WGOT-LP now on 100.1 FM full-time, seeking sponsors

by Fred Sowder

Have you heard?  “Democracy Now!” with Amy Goodman can now be heard each weekday LIVE at 8am on 100.1FM. It will also air at its 1pm slot, where it has been for over nine years. With the current climate in our nation, the fearless, unflinching journalism that “Democracy Now!” provides is more vital than ever. This could not have happened without the support of our listeners, business owners, and local musicians.

WGOT’s next stage of development will come throughout this month as we begin putting together a broadcast studio in the Civic Media Center. With this, we’ll be able to produce live, local programs as well as carry CMC speeches and performances live. We also plan on resuming our internet streaming as soon as possible.

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From the publisher … Resist, reclaim, move forward

by Joe Courter

When last I wrote one of these, it was two weeks before the inauguration of Donald Trump as Pres #45. Now it is over 40 days later, and we have seen a nightmare Cabinet appointed, an unhinged press conference,  rollbacks on Court cases on voter rights and environmental regulations, and the sickening reality that it is going to be a long haul.

However, also there’s an invigorated anticipation at the level of activism and resistance which is manifesting all over the country. This issue of the Iguana provides some viewpoints on coping with and fighting back against the coming reactionary period, a period  which will span  beyond any impeachment, as Mike Pence would not be much relief from the attacks on our hard fought for rights and liberties.

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Gainesville votes March 14: We like Powell, Ward, Arreola

by Joe Courter

Election day is March 14, with early voting through Saturday, March 11.

On the back cover of the last Iguana, we covered the upcoming City of Gainesville election. Regarding District 2 (NW GNV), we stand with Harvey Ward over Sheryl Eddie and the oft-arrested Perry Clawson.

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Pivot toward war: US Missile Defense, the weaponization of space

by Bruce K. Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

Join us for the Global Network’s 25th anniversary Space Organizing Conference and Protest on April 7-9 in Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville is the home of Redstone Arsenal and the Space & Missile Defense Command, also known as the “Pentagon of the South.”

The effort by the Trump administration to develop and deploy the next generation of Star Wars weapons will increase global instability and cost hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars.  The US Space Command has long maintained its mission is to create the technologies to “control and dominate” space and the Earth below – ultimately on behalf of corporate interests.

This conference will allow citizens to learn more about these important issues and become involved in the growing international movement to keep space for peace.

Huntsville is the headquarters of the Space Command’s directorate for ‘missile defense.’  The US is currently encircling Russia and China with MD systems based on Navy Aegis warships (SM-3 interceptor missiles) and with ground-based launchers (PAC-3 and THAAD).  These systems are the ‘shield’ that would be used to pick off Russian or Chinese retaliatory strikes after a Pentagon first-strike attack.

MD systems were previously banned by the US-Russian Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty because they are destabilizing and give one side an advantage.  George W. Bush pulled the US out of the ABM Treaty in 2001 and since that time the US MD program has been on steroids.

The keynote speaker at the event will be Ann Wright – retired Army Colonel and diplomat who now is a leader in Veterans for Peace. She resigned from government service after George W. Bush’s ‘shock and awe’ attack on Iraq in 2003.

While I was recently in Huntsville doing advance work for the April conference, Donald Trump came to Alabama for one of his victory lap appearances. He has already nominated ultra-conservative Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to be the next Attorney General of the nation.  Sessions is also serving as a major adviser to Trump on space issues – so Alabama will be central to the new administration in Washington.

When I arrived at the Huntsville airport, I was taken aback by the loads of corporate space technology advertisements plastered along the walls as I made my way to baggage claim. There can be no doubt that Boeing (the largest Star Wars contractor of all) and a host of other aerospace corporations are making big money off the plans to move the arms race into the heavens.

The signs in the airport reveal this reality of Huntsville’s addiction to military spending. Like my own community of Bath, Maine (dependent on federal dollars to build Navy warships outfitted with ‘missile defense’ interceptors) more and more of America has become reliant on endless war in order to create jobs so workers can feed their families.

What does it say about the soul of our nation that we must remain in a state of endless war in order to drive our economy? These are questions we will discuss next April 7-9 when we hold the Global Network’s 25th annual conference in the ‘rocket city.’ We invite you to join us for this important event. See our web site for all conference details at www.space4peace.org. 

Ibram Kendi speaks at Matheson, Feb. 25

ibram kendiThe Matheson Museum is honored to welcome Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, UF Assistant Professor of African American History and winner of the 2016 Book Award for Nonfiction for his new book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, on Saturday, February 25, at 2 p.m. A book signing will follow his presentation.

His latest book delves deep into the history of anti-Black racist ideas and how they were created. Through the lives of five intellectuals from American history, Kendi illustrates how some have challenged these racist ideas while others have helped entrench them in American culture.

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The Sabal Trail Pipeline: An environmental disaster — Celebrate this MLK Day weekend by stopping it

by Sabal Trail Resistance (STR)

By now, you’ve likely heard that there is a fracked-gas pipeline under construction through the southeastern U.S.

In the wake of effective opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies at the Missouri River crossing in North Dakota, resistance to this southern pipeline, known as Sabal Trail, has been growing.

While many are only now learning of this pipeline, it has been raising environmental justice, health, and regulatory questions among the public along the route since the scoping period for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) began three years ago.

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Cinema Verde to feature 43 films from around the world, Feb. 9-12

2017 festival logo (1)Each year at Cinema Verde, we try to bring information from the outside world to our Gainesville community in the form of films that would not otherwise find their way to our big screens. When directors are able to join us, and share their knowledge about the environmental issues their films are about, it truly enriches our experience and our knowledge.

In 2012, Peter Brown joined us with his film Confessions of an EcoTerrorist, as well as Christine Heinrichs, an author of books on poultry who was featured in Mad City Chickens. Local legend Wes Skiles presented in our first year, thank goodness. It’s these chances to meet and talk with experts that make Cinema Verde a special opportunity. We have several directors interested in joining us from around the world this year, and we need your help to bring them in and to welcome them to Gainesville.

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CMC will host Changeville’s virtual reality event

Changeville is hosting its premiere virtual reality event for social change at the Civic Media Center Thursday, March 2 from 4-8 pm.

The event will be free with a Changeville pass, or atendees can make donations from $3 to $10 at the door. Food and refreshments will be available.

The event, to benefit The Civic Media Center, will feature social change-inspired installations using one of the newest mediums of virtual reality and augmented reality.

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Social change festival takes place March 2-3

changeville-poster IguanaChangeville, a two-day social change festival in downtown Gainesville will take place Thursday, March 2 through Friday, March 3, and will feature music, comedy, films, virtual reality installations and discussion panels. An after-party event is planned for Saturday, March 4.

A concert and street fair in the downtown plaza will feature Hip Hop artist and activist Talib Kweli, and New Orleans funk/jazz/rock artist Big Sam’s Funky Nation. Other events will take place at downtown venues including the Civic Media Center, Hippodrome, High Dive and Loosey’s.

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