Category Archives: Articles

The climate change solution that nobody is talking about

by Sarah Goff, Co-Founder & Executive Director of The Repurpose Project

Overconsumption is destroying the planet. Harvesting, mining, manufacturing, packaging, and shipping ALL have tremendous carbon footprints. 

The problems with overconsumption run deeper than just carbon dioxide emissions. The manufacturing process requires material input, and this material input is the limited resources of this planet. This squandering of resources is responsible for much of the deforestation, destructive mining, and habitat loss that are causing an alarming loss of biodiversity. Many of the factories that manufacture material are deliberately placed in low-income areas, disproportionately harming the most vulnerable. Consumption and waste don’t just result in dumping valuable resources in the landfill. They are causing catastrophic human, animal, and environmental harm.

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Veterans for Peace offers college scholarships

Deadline for Applications from Alachua County students/residents: April 23

by Paul Ortiz

Gainesville Veterans for Peace Chapter 14 is excited to announce our 7th annual Peace Scholarship Program for the spring of 2021. We are awarding three college scholarships of $1,000 each for high school seniors, college students or adults with a commitment to activities including: social justice and peace, Black Lives Matter, conflict resolution and/or nonviolent social change. 

Veterans for Peace created these scholarships to give financial support to students in Alachua County, Florida who are planning careers in pursuit of a world of social justice and equality.

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The Alachua County Tenants Association: Updates

By Adolfho Romero
Alachua County Labor Coalition

Since the early summer of 2020, the Alachua County Labor Coalition started helping tenants by developing the Alachua County Tenants Association. A group of five has now grown to more than a dozen, volunteering and offering services and resources to alleviate those facing financial and legal hardships. 

With the assistance of Socialist Alternative, ACTA has been working closely with Evictions Lab to create a database of evictions in the county. 

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Working toward food justice in Alachua County

Our demands: value workers, local enterprises, environment over corporate profits

By Dmitry Podobreev, Alachua County Labor Coalition

The Alachua County Labor Coalition has partnered with Working Food, the Agricultural Justice Project, the Farmworker Association of Florida, theNatural Resource Defense Council, and the Gainesville YDSA to work toward food justice. So far, we have worked to get Alachua County and the City of Gainesville to sign on to the Good Food Purchasing Program, which is a certification standard for fair food. 

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Say NO to Nestle!

Nestle permit was approved by the Suwannee River Water Management District.

Our response? We’re getting right to work with our attorneys and experts. The public interest must be protected in this, and all future permitting decisions.

To support the cause, visit the Florida Springs Council website at www.floridaspringscouncil.org. Donate to help us keep fighting.

We’ll send you:

  • A 3-inch sticker for every $5 donation,
  • A 7-inch vinyl Kayak sticker for every $30 donation,
  • And an insulated stainless steel MightyMug bottle (it won’t leak or fall over) for every $100 donated to the cause.

All sport the message Say No to Nestle and keep fighting. 

‘Don’t destroy our homes!’

For those concerned with protecting low-income students and the environment, the CMP stinks

by the Save Maguire/UVS Team

“Don’t destroy our homes!” is the cry of scores of graduate students as they fight to save their historic and idyllic affordable housing complex from being torn down along SW 34th Street on the west side of the University of Florida’s campus.

For anyone concerned with protecting low-income students or the environment, the proposed 2020–2030 UF Campus Master Plan (CMP) has more than its share of bad ideas. 

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WGOT can only exist with your help

By Chris Lake, WGOT Board Member

We want to thank Gainesville for all the local support from our community (and beyond, thanks to the magic of Al Gore and the internet). Gainesville is truly a unique place and we wholeheartedly thank all of our listeners and supporters who value both the arts and truly independent media. 

As mentioned in last month’s Iguana, WGOT is in desperate need of IT help to install a new server. We’ve reached a critical stage where we will cease our internet streaming service to the community unless we find a volunteer with the skills to install our new server within the next four weeks. 

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From the publisher: A toxic harvest

by Joe Courter

Just as we were getting the Iguana done for the Jan/Feb issue, the nation’s Capitol came under attack by a mob of people misled into thinking their side had not won the election because of it being “stolen.” I believe we actually got away lucky, it could have been very different. 

Suppose there had been fully armed riot police guarding the Capitol and they’d opened fire, killing and wounding dozens of people. 

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City election, Tuesday, March 16: Our recommendations

by Joe Courter

The City of Gainesville is having an election for an at-large seat and a district seat. Early voting begins March 5, election day is March 16. 

For the at-large seat, Gail Johnson is seeking re-election and we strongly endorse her bid to stay in office. Gail grew up in Gainesville and graduated from UF. After a brief stay in Brooklyn, NY, she returned home and got involved in our community. 

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Of soil and protest

by E. Stanley Richardson
Alachua County Poet Laureate

On Saturday, Feb. 20, at twelve o’clock high noon, the Gainesville Community Remembrance Project held a soil collection ceremony outside on the lawn of the Alachua County Administration Building Headquarters in Gainesville, Florida.

The Soil Collection ceremony is part of the Alachua County Truth and Reconciliation Project to remember Alachua County’s lynching victims and other victims of racial terror perpetrated by white mobs.

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March 2021 Gainesville Iguana

The March 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.

WGOT: Community radio in the COVID age

By Fred Sowder, WGOT Financial Coordinator

It’s certainly been a long year at your community radio station. Despite having a studio at the Civic Media Center, we’ve only been able to use it sparingly, limiting it to only a few broadcasters on a regular basis. 

Playing smart by sanitizing mic screens between each shift and practicing other safety measures have kept us almost 100 percent virus free. That said, our fundraising efforts have been thrown into uncertainty with this new world of remote operation and lack of live events. 

