Celebrate Medicare with Alachua County Labor Coalition

Event: Medicare Birthday Party
Where: Working Food, 219 NW 10th Ave.
When: Saturday, July 28, 5-7 p.m.

by Chad Hood

Each July, the Alachua County Labor Coalition celebrates Medicare, one of the greatest public health triumphs of the 20th century, with a birthday party.

Join us on Saturday, July 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. for cake, food/refreshments, and shared testimony about improving and expanding Medicare to all residents. This year’s celebration will be at Working Food in Gainesville at 219 NW 10th Ave.

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Phosphate mining plans, citizen input in the sunshine

by Carol Mosley

HPSII, a small group of families with vast land holdings in Bradford and Union Counties, intend to mine thousands of acres straddling the New River that runs into the Santa Fe River, for phosphate rock. The rock will be shipped by rail to some other unfortunate town for processing.

While Union County, under moratorium from mining, updates their Land Development Regulations (LDRs) and Comprehensive Plan, Bradford County is unwisely collaborating with the mining company and an “independent” consulting firm (paid for by HPS) to determine if the preliminary plan submitted fits Bradford’s minimal LDRs.

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Labor Notes Conference renews, inspires attendees

By Jason Fults, Board Member of the Alachua County Labor Coalition

For the first time in the ten years that I’ve been a member, the Alachua County Labor Coalition sponsored two people to attend this year’s Labor Notes conference.

ACLC Coordinator Tim Tia and I made the trek to chilly Chicago to attend the April conference together, both first-timers, along with several ACLC veterans such as Lauren Byers, Candi Churchill, Mark Piotrowski and Joe Richard.

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From the sunflower to the sunshine state, solidarity still sings: A report on the radical roots of the Kansas Poor People’s Campaign

by Kimberly Hunter

“O home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play,” echoed down the halls of the capitol building in Topeka, as the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) made its way to Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer’s door, knocked, and – after receiving no answer – sat down.

“O Kansas is the land where folks lend a hand, porque juntos estamos aquí; where we open our doors and empower the poor, ‘cause Kansas was meant to be free,” continued their state song — recently rewritten by Ana Marcela Maldanado Morales, a Kansan proud of her Guatemalan heritage.

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From the publisher … Take heart, the Resistance is alive

Writing this Publisher’s Note is a task I have had in the back of my mind for weeks.  It been kinda stewing around amorphous amid all the content from NPR, Democracy Now!, the multitude of internet news links from friends, and sites like Commondreams.org, the Gainesville Sun, The New Yorker, and many conversations and life experiences.

So two nights ago I wrote one, kinda dark and negative, what with Supreme Court decisions against unions and abortion rights, the Justice Kennedy resignation, children being isolated from their parents and used as bargaining chips as well as the other horrors oozing out of the Trump administration, Carl Hiassen’s  brother and other newspaper staffers killed by yet another misogynistic maladjusted alt-right guy with a gun,  yet another young black man killed by  a trigger happy cop, continuing wars in remote places and then the announcement of “The Space Force,” a new arms race in the sky.


Yikes, I  think many of us were pretty down.

That Publisher’s Note asked what it felt like to be a sensible person in the time of slavery, or the rise of the Nazis, or of the slaughter of Native Americans. My thought was that it felt like right then – kinda helpless if thought about – but mostly just carrying on with life.

That Publisher’s Note went in the cyber trash can last night. Yesterday I went to the Families Belong Together March and Rally in Gainesville, one of many hundreds of similar events across the country. It was stunning. As the mass of people filtered out from the City Hall Plaza, crossed University Avenue and walked South to the Depot Park Bandshell, it stretched the entire length of South Main, and I don’t mean single file; it was a mass of folks. Motivated, positive and righteously opposed to the tearing apart of families.

Following some music as the crowd arrived, there were speakers talking about the active resistance that is happening, lawyers involved in helping immigrants and the increasing hurdles people face. Madres Sin Fronteras told about their direct work with immigrants in crisis. We heard from a local sanctuary church, Westminster Presbyterian. A pediatrician talked about the effects of trauma on children.Voter registration was being encouraged, various organizations were tabling. A statement by Mayor Lauren Poe was read by Commissioners Harvey Ward, Gail Johnson and Helen Warren (and printed on page 21). The event itself was organized by Indivisible Gainesville, which burst into being after the election of Trump and now boasts over 2,300 members.

