Category Archives: December 2011

Gainesville City Elections Near – Get out and vote on January 31!

by Joe Courter

Is it too early to think about this? Has all the Republican primary soap opera/mud wrestling got you burned out already?

Well get ready. The day this paper was printed, Nov. 8, the fine citizens of Mississippi voted to determine if a fertilized egg is a human being. Luckily the sane people of the state voted down the Personhood Amendment, but this must be a wake-up call to sensible people everywhere that it made it to the ballot.

Your vote matters, and so does multiplying your vote by working to increase voter turn-out.

Our local elections for City Commission will be on Jan. 31, with early voting starting one week earlier. This will also be the Republican primary, so the R’s will be out in force.

This does not bode well for the commission races as Democrats and other non-Republicans won’t be as motivated to turn out.

There is a district race and an at-large race for the City Commission. There are two announced candidates in the district race and eight in the at-large race.

As of now, we like Yvonne Hinson-Rawls in the district race and both James Ingle and Lauren Poe (somewhat less) in the at-large race.

Poe is a more middle-of-the-road Democrat, while Ingle is more progressive and working class oriented.

With that many candidates in the at-large race, a run-off is likely, and that would be held on Feb. 28.

The last day to register to vote to be eligible for the Jan. 31 elections is Jan. 3. The next Iguana will be out in mid-January, and we’ll have more details on candidates and elections then.

History and the People Who Make It: Jon Anderson

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

This is the fifth in a continuing series of excerpts from transcripts in the collection of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida.

Gainesville resident Jon Anderson, born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1946, spent 28 years in federal service (in the Army and Veterans Administration), earned two Master’s degrees (from FSU & UF), and worked as an elementary public school teacher and in the Florida Museum of Natural History. He was interviewed by Paul Ortiz on December 7, 2009.

When I went there [West Point] in 1964, there were no active wars going on. I think I went to West Point because I figured the uniforms would be good for attracting girls. [laughter] I can’t think of any other reason why I went there. I started there in July of [19]64, then in August of [19]64 was the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which has since proved to be a very dubious reason for entering that war. I found West Point, like most people, most plebes, very very difficult with the hazing and the harassment and all of that. I was able to avoid some of that because I was a runner on the Cross Country team representing West Point. I consider it I was running for my life. [laughter] You got to eat your meals at the training table with the athletes. Meals were the worst place for a plebe because you were just sitting there, right across from an upperclassmen who, if he chose to, invariably would find something wrong with either the way you looked or something you said or something you were doing. So meals were the worst time for most plebes. I was spared that because I ate my meals with the athletes and went on trips.

While West Point seemed to still have some status, it, I think, lost some of the luster with the Vietnam War. It wasn’t quite as impressive to tell somebody you’re going to West Point in 1967 as it was when I started there in 1964.

The attitude about Vietnam was such that I felt a lot of people didn’t wanna hear about any of it. The person who showed the most interest in my Vietnam experiences and would talk with me about it was the leading anti-war protestor at the University of Virginia, which I thought was rather ironic. Other people, it’s like they really didn’t want to hear about it.

While I was at An Khe…that was an interesting place. I ‘member I had guard duty one night, I was in a jeep with a driver, and I’d have to go around and check to make sure that our people were alert, doing what they were supposed to do, that kind of thing. I was driving with this sergeant, and we saw a body alongside the road in the grass. We both figured it was probably a sapper. Sappers were the enemy, who would try to come through the wires with satchel-charges and throw them, either into barracks or into an air field. Sometimes, as they’d go through the wire, they’d get wounded, but they were very tenacious. They were very good soldiers that we faced. The Vietnamese were just excellent. We figured this was maybe somebody that had got shocked trying to come through the wire, and he’s just laying there wounded. So I got out of the truck, and I took my M16, and I couldn’t see very well, and I put my gun, the barrel of it, into his ear. Then, luckily, I looked and saw, it was an American soldier. He was on a real bad trip. Not only was he unconscious out in the middle of nowhere, but he had Captain Anderson stickin’ a rifle right in his ear, you know, with the safety off. Probably, had he moved at all, I probably would have shot him because we were convinced he was a bad guy. Then we knew he wasn’t, so we took him and threw him in the truck. When I got there in 1970, I don’t think I knew anybody that favored the war or thought we were gonna win the war.

