by Joe Courter
If you want to know what made Joe Courter who he is, who does the community things he does, I would ask you to go to PBS.org and watch The Movement and the Madman on American Experience. It is free to watch by anyone until April 25, and up on multiple streaming services as well.
It is a direct parallel to my life, freshman year of college, with the Oct. 15, 1969 Moratorium Day, and then the March on Washington on Nov. 15. About 500,000 of us went to Washington, preceded by demonstrations all across the country, and forced Nixon to back off an escalation of the war.
It was the killings at Kent State the following spring that solidified my commitment to activism, but Fall ‘69 was where the die was cast.
This month, April, The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program invites and encourages you to be mindful of the environment. As Earth Day approaches (April 22), we’re sharing a portion of an interview with environmentalist scholar Dr. Ronnie Zoe Hawkins (H) conducted by Clarence Walter Thomas (T) on April 2, 1989. Excerpts collected/edited by Donovan Carter.
Ronnie Zoe Hawkins, a medical doctor and environmental activist, was a doctoral student specializing in environmental studies at the University of Florida Department of Philosophy, at the time of this interview. She was born in California and was reared in St. Petersburg; at the time of this interview she lived in Alachua County. She is now retired from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Central Florida.
T: Ronnie, I would like to begin by having you tell us what you think the important issues or the important components are of growth vs. no-growth.
H:I think the concept of growth, first of all, is something people need to think a lot more about than they have up to this point. It gets thrown around as a slogan. “Oh, we want growth. How can you possibly be against growth?” But you have to look at the word growth and ask what is it that is growing.
This month the Matheson History Museum has two programs scheduled: “The poetics of resistance in Gainesville” and “The Swamp Peddlers: How lot sellers, land scammers, and retirees built modern Florida and transformed the American dream.” They are closing the exhibition “We Are Tired of Asking: Black Thursday and Civil Rights at the University of Florida” on April 22.
Who: Carnival w/Madwoman, Twelve’len, and more
When: April 15, 3pm-2am
Where: Celebrations Warehouse, 317 NE 35 Ave, G’ville
Cost: $45 + $3.375 sales tax (general Admission); $75 + $5.625 sales tax (VIP); age 5 and under free; under 16, 18+ year old guardian required
Parking: Parking options limited; using Uber/Lyft suggested
by Illyssa Mann
Artists such as Madwoman and Twelve’len are preparing for their performances at the BIG SHO’ on April 15 at Celebrations Warehouse.
The BIG SHO’ festival is more than a hip-hop show; it’s an experience, according to Dion Dia: “A mixture of music, art, and street culture, showcased through the framework of the circus.”
Come watch the All-Stars take on Orlando Roller Derby on Saturday, May 13, at 6pm at the MLK Jr. Multipurpose Center at 1028 NE 14th St. in Gainesville.
Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Kids 12 and under get in free. Pick up tickets from Loosey’s or purchase online at Brown Paper Tickets.
Follow Gainesville Roller Rebels on Facebook or Instagram for more information about upcoming events.
by Megan Flynn, The Repurpose Project
The Repurpose Project reopened their Community Center and Event Space in January. So far they have held several great events: monthly clothing swaps, weekly kids craft, sci-fi scratch building, mosaic workshops, emergency vehicle maintenance classes, candyshoppe windchimes workshops, and a junkyard plantwalk.
They will be hosting a variety of other workshops and events in the upcoming months, including a celebration for Earth Day on April 22.
Come on out to Little Orange Creek Nature Park, Saturday, April 15, 10am-3pm, to celebrate nature and conservation.
The Nature Day event is a collaboration between Alachua Conservation Trust, Friends of Little Orange Creek, and the City of Hawthorne.
There will be live music, good food, native plants, guided hikes, nature based activities for the kids, and did we say pizza, well, there you go!
by Mary Savage
“No Cuts!” and “Hands Off!” were the theme at what could have been called the “You Got Lucky Sign-Wave and Sidewalk Stroll Supporting Social Security and Medicare”at the Social Security Administration building on St. Patrick’s Day. The weather was sunny and warm at the tribute to these two great American programs that benefit so many.
But who would have thought that the combination of musician Tom Petty, U.S. President Joe Biden, former President and First Lady Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the great Democratic Party achievements of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid would be part of an hour-long protest against cuts?
by Joe Courter
Like many of you I am not feeling so sunny about the state of politics in the world. We see the growing power of authoritarian leaders, using the combined power of repression, corrupted electoral processes, and false narratives enabled by social media and/or corporate money.
There are wars and conflicts supplied by weapons industries which have bottomless access to funds, a blank check, when other funds to help the poor and needy are denied. Where have the ideals of diplomacy and cooperation gone? Where has the leadership of outside nations gone – to step in and facilitate negotiations, to help oversee elections, create cease-fires? Wouldn’t that be cheaper and better?
GRU Takeover Bill: Continue public pushback, it does have an effect
by Janice Garry, League of Women Voters
At the local legislative delegation meeting on March 17, some thirty people traveled to Tallahassee to attend and speak at the meeting to oppose the GRU (Gainesville Regional Utilities) Takeover Bill.
Although, predictably, the vote did not go our way, it did not go down without articulate voices (Alachua County Labor Coalition, union members, League of Women Voters of Alachua County, Sierra Club and GRU customers) identifying how state takeover of our local governance would affect our community. The five legislators voted 4-1 to move the bill forward. Rep. Yvonne Hayes Hinson was the dissenting vote.
The April 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.
• An American Tragedy, Act III: The indictment begins a perilous new phase in the Trump saga
by David Remmick | The New Yorker | March 30 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1593
Former President Donald Trump, twice impeached, yet impervious to shame, was indicted on criminal charges related to the payment of hush money to a porn star. Now we have entered a new act in the saga, one in which Trump contemplates turning a potential perp walk into a campaign opportunity. Who else could envison fingerprints, a mugshot, and cuffs as tools in an effort to “consolidate the base?”
• CPNN – Culture of Peace News Network
The Culture of Peace News Network website at cpnn-world.org/new/ provides reports, mostly from NGOs (as you’d expect from a project begun in UNESCO), about efforts and successes in pro-peace programs from around the world. Readers exchange information about events, experiences, books, music, and web news that promote a culture of peace.