What I saw yesterday tells me that the Resistance is still out there, all over the country.  That rally did not occur because of newspapers or radio publicity – it was people using the new media opportunities to become informed, involved.

Being better informed may mean altering our news intake, seeking out better sources and prioritizing them. Organizing and educating and building solidarity among our fellow citizens is happening. Joining organizations is happening, working together and supporting leadership and experience while mentoring new people to the movement and hearing and respecting their perspectives.

Cheers to the youth from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas. Cheers to the teachers nationwide organizing for decent pay and working conditions. Cheers to the pipeline protesters and and prison abolitionists. Cheers to the anti-racist organizers and Women’s Liberationists. Cheers to the fighters and allies of the LGBTQ movement. Cheers to the movement for higher wages and universal healthcare.

Hell yes we vote, but we can also support and work for candidates to multiply our electoral impact.

And damn it, don’t let the bastards grind you down down like I was feeling a few days ago. Take care of yourself and those around you; we sensible and compassionate people all need each other for the long haul. D

State, federal government continues to support fake clinics

Event: NWL’s General Meeting
Where: 200 NE 1st St, suite 201
When: Tuesday, July 10, 6:30 p.m.

by Keri Audette

On June 27, SCOTUS ruled that Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs)  no longer have to disclose to their patrons that they are not licensed medical facilities and will retain the ability to mislead women regarding the services they provide.

The case, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, was decided on a  5-4 vote, citing First Amendment rights as grounds for overturning a California law requiring CPCs to post notices that free or low cost abortion, birth control, and prenatal services are available through state programs.

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Primary Elections, August 28

by Joe Courter

First understand that unless you are registered as a Democrat you will have no choice in the partisan State and County races. It is the way our system works.

Voting is math, be strategic. You have until July 30 to change. But the primaries are where idealism can shine, about who can fight for what you believe in. Use your voice.

When we get to November, it reverts back to math again, and even if your ideal did not become a candidate, if you are sensible you move forward with practicality.

Here’s the rundown in my eye.

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July-August 2018 Gainesville Iguana

The July-August 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.

Memorial Mile: Veterans display tombstones of fallen service members in Iraq and Afghanistan wars

Veterans for Peace will be displaying more than 6,900 tombstones from dawn on May 26 through dusk on Memorial Day on 8th Avenue just east of 31st Street as part of their Memorial Day Weekend event to remember soldiers who have died in the wars in Afghanistan since 2001 and in Iraq since 2003.

The tombstones will line the street along 8th Avenue just east of 31st Street, where the Solar System Walk is located. This is the eleventh year VFP has set up the display, and in 2008 they had to cross over to the north side of Eighth Avenue due to the continuing number of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Peace Scholarship awarded to four Alachua County students

Earlier this year, Veterans for Peace announced the annual Peace Scholarship award, a college scholarship program for Alachua County students. The scholarship competition was open to eligible high school seniors, college students, and adults who need financial support to succeed in college and who have demonstrated a commitment and leadership in activities involving peace and social justice and/or nonviolent social change.

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Peace Poetry Contest winners share poems at public reading

This is the ninth year that Gainesville Veterans for Peace has organized the Peace Poetry Contest in Alachua County, where all students, grades K–12, were encouraged to submit one original poem focusing on their interpretation of “peace.”

Veterans for Peace members believe that peace-making and hope for a peaceful world begin in our community, our homes and our schools. That is why they invited students to participate in the contest this year; a peaceful possibility lies in the younger generations of today who will be leading, transforming and inspiring the world tomorrow.

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History and the people who make it: David Thurston

David Thurston [T], DC-area gay rights activist, was interviewed by Robert Baez [B] in June, 2017.

This is the 48th in a series of transcript excerpts from the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection.

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

T: I was one of the principal arts organizers for the No Justice No Pride initiative, which is an ad-hoc collective of local queer and trans organizers and folks of color, people from the Movement for Black Lives, who came together to challenge Capital Pride’s collusion with nefarious corporations and institutions that are harmful to more marginalized sections of the LGBTQ community, and to other oppressed communities that should be our natural allies in challenging the agenda of the unmentionable president we have …

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Artwalk sale to benefit CMC, women’s groups

On Friday June 29, the Civic Media Center will reprise its successful art sale of the print works of Sara Amatniek, who died in 1996. She left behind hundreds of unique prints that cover a range of subject matter: plants, animals, fish, people, and abstract and geometric designs, with multiple copies of each design in varying colors and intensities.