At this base, An Khe, I mentioned before, it had a seventeen-mile perimeter around it. There was this bus that went around that not everybody knew about, just some select people. It was called the Magical Mystery Bus. The Magical Mystery Bus was a bandit bus. It belonged to nobody. It wasn’t on anybody’s records. It went around the posts picking up people to do drugs on the bus. It would pick up people at designated places, and if you were in the know, you would know that around eighty-thirty at night, you need to be near the mess hall for the 501st Engineer Battalion. The bus would stop, and guys would get on. They might stay on it for a half hour. They might stay on it for five or six hours. It mainly just went around at night. It didn’t operate during the day. Then they would park it someplace where nobody questioned it.

All the officers that I knew that worked for the General [staff], we would never take time off because we just lived and breathed what was going on with the war. That was what we did, and I think we had a sense of we were on the General staff, and you got people out there in the jungle, and you had better do everything you could to protect them and give them services. If not, you know, they could get blown away. So, everybody would work, I thought, very hard in trying to do their job, but nobody was really interested or talking about, we’re gonna win this war.

When I was in Quinn Yan, I was the commander, but I had a garrison about the size of a football field. Quinn Yan was a big city on the coast. There were a lot of little bases scattered around the city, and I was in charge of one of them. Okay, well, one day, at this place in Quinn Yan, my commanding officer drove by my garrison, and he saw girls there. I had ten to twelve men. I’d say three-fourths of them had girlfriends-slash-prostitutes that lived with them all the time. They lived there in their hooches and were with them. I knew all the girls. They all knew me. So, he chewed me out and said, you can’t have girls on your post, you know, on your base. You gotta get rid of ‘em. So I called all my soldiers together, and I said, my boss drove by and saw your girls walkin’ around on the post. So let’s do this. Keep ‘em hidden so that I can’t see ‘em.  A couple nights later, we…there was a rocket attack. There weren’t rockets hitting on my base, but they were hitting someplace in the Quinn Yan area, so all these sirens go off [making siren noise], and then you run for the bunkers. So I run down to the bunker, it’s nighttime, and there’s this young sergeant in there. I forget his name. I’ll call him Sergeant Thomas. I look at Sergeant Thomas, and I forget his girlfriend’s name, but I knew his girlfriend. I’ll call her Me Tring. I said, Sergeant Thomas, where’s Me Tring? He said, she’s upstairs in the hooch. I said, what’s she doin’ up there? He said, she’s under the bed. Why is she under the bed? Because it’s a red alert. There’s rockets coming in, and I knew that when we have red alerts, you come to this bunker, and you said you didn’t wanna see the girls at all. I remember saying to him, God damn it, go up and get her right now. So I made him run up during the rocket attack, get the girl, and bring her down. Then I called everybody together the next day. I said, okay, let’s go over this again. I don’t wanna see the girls except during red alerts, rocket attacks, mortar attacks. The girls go in the bunkers no matter what, whether I’m there or not. Everybody understand that?

So, I had Vietnamese that I knew, but I don’t ever remember having discussions with the war with any of them. Now, when I was at Quinn Yan though, I did know a man, who’s still alive, Don Millus, and he was from Yale, but he was a conscientious objector. He and I wrote a letter that was published in the New York Times in 1971 protesting the war. I thought, boy, they’re gonna take me and drop me out in the middle of the jungle someplace, armed with only a small knife, and just leave me there. But then, talkin’ to him, he said, nah, none of these people read the New York Times anyway. [laughter] I don’t remember conversations with people, you know, about the war, you know. It just didn’t happen that much. It just wasn’t discussed.

You know, you’d hear of things like, after World War Two, you’d go in a bar, and they buy you a drink ‘cause you’re a veteran. That only happened to me one time, and it was at a bar right over here on campus, and the guy who bought me a drink was another Vietnam veteran.

An audio podcast of this interview will be made available, along with many others, at

The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program believes that listening carefully to first-person narratives can change the way we understand history, from scholarly questions to public policy. SPOHP needs the public’s help to sustain and build upon its research, teaching, and service missions: even small donations can make a big difference in SPOHP’s ability to gather preserve and promote history for future generations.

Donate online or make checks to the University of Florida, specified for SPOHP, and mail to PO Box 115215, Gainesville, FL, 32611.

