Tag Archives: Gainesville

Gainesville Hobby Lobby Grand Opening Protest — Aug. 1

We will be having a peaceful demonstration on the opening day of the Hobby Lobby in Gainesville, Florida in protest of the Supreme Court decision to allow them to opt out of covering women’s contraceptive healthcare. 

Check the Facebook page here for the latest details: https://www.facebook.com/events/649505331785622/649541415115347/?notif_t=like.

Here’s a few articles on the Supreme Court’s decision:




July/August 2012 Iguana Calendar

Want to know what’s going on in Gainesville this month and next? Check out the Iguana’s July/August 2012 Calendar. Print it out and put it in your wallet, on your refrigerator, or pass it on to a friend.

Have an event you’d like to see on the Iguana Community Calendar? Email it to us at gainesvilleiguana@cox.net.

Workers’ Memorial Day and May Day 2012


The Federation of Organized Trade and Labour Unions in 1884 proclaimed that “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labor from and after May 1, 1886.” On May 1, 1886, in the U.S., 300,000 workers walked off their jobs from 13,000 businesses to demand the 8-hour workday. Most of the world’s workers celebrate May 1 as May Day or International Workers Day in remembrance of this. However, the U.S. government chose an arbitrary date in September to celebrate Labor Day in order to distance workers from the holiday’s significance.

The Gainesville Area General Membership Branch of Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is working with many other local labor, progressive and radical groups to bring Gainesville a fantastic May Day Celebration. So far that list of groups includes the North Central Florida AFL-CIO, Gainesville International Socialist Organization, Gainesville Food Not Bombs, Alachua County Labor Party and Occupy Gainesville. As of the time of this article, we are still in the process of reaching out to many other local groups and hopefully your group has been contacted by now. If not, you can contact the the Gainesville May Day Planning Committee at gville.mayday.2012@gmail.com or stop by our weekly planning meetings, every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Sun Center behind Maudes. For more information, please go to gainesvillemayday.tumblr.com .

Continue reading

“All’s Well and Fair” – Gainesville Documentary About Alternative Moms Premiers April 18

The Good Hard Working People production “All’sWell and Fair” will have its world premiere on Wednesday, April 18, at 7p.m. at The Top Secret Space (22 N. Main St., Gainesville). The film’s director, Luci Westphal, and the film’s participants, Rachel Iannelli, Margaret Briggs and their children, are scheduled to attend.

The 90-minute documentary juxtaposes the lives and ideals of three single punk rock mothers on welfare during the 1990s with their realities and opinions 10 years later, giving a unique perspective on alternative culture, growth and identity.

In 1996, single welfare mothers Rachel Guinan (now Iannelli), Margaret Briggs and Tina Bushnell formed a band only to play one song at a local “F*** The Government” song contest. And they won.

Inspired by the spirit of the song, filmmaker Luci Westphal documented the women’s lives and their views on the different subjects mentioned in their lyrics.

10 years later, filming continued with the women discussing the same topics again – now homeowners in their 30s with teenage children and other major life changes.

Juxtaposing the 1996 and “Today” perspectives on each theme, explores how much their opinions and lifestyles have changed over the course of 10 years and how it has influenced the lives of their children. The film inspires the audience not only to contemplate the subjects and the women’s lives, but their own “growing up.”

April 2012 Gainesville Iguana

Can’t get into town for the print Iguana? Or did you make it to the box a little late this month?


Well, don’t worry! We have the whole April 2012 issue here for your perusal.

April 2012 Iguana Calendar

Want to know what’s going on in Gainesville this month? Check out the Iguana’s April 2012 Calendar. Print it out and put it in your wallet, on your refrigerator, or pass it on to a friend.

Have an event you’d like to see on the Iguana Community Calendar? Email it to us at gainesvilleiguana@cox.net.

