle Rutledge & David Hastings
What does a Just Clean Energy Transformation look like in Florida?
Climate change is the defining crisis of our age. Each day brings more news about sea-level rise, extreme heat, and climate change-fueled disasters.
“The unprecedented scale of climate impacts means that we must quickly transition to a clean energy economy. But this transition must be just.” – Rep. Yvonne Hayes Hinson, District 20Continue reading
Whether it’s the cutting-edge research at the University of Florida, the food we all eat, new businesses created, or the constant construction our towns are experiencing, our foreign-born neighbors have been playing an integral part in our community for years.
Making up over 10 percent of our population in both the City and County, the number of immigrants and refugees making their homes here has been on the rise. But a survey (referenced below) of the immigrant population revealed that nearly 80 percent of immigrants wanted more opportunities to participate in our community and 1/3 of respondents did not feel included at all. Despite this, our foreign-born community contributed over $57 million in state and local taxes and nearly 16 percent of the GDP in 2019 alone.Continue reading
by Mary Savage
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Americans and the world watched in shock and disbelief as the World Trade Center towers collapsed onto Lower Manhattan. By Oct. 3, among the first to receive monetary benefits from the tragedy were employees and survivor family members of the New York Police Department, the Fire Department and the Port Authority. Those benefits had been quickly organized and managed for distribution by the Social Security Administration.Continue reading