by Anna Prizzia
Local farms and food business are on the frontline helping us during this challenging time as we manage response to COVID-19. Our food system is dynamic and critical to the resilience of our community, state and country. Local farms and food businesses are working hard to provide healthy, safe food to their consumers. Our local producers can offer fresh products while many of our national and international supply chains have been shut down by the pandemic.
Victoria Cóndor-Williams [C], Latina activist, was interviewed by Nathalia Ochoa [O] in June, 2013.
This is the 59th in a series of transcript excerpts from the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection.
Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.
C: I am president of the Latina Women’s League here in Gainesville, Florida. I am an activist in the community for many years.
I’m from Lima, Peru. I came here to United State more than twenty-four years. I arrive in LA, after my trip from Germany. From there, we moved to Missouri, and I got married, and then came with my husband to Florida.
It was with shock that word went out about the death of Terry Fleming from a heart attack on April 28.
Terry arrived in Gainesville in 2002 and immediately got involved in the community and helped spearhead the founding on the Pride Community Center. He became very active in the local Democratic Party, and as well became a strong advocate for the homeless, especially in recent years at Grace Marketplace. However, Terry’s work went way beyond Gainesville as a statewide activist.
The Alachua County Commission enacted an emergency order requiring people to wear masks when they are interacting with others in public places. Some people – such as infants and those with mental or physical conditions that make it difficult to wear masks – are exempted.
The arguments we’ve received from people who don’t want to wear masks in public are:
– masks don’t work
– you can’t tell me what to do
– if you require masks, then you have to provide them, and
– why weren’t they required earlier
by Gainesville Veterans for Peace
Gainesville’s Veterans for Peace chapter has cancelled this year’s Memorial Mile display of tombstones for U.S. troops killed in the Middle East and Central Asia, due to the continuing coronavirus crisis.
Chapter president Scott Camil told members, “We don’t know when the CoronaVirus curve will start to dissipate. We have many volunteers that are above age 60. We can’t meet in person to get the preparation work done and we can’t social distance setting up the display.”
At press time, the U.S. has lost 4,582 uniformed men and women in Iraq, and 2,448 in Afghanistan (as reported by icasualties.org). Host nation casualty numbers are not available.
On Saturday, May 16, Vets For Peace will post videos of Alachua County school student poets reading their winning poems from the 2020 Peace Poetry Contest at the Chapter 14 website (www.vfpgainesville.org/) and Facebook page. Three $1,000 Veterans for Peace Scholarship winners will also be announced.
by Gainesville Veterans for Peace
On Saturday, May 16, Veterans for Peace will post videos of Alachua County school student poets reading their winning poems from the 2020 Peace Poetry Contest at the Veterans for Peace, Chapter 14 website <http://www.vfpgainesville.org/> and Facebook page. Three Veterans for Peace Scholarship winners will also be announced.
by Anya Bernhard, Gainesville Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC)
“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”
– Fyodor Dostoevsky
The ongoing public health crisis is just the tip of the iceberg of the dysfunction and depravity within the Alachua County Jail.
According to one article from Business Insider, it is estimated that the transmission of COVID-19 is ten times higher in jails, prisons, and detention facilities.
by Manuela Osorio
Gainesville is in great need. With the advent of COVID-19, many residents have been unable to access their usual sources of food. The pandemic has most significantly affected community members who were already vulnerable. Many have lost their jobs and are having difficulty affording food. Many no longer have access to transportation to grocery stores. Many are immunocompromised and cannot risk a trip to a store.
The urgent needs of our community members are not being met by any other county agencies, so a local organization called the Free Grocery Store has stepped up.
by Joe Courter
We are having a double whammy within a worldwide event. What started it and who is suffering? We humans.
Animals and plants are okay, there is no physical infrastructure to rebuild. Covid 19: our technology gave us a great head start on seeing it coming, and even a body of research to similar viruses. Unfortunately another aspect of our technology — our ability to travel by air, sea and rail — has allowed the virus to get out into and around the world.
by Joe Courter
Here we are in our holding pattern. So much of the last Iguana is still quite relevant, so if you didn’t see it you can find it at the website www.gainesvilleiguana.org.