Many prints were sold  during the first sale at April’s ArtWalk, but more remain priced to sell at at $3, $5 and $10 for small, medium and large prints. There are a couple dozen larger matted prints for $30.

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FOG continues Food Justice Study Group

Topic: Food Sovereignty
Where: Civic Media Center
When: Thursday, May 31, 6:30-7:30pm

Every other month, the Florida Organic Growers discuss a book or documentary that has been selected to generate a conversation about how our contemporary food system can help us better understand the complex issues of race, class, gender, both our collective and individual histories, and how we might envision and achieve a more sustainable, socially-just society.

The Food Justice Study Group will next meet May 31, from 6:30 to 7:30pm at the Civic Media Center located at 433 S. Main St.   All are welcome.

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WGOT prepares to go live from CMC studio

Event: Yard Sale
Where: Daily Green backyard,
436 SE 2nd
When: Saturday, May 19, 8am-noon

Event: Volunteer/Board Meeting
Where: Third House Books & Coffee, 113 N. Main
When: Sunday, June 3, 3 pm

By Fred Sowder, WGOT Station Manager

It’s certainly been an exciting 2018 for your community radio station.

After starting the year by celebrating ten years of broadcasting, we’ve continued making strides on our studio in the back of the Civic Media Center.  After a few beta tests, we had our first live broadcast from the space in early May, and look forward to more as we adjust our program schedule to handle more live and local programs.

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Mine fight escalates

by Kate Ellison

On March 28, Citizens Against Phosphate Mining filed a Notice of Violations of Federal Law with FDP, the Army Corp of Engineers, USEPA and seven other agencies or offices. This is a detailed and meticulously researched documentation of wells drilled in the wrong place and wetlands drained for the wrong reasons. Agencies have not stopped this unpermitted activity in some specific areas of Union and Bradford counties. Permits are required for well-drilling, and this step was simply skipped. Landowners can build roads and ditches through logging areas, but their idea seems to be eliminating wetlands prior to establishing a baseline for the planned mine. That way, the regulations, especially for reclamation, will be less stringent than if it were a wetland area.

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Gary Gordon in Concert June 16

Where: Thomas Center
When: Saturday, June 16, 7:30pm
Cost: $10 at the door

Gary Gordon, known by many in Gainesville as an original member of the Archer Road Band, an organizer with the anti-nuke Catfish Alliance, a City Commissioner and Mayor-Commission (1983-86), a playwright and comedy radio show producer who left our city in 1991, has moved back and will be doing a concert of his original songs at the Thomas Center on Saturday, June 16.

While in L.A., Gordon worked as a writer and musician and continued his activism. On periodic visits to Gainesville, he would often play benefits for the Iguana or Civic Media Center.

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Elections 2018

by Joe Courter

Yay Gainesville! Gigi Simmons was able to prevail in the run-off against Charles Goston on May 1. Her and Gail Johnson’s swearing in on May 17, at the Thelma Bolton Center, will be a powerful and happy event. More on that in the July/August Iguana.

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Thanks from the CMC!

The Civic Media Center thanks the following for their generous support of food and raffle items for the CMC’s SpringBoard Fundraiser, held at Forage Hall in Working Foods April 13. Please support them, as they have supported us:

Crane Ramen
Downtown Wine and Cheese
Boca Fiesta
An Daz
Daily Green
Siembra Farm
Swallowtail Farm
East End Eatery
Five Star Pizza
Big Lou’s Pizza
Bagel Bakery
One Love Cafe
John Moran Photography
First Magnitude Brewery
Vine Bakery
our guest speakers Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson of Rum 138 and Lars Andersen of Adventure Outpost

435 South Main opens next to CMC

Florida Organic Growers’ new local business incubator, 435 South Main, located between the Civic Media Center and Tamal, is now open for independent entrepreneurship, classes and private events. The location serves as a community platform for independent entrepreneurs and educators to operate in a low-cost environment by offering access to a certified commissary kitchen and pop-up cafe space, as well as a retail and classroom area. 

435 South Main is operated by volunteers and is currently open to the public during the Artwalk on the last Friday of each month, and summer operating hours are every Thursday and Friday. Hours of operation will expand as new entrepreneurs and volunteers come on board. To participate, contact Casey (904-716-0526) for kitchen and café-related inquires or Sarah (352-562-5138) for retail, event and class inquires. Visit the Facebook page 435 South Main for events and opportunities.