Filling Empty Bowls – Bread of the Mighty Fundraiser May 10

The Bread of the Mighty Food Bank is sponsoring its first-ever fundraising event to help raise awareness of the issues of hunger in our area and the role the food bank plays in abating hunger in the community. All proceeds from the event will help raise funds to cover the day-to-day operations of the food bank. The food bank, which provides services to people in Alachua, Dixie, Gilchrist, Lafayette and Levy counties, works with

The event, Empty Bowls, will take place on Thursday, May 10, from 11a.m. to 1p.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church (4000 NW 53rd Avenue in Gainesville). Empty Bowls is an attempt to shed light on those individuals in our community who do not have enough food to feed themselves and their families. Art classes from local schools handcrafted the bowls for the luncheon, and other works by local artists and celebrities will be sold through silent auction. Area school choirs will provide entertainment, and a surprise host will act as the master of ceremonies.

Individual tickets are $20 and cover the cost for lunch and one handcrafted bowl. Non-profit tables are available for $250 and come with a reserved table for eight people. Corporate tables are available for $500 and also come with a reserved table.

For more information on the event, visit Bread of the Mighty’s website at www.breadofthemighty.org.

Voices from Occupy: Less “Me,” More “We”


What won me to Occupy from day one in Gainesville was the testimony of one young woman, Sarah Imler, who spontaneously got up on the stage of the Bo Diddley Plaza early on the morning of Oct. 12, the first day of Occupy Gainesville, and started to speak. At the time, there were about 70 people, signs propped up at the front of the stage, pockets of conversation, some media roaming around. There was no sound system, no real plan of action, no real focus. Nobody really knew where this day was going.  But Sarah got up, and speaking from her heart, started telling why she was there.

She spoke about the negative effects of U.S. policies and practices on her home, the island territory of Guam. She spoke of enduring hard times with regard to lack of employment, environmental destruction from the impending military expansion, and the local government relying heavily on federal aid. She spoke about her brother, who made the tough decision to join the Air Force for lack of economic opportunity, and her worries that he would be deployed to Afghanistan. She talked about her family there, who are stretched thin by the rising cost of living. She talked about two other relatives who had been in the Middle East as private contractors and an uncle in the Army Reserves who did a tour in Afghanistan. Every day she would think about the dangers they faced and if they would come back alive. She talked about herself and how she could not afford to go to school without accruing massive debt, a precarious situation for a young person already financially strained and facing an uncertain economic future.

This was not a speech; this was not prepared; this was someone who knew why there needs to be an awakening of responsibility of citizens on a mass scale to feel each other’s pain, share our doubts and concerns about the future, understand how this country got into this situation, and begin to hear one another, work together, and see that another way is possible if that awakening could occur. I can’t forget it, and that is why I am writing it now.

It’s been five months since Oct. 12, and her words still resonate in my mind. One person, one of millions of stories that, if we listened and felt, could change how we see our world. We might do something differently as we live our day to day life. Around the world, we see it. Part of it is the technological revolution; the Internet builds solidarity of struggle which had Egyptians ordering pizzas for occupying protestors in Madison, WI. We can see the faces of those resisting corrupt governments and harsh austerity measures. But the non-technical side has the real power, the actual solidarity that comes from joining with others and believing in something larger, becoming more than a “Me,” but a “We.”

History and the People Who Make It: Marshall Jones


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

Former UF faculty activist leader Dr. Marshall Bush Jones, a WWII Navy Medical Service Corps veteran, was interviewed by Marna Weston [W] on March 9, 2009.

W: When you wrote Berkeley of the South, who were you writing it to?

I wrote it, in the first instance, for myself. I had spent five solid years in movement activity and I wanted to get it out on paper. I wrote it mainly to the people I worked with in those years. For Jim Harmeling, too. I wanted the story of his life to be written down accurately.

Jim was a very unusual young guy in many ways. He was very gifted, attractive, intelligent. He didn’t believe that people were bad or malign. He had a hard time adopting actions which would injure people, even people with whom he very strongly disagreed. He suffered on that account.

Well, they were out for Jim. There’s no question about that. [UF Graduate School Dean Linton] Grinter especially. But you know the part that injured him was not so much the actions, as their malevolence. It was hard for him to understand.

