Category Archives: November-December 2023

You’re invited, Dec. 3: CMC turns 30!

by Joe Courter

We had postponed the marking of the Civic Media Center’s 30th birthday back on Oct. 18 because, frankly, October had big events every dang weekend. As an active part of the CMC all these years, and well aware of the date, I have, however, been flooded with memories and reflections on the last three decades as we lead up to our Dec. 3 celebration.

Regardless of when in that entire span, we were and are a hub of progressive minded people looking for connection and purpose beyond their regular lives. These people, meeting and working together, showing up to staff, helping organize events, or even just coming to the events as audience or performer, they got to be in a volunteer-run, community-supported, overtly politically conscious, audacious space. Some dabbled around the edges, but nonetheless had a spark of awareness, of inspiration land on them.

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Meet the author event in honor of World AIDS Day

In honor of World AIDS Day (Friday, Dec. 1), join author Margaret Galvan in conversation with UF professor Kenneth Kidd at 6:30pm at Third  House Books, as they talk about photographer Nan Goldin’s HIV/AIDS activism that Galvan writes about in her new book, In Visible Archives: Queer and Feminist Visual Culture in the 1980s

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Conditions ‘intolerable’ at Baker County Detention Center 

Detained and degraded with taxpayers’ dollars

by Pierce Butler

The US Dept of Homeland Security continues to hold Latinx immigrants at the Baker County Detention Center in Macclenny, FL, and the American Civil Liberties Union, after filing multiple complaints on behalf of the detainees, continues to find their conditions intolerable:

  • Medical care denied, including blocking medication for a woman who suffered an epidemic seizure at BCDC;
  • Inedible food, dirty and stinky clothing and bedding (which has caused numerous infections);
  • Beatings, pepper sprayings, racial slurs, excessive use of solitary confinement, voyeurism on female detainees; and
  • Blocking access to lawyers and visitors.
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Rest in Power, Paul L. Doughty

Paul Larrabee Doughty, an Emeritus Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Florida and recipient of the Malinowski Award from Society of Applied Anthropology, passed away Sept. 27, at the age of 93, while under hospice care in Gainesville.

Born on Feb. 27, 1930, in Beacon, New York, Paul led a remarkable life that left an indelible mark on countless individuals and communities. From a young age, Paul’s love for sports, fishing, and scouting ignited his adventurous spirit. He explored the picturesque Mount Beacon and scoured the area’s creeks and empty lots for scrap metal to support the USA’s World War II effort. Paul’s formative years were spent at Oakwood Friends School, where he graduated in 1948. Little did he know that his experiences at this Quaker-based institution would shape one of the defining chapters of his life.

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Rest in Power, Garrett Quinlivan

by Marilyn Eisenberg

Garrett Quinlivan left for Germany in the early ’70s and returned to the United States in 2011. He could not believe how much the country had changed in his absence (for the worse) and joined many activist groups here in Gainesville to find out why and what he could do.

Garrett originally went to Germany just on a tour, but fell in love with a woman on the tour, married her, and raised three children in Hamburg. He was trained as a librarian, but joined the staff at the university in Bremen, Germany, as a tutor and teacher of English for German engineering students. There he wrote a German/English dictionary geared especially for engineering students. 

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History and the people who make it: Scott Camil (Part 2)

This month, we continue highlighting a Gainesville activist, veteran, honored hero, and friend of SPOHP, Scott Camil. Scott is a member of the Gainesville Eight: the group of seven Vietnam War veterans and one civilian caught in a conspiracy by the FBI, who attempted to frame them for terroristic threats. 

In this 2005 interview with John Aversono (A), Scott Camil (C) shares about his upbringing, his time in the Marine Corps from his training to engagements in combat, and touches on how he became an antiwar activist. Be advised this includes profanity and graphic descriptions of war. Transcript edited by Donovan Carter.

A: How long after basic training were you sent to Vietnam?