Remembering Stetson Kennedy Through the Civic Media Center

Photo courtesy of the Stetson Kennedy Foundation.

by Tyler Benjamin

One woman told a small group why she stopped drinking Miller High Life at 19 and started going for the Pabst Blue Ribbon they were holding now. Most of the men had beards or at least sideburns that stretched down to their chin. Almost everyone had something pierced. They shared their stories of activism over white wine in biodegradable cups.

Stetson Kennedy would have loved this scene.

Kennedy, a white native of Florida, was a writer and activist for oppressed communities in the South ranging from blacks during the Jim Crow era to migrant workers in more recent times. The accomplished man died in August at age 94. Continue reading

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers: A Model for Tackling Corporate Powers

Photo by Renée Hoffinger, Gainesville Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice member.

by Kimberly Hunter

If we hope to change corporate policies to benefit rather than exploit the 99 percent, we should study the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ history and organizing model: Consciousness + Commitment = Change. They have discovered how to challenge giant corporations in the 21st century – and win!

Together with consumers, they are forging a hopeful reality, one where we are bound together not only through our objectification and exploitation but also through our liberation.

In 1993, six Florida farm workers decided Ya Basta – “enough is enough.” Enough poverty wages. Enough sexual abuse from bosses. Enough violence in the fields. Enough water and shade deprivation. Enough arriving at 5:00 am only to sit waiting for five unpaid hours. Enough human trafficking. Enough $3,200 per month, Manhattan-priced housing for lousy trailers. Enough exploitation.

So they began meeting weekly in a room borrowed from a local church to discuss how they could better their communities and lives, despite working in the agricultural industry – one of only two industries excluded from the 1930s labor protection laws in the U.S.

If zero labor protection isn’t insult enough, farm workers are also paid “by the piece” rather than by the hour, and despite inflation, the average “piece-rate” wage tomato harvesters receive – 50 cents per 32-pound bucket – has not increased since the 1980s. By today’s standards, this means a farm worker must harvest 2.5 tons of tomatoes in one day just to make minimum wage. This is the system they were seeking to transform.

Fast forward 18 years to 2011. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is more than 4,000 members strong and has convinced nine multi-billion dollar food corporations to sign its Fair Food Code of Conduct, requiring they not only pay a penny more per pound of tomatoes – 32 extra cents per 32-pound bucket – but also stop purchasing from growers who tolerate exploitation.

Photo courtesy of Gainesville Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice.

Thus, for the first time this November, more than 30,000 Florida tomato harvesters will receive a 64 percent wage increase, a clock-in system, an at least minimum wage guarantee, a confidential complaint resolution system, and on-the-clock worker-to-worker labor rights education.  But for tomato harvesters working in fields contracted to non-participating corporations, they still receive only 50 cents a bucket and are guaranteed no rights. So while the CIW has achieved ground-breaking progress towards uprooting the systemic causes of exploitation, their struggle for complete transformation continues.

How did this happen? 

When those six workers came together in 1993, they knew what they opposed but not exactly how to achieve what they wanted. At first, they sought negotiations with their immediate bosses – crew leaders and local growers – but soon recognized how corporate food industries leverage their buying power to demand the lowest possible prices from already struggling farmers, thereby pressuring farmers to keep workers’ wages low. So rather than simply calling for a wage increase, the CIW developed a very specific goal: the Fair Food Code of Conduct, a legal contract that they can pressure companies to sign, requiring they pay a penny more per pound of tomatoes and cease purchasing from growers who tolerate exploitation.

Next, they chose the first company to pressure. In 2001, they called for a boycott of the largest restaurant company on the planet, Yum! Brands, Inc., parent company of KFC, A&W, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Long John Silvers.

Over the next four years, the CIW organized in the tomato fields and in mainstream society to raise awareness about their campaign. They needed more than well-wishing supporters, so they searched for natural allies, other people seeking liberation from corporate food industry exploitation. Santiago Perez of the CIW often tells would-be supporters, “We don’t want your pity; we want your partnership.”

Students were among the first to protest corporate dehumanization of both suppliers and customers. As communicated by the grower who once said to an indignant CIW harvester, “A tractor doesn’t tell the farmer how to run the farm,” each person is expected to play a predictable role in the corporate business plan.

The Student/Farm Worker Alliance writes, “Both farm workers and young consumers are objectified by the corporate food industry: farm workers are seen as tractors that harvest raw materials cheaply while youth are seen as mouths that obediently consume branded products. Now more than ever, the connection between farm worker exploitation and the exploitation of young people is clear.”

