Category Archives: Articles

2020 Primary Election

Vote August 18 or earlier   phone: 352-374-5252

Why vote?

Here is the warm-up for November, when we all do our part to remove Trump & Co. For now, we are trying to put good people in. Voting is a way to act in your own and the people’s interest to prepare for making positive changes in our lives. It isn’t time for a moral statements, or personal purity, it is math. We’ll assess the results in September.

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Online Candidate Forums

There are a number of online forums where you can see the Alachua County area candidates for office in action. Here are some we were able to find, and even though the date may have passed, you can find the archived record online to watch. 

The date may help you find the video on Facebook or perhaps YouTube.

Congress Dist. 3, State House Dist. 20: Alachua County Democrats, June 23

Sheriff Forum: Alachua County Democrats, June 30

County Commission: Alachua County Democrats, July 1

School Board Forum: Alachua County Democrats, July 2

County Commission: Alachua Co. Labor Coalition, 5:30pm, July 7

Sheriff Forum: Dream Defenders (abolitionist perspective), 2-4pm, July 11

All candidates: League of Women Voters, 1:30-4pm, July 19

History and the people who make it: Gainesville Women for Equal Rights – Part 1

Jane Hiers [H], Jean Chalmers [C], Cora Roberson [R], Vivian Filer [F], and David Chalmers [DC] speak in April 2009 with interviewer Steve Davis about their time working with Gainesville Women for Equal Rights (GWER), one of the first integrated organizations in Gainesville. This is the 60th in a series of transcript excerpts from the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection.

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

F: I would start out by saying how intrigued I am that we were able to get together in the first place. It was unheard of for African Americans and Caucasian Americans to form any kind of formal group for this county. I’m not sure who actually started us together. I guess it was Bev Jones? 

R: Bev Jones, Joan Henry.

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John X. Linnehan: From priest to activist

by Carol Mosley

Feb. 28, 1928 – May 13, 2020

John Xavier Linnehan transitioned at 93 with his wife, Martina, at his side.

He lived a life of simplicity and social activism, putting words into action to effect social change.

John graduated from Boston College, did a brief stint in the Air Force, and entered the seminary to study for the priesthood. From 1958 through the next 15 years, he served as a pastor and Superintendent of Schools. In 1973 he married Martina as they began a life of activism together.

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Why we need Medicaid expansion ASAP

by Gaby Gross, Alachua County Labor Coalition

The covid pandemic crisis has made visible the utter inadequacy of healthcare in Florida. Before the pandemic, almost 900,000 low income adults had no health insurance. Now having lost their jobs in the covid crisis, thousands of others have lost their employment-connected health insurance. At the same time the cost of treatment for covid-19 virus infections can add enormously to healthcare needs.    

Currently, Medicaid coverage in Florida, apart from specialized programs, is only available to people who have dependents and earn less than 30 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (about $7,000 a year for a family of three). With expansion, whether or not they have dependents, people with incomes of up to 138 percent of the FPL (about $29,000 for a family of three) will be eligible. 

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Dion Dia Records and Casey Jones II

by Laila Fakhoury, Dion Dia Records

First and foremost, Dion Dia is a brand. 

Our brand takes inspiration from certain aspects of street culture from around the world and utilizes those elements to promote the betterment of communities, the formation of human relationships, and the elevation of unheard voices. We uplift creators by releasing music, curating events, showcasing artwork, and creating products. 

Secondly, we are a minority-owned, full-service independent record label that seeks change in the music industry and in what it means to be a record label. From our conception we have always maintained a community focus. 

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UF to end use of prisoners for slave labor

by Alachua County Labor Coalition

The University of Florida announced that “there are agriculture operations where UF has relied on prison and jail inmates to provide farm labor. The symbolism of inmate labor is incompatible with our university and its principles and therefore this practice will end.”

The University had eight contracts with the Florida Department of Corrections as of 2019. These contracts forced incarcerated individuals, many of whom are people of color, to work with zero compensation under the threat of punishment.

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Florida Peace Alliance forms links with peace groups

by Florida Peace Alliance

During this time of global pandemic and death, when the U.N. Secretary General calls for a global ceasefire so humanity can work together to save lives and prevent death, and when the United States struggles with its history of racism, a statewide alliance of Florida-based peace and justice groups has formed: the Florida Peace Alliance. 

The Florida Peace Alliance is an alliance of Florida peace and justice groups and allies committed to advocacy, activism and mobilization.

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From the publisher … Exceptional times

by Joe Courter

We now have not one but two worldwide phenomena going on. One of them is the COVID-19 virus, a product of the unnatural commingling of exotic animals in an Asian market prompted by superstition-based desires to consume these critters for alleged health benefits. This yielded a nasty and stealthy viral strain that, with humans’ proclivity to move about the planet, has allowed its spread around the globe. This put into view the successes and failures of different nations in dealing with it, speaking volumes about both the effectiveness of their governments, and the level of cooperation among their citizens. The United States seems to be doing exceptionally badly at this, not only in stifling the spread of the virus, but in its level of economic assistance to its citizens.  

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Vote Aug. 18!

by Joe Courter

Tuesday, August 18, will be election day for the party primaries and non-partisan races in Alachua County leading up to the November 3 national election. 

For the party races, you will need to be a registered Democrat to have a voice; if you are not, you can register as a Democrat on or before July 20. You can always change it back later … that’s the way it works here in Florida. 

Early voting will begin August 3; details can be found on page 20.

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‘No Justice, No Peace’

Goddsville Dream Defenders March, Report from the Streets

by James Thompson

On June 13, about 2,000 people occupied state highways and local roads under citizen guard for three hours on a Goddsville (Gainesville Chapter of Dream Defenders) Dream Defenders march against police brutality and white power. 

Occupied areas included a UF stadium, the University and 13th Street intersection, a police station intersection, and outside the County courthouse. Stops at Seminary Lane, Lynch Park, and Porters Community connected Black activists, white allies, and the public to a deep history of struggle. 

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July/August 2020 Gainesville Iguana

The July/August 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.

Support local farms, farmers markets for food security

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. 

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History and the people who make it: Victoria Cóndor-Williams

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.

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In memoriam: RIP Terry Fleming

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. 

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AC Commissioner responds: why masks are required

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

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No Memorial Mile this year

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 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 ( and Facebook page. Three $1,000 Veterans for Peace Scholarship winners will also be announced. 

Virtual Peace Poetry reading, Peace Scholarship Awards

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 <> and Facebook page. Three Veterans for Peace Scholarship winners will also be announced. 

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Bond fund supports Alachua County Jail incarcerated

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. 

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FGS delivers free food to 300+ Gainesville folks weekly

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. 

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