April 2019 Gainesville Iguana

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.

Book launch/signing to feature author Jenny Brown

National Women’s Liberation, in cooperation with Redstockings, is proud announce the publication of Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight over Women’s Work

Author Jenny Brown is coming to Gainesville for two official events, on Friday, April 26, there will be a celebration/book launch party at the Civic Media Center from 7:30 to 9:30pm, and then at Third House Books on Friday, May 3, for a talk and signing. Books will be available at both events.

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Fight Toxic Prisons Convergence coming to Gainesville in June

by Panagioti Tsolkas

This June, between June 14-17, Gainesville will be home to the fourth annual national gathering of a growing movement aimed at merging environmental justice and prison abolition into a unified force for shaping the world to come. In previous years, the Fight Toxic Prisons (FTP) Convergence succeeded in drawing several hundred participants from across the country. Previous locations included Washington DC, Texas and Pennsylvania.

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History and the people who make it: David Horne

David Horne [H], co-founder of the UF Black Student Union, was interviewed by Ryan Morini [M] in November, 2017.

This is the 52nd in a series of transcript excerpts from the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection. Interpolations in {curly brackets} by Iguana.

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

M: You were here during the founding of the Black Student Union. What led up to founding it?

H: My colleagues, and I, kept up with what was going on elsewhere in terms of Cornell students trying to get the Cornell administration to accept a Black Studies department, and Columbia, and San Francisco State; combating this tendency to teach all history was basically White history, the history of Western civilization. And that old adage that African history should not be taught because Africa was darkness, and darkness could not be history. We decided that at UF we had enough of a student population to have a Black Student Union. So we just formed one. About ten of us got together to fill out the application to be a student organization.

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Gainesville May Day 2019: Celebrating the working class

by the Gainesville chapter of Industrial Workers of the World

What: May Day Celebration March and Teach-In
When: Wednesday, May 1, 5pm (March) and 6pm (Teach-In)
Where: Civic Media Center and Alachua County Public Library

For 132 years — since 1887, one year following the 1886 Haymarket Affair in Chicago and the Bay View Massacre in Milwaukee, when twelve striking workers were martyred in the struggle for the 8-hour work day — the 1st of May has been a day set aside to celebrate the struggles and contributions of working people. 

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Protect sex workers, respect voluntary sex work

by Sam Bam

Social media has replaced the diary, the bulletin board, the alt weeklies. It has given us the ability to broadcast to the world. We’ve all heard the warnings about sharing too much, but not many discuss what happens when the government chooses to censor you, to erase your online existence. 

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Florida legislative update: Bills to watch

by Jeremiah Tattersall, Florida AFL-CIO – North Central Florida Central Labor Council

This is an incomplete list of bills to watch this legislative session. Contact Senator Perry at 352-264-4040 to make your opinion on these bills heard. 

Anti-Collective Bargaining  – HB 13 by Williamson limits the ability for public sector unions to represent their members by curtailing the activites union officials can engage in. 

Workers’ Compensation – SB 1636 by Perry / HB 1399 by Byrd drastically hurts workers who have been injured on the job. In 2003 the legislature radically altered Florida’s workers’ comp system by slashing benefits and capping attorney fees in an attempt to restrict the working class’ access to the courts. The Florida Supreme Court ruled that this cap on fees was unconstitutional and this bill attempts to graze the already low bar of unconstitutionality.

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Youth Climate Strike: Why me and why now?

by Lauren Cohen

Students from around the country and the world participated in a Youth Climate Strike on March 15. Here in Gainesville, the strike took place in the form of a demonstration downtown in front of City Hall.

The strike was inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who started striking regularly from classes in an effort to raise awareness and demand reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions.

As a young activist (I am a 15-year-old high school freshman), I was attracted to the significance of this world-wide event. Having been involved in other events in the past and maintaining a strong moral understanding that we all have responsibility for the future of our world, I believed that participating in the Youth Climate Strike was not only important, but necessary.

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From the publisher … Community

by Joe Courter

Community: this word is in my mind a lot. We humans are social beings, and how we relate to one another impacts ourselves (our internal experiences) and the others in our shared world. The Google dictionary says this:

  • a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
  • a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
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Positive reflections on recent city election

by Molly Mencken

Note: A number of people expressed surprise at the Iguana for not endorsing Lauren Poe and Adrian Hayes-Santos in this past election, candidates we had strongly endorsed previously. This piece gives a good reflection of the value of challenging incumbents as a way of making them better and bringing issues to the fore.

Movement organizers are reluctant to hinge hopes on election campaigns at the state and national level, where party politics interfere with justice and equity work. But the 2019 Gainesville Mayor’s race shows how a local low-budget grassroots leverage campaign can move mountains against a popular establishment Democratic incumbent.

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Student Power: Boot the Braids

by Coalition of Immokalee Workers

On March 19, the University of Florida Student Government escalated student pressure on Wendy’s—and on UF President Kent Fuchs—voting unanimously to call on the UF administration to cut the university’s contract with Wendy’s until the fast-food giant joins the Fair Food Program. The vote came just days after students, farmworkers and Gainesville community members organized a huge march on President Fuchs’ office, demanding action in support of Florida farmworkers’ fundamental human rights.  