C: I graduated boot camp in September of 1965. Then I went to ITR, for October of 1965 and November of 1965, that’s infantry training. It is like boot camp but not as strict except now you are learning tactics, mountain climbing and that kind of conditioning. I arrived in Vietnam on something like March 20, 1966.

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The pig is landing

The world’s first Flying Pig Parade is a people-powered “un-parade”

by Glenn Terry

Gainesville is getting a performance like it’s never seen. The world’s first Flying Pig Parade will take wing on Saturday, December 30, at 2 p.m. The downtown satire of a traditional holiday procession will feature a unique brew of home-grown talent. It’ll include hip musicians, dazzling performance artists, towering puppets, and a dozen dancing mosquitoes.

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Thanksgiving Together, Nov. 23

By Drake Cromer-Moore, Outreach Pastor, Meizon Church

During the global pandemic of 2020, Meizon Mission started as an online church creating services and devotionals for people displaced by the many disruptive events of that year. In 2023, Meizon Mission found alignment with First Christian Church of Gainesville, a church that has been actively present in our city for over 100 years. Affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), First Christian Church merged with Meizon Mission and together we look into the next century, unified together, as Meizon Church. 

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¡Cuba Sí, Bloqueo No!

A report back from the first ever Democratic Socialists of America delegation to Cuba, and how it ties into DSA’s broader program of anti-imperialism

by Aron Ali-McClory,National Co-Chair of the Young Democratic Socialists of America

“I feel human again.”

Those were the words of a delegate from Michigan who was visibly emotional after Mariela Castro, the Director of Cuban National Center for Sex Education, led some 43 DSA members in both a minute of silence for Gazans, but also in chants of “Free Palestine!”

Castro’s response to the delegate: “We all have family in Palestine.”

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End genocide in Gaza

At this moment, we are witnessing crimes against humanity in Gaza. More than two million people are being denied food, water, and electricity, and their hospitals are being bombed and infrastructure destroyed, all with the express purpose of ethnic cleansing—to push the population of Gaza into the Sinai. 

Innocent Israeli lives were lost on Oct. 7 and should be mourned, but as Stefanie Fox, the director for Jewish Voices for Peace, stated, “Reality is shaped by when you start the clock, you know, and while the Israeli government may have just declared war, its war on Palestine started 75 years ago.” 

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Veterans for Peace Winter Solstice Concert, Dec. 9

Veterans for Peace welcomes all to attend their 37th annual Winter Solstice Concert, a community celebration of peace and light, singing, dancing, and fellowship, on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 7:30pm at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 4225 NW 34th Street in Gainesville.

The show will feature performances, including a Cherokee Peace Chant, from Drums for Peace, John Chambers & Friends, David Beede & Janet Rucker, Quartermoon, Other Voices, and a Choir of Heavenly Semi-Angels. And of course Master of Ceremonies Bob Treadwater, with signing for the deaf graciously provided by Diane Delage. Pre-show music by Cathy DeWitt and Mark Billman starts at 7:30pm.

Tickets can be purchased online at, available on a sliding scale from $20 to $40 each. Pay what you can. 

For the safety of all guests and performers, masks will be required inside.

Questions? Contact 

Commission will cut Social  Security; HB 4583 will secure it 

by Mary Savage

Earlier this year, Congress voted to increase the debt ceiling and gave relief to senior citizens, and those approaching retirement age, knowing that Social Security and Medicare were safe from cuts. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) then announced plans for a commission to cut these programs behind closed doors. McCarthy understood the only way to cut our owed benefits is to make a secret deal and present it to the American people under the guise of being “bipartisan, on both sides of the aisle.” This would give cover to members of both major political parties. Then, voters won’t know who to blame at election time. But Americans know the only way to win at this is not to play. 

