Category Archives: May-June 2016

April 1: Make noise for housing

by Jon DeCarmine

April 1 is the National Day of Action for Housing, so we plan to make some noise in Tallahassee to protect Florida’s affordable housing dollars and fight laws that criminalize the homeless.

The goals are to stop Gov. Rick Scott’s proposal to steal from Florida’s most vulnerable citizens by taking 77 percent of housing trust fund monies and appropriate 100 percent of affordable housing trust fund monies for affordable housing, with an increased focus on the housing needs of extremely-low-income, homeless, and special needs households, and to end the criminalization of the unhoused by supporting the campaign for the Homeless Bill of Rights.

To help with this event, please contact Julie Matheney at or (352) 213-4184.

May-June 2016 Gainesville Iguana

May-June 16 Iguana coverThe May-June 2016 issue of the Iguana is now available! If you want to get your hands on a hard copy, check out our distro locations here.

Music fest coming to St. Augustine, Gainesville, Cedar Key

Follow the Sun is a three-day music festival traveling from coast to coast in Florida, and featuring 22 of the region’s most talented musicians and national bands. 

This year’s dates are Friday, May 27 in St. Augustine, Saturday, May 28 in Gainesville, and Sunday, May 29 in Cedar Key.  In each of the three towns, bands will play in two locations.

This is the third year of this migratory festival. Much like a mini version of the annual Halloween weekend FEST put on by No Idea records, Follow the Sun is a chance to get a a big dose of a lot of top bands playing back-to-back – in one city, two, or, if you are a real glutton – all three.

Three-day tickets cost $40 each; one-day tickets in St. Augustine and Gainesville are $15 each, and one-day tickets in Cedar Key are $10 each.  For a band listings, a schedule and to purchase tickets, go to:

City eliminates Memorial Mile location

After nine years of a (sadly) ever-growing display of tombstones honoring the US soldiers who died in the post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Gainesville Veterans for Peace chapter and community volunteers will not be putting up the “Memorial Mile” display on NW 8th Avenue in 2016. 

The reason is the City of Gainesville’s decision to eliminate the grass strip along the south side of 8th Avenue to widen the sidewalk.  This came after the decision to not have NW 8th Ave be single traffic lanes with a center median and bike lanes, and revert to a higher speed two lanes each way, a curb-to-curb cars and trucks speedway. 

To many people involved in Gainesville’s annual Memorial Mile Project, that grass strip had become a sort of sacred ground They feel it was painful to see it torn up. 

History and the people who make it: Genevieve Payne Benson

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

This is the 35th in a series of transcript excerpts from the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection at the University of Florida.

Genevieve Payne Benson [B] and Alvester Duckworth [D] were interviewed by Ryan Morini [M] in 2012.

M: What was your date of birth?

B:  December 22, 1927 [in] Naciemento Coahuila, Mexico. I was born at home. My mother had twelve children and never had a doctor. Tia Panchita was the midwife, the señora partera. My daddy’s aunt. She delivered the whole Naciemento.

My grandfather was named Isaac Gardner and he and two brothers escaped from slavery from Georgia. They came to Florida. Then they escaped to Texas and in Lockhart, Texas, they put ‘em in jail.

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Support WGOT, Gainesville’s community radio station

Community radio is a vital local media lifeline in many communities. Gainesville is no exception.

WGOT-LP began broadcasting on 94.7FM in January of 2008 as a broadcast media service of the Civic Media Center and continues to provide a cornucopia of local music, news, and public affairs programming to the Gainesville community.  This programming is augmented by regional and national programs via the Pacifica Radio Network.

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Election preview

by Joe Courter

As some of you have seen from various candidates and their supporters who are out getting signature cards signed, the fall elections are gearing up. Although actually, since the primaries for the Nov. 8 general election are on Aug. 30, it is technically summer still. And there will be some hot races which will be decided right there in August in the Democratic Primary.

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Award-winning author David Swanson speaks on ‘War is a Lie’

Veterans for Peace presents author David Swanson speaking about his highly acclaimed book, “War is a Lie” which recently went into its second printing. Swanson is on a national book tour to promote War is a Lie with scheduled book readings in Berkeley, St. Paul, Minnesota, and Sarasota, Florida among other locations.

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Gainesville Girls Rock Camp returns for 4th year

by Chelsea Carnes, Director of Gainesville Girls Rock Camp

GGRC is a summer camp that uses music and performance as a platform to promote self-esteem, community, and creative self-expression in girls aged 9-17 in Gainesville.

The Girls Rock Camp began on the west coast in 2000 and has spread around the world with hundreds of camps as far away as Brazil and Sweden. The Gainesville Girls Rock Camp got rolling in 2013 by local musicians Chelsea Carnes and Jennifer Vito. The camp is volunteer run by an entirely woman and trans-identified cast of talented musicians, artists, and community activists, many hailing from local bands such as No More, The Ones To Blame, As Is, SODA, Goss, and Wax Wings. Each summer, they create a week of music and feminism meant to rock the world of the girls who attend.

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ACLC joins ‘Fight for $15’ Orlando protest

by Paul Ortiz, Alachua County Labor Coalition

On Thursday, April 15, the Alachua County Labor Coalition brought two vanloads of activists from Gainesville to join a rally in support of the Fight for $15 campaign at the world’s largest McDonald’s on International Drive in Orlando.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Central Florida boasts “the lowest median wag of any major metropolitan area in the country,” so this demonstration was desperately needed by area workers who face a skyrocketing cost of living and stagnant wages.

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From the publisher: Thank you, Bernie Sanders

This is a Presidential election like no other, the culmination of years of actions by both major parties in conjunction with a revolution in media, both in coverage and choices available.  As of press time in mid-May, the two major parties have as their front runners two of the most unpopular candidates ever to be in that position.

On the Repub side Trump is the last man standing for a party that is reaping the harvest of their own making. Commentators were laughing a year ago at the notion of a President Trump. No more.

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Alachua County Labor Coalition updates

by Jason Fults

It’s been an exhilarating month for the Alachua County Labor Coalition (ACLC). On April 12, the Alachua County Commission voted unanimously to pass the strongest Living Wage Ordinance in the state of Florida. This victory was possible because of months of hard work by our members and a few very progressive County Commissioners.

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Trans Lives Matter: Students stand up for human rights in Marion County

by Nich Rardin

Trans rights are human rights.

It’s not complicated. There’s no secret agenda, or diabolical plan to overthrow the cis-gendered population—just equality, something that is promised here in America, but has to be fought for.

The transgendered community isn’t some new idea thought up by Generation Y to add more confusion to the world. They have been around since the beginning, the same as every other gender and orientation. They are your neighbors, your friends, your coworkers. Not monsters that live under your bed like some people want you to believe. They are human, just like you.

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