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Student Power: Major victory for Divest UF

by Aggie Agreros

On Thursday, March 28, UF student organizers, including myself, learned that our fight to hold the university up to its stated ideals had made an extraordinary breakthrough. 

In a meeting between Divest UF, a loose collective of students, faculty, alumni, and community members organizing to financially disentangle UF from toxic industries, and the University of Florida Investment Corporation (UFICO), the University agreed to dramatically change their investment strategy by passing an ESG Policy to which they will hold their fund managers accountable. 

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Rush to the Rad Scene

What: Radical Rush
When: March 12 & 13, 11am
Where: Plaza of the Americas

By Kaithleen Hernandez

Cities like Gainesville are able to keep moving forward in a progressive direction because of the organizations that mobilize and work to keep movements alive. 

This world teaches us that there is always work to be done, this is why Rad Rush has continued on since 1998 and will continue to bring a radical presence to campus to get the youth involved in local activism. 

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UF Campus Coalition teach-in

By Ashley Ngyuen, Courtesy Alachua County Labor Coalition

On Feb. 6, the UF Campus Coalition held its first in a series of teach-ins to educate members of the UF community about environmentalism, labor and race relations. Over 50 members of the community attended the Teach-In, including speaker Dr. Wendell Porter and speakers from Divest UF, Graduate Assistants United, and UF Students. 

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African American Oral History Symposium: March 21-23

From Segregation to Black Lives Matter:A Symposium and Celebration of the opening of the Joel Buchanan Archive of African American Oral History at the University of Florida

This three-day symposium marks the formal opening of the Joel Buchanan African American Oral History Archive at the University of Florida to scholars, students and researchers.

The event will bring together scholars, educators, and community leaders to discuss the latest trends in African American history from K-12 to higher education. Participants will have the opportunity to view and listen to films, podcasts and panelists. The event will also feature book-signings of noted authors.

This conference is FREE and open to the public.

If you plan to join us at our wonderful symposium please RSVP via the link on our Eventbrite page: 


History and the people who make it: Mildred A. Hill-Lubin, pt. 2

Mildred Hill-Lubin [H], UF literature professor, was interviewed by James Myers [M] in June, 2009; the first part of this interview ran in the Jan-Feb Iguana.

This is the 52nd in a series of transcript excerpts from the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection. Notes in [square brackets] by SPOHP; interpolations in {curly brackets} by Iguana.

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

M: Your son, from what I understand, integrated schools in Augusta.

H: He did, he did. That was one of the most unbelievable experiences. I felt it was necessary. He was in first grade, and President Kennedy was assassinated just about the time he started school, in [19]63. When Whites in the community discovered he was going to integrate schools, they started calling me on the telephone telling me that they were going to kill him as they shot Kennedy. That was a bad feeling. I wrote a letter to myself, and I said, “If he were old enough to go to the Army, he would be drafted to fight for his country to give us freedom.” I felt that enrolling him to help integrate schools was equally important. So, he did integrate the schools. 

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Vote NO on the Charter Review Commission

by Gary Gordon

I am suspicious of government.

Trump is not the first to lie or to be devious.

So when a ballot measure appears without fanfare I am inclined to wonder why.

On March 19, Gainesville citizens will be asked to vote on whether or not to create a Charter Review Commission: an 11-person citizen committee, appointed by the City Commission to review the Charter and make recommendations. The City Commission can veto the recommendations, called amendments, by a 2/3 vote, otherwise the amendments become proposed changes to be voted on by the public in a November election.

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Despite setbacks, WGOT hopes to stream in 2019

By Debi Martinez, WGOT Financial Director, and Fred Sowder, Station Coordinator

It’s been a busy 2019 for your community radio station. Our 11th birthday bash was a great party. Thanks to the Atlantic for hosting us every year as well as to the bands for donating their time and talents: BiteMarks, Palimony, Shark Anatomy, and HaveWeMet. We’re looking forward to our 12th next year. Our next benefit show is coming up on Friday, April 26 at Loosey’s Downtown. We’ve also participated in events including International Clash Day, VegFest, Active Streets and the Gainesville Mini Maker Faire. Stay tuned to our Facebook page and wgot.org for more news.

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Civic Media Center to hold Springboard annual fundraiser

What: CMC SpringBoard fundraiser
When: Friday, April 5, 6-9 pm
Where: Forage Hall, Working Food

by Joe Courter

The Civic Media Center’s SpringBoard fundraiser will be held on Friday evening, April 5, in Forage Hall at Working Food, 240 NW 10th Ave. This is located behind Afternoon Restaurant and near Cypress and Grove. This is also the location where the CMC hosted its anniversary event with Amy Goodman last October. 

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Boot the Braids: Farmworkers fight Wendy’s

What: March for Fair Food Program
When: Tuesday, March 14, 12:30 pm
Where: Norman Lawn, UF

by Coalition of Immokalee Workers

From March 2-14, farmworkers from Immokalee, Florida, will travel across the nation to four of the country’s top public universities – the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Ohio State University in Columbus, and the University of Florida in Gainesville – to join students and community members in calling on these institutions to end their relationships with Wendy’s until the fast-food giant joins the award-winning Fair Food Program. 

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