History and the people who make it: Joseph W. Welch: Part 2

Joseph Welch [W], WWII vet, Gainesville area civil rights worker and schoolteacher, was interviewed by Ryan Morini [M] in April, 2013; the first part of this interview ran in the September Iguana.

This is the 50th 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; raw language kept for historical accuracy.

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

M: What was it like back in Gainesville {after WWII}?

W: Glad to be out [laughs]. I was college-bound. Government’s gonna pay all of our expense? Yes, I’m going. I don’t want any of the schools in Florida. So, I applied to Lincoln University in Missouri, Tom Coward and I.

I had been a cook at College Inn, the largest restaurant in Gainesville. During that time, the law school was in that area.

Continue reading

In memory of Harriet Ludwig: CMC co-founder

by Carol Gordon

Retired journalist Harriet Ludwig, co-founder of the Civic Media Center and a frequent columnist and letter-writer to The Gainesville Sun, died June 28, 2018. She was 93.

Ludwig was a long-time resident of Gainesville, newspaper reporter, advocate for civil rights, women, education, housing and health care. She wrote extensively and was actively involved in local politics to promote policy change for these issues.

Continue reading

Fest 17 at the CMC, October 26-28

by Joe Courter

The CMC will be quite a busy place during the Fest weekend. I hope some of you will come down and share in the fun. The informal kick-off will be Thursday, Oct. 25, with Queer the Fest, featuring touring and local musicians of the LGBTQ persuasion, as well as workshops earlier in the evening starting at 5 p.m.

The regular Fest stuff at the CMC runs Friday through Sunday evenings, Oct. 26-28, with a donation of $10 each night, and with six to eight performers each night.

Continue reading

October 2018 Gainesville Iguana

The October 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.

FMEA Letter to Gov. Scott — Veto HB 759

May 25, 2017

The Honorable Rick Scott
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

Re: Please veto HB 759

Dear Governor Scott:

I write to ask you to veto HB 759. This local bill, impacting the people of Gainesville, would have two major, negative impacts:

1. Expands government while limiting home rule.

2. Raises electric rates and taxes on the people of Gainesville.

The bill was passed over the objection of the Gainesville City Commission, and without unanimous support by the local legislative delegation.

Attached is a summary of why this bill is bad for Gainesville and bad for Florida. Please veto HB 759.

Amy Zubaly
Interim Executive Director
Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA)

Continue reading

Happy birthday Stetson Kennedy!

by Joe Courter

In honor of Stetson Kennedy’s 102nd birthday, the Civic Media Center will have a potluck dinner on Saturday, October 6, at 6pm, followed by a program called Voicing the Un-Voiced Stetson: Readings of Unpublished Pieces from the Papers of Stetson Kennedy. Sandra Parks, Stetson’s wife, came to the CMC and suggested the reading of recently found writings of the famed anti-racist, civil rights and environmental author and activist.

Continue reading

Radical Rush to take place first week of October

By Joe Courter

Radical Rush, the progressive tabling fair coordinated by the Civic Media Center, will take place this fall during the first week of October. 

Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 1 and 2, Radical Rush will be held at UF’s Plaza of the Americas, and Wed., Oct. 3, it will be at Santa Fe College’s NW campus in the Oak Grove.

Continue reading

History and the people who make it: Joseph W. Welch

Joseph Welch [W], WWII vet, Gainesville area civil rights worker and school teacher, was interviewed by Ryan Morini [M] in April, 2013.

This is the 49th 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.

W: I’m from a family of two children, my sister and I. June 16, 1922, I was born here in Gainesville.

M: What part of town?

W: Porters Addition. My mother and grandmother was a seamstress. My father was a minister, in theory. But he was a womanizer who ran around a lot. As a result, he and my mother separated when I was a year and six months old. My mother was pregnant with my sister. He’s dead now – but he never laid eyes on my sister in his life. He hadn’t laid eyes on me since I was eighteen months old.

Continue reading

On to the Nov. 6 elections

by Joe Courter

Well the primaries are behind us now, and Florida has become much more exciting and prominent with the upset victory of Andrew Gillum for Governor, who will face off against Ron DeSantis, who tied himself closely to Trump. Gillum’s populism and positive energy will hopefully be contagious and help Democrats all down the ballot. And we really need it

Continue reading

Peace activist David McReynolds: Two lighter sides

By Marc Grobman

Peace and civil rights movements activist David McReynolds, who died August 17 at age 88, was known for his vigorous dedication and leadership, and long-time activism. Example: He was arrested for resisting the draft—in the early 1950s.

Web obituaries abound on Dave’s life and accomplishments. But they probably don’t illustrate his skills in cooking and in humor.

Continue reading

‘Nothing about us, without us’ — Madres Sin Fronteras (Mothers Without Borders)

by Gia Del Pino – Community Organizer

Over this past year we have seen nationwide attacks on our communities. Under the Trump administration, arrests have risen more than 40 percent and deportations from the interior of the United States have spiked 34 percent.

