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-r- . Vol. 23, #8-9
Venezuela: "We never imagined
we would see so many changes"
I first learned about the Bolivarian revo-
lution in Venezuela when I saw a movie
in 2003-"The Revolution Will Not Be
Televised"-at a union function in New
The movie was a mindblower. So many
popularly elected socialist, progres-
sive and populist governments have
been overthrown in Latin America with *
CIA backing-notably in Chile (1973)
and Guatemala (1954), but also Brazil,
Argentina, Honduras, Panama, even tiny
Grenada. In 2002 it looked like it was
going to happen again in Venezuela. A
business-class coup whisked away the
elected president, Hugo Chavez, de-
clared he had resigned, and occupied the
Miraflores presidential palace, declaring
themselves the new government.
The media was full of their plans and
self-congratulations. Many longtime ac-
tivists on the Venezuelan left made prep-
arations to go underground. But then the
pattern broke. The majority population,
Continued page 2...
Veterans for Peace 2007 Memorial
Day display on 8th Avenue..
Veterans for Peace plan
Memorial Day display
Veterans for Peace will be setting
up a Memorial Day display for all
the U.S. military dead in Iraq and
Afghanistan, on Memorial Day
weekend, May 24-26. The display
consists of a tombstone with each
person's name, branch of service,
date of death, age, and hometown.
Like last year, the display will be
along NW 8th Avenue from 34th St.
going east. This year, more people
will be needed to help because the
display will be up all three days, as
opposed to just Memorial Day last
year. This means a lot more people
will be able to see it.
/Community Council leaders in Carora, Venezuela. At right is Aileen Escobar,
- second from right is Rafael Nieves.
Continued page 22 ...
Venezuela...continued from page 1.
the poor and oppressed, marched on
Miraflores and demanded their president
back. Through their mobilized outrage,
cooperation by loyal portions of the
military and a great deal of luck, they
won. The presidential pretender, Pedro
Carmona, held power fewer than 3 days,
during which he showed his 'democratic'
intentions by dismissing the legislature
and Supreme Court. For his trouble he's
known as "Pedro the Brief."
The more tidbits I earned, the more
fascinated I became:
--Venezuela's 1999 Constitution has
a provision that work at home (done
mostly by women) has value and should
be compensated in social security and in
--The gas company Citgo, a part of the
. Venezuelan national oil company PD-
VSA, started to provide low-cost heating
oil to poor communities in the U.S. (The
big for-prolit oil companies claimed
this was "unfair competition" and that
ChAvez was buying the loyalty of US
--In 2004, after government meetings
with School of Americas Watch's Roy
Bourgeois, Venezuela pulled its troops
out of the infamous institution, dubbed
the School of Assassins, in Columbus,
Georgia. Venezuela's lead was followed
by Argentina and Uruguay in 2006. Costa
Rica in 2007 (Costa Rica has no military
but had been sending police), and now
Bolivia in 2008.
--When ChAvez addressed the U.N. as-
sembly in 2006, he not only implied that
Bush was the devil, he held up Noam
Chomsky's new book "Hegemony or
Survival" which immediately shot up in
sales to #1 on Amazon.
,Obviously something extraordinary was
going on in Venezuela. Fellow Iguana
editor Joe Courter and I spent 10 days
there in late March with a 15-person
peace delegation, traveling and inter-
viewing Venezuelans both formally and
informally. We spent time in rural and
urban areas, in Caracas, Barquisimeto,
Sanare, Carora, Choronf, and the tiny
fishing village of Chuao.
The new Constitution
When Hugo ChAvez was sworn in after
winning election in 1998 he pledged
allegiance to "the dying order," of the
old constitution because the platform
on which he was elected promised to
start a national process to write a new
constitution. This was a national project
which involved thousands of meetings.
Ordinary people sent in their ideas to a
constituent assembly, drafts were circu-
lated and debated, and then it was voted
on in Dec. 1999-71% voted yes. For
several years after it was passed, people
carried around the new constitution and
would read it, quote it, argue about it,
analyze it. Now that's less common, we
were told, because people pretty much
remember whatit says.
Rafael Nieves, an official in Carora,
told us, "The process started with
Chavez' call to refound the country with
the constitutional process of 1999-to
make a new society based on justice. We
who have been excluded are now partici-
pating-traveling from a representative
democracy to protagonistic and partici-
The new constitution is one of the
most progressive in the world. It in-
cludes rights that many of us in the U.S.
have been seeking for uncounted years.
