October 2015 Gainesville Iguana

October 2015 Iguana coverThe October 2015 issue of the Iguana is now available! If you want to get your hands on a hard copy, check out our distro locations here.

Introducing UF Radical Student Alliance

rsaUF Radical Student Alliance is a multi-issue activist organization that is united around combating all forms of systematic oppression. Formed in the summer of 2015, we strive to uplift and concretely address the material needs of those most stifled by institutional violence and neglect, with an emphasis on a radical lens in order to fundamentally reshape society by addressing the root issues rather than simply producing band-aid solutions. With this in mind, we work for the liberation of all marginalized groups, regardless of class, race, ethnicity, abledness, gender, or sexual orientation. New students and the Gainesville community are welcome to come out to learn more or get involved at meetings, which are held weekly at 6:30 PM Wednesday on the UF campus.

Upcoming events will include discussing the impact of capitalism on society and deciding on this semester’s social justice campaign.

If you are interested in finding out more about UF Radical Student Alliance, you can email them at ufradstudentalliance@gmail.com, or visit their facebook page at: www.facebook.com/ufradstudentalliance.

Activist/progressive organizations holding networking/recruiting fair

rad rushThe Civic Media Center has organized Radical Rush since 1998. Radical Rush is an organizational fair for progressive and radical activist groups of Gainesville to recruit new members and publicize their work to students. Radical as in getting to the root of problems, Rush meaning entertaining bids for membership. The Rush is presented in the form of a collaborative tabling effort. Campus and community-based groups participate, with the added bonus of helping to bridge the “town/gown” divide and allow activists working on a wide variety of issues to meet each other, network, and learn about each other’s organizations.

Radical Rush also helps break through the generation gap, fostering inter-generational collaboration as students and younger activists are introduced to older, seasoned organizers for a wide variety of causes. Anyone interested in learning about progressive social change and/or becoming more active in the community has the opportunity to talk with members about their organizations.

This year’s Radical Rush will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14, in the Oak Grove at Santa Fe College, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 16–17, on the Plaza of Americas at UF. The Radical Rush Reception will be on Friday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. at the Boca Backyard. The week is a great way for people to engage with organizations and for people from various organizations to meet one another. The Civic Media Center also prepares a guidebook to all the organizations involved. For more information or to participate, please email coordinators@civicmediacenter.org or call 352-373-0010.

History and the people who make it: Hernan Vera

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler

This is the 29th in a series of transcript excerpts from the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection at the University of Florida. 

Hernan Vera was interviewed by Diana Gonzalez-Tennant [G] in 2009.

V: I was born on February 16th, 1937 – seventy-two years ago – in Santiago, Chile. I went to several schools. By age 16 or 17 I was fluent in both Spanish and English and had a limited fluency in French. My second school was St. Georges College—Colegió San Jorge. I started there around 1946 and graduated in 1954. Then I went into Law School of Universidad de Chile, became a lawyer in 1962, got married in 1963 to Maria Inez Concha Gutierrez, my wife of today, and we had three children. I am retired, after 33 years of teaching sociology at the University of Florida.

I was getting ready to return to Chile, after getting a PhD in sociology, when a military coup on 9-11-1973 took place, and it was advisable in the view of all of our families and friends that we should stay in the US. We had come here in 1968 with a residence visa so we could work and stay without any problems.

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Global March for elephants, rhinos

Elephantopia is participating in the third annual Global March for Elephants and Rhinos this October 3 and 4. We are hosting a benefit concert at First Magnitude Brewing from 4–7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3, featuring live bands (Blue Slammers and Melting Funk Pot), an opportunity to sign a letter to Florida legislature calling for an ivory ban, and raffle to support an orphaned elephant in Zambia at the GRI – Elephant Orphanage Project. This event is FREE and open to the public.

Come out on Sunday, Oct. 4, at 10:30 a.m. to march through Gainesville with Conservation Initiative for the Asian Elephant — we begin at Plaza de Americas at UF.

For more information, visit http://elephantopia.org/event/global-march-for-elephantsand-rhinos-2015/. The Gainesville event is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/1564058527210604/.

Not in Florida? Find a city near you: www.march4elephantsandrhinos.orga/.

Redistricting corruption in Florida

by Susan Bottcher

In 2010 more than 60 percent of Floridians voted for two constitutional amendments that would require the end of gerrymandering. We sent a clear message to Tallahassee that We The People should chose our elected representatives, not the other way around where entrenched politicians pick their voters.

The Republican legislature ignored and disrespected the will of The People. Instead they used their political operatives to draw and submit illegal maps that they then embraced and passed into law. We are fortunate to have three organizations, Fair Districts Now, the Florida League of Women Voters and Common Cause, who filed lawsuits to prevent the illegal maps from being implemented.

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Francis ‘Pat’ Fitzpatrick made social work ‘absurd and hilarious’

patby Katie Walters

Surrounded by close friends and family, Pat Fitzpatrick passed away on August 3, 2015, at the Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center after a long bout with liver disease. He was 65 years old. He will be celebrated by his two children, Dan and Katie, his two sisters Katherine and Nora, and many close friends.

Pat was a lifetime agitator and advocate for the poor and underrepresented. As his bandmate and friend Jon Decarmine expressed, “He was an incredible guy with a huge heart and a knack for making social justice work absurd and hilarious.”

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Proposed zoning overhaul threatens Gainesville neighborhoods

by Tana Silva

A proposed zoning overhaul in Gainesville would reward speculation in the guise of redeveloping urban neighborhoods—the last cheap real estate—around UF and downtown. Each neighborhood is unique, and all are gradually revitalizing.

With rezoning, multistory business and apartment buildings could replace houses and small yards, first and worst in the historically African American Fifth Avenue neighborhood and eventually Porters and others.

From Brooklyn to San Francisco, the same fate has befallen once-affordable real neighborhoods and their distinct character. They become Disneyfied, the rich become richer, and longtime residents become refugees.

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Fall Trash Festival at the Repurpose Project, Oct. 10


Citizens Co-op seeks board members, invites public to potluck, speak-out

Citizens Co-op has still been struggling to recover from the needless firing of workers over a year ago and the negative publicity generated by that act. Currently the Board is well functioning, and includes one of the fired workers. What has been missing is customers and volunteers to get things back on track.

The annual general meeting of members of Citizens Co-op will be held on Thursday, Sept. 24, in Meeting Room A of the Downtown Public Library. The meeting will begin promptly at 7 p.m. and will need to end at 8:30 p.m. This year there will be five seats up for election; three of these are producer rep, member rep and worker rep, which are one-year terms, and two are at-large seats, which are two-year terms. This year we want to emphasize paper ballot voting with the hope that those members who cannot make the annual general meeting will stop by the store and vote. Since some members may not be able to get into the store, we will send an absentee ballot electronically upon request. The election begins at the meeting with a chance to meet and talk to candidates and will continue until 8 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4.

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