Category Archives: July-August 2015

Co-Op welcomes community support

by Citizen’s Co-Op Board of Directors

A year after the membership uprising at the Citizen’s Co-Op, and months after a settlement with the fired workers (see Iguana April 2014), the co-op finds itself with a new invigorated board, and an effective manager in Kim Drummond. The co-op will be celebrating Drummond’s year-anniversary, the longest tenure of any general manager.

Kelsey Naylor, one of the fired workers and now a board member, sees the Co-op as a valuable community asset and has been active in engaging old and potential new membership.

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‘This oppresses women’ stickers go viral

nwl 1by Jenny Brown, Iguana Editor Emeritus

The feminist groups National Women’s Liberation and Redstockings have been getting lots of press—as far away as India—for vintage stickers they’re distributing that keep appearing on sexist ads in New York. Women are sick of being bombarded with advertisements that depict women only as sexual objects,” Erin Mahoney of National Women’s Liberation told The Huffington Post. “That use our bodies to sell products. That embolden men to disrespect us. That tell us we are not worthy unless we conform to unrealistic, sexist, racist, and unhealthy beauty standards.”

The campaign has its roots in some Gainesville history: During the founding years of the Women’s Liberation movement in the late 1960s, there was a close collaboration between Gainesville Women’s Liberation and Redstockings. The two groups started working together again in the 1980s to distribute the Redstockings Women’s Liberation Archives for Action.

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Some reflections on the Supreme Court

by Donna Waller

The U.S. Supreme Court is a fascinating institution. I have actually been focusing on it since 1964 when I decided to become a Government major with a concentration in Constitutional Law. In my lifetime I have watched it do away with segregation, demand that state legislatures apportion themselves fairly, affirm that the free exercise clause must take precedence over state laws and local ordinances, and require the enforcement of due process rights in the face of arbitrary judicial and police power. I have watched the Court affirm a woman’s right to choose, and now, marriage equality. I have seen some negative moments, too, the worst of which in my opinion is the Court’s recent decision in the Citizens United case.

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History and the people who make it: David Barsamian

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.This is the 28th in a series of transcript excerpts from the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection at the University of Florida, continuing last issue’s Barsamian interview.David Barsamian was interviewed by Paul Ortiz [O] and Matthew Simmons [S] in 2014.The first part of this interview ran in the June 2015 issue of The Gainesville Iguana.

B: I was a terrible student. I hated school. I was a model student through elementary school and from 7th, 8th grade on, I went down the tubes. I barely graduated from high school. I had to go to summer school and make up classes so I could get the lowest possible graduation diploma that New York City schools give.

I managed to get into San Francisco State for a year, but I hated that too and dropped out. Then I went to Asia and that’s really where my second life begins.

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Struggling for justice in Mexico

by Nayeli Jimenez Cano

Since September 26, 2014, a phrase has been heard all around the world — “they took them alive, we want them back alive.” These words reflect the unfortunate night when 43 rural students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Mexico, were forcibly disappeared. They were travelling from Ayotzinapa to Mexico City to a national protest to commemorate the 2nd of October. Every year hundreds of students go to the streets to demand justice for the hundreds of students that were killed by military the 2nd of October in 1968 at Tlatelolco, a public plaza of Mexico City.

Ironically, while they were addressing to demand justice, policemen stopped in the highway of Iguala, Guerrero. Police shot them; 6 students were killed and 25 were injured. Then policemen gave the students to a narco group, Guerreros Unidos. They have been missing ever since.

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Rad Press Café closing up shop

by joe courter

Rad Press Coffee, despite a number of people doing a lot of work, has folded. They just could not muster the level of business needed to make it work out.

The Civic Media Center owes them great thanks for the infrastructure they added to the space, with sinks and counter-top that will remain for whatever other activities occur there. The CMC can use it for serving at their events, and it WILL be in use for The Fest at the end of October for sure. Summer was a poor time to launch their re-opening, but optimism is a hard thing to keep in check. However, for all the planning and the training of new workers it was not working in that configuration.

While that loss puts the CMC in a pinch for volunteers, too, as Rad Press people could serve that function, persevere the CMC will. It has shortened the hours for summer to save on time the A/C has to run. The new hours are 2pm to 6pm, Monday through Saturday.

South Main is still cooking, though. A new space called The Primitive Studio is opening in the space being revitalized by the Freewheel Project at 618 S. Main St. This will include a performance space for plays and comedy. While the immense work of the City is prepping Depot Park, around it are a lot of small enterprises using sweat and dreams to build assets to a future hub of activities for all of Gainesville to come down to and enjoy.