Please support our advertisers; some are still open to serve you, others like Flashbacks and Third House have had to wait out the shut-down. (You can still order books through Third House, though.)
by Jeremiah Tattersall
Field Staff, Florida AFL-CIO, North Central Florida Central Labor Council
The novel coronavirus has thrown Florida’s fragile economy into disarray, and tens of thousands of Floridians are facing sudden job losses and personal financial crises. Simply put, the State of Florida must do everything in its power to stave off the severity of an economic downturn and support working people.
But Florida’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) system is on the front line of this economic crisis and it simply isn’t up to the task.
by Cristina Cabada Sidawi, Alachua Cty. Labor Coalition Coordinator
COVID-19 affects everyone, it does not discriminate on immigration status. Yet, relief responses by the federal government have proved to discriminate immigrants and have left them out. Over the past couple of months, all of us have experienced the debilitating consequences of the pandemic, however, we face these consequences differently.
This pandemic has brought great stress to our community and has inflicted even greater stress to the immigrant families in our community. Many of these immigrant families have faced layoffs and some have had to continue working in conditions that are not safe.
by Ashley Nguyen, Alachua County Labor Coalition Coordinator
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak upon Gainesville’s most vulnerable communities, several community members and students from the University of Florida have stepped up in efforts to alleviate the hardships brought on by these unprecedented times.
Gainesville Houseing Justice <https://wwww.facebook.com/GNVHousingJustice/> is a collective formed when it became clear that landlords within Alachua County would not be providing the rent relief that is integral to Gainesville’s adjustment to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The May/June 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.
by Ashley Nguyen
The world’s leading experts — from the United Nations to the Lancet Medical Journal— have released studies stating that in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, there needs to be a call for the world to limit greenhouse-gas intensive foods through shifts to healthier and more sustainable diets.
These findings also come amidst growing climate protests led by young people across the country and the world demanding stronger action on climate change.
Freedom from Cages is a
Public Health Issue:
Legal Experts, Healthcare Professionals, and Local Activists Urge Action to
Immediately Decrease Alachua Jail Population In Order to Save Lives Amid
We, the undersigned organizations and Commissioners, urge the State Attorney’s Office, the Eighth Judicial Circuit Judges, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, and law enforcement across Alachua County to significantly reduce the incarcerated population.
Byllye Avery [BA], feminist health activist, was interviewed by Deidre Houchen [H] in May, 2012.
This is the second part of this interview, and 58th in a series of transcript excerpts from the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection.
Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.
H: How long were you in Atlanta?
BA: About fifteen, sixteen years. It was wonderful. Moving to Atlanta was just incredible.
H: What year was that?
BA: 1981. When I moved to Atlanta, I knew I had to organize Black Women’s Health Project.
by Carol Mosley
Earth Day, as we know it, was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1970 and brought millions across the globe out of classrooms and work places into the streets to bring environmental concerns to the forefront.
This year on April 22nd Earth Day will turn 50 years old. We’ve come a long way over the decades in some areas, but have lost ground in others, such as species decline, and we have a long way yet to go.
by Joe Courter
Most people simply knew her as Granny, a tall skinny older woman who had lived on the streets of downtown Gainesville for many years. All of us were shocked, after not seeing her around for a few weeks, to learn she had been killed while on her bicycle on January 30. As it was a hit and run, and she had no family to notify, word did not get out until March 2 when the police ran her picture in the paper trying to track down the hit and run driver who had killed her.
by Dwight Bradley
Dr. Herschel Hugh Elliott passed away at his Gainesville homestead on Feb. 16. He came into the world a century ago, on Feb. 6, 1920, in Connecticut farmhouse. How he arrived turned out to be a predictor of how he lived: the old fashioned way, at home, during a blizzard, without doctor or midwife. Hertha Bogenhagen, his mother, came from a family of German immigrants who homesteaded in Nebraska. Richard Travis Elliott, his father, grew up under rough circumstances on the frontier in South Dakota. But this was an era of great mobility. By the time Herschel came along, his parents were living in a parsonage in Connecticut. Spolier alert: Herschel ended up an atheist.