by Joe Courter
Coinciding with the UF Homecoming weekend this year, the Civic Media Center’s founding anniversary is Saturday, Oct. 18. This will mark the start of its 21st year of operations.
So embracing the idea of Homecoming, the CMC will have an open house party starting at 5 pm and invites everyone to stop by and see what’s been created by all the volunteers, coordinators and membership donations in our great location on S. Main St.
Donations of food or drink welcome but not mandatory. We hope to have the Humble Pie wood fired pizza trailer going out back.
Membership renewals and monetary donations will happily be accepted. Meet Kenzie and Nailah, the new co-coordinators who are replacing Robbie after his fine tenure as coordinator.
Capping the evening will be a great music show (out in the Courtyard weather permitting) with two of the best bands in Gainesville, GUTS and Nook & Cranny. That will start at 9 pm sharp.
by Radical Press Coffee Collective
If you’ve been into the CMC in the past year, you’ve probably noticed Radical Press, the collectively run coffee shop in the corner. Two years ago, eight friends had a far-fetched dream of a worker-owned coffee shop that would be accountable to and active in the community.
Two years later, our idyllic hopes are becoming practical, malleable realities. In the time since our inception, we’ve faced many difficult decisions ranging from how we can source ethically sound products to how we can avoid acting as agents of gentrification. Several times, we’ve had to say goodbye to beloved team members and had the opportunity to build ties with new ones.
So what’s going on behind the scenes? How well are we achieving our dream?
Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CodePink, Women for Peace, will be speaking in Gainesville on Nov. 6–7.
On Nov. 6, she will be at Ustler Hall, University of Florida, at 6:30 pm with a reception to follow. The title of her talk is Empowering Women in the Peace Movement.
On Nov. 7, there will be a protest from 3-5 pm starting at Main Street and University Avenue, and proceeding over to Prioria Robotics for a demonstration at 4:20 pm.
Roy Zimmerman tours constantly, taking his funny songs about fracking, creationism, marijuana laws, government shutdown, same-sex marriage, guns, taxes and abstinence across the country, often playing in some of the least Progressive places in America for the most Progressive people there – the “Blue Dots” he calls them.
In thirteen albums over twenty years, Roy Zimmerman has brought the sting of satire to the struggle for Peace and Social Justice. His songs have been heard on HBO and Showtime. He has recorded for Warner/Reprise Records. Zimmerman’s YouTube videos have amassed over seven million views. He’s been profiled on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and he’s a featured blogger for the Huffington Post.
The world is full of funny songs, but Zimmerman’s hilarious, rhyme-intensive originals are also incisive calls to action, smart, savvy and undeniable.
By Bailey Riley
On July 8, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge; the operation was in direct response to a kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by two members of the militant Islamic group Hamas.
The operation was launched on the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas. Ultimately, the massacre, which was only one of many prompted by Israel within the past 60 years, ended with an open-ended ceasefire on August 26.
Despite this, 34 tunnels in Gaza were destroyed, upwards of 2,100 Gazans, overwhelmingly civilian, were killed (compared to 66 Israeli soldiers and 5 civilians), 520,000 (30 percent of the population) Gazans were displaced, 17,200 Gazan homes were obliterated, and approximately 5,000–8,000 Israelis were displaced. As if this wasn’t enough, the Israeli Defense Forces shelled UN refugee shelters in Gaza, and bombed hospitals and the only working power plant.
It’s FEST time again, that great endeavor by No Idea Records bringing over 300 bands and artists to play in over a dozen local venues, this year running for 3 days, Oct. 31 through Nov. 2.
People come from all over the country and world, most buying the wristband for access to all venues but one can choose individual venues for a given day.
Acoustic music fans have a venue of their own, the Civic Media Center, which will have twenty hours of performers Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You can see the schedule adjoining this article.
by Ron Cunningham
Executive Director, Bike Florida
When you think about it, riding a bicycle is an act of revolution.
It’s not just the most efficient means of personal mobility ever invented, it is a mechanical Declaration of Independence.