But we defy and undermine the corporate business plan when we refuse to be obedient, predictable consumers. Just as the CIW yelled back, “I am not a tractor,” students also showed, through Boot the Bell campus boycotts, that they were not mindless mouths.

Nationwide consumers – student, religious, labor and community organizations – adopted the Taco Bell Boycott, and in 2005, Yum! Brands became the first company to sign the Fair Food Code of Conduct. After that success, the Alliance for Fair Food formed, the Campaign for Fair Food marched forward, and in five years, they pulled eight more multi-billion dollar food corporations on board. (For a full list, visit

 What’s next and where do you fit in?

Despite that progress, supermarket stubbornness still stands in the way of a sustainable solution. So far, only one supermarket, Whole Foods, has signed the Fair Food Code of Conduct. Despite this lack of support from their largest buyers, the Florida Tomato Growers’ Exchange (FTGE) took a step of faith and signed with the CIW, so this November concrete changes are being enforced in FTGE tomato fields. FTGE represents 90 percent of Florida farmers, but they worry if everyone isn’t on board, the agreement may be undermined, especially if supermarkets purchase tomatoes from non-participating growers.

So the Campaign for Fair Food continues, and in Florida, our primary focus is Publix. As our state’s largest private corporation, Publix is an influential supermarket leader. Despite their carefully crafted excuses, Publix understands the fair tomatoes agreement because their Greenwise coffee proudly purports the same standards:  “We’re proud to say that this coffee is Fair Trade. Why? Because Fair Trade prices help small farmers provide employees with livable wages and work conditions, which fosters the same values we do: community, well-being, and a nicer world.”

Why would Publix support fair trade coffee from another continent but not fair tomatoes from their home state? Here in Gainesville, the Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice (IAIJ) is asking the same question, and we’re partnering with the CIW to pressure Publix’s CEO, Ed Crenshaw, for an answer.

This past July, the IAIJ held a press conference at Gainesville City Hall, announcing a letter signed by 24 local clergy, urging Publix to meet with the CIW. After the announcement, Interfaith Action, a CIW sister organization, invited me to intern in Immokalee during August and September. My task was to help organize a 200-mile “Pilgrimage to Publix” by bicycle from Immokalee (home of the CIW) to Lakeland (home of Publix). Our goals were to create a compelling narrative for the media, to raise further awareness and partnerships with congregations along the way, and to invite CEO Ed Crenshaw to visit Immokalee and learn why Publix’s participation is so critical.

As he has for the last three years, Mr. Crenshaw ignored the CIW’s latest effort to reach him, so the CIW called for escalation and a Supermarket Week of Action the following month. On Oct. 13, Gainesville’s IAIJ picketed outside the grand opening of an Ocala Publix; the same day, Tampa Fair Food picketed a store opening in St. Petersburg.

Ten days later, 11 IAIJ clergy delivered their letter while holding a tomato aisle “pray-in” at the Millhopper Publix. Publix called the police, but no clergy were arrested. After the pray-in, clergy discussed having congregations “adopt a Publix” and hold regular pray-ins.

The CIW and their allies will persist until wealthy supermarket CEOs agree to give tomato harvesters what they deserve.

As a community organizer, I strongly believe political education should always go hand-in-hand with action. Please pick up your phone right now and request Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw sign the CIW’s Fair Food Code of Conduct:  863-688-1188, ext. 52347.  To get involved locally or learn more, see the listing for Gainesville IAIJ in the Iguana Directory.

Lessons of the Past – Words from Bob Zieger, Labor Historian

by Bob Zieger, University of Florida Professor Emeritus and Labor Historian

Remarks at the annual Labor Day Breakfast on Sept. 3, sponsored by the North Central Florida Central Labor Council, Gainesville.

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka has recently said that “nostalgia for organized labor’s past is no strategy for our future.”

As a historian, however, I do think that the past can continue to instruct us.

Let me bring you back to the year 1935 and the founding of the CIO, or Congress of Industrial Organizations. The CIO existed as a separate organization between that year and 1955 when it merged with the AFL to form the AFL-CIO. Many historians see the formation and struggles of the CIO to build industrial unions as the single most important episode in the history of American labor.

Much has changed since the 1930s. Then the “typical” worker dug coal, poured steel or assembled automobiles. Today, she is a health care worker, a retail clerk, a school teacher.