A livable wage campaign for Alachua County

by Sheila Payne, Alachua County Labor Coalition

The Alachua County Labor Coalition is forging ahead with the first leg of its Livable Wage Campaign in Alachua County. We are speaking to many groups, congregations, unions, businesses and individuals to educate our community about the need for a higher minimum wage in Alachua County, a livable wage.

Over 25 organizations including Veterans for Peace, The Sierra Club, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1205 have endorsed the campaign so far to lift low wage workers over the poverty line. If you would like one of our crackerjack speakers to come speak to your organization, please contact us. We welcome the involvement of the whole community in this effort, which will not only raise the wages of our target businesses, but the wages of the whole community. As wages rise in certain sectors of a community, all wages rise as businesses compete for workers.

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Local farms are alive and growing in the summer

by Frog Song Organics

Have you visited the new location of the Union Street Farmers Market to see what is growing in summer? Despite the heat and humidity, the local farmers at Frog Song Organics have not given up. Since starting their small farm four years ago, they have served the Union Street Farmers Market every week, rain or shine, with certified organic produce. Over the summer, you’ll find heat-loving crops like eggplant, okra, callaloo, peppers, basil, watermelon, native Florida Seminole Pumpkin, and fresh, bright, flowers.

Due to the efforts of farm staff, and the help of CSA members, market customers, family, and friends, Frog Song Organics has grown from its original six acres. They recently purchased fifty-seven acres of land through the USDA Farm Service Agency’s Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program to grow the farm and lengthen crop rotations. They are planning to cultivate about forty of these acres over time, and will slowly transition it into certified organic farmland with more fruit trees and vegetable crops.

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From the publisher: Go beyond old myths, false narratives

joe-WEBby joe courter

Last month in this spot, the Publisher’s Note dealt with the concept of history as stories which, through time and selection, become the accepted narrative of our ancestors and their activities. The impetus was the release of Seymour Hersh’s counter narrative about the U.S. raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, and also cited were the Armenian Genocide and Columbus as false narratives accepted as official history.

Well, the massacre in Charleston, S.C., opened up a whole other discussion about history and the conflicting feeling about accepted truth and actively correcting the record. The Civil War and the Confederate flag are now part of a raging debate across the country as to whether there needs to be an active correcting of the record and an inclusion of suppressed information to create a more accurate and complete picture of what went on 150 years ago and its ramifications to our lives today.

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What’s in a monument? Dealing with Alachua County’s statue commemorating the Confederate war dead

by Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson

Alachua County has had a memorial commemorating the Confederate war dead since 1904 when it was erected by the Kirby Smith Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

At the time it was put up, many of these Daughters were actually the daughters of fathers who did not return from the Civil War just 39 years earlier. As anybody who has been to other battlegrounds can attest, our monument is very much in keeping with those found by the hundreds that were erected around the nation during this era. Indeed, our monument is on the site of one skirmish in that terrible war.

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Confederate flags, re-enactors, complex symbols

by Matt Gallman

About six weeks ago two high school students from North Carolina found themselves in the center of a minor kerfuffle when they posted an Instagram picture from their recent class trip to Gettysburg.

The two girls had just finished walking the ground at Pickett’s Charge and posed waving Confederate flags. A friend of mine who is a popular blogger wrote that it was a particular desecration to wave the Confederate flag on the sacred ground at Gettysburg.

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July-August 2015 Gainesville Iguana

iguana coverThe July-August 2015 Iguana issue of the Gainesville Iguana is now available online, and it’s got lots of good stuff (Gainesville’s own monument to the Confederate War Dead and what to do about it, Florida’s 24-hour waiting period for abortions stalled by a state court, livable wage campaign in Alachua County, the Gainesville Community Calendar, and more!). You can also pick the issue up at any of our distribution spots, which you can find here.

The System Stinks!

by bill gilbert

Rise Up Citizens! It is time to Alter the present Political System/Government because it has become Destructive of the Stated Self-evident Truths of the Declaration of Independence, those of Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness.

The majority of the Senators and Representatives in the U.S. Congress who claim to represent us do not represent us but represent corporate and other wealthy special interests based primarily in Wall Street. Those congresspersons do not represent the People because they are beholding primarily to those corporate and wealthy special interests that financed their election campaigns.

This all came about because of the Supreme Court case decisions of Santa Clara v. Southern Railroad 1886, Buckley v. Valeo 1976, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission 2010, and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission 2014 that essentially handed the political system over to corporate and wealthy special interests by allowing unlimited amounts of money to flow, even in secrecy, from corporations and wealthy special interests to support or oppose candidates and/or members of Congress.

This has amounted to a Supreme Court Coup d’e-tat handing the reins of power over to corporate and wealthy special interests that now control the legislative and executive branches of government.

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