Riding your bicycle you invite BP to take its deep water drilling platforms and shove them. You are flipping off Big Auto and telling Wall Street that you don’t need their petro-industrial complex, thank you very much. Your bicycle will take you “off the grid” in AutoAmerica. And the personal fitness that comes with pedaling your own body weight from place to place is the best medicine against a corporate health monopoly that grows fat and rich off a national epidemic of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other maladies promoted by the sedate auto-lifestyle.
But no revolution comes without risk. And the pure fact is that riding a bicycle in America in general — and in Florida especially — can be a risky business indeed. Nearly every year, Florida tops the list of the most bike-and-pedestrian (walking being another act of revolution) states in AutoAmerica.
by jason fults
On Thursday, Sept. 18, the Gainesville City Commission voted unanimously to condemn the practice of mountaintop removal coal mining.
Commissioners Carter, Poe, Warren, Wells, and Mayor Braddy also voted to establish a new coal procurement policy for Gainesville Regional Utilities that seeks to exclude mountaintop-mined coal from our fuel mix. We received some good coverage in The Sun if you’re interested in a recap.
This victory is a huge step forward for the Gainesville Loves Mountains campaign, and could not have been won without the steadfast support of Gainesville City Commissioner Lauren Poe, our friends at Appalachian Voices, and the tremendous volunteer efforts of our local supporters.
by Elizabeth Howard, Project Coordinator
Grace Marketplace, our new homeless shelter, is now home to 11 dogs and three cats. We go there once a week and distribute pet food for these dogs and cats.
We are finding a lot of old friends at Grace, people who relocated from Tent City with their pets, but there are a lot of people who don’t know us or our Project, so it is a time of building trust and creating processes to distribute pet food and learn else is needed for the pets.
With only a few inside beds available inside the fenced facility, virtually everyone is a camper outside Grace. Pets are not allowed inside the fence at all and campers share their tents and campsites with their pets.
by joe courter
I had that phrase come to mind this morning as I was walking back to my house with the morning newspaper. Not sure where it came from, other than, as I’d been pondering what I was going to write for this column over the last few days, I was looking for a synthesis to spring off from. With so many troubling things going on in the world, the day before I had come up with a list of things that could be addressed. The re-escalation of war in Iraq and Syria, the desperate horror of Ebola in Africa and the fears of its spread, climate issues both in actuality and in the anti-scientific resistance to its acceptance, our nation’s broken electoral system which is ruled by corporate money, the worsening struggles of working people to earn enough to live on and the crisis of the poor who can’t find work, the healthcare system designed to serve the insurance industry, etc., etc. It was paralyzing me.
by Joe Courter
VOTE! It really matters, especially in local races. It will be a major upset thanks to Republican gerrymandering, but Marihelen Wheeler knocking out Ted “Little Millionaire” Yoho would be really sweet.
Please help this campaign if you can, in whatever way you can. Dumping Rick Scott and Pam Bondi would be beyond sweet; both of them are disasters on so many fronts. Crist and Sheldon will be vast improvements.
Regarding the Chief Financial Officer, a fresh start and new eyes on the books would be good, though I don’t know of any major complaints on Atwater. Kinda feel the same re Agriculture Commissioner. Many of you will have the chance to vote out Keith Perry and put in a strong progressive in — Jon Uman, another gerrymandered uphill fight. John Power will be an excellent replacement for Von Fraser; he worked with Von throughout his incredible tenure, and will carry on the practice of actively helping people avoid foreclosures.
Regarding the County Commission, bring along a pen and write in Harry Patterson for District 2 and mark the box for Ken Cornell in District 4. He will be a great replacement to Susan Baird and keep the county Commission moving in a positive direction.
Hello Gainesville and Gainesville ExPats!
The October 2014 issue of the Gainesville Iguana is now available online, and it’s got lots of good stuff (election recommendations, Hunter S. Thompson, The Fest, and more!). You can also pick the issue up at any of our distribution spots, which you can find here.