But there’s an old saying that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Billy Bragg bids us to remember “the lessons of the past.” What are the lessons that the rise of the CIO holds for us?

I’ve written a 400-page book about the history of the CIO, available in quality bookstores nowhere. In view of the shortness of time available for us today, however, I’ve boiled what I’ve learned down to four words:





The CIO was a fighting organization. It took the struggles of the sit-down strikers, picket line walkers, wildcaters and police-defying militants to bring such powerful corporations as General Motors and U.S. Steel to the bargaining table. As singer Pete Seeger reminds us in “Talking Union,” “If you wait for the boss to raise your pay/You’ll be waitin’ till judgment day.” The methods of union busters have changed since the 1930s, but the need for workers to fight for their rights remains central, as the Verizon workers and the folks in Wisconsin have recently taught us.

The CIO united workers across ethnic, racial, religious and skill boundaries. Prior to the CIO, organized labor’s record with respect to African Americans, immigrants and people of Asian descent, and in organizing women and the unskilled, was a dismal one. It was only by organizing black workers on the kill floor of the meatpacking plants that the CIO was able to build a packinghouse workers’ union; only by bringing workers of diverse skill levels and ethnic backgrounds into common cause could unions be built in the industrial heart of the economy.

Today right-wingers invite us to pit immigrant workers against native-born workers and workers in private employment against public workers. The CIO wasn’t built by caving in to such divisions nor will labor be revived today if workers succumb to ethnophobia and to attacks on our brothers and sisters who work as teachers, firefighters and public healthcare providers.

The CIO connected with the progressive community, religious and secular. It reached out to allies in the churches, radical movements and civil rights organizations such as the NAACP. These allies provided key support for union struggles.

Today’s labor movement must continue its efforts to connect with progressives in the community–women and men of faith, environmentalists, feminists, civil rights activists, civil libertarians, human rights advocates. And, equally important, our allies in the community must come to the support of the embattled labor movement. Let us never forget that labor rights are HUMAN rights; and the labor movement is a crucial component, under siege as we speak, of the progressive community. Indeed, in many ways, it is the last line of defense against the triumph of the corporatist, right-wing agenda.

The CIO pioneered in creating the original political action committee. Under the leadership of Sidney Hillman and Walter Reuther, the CIO and its affiliated unions, notably the UAW, stressed the centrality of the political process in the struggle to raise standards. True, it does too often seem that although “labor does the heavy lifting,” it quickly becomes “the caboose at the end of the train” when those whom it supported gain office. Even so, the need for labor, in alliance with other progressive elements, to mobilize its members and reach out to working people in the political process has been powerfully demonstrated–positively in 2006 and 2008, negatively in 2010.

So, a formula for revivifying a beleaguered labor movement, as the CIO sparked the labor resurgence of the 1930s and 1940s: FIGHT, UNITE, CONNECT, VOTE.

In closing, I’m tempted to end with Dr. King. Despite the Koch Brothers and Fox News, in defiance of the union busters and Tea Party, his powerful words continue to give courage: “The Arc of the Universe bends slow,” he assured us, “but it bends toward Justice.”

But I think instead I’ll end with a voice from the CIO era. Back in 1941, Pete Seeger had this advice to workers in the auto plants, shipyards, and steel mills: “Take it easy,” he counseled, “but take it.”

Thank you.

Fight Back Florida: “Hands Off Our Post Office!”

by Jeremiah Tattersall, FBF Organizer

About 50 people attended the Fight Back Florida conference in Orlando in early November. The group organized marches and rallies over the last year following the election of Gov. Rick Scott. According to their website, “The message of Fight Back Florida is simple: We demand a Florida government that works for the people, not against them.”

Attendees discussed the attacks against working people and students we are expecting this next legislative session, what Fight Back Florida is, and how they are going to organize against it.

The most important thing discussed was the plan of action for this next legislative session, including a statewide coordinated day of action during the second week of the session (Jan. 21). Then they will mobilize to Tallahassee the following month (Feb. 25) for a Fight Back Florida rally on the Capitol. The next conference and state planning meeting will be in late May. They also plan to march on the Republican National Convention in August.

Locally, the Postal Service will be holding a public meeting, Thursday, Dec. 1, at 7pm to discuss the closure of the Gainesville postal facility and hear any opposition to the plan. The meeting will be held at Santa Fe College, Building WA, Room 104.