Continue reading

Sadie’s Tanks and the Militarization of Small Town Police Departments


The Bearcat, one of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office’s armored vehicles, is an impressive piece of hardware. Sergeant Terry Crews, SWAT team commander for Alachua County, explained Bearcat armor will stop rounds from an assault rifle that would penetrate all the way through a regular vehicle 90 percent of the time.  The Bearcat is also equipped with night vision capabilities, a ram for breaking down doors, and room for about a dozen members of the County SWAT team who use this vehicle regularly.

The Bearcat and its new tracked armored companion, the Rook, reside in Alachua County but are on call to assist in a 13-county threat response region from Marion Country to the south to Duval County to the north. The response regions were set up by Homeland Security after 9/11, and with them came federal grants for armored vehicles like the Bearcat, which cost $254,332.

The Rook is a more recent purchase, using $150,000 in drug confiscation funds.  Sheriff Sadie Darnell recently authorized use of the funds after a trial period in which the Rook, built by Ring Power (part of Caterpillar Corporation) was used in a raid in a neighboring county. The Rook is a tracked vehicle with hydraulic attachments that can be used to remove vehicles from a scene to prevent suspects from fleeing. It also has a bulletproof shield for approaching a siege scene safely and has the capability to literally remove the walls of a frame house where a suspect has barricaded him- or herself.

This last tactic was employed recently and led to the purchase of the vehicle. The suspect in that case committed suicide during the siege after being barricaded in his bathroom with weapons.

Continue reading

Peg Libertus, Local Activist and Playwright: 1944-2011

The following is an excerpt from Peg Libertus’ obituary published in the Gainesville Sun.

“Peg” Margaret Joan Libertus, 67, died September 26, 2011 from complications of ovarian cancer… In Gainesville, Peg taught drama at Santa Fe College’s Continuing Education Program. She was awarded a State of Florida Individual Artist’s Grant for her fiction writing. She encouraged many others in their creativity, especially local writers. Her greatest theatrical accomplishment was the completion of the musical “The Boxer of Basin Street” presented at the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre in Gainesville.

Peg had a strong commitment to community service and political activism ranging from the street protests at the National Democratic convention in 1968 to the soup kitchen of St. Francis House here in Gainesville. Over the years, she served as board member or advisory committee member for various agencies: North Central Florida Health Planning Council, State of Florida Prevention of Disabilities Advisory Council, Alachua County/City of Gainesville Cultural Affairs Board, and the Center for Independent Living. Peg also contributed her writing and graphic skills to the St. Francis House newsletter and to the United Way of Alachua County. Peg was a staunch supporter of the Democratic Party and a Party volunteer during many national and local elections. She advocated for the rights of the handicapped.

Continue reading

Occupy the Courts! Dr. Cornel West Speaks in Gainesville on Jan. 20

by Nancy Jones and Tommy Baker of Move to Amend gainesville

Grassroots movements across the country are gaining momentum at a rate unprecedented in modern times, due largely to Occupy Wall Street.

Ending “Corporate Personhood” with a Constitutional amendment is one such national movement that has taken root in Gainesville, where we’ve recently started a new local chapter of the national Move to Amend organization.

On Jan. 21, 2010, the U. S. Supreme Court took an extreme step to further remove American citizens from the election process by allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) court ruling was the culmination of efforts by the wealthiest individuals to hijack the people’s government and increase their power and wealth.

The 2012 presidential election is expected to have the most extravagant spending of any election in history. Kantar Media, a company that tracks advertising, reported $5.8 million spent on TV ads in the Iowa Republican primaries prior to Dec. 30, most of those being negative attack ads.

The ruling not only equates money to speech but also makes it federal law under the U.S. Constitution that corporations have the same 1st Amendment rights intended for people (“Corporate Personhood”). Corporations are amassing more wealth than ever before in history, and it is time to push back. Efforts being taken locally include a protest, “Occupy the Courts”, at the Bo Diddley Plaza in downtown Gainesville on Friday, Jan. 20 at 1 p.m., the day before the second anniversary of the court ruling. This event is particularly exciting because Dr. Cornel West, a long-time civil rights activist and national best-selling author, will be speaking.

To find out more or to be a part of the local chapter of Move to Amend, attend the rally, visit Facebook’s MovetoAmend Gainesville page, or send an email to MoveToAmend@gmail.com. Help end corporate personhood and bring democracy to “We the People.”