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Community ed classes on political trials

DISSENT ON TRIAL – THE 70s

The class will focus on three political trials: The Chicago 8 and The Gainesville Eight and the trial of American Indian Movement leaders Dennis Banks and Russell Means; all were tried for conspiracy stemming from the political work.

Tues & Thurs, 1/26 and 1/28, 6pm – 7:15pm.  On ZOOM  – Course fee: $29

TRIALS OF THE CENTURY – THE DEATH PENALTY

This class will focus on three death penalty cases: Sacco & Vanzetti for robbery and murder, Ethel & Julius Rosenberg for espionage, and Caryl Chessman for kidnapping and murder.

Tues & Thurs. 2/2 and 2/4, 6pm – 7:15pm.  On ZOOM – Course fee: $29 

Instructor: Gary Gordon

To register, follow this link http://bit.ly/Community_Ed_Registration or www.sfcollege.edu/communityed or 352-395-5193

History and the people who make it: Chinua Achebe, James Baldwin, Francis Bebey

Leading African-American author James Baldwin [JB] and African authors Chinua Achebe [A] and Francis Bebey [FB] spoke at the University of Florida’s African Literature Association conference in April 1980, introduced by Mildred Hill-Lubin [H] and questioned by various anonymous audience members [U]. This is the 64th in a series of transcript excerpts from the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection.

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler. [Trigger warning for the N-word!

H: I am very happy to introduce our three honored guests. Francis Bebey, a Francophone African writer from the Cameroons, who is also a recording artist musician who plays the guitar. In the center is the outstanding black American writer, Mr. James Baldwin, who has written quite a number of works. His most recent is Just Above My Head, but many of us know him for earlier books, particularly Go Tell It On The Mountain, and several other books of essays. On the other end is Mr. Chinua Achebe, a foremost Anglophone African writer, who has written several novels: his first, Things Fall Apart, and several others—A Man of the People; No Longer At Ease; and Arrow of God.

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Karen Smith: Rest in Power

by Joe Courter

In a year that took so many beloved people away, the death of Karen Smith in the early morning hours of Nov. 29 was a shocking and profound loss to so many in our community and beyond. At 46 years old, with a full plate of meaningful responsibilities and passions in her life —her kids, her extended family of friends and co-workers, her commitment to the cause of prison abolition and connections to the many prisoners she corresponded with, and the fellow activists in the cause who she inspired with her dedication and relentless positive attitude — gone in an instant of crashing metal in a single car accident on Waldo Road.

She was around the Civic Media Center a lot, but I can’t say I ever had much of a conversation with her; she would be busy, focused on her task(s). Laptop open, phone at hand, maybe pen in hand, or in conversation with others. She was a volunteer with the Free Grocery Store, which the CMC has been hosting during the pandemic. A person who worked with her a lot was Panagioti Tsolkas. He wrote the following in the blog Antistasis Project on Dec. 1, shortly after her death:

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Launching the Alachua County African and African American Historical Society, Inc.

by Jacob U’Mofe Gordon, Ph.D.
President, ACAAAHS

In 1994 the State of Florida Legislature passed Statute 1003.42 which mandated the teaching of African American History in all public schools in Florida. The statute was in response to the lack of an inclusive curriculum which recognized the presence and contributions of African Americans to the state’s history and development. This comprehensive law required that courses be taught in African American history, Women’s history, Hispanic history, and the Holocaust. 

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The Chicago 7 vs. Aaron Sorkin: Not a Netflix movie

by Gary Gordon

In 1969 the Federal government put eight men on trial and those eight men put the Federal government on trial. The eight men, officially “David Dellinger et al.,” were anti-war protestors charged with conspiracy to cross state lines to incite riots at the Democratic Party Convention in Chicago in 1968.

To the prosecutors, it was a criminal trial. To the defendants and their lawyers it was a political trial: they were there to put the war on trial as they had been in Chicago to challenge the Democratic Party’s support for the war.

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Rise from the ashes of 2020 with Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice

by Kate Ellison

Everyone is asking, plotting, and planning what’s next. It’s a new year, we have a new president, and a vaccine to push back the virus that has nearly paralyzed us for months. 

Astrologically, the Age of Aquarius finally dawned on Winter Solstice 2020. In 2021 we will be able to gather together, not to go back to normal, but to move forward with new vision and renewed determination. 

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GRACE Marketplace integrates Animal Welfare Program, co-sheltering into regular shelter operations, programs

by Pete Monte, Animal Welfare Coordinator, GRACE Marketplace

January 2020 marked the beginning of a two-year demonstration project funded by the Wagmore Foundation to establish infrastructure, policy, and procedure to make GRACE Marketplace the first “animal-friendly” low-barrier homeless shelter in the region. 

A community partnership of local non-profit organizations including St. Francis Pet Care, the Humane Society of North Central Florida, and the Home Van Pet Care Project have joined GRACE with the common goal of improving access to services for people without housing and their companion or assistance animals.

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Food Not Bombs Gainesville re-organizes in solidarity with community

by Food Not Bombs Gainesville

Food Not Bombs Gainesville, an all-volunteer movement that receives donations and recovers food that would otherwise be discarded, re-organized in December and is now sharing fresh and prepared food with folx in and around downtown Gainesville on a weekly basis.  

FNB is rooted in three principles: 

  • the food we share is always vegan or vegetarian and free to everyone, and especially unhoused, marginalized and vulnerable folx
  • our local chapter is fully autonomous and makes decisions using the consensus process
  • FNB is not a charity and is therefore dedicated to social change in alignment with radical mutual aid theory and practice 
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