In January, ICE fanned out to 98 7-Eleven stores in 17 states including Florida, which was the largest operation targeting employers.

In March, ICE arrested 271 immigrants across the state of Florida, including neighboring counties such as Volusia and Duval.

Continue reading

Repurpose Project has new hours

By Sarah Goff

The Repurpose Project (1920 NE 23rd Ave.) is excited to announce we are expanding our hours of operation. For years we have gotten requests to stay open later and offer Sunday hours from customers who work 9-5 jobs so that they can shop at our store. We are thrilled to finally be able to offer these extra hours. We will now be staying open until 7pm on Tues-Sat and on Sunday from 12-5pm.

Our new hours are: Tues-Sat: 10am-7pm, Sunday: 12-5pm and Monday: closed.

Continue reading

Gainesville native marches in NYC Pride Parade

by Fiona Llama

On June 25 in Manhattan, the anticipation was building. I waited in my holding area for the New York City based company with which I was marching. It was just outside a lovely Asian restaurant that the company had rented out for a few hours on the corner of 16th Street and 9th Avenue.

About 200 employees and plus ones had turned out for the annual LGBTQ Pride March. Those most closely involved insist on calling the event a March as it is intended to continue to raise awareness about the need for Gay Rights and, therefore, acts more as a protest march than a celebration parade.

Continue reading

Alachua County Supervisor of Elections expands access to early voting

By Jacob Kovach

Alachua County residents will have easier access to early voting options with the addition of three new early voting sites for the 2018 General Election.

The Legacy Park Multipurpose Center in Alachua, Melrose United Methodist Church and J. Wayne Reitz Union will be used for 2018 General Election early voting.

Both the Legacy Park Multipurpose Center and Melrose United Methodist Church were used as 2018 Primary Election early voting locations. The J. Wayne Reitz Union, located in the center of the University of Florida’s campus, was added as a location following a ruling from a federal judge allowing the selection of locations on college or university campuses.

Continue reading

From the publisher … This show must not go on

by Joe Courter

Boy oh boy, the circus really rolled into town in January 2017. The press is just wearing itself out chasing after all the flim-flammery. The cast of clowns, Sean Spicer, the Mooch, Kelly Ann Conway. And all those irresistible tweets, just guaranteeing multiple minutes of the news cycle every day. And then central casting came up with a great line-up of a sort of villainous side show, you can almost imagine the midway barker trying to lure you in, come see the hyper-moralistic vice president Pence; the secretary of education Devos, who knows nothing of public schools; the anti-science Sec. of Interior Zinke; the Sec. of Energy who wanted to eliminate Dept. of Energy Perry and good old boy Sessions as Attorney General.

Continue reading

Prisoners lead the way on another nationwide strike, Students announce intent to follow with walkout

By Gainesville IWOC

On August 21, prisoners from groups including Jailhouse Lawyers Speak and the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) indicated that dozens of facilities in at least 17 states have initiated actions based on a common set of 10 demands, covering basic human rights issues such as fair access to the vote, the court system, paid labor, parole opportunities and real rehabilitative programing, rather than the current system of warehousing people indefinitely.

The focused days of action are anticipated to continue until September 9. The chosen dates signify a remembrance of prisoner activist George Jackson’s assassination and the Attica uprising, which occurred respectively in 1971, the first event sparking the other.

Continue reading

Amy Goodman coming for CMC 25th

Event: CMC 25th Anniversary Celebration with Amy Goodman
Where: Forage Hall, Working Food, 219 NW 10th Ave., Gainesville
When: Oct. 19, 7:15-9 pm; doors at 6:30 pm

The Civic Media Center and Stetson Kennedy Library will be marking its 25th anniversary in October, and we have landed one of the most appropriate speakers possible, Amy Goodman, the  longtime host of Democracy Now! 

This is a national radio (and video streamed) one hour newscast that has been aired on the CMC’s radio station WGOT since the station’s inception 10 years ago.

Continue reading

Keep GRU Local

by Susan Bottcher

It’s a bit ironic that “Local Referendum 1” is the title Rick Scott has given one of the most outrageous attacks on local control in Florida history.

There’s nothing local about any of it.

This is purely a scheme to take over Gainesville Regional Utilities, backed by a bill sponsored by Chuck Clemons and Keith Perry and pushed by special interests around the state.

Continue reading

September 2018 Gainesville Iguana

The September 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.

CMC has its own 501(c)3 again!

Event: CMC Non-Profit Celebration
Where: 433 South Main St.
When: Sunday, July 22, 11am-1pm

by Joe Courter

The Civic Media Center and Stetson Kennedy Library Inc. is now the holder of its own 501(c)3 nonprofit status, a year or so after going under the wing of the Neighbors United for a Better Alachua. We are grateful to them for assisting the CMC during this period.

Being volunteer-run, a few years ago the CMC was simply late in doing its filing of the IRS paperwork on a couple of occasions, and there was no knowledge that this was severely frowned upon by the powers that be at Internal Revenue. Like, they simply take away your 501(c)3 status.

Continue reading