Fight Back Florida will be there to ensure that the people of Gainesville have their voices heard: “Hands Off Our Post Office!”

The closure of this facility could lead to a massive loss of jobs as well as reduced service for Gainesville and the surrounding areas. The Post Office makes more than enough money to keep it open, but is being arbitrarily forced to cut services.

Make sure to come out and tell the Postal Service why the last thing we need in this economy is more unemployment!

“Freedom Never Dies: The Legacy of Harry T. Moore”

by James Schmidt, CMC Coordinator

The Civic Media Center will screen the documentary film “Freedom Never Dies: The Legacy of Harry T. Moore,” on Monday, Dec. 5, at 7pm as part of its Monday movie series. Dec. 25 will mark the 60th anniversary of the bombing that claimed the lives of Harry Moore and his wife.

In 1951, after celebrating Christmas Day with their family, civil rights activist Harry T. Moore and his wife Harriette retired to bed in their house in Mims, Fla. Ten minutes later, a bomb hidden under the floorboards beneath their bed shattered their house, their bodies, and the “moonlight and magnolias” fiction of the segregation-era South in Florida.

Harry Moore died on the way to the hospital, and Harriette died nine days later. “Freedom Never Dies” tells the story of Moore and his family on film for the first time and, in doing so, uncovers a tragically hidden and suppressed, but tremendously important, piece of Florida history.

Harry Moore was an organizer and staffer for the NAACP in Florida. He founded the first branch of that organization in Brevard County and eventually served as the secretary for the statewide organization. As an NAACP staffer and as leader of the Progressive Voters League, Moore organized voting drives that successfully registered over 100,000 African Americans to vote in Florida, a huge increase in the number of black voters and 51 percent higher than the proportion of blacks registered to vote in any other Southern state.

This would have been a fantastic accomplishment for any organizer at any time in history, but given that most of Florida (in the 1930s through 1950s when Moore was working) was about as deep as you could get in the segregated “Deep South,” with a violent white supremacist culture holding sway from the swamp savannahs to the highest offices of the land, the success of his voter registration drives must be seen as nothing less than heroic. Throughout his life, Harry Moore spoke out in public and in print, in meetings and church services, in letters to newspapers, magazines and public officials, and by every other means at his disposal, against the injustices that blacks endured, from lynching to employment discrimination to the scourge of taxation without representation via the institutional racism and grassroots terrorism that kept black people locked out of the political process.

For his audacity in giving loud voice to the righteous anger and frustration of his community, and for his persistence in his mission, the racist white power structure of Florida determined to silence him, one way or another.

Though no one has ever been convicted of the Moores’ murders, evidence unearthed in recent years points to what was long rumored and conjectured, a conspiracy by members of the Central Florida Klavern of the Ku Klux Klan.

The CMC invites you to please join us in honoring the legacy of Harry and Harriette Moore, and learn more about the amazing accomplishments of a fearless, tireless organizer who stood up to white supremacy in Jim Crow Florida, and paid the ultimate price for his disciplined, unwavering fight for the liberty and dignity of his people. Come learn more about the man who has been called the first Civil Rights Movement martyr.

In recent years, the state of Florida and Brevard County, where the Moores lived and worked, have finally begun to honor their historic legacy by creating the Harry T. and Harriette Moore Memorial Park and Interpretive Center at the homesite in Mims. Through the park, this film, and the efforts of journalists and authors (including our own Stetson Kennedy, who never stopped trying to uncover the truth about the bombing), Floridians have started down the long path to raising public awareness of Harry Moore’s achievements and restoring their story to its rightful place in our state’s history.

MASS Visual Arts

Out of the “American Dream” show came MASS Visual Arts in an effort to produce and present creative, theme-based exhibitions to provoke, inspire and challenge the thoughts, conversations and dreams of the Gainesville community.

“What we are striving to create is an alternative opportunity for contemporary artists in North Florida to present their ideas and efforts in a contemporary gallery type setting,” said Dale Gunnoe, board member of MASS Visual Arts. “What an exhibition does for an artist is what publishing work does for a writer, or releasing a CD does for a musician. It offers the artist the opportunity to share and express themselves to a community of peers, elders and to those who may otherwise never experience art outside of the Internet or television.”

MASS Visual Arts is currently seeking artists to exhibit work across all media in the Below the Belt exhibition, which will open the first weekend of March 2012 and run all month.