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Gerrymandering in Alachua County

‘We have to behave as what we are: citizens engaged in a struggle for democracy’

by Donna Waller,  Retired SFC Political Science professor & community  activist 

On Oct. 25, I sat for 3.5 hours at the Alachua County Legislative Delegation’s annual public meeting. Watching and listening to everyone gave me a lot to think about, but the longer I stayed, the more I focused on the issue of gerrymandering. 

The word dates back to the dawn of the republic when a Massachusetts Governor, Elbridge Gerry, created a district in the form of a salamander in order to give his party an advantage in the legislature. Drawing districts in an odd shape in order to help or harm a candidate or group is a time-honored American tradition, but so is the belief that it is a negative one that makes a mockery of our historical drive toward political equality. 

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A Bradford County clustermuck: Comp Plan, commissioners and Chemours MiningA Bradford County clustermuck:

by Carol Mosley

After a seven-year struggle to put a phosphate mining plan to rest, Bradford County is trying to update (hopefully upgrade) the Comprehensive Plan on mining. They’ve been trying to get this done since 2019, but were continually stymied by mining issues. This time it is Chemours FC that is throwing monkey wrenches in the gears.

Chemours mines along the trail ridge between Bradford and Clay counties. The discharge eventually flows into the Santa Fe River. They mainly produce titanium dioxide from the minerals obtained, which is used to make things white. 

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When information is censored, thought is censored

UF student: ‘Florida university instruction [is turning] into a censorship nightmare’

by Stevie Sanders

The day I opened my acceptance letter from the University of Florida was one of the happiest days of my life. I have dreamt of coming to UF since I was a bright-eyed nine-year-old screaming to Tom Petty at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. 

Imagine my despair when, within my first year at the university, outside forces would threaten to shatter that dream. 

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From the publisher … Passion and passivity

by Joe Courter

What a time we are in as we head into the end of 2023. The absolute horrors that are taking place following the events of October 7 are incomprehensible. Of course I must say that the pre-Oct. 7 situation in Gaza and the region is equally incomprehensible to me, watching this pressure cooker of a situation dating back over half a century get worse and worse until it finally blew up … into what we don’t know. At the time of writing this, November 2, there is no resolution in sight, just the horrors of collective punishment on the innocent civilians of Gaza. It is being watched by millions of anguished witnesses around the globe. I am too disgusted to say anything more. I am completely appalled.

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GRU takeover: It’s getting real

by Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson 

The new Utility Authority board met in October for swearing-in and getting organized. Their Nov. 1 meeting dealt with some sobering business. 

The accumulated debt of Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) and the rates for electricity are two preoccupations of the Utility Authority, as they should be. Over the years, GRU has created one of the nation’s most complicated financial portfolios, with a bewildering array of short- and long-term debt. Almost every day, large amounts of it roll over, and the companies that provide assurances to institutional investors are showing signs of concern. One “liquidity facility” has indicated they are discontinuing their coverage of GRU debt until governance issues are resolved. 

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November/December 2023 Gainesville Iguana

The November/December 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.

Editors’ picks: News that didn’t fit

Big 3 buckled as stand-up strike spread
The Auto Workers (UAW) now have agreements with each of the Big 3 automakers
by Dan DiMaggio | Labor Notes | Oct. 31 |
A roundup from Labor Notes on the end of the strike and what’s in the tentative agreements. 

Gaza and the Empathy Gap
How we Americans feel about Gazans living under Israeli bombs does matter, since we’re the ones financing it
by Ryan Grim | The Intercept | Oct. 23 |
Hamas’s attack on Oct. 7 was terrible and should be condemned, but Israel’s response has been horrifying. Even so, many Americans, and the White House, unwaveringly support Israel. But what if we put ourselves in the shoes of Palestinian civilians? To imagine how it feels to see unconditional support being given to a military operation that is killing thousands upon thousands of innocent people, how it must feel to see calls for a humanitarian ceasefire attacked as not just wrong but “repugnant” — not from a college student group, but from the podium at the White House. How we Americans feel about all this does matter, since we’re the ones financing it.

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