It includes the absolute right to establish
and join a union (article 95). All public
and private sector
workers have the
right to strike (ar-
ticle 97). When "D's" Tee
there are doubts Remember Your
cation or conflicts Specializing In
among rules... Specializing In
"that most favor-
able to the worker BOB MARLEY T
shall be applied." - MUDCLOTH -
They have a - ETHNIC BELTS
44 hour week by BUTTER - OILS
law and forced BASKETS - FLA(
overtime is illegal Natural Hair Style
(Article 90) The
reforms of Dec. Ga
2007 were to WH
have reduced the
workweek to 36 Hours: Wed.-Fri
hours, but the Phone: (352
reforms were nar-
rowly defeated. E-mail: B
Articles 83-85 'It's Own Or Be 0
say health is a
Women's co-op leader Gaudy Garcia
fundamental social right, and in order to
guarantee a right to health, the state will
finance a public health system "governed
by the principles of gratuity, universality,
completeness, fairness, social integration
and solidarity." Public health services
and buildings can't be privatized.
While we still struggle for the Equal
Rights Amendment here, article 21 says:
All persons are equal before the law, and,
consequently "No discrimination based
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IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 2
on race, sex, creed or social standing
shall be permitted." The 2007 reforms
would have added sexual orientation and
state of health to the non-discrimination
The Venezuelan constitution is also
gender-neutral throughout, which is very
intentional in Spanish, "Presidente o
Presidenta" "trabajador o trabajadora."
No 'all men are created equal' there.
Just as important, the constitution
creates "citizen power" as a force-so
there are Legislative, Executive, Judicial,
Citizen and Electoral branches-and
declares support for collective forms of
ownership. These include encourag-
ing cooperatives, making water a public
good, and putting the money raised from
selling oil into building the country with
"humans at the center of the economic
and political process" as foreign ministry
official Roberto Poveda put it to us.:
So that's the written expression,
what's the expression in the country?
First, there was an explosion of new laws
leading from the constitution. Along
with the constitution itself, available
in several inexpensive pocket editions,
you can buy copies of laws from street
vendors in Caracas, for example the law
of cooperatives or the law of workers
In each hillside neighborhood there is
a Barrio Adentro health clinic, which
translates as "inside the neighborhood."
The doctor lives on the top floor and
works on the bottom floor.
The care is free, as are medica-
tions. They told us they dispense lots of
medicines, including birth control pills,
but if they don't have it they send you
to a pharmacy with your prescription.
Special pharmacies set up by the govern-
ment give you 80% off, which they call
We asked if they have shortages of
anything, they said no.
The tiny health clinic we visited in
Palo Verde had a surprising number of
medical staff: Two doctors (one Venezu-
elan and one Cuban), a nurse, and nine
medical students, who go to class each
day and also work in the clinic.
We spoke to Dr. Edita Goyo, The
Venezuelan doctor is one of the minority
of Venezuelan doctors who want to work
with the poorest 80%--many refuse,
some have emigrated to the U.S. and
other countries, in fact, rather than heal
the sick in their own country.
Dr. Goyo was already a practicing
physician when the mission was imple-
mented, but she went through a 2-year
program in 'integral medicine' to train
her for work in a neighborhood clinic.
Students out of high school who want
to become doctors enter 6 months pre-
medical training, followed by 6 years in
college, and 2 years in integral medicine,
for 8 1/2 years total. While nearly all the
medical students are Venezuelan, there
are also students from other countries
Doctor Edita Goyo answers questions in the doorway of the small "Barrio
Adentro," (inside the neighborhood) health clinic in Palo Verde.
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 3
The Gainesville Iguana
is Gainesville's progressive
events calendar & newsletter.
Low/No income: $0-5
Rich groups: $40
Write: Iguana, c/o CISPLA
P.O. Box 14712
Gainesville, FL 32604
Write checks to "Iguana."
Comments, suggestions, con-
tributions (written or financial)
are welcome. To list your event
or group, call (352) 378-5655.
To visit us on the web, go to
The Iguana is published
monthly or bimonthly by volun-
teers. Circulation this issue is
Editors: Jenny Brown
& thanks to Bill Bryson & Vir-
ginia WIlliams of Satellite
Authors & photographers have
sole credit, responsibility for,
and rights to their work. Cover
drawing of iguana by Daryl
Printed on recycled paper.
studying community medicine. At the I
clinic we visited, we met a young Brazil-
ian man who was getting his medical
In addition to equality between the sexes,
the right to contraception and contracep-
tive information is also in the constitu-
tion. Abortion continues to be illegal (as
it is everywhere in Latin America except
Mexico City. Cuba, Puerto Rico and
We asked Doctor Goyo whether the
clinic received any opposition from the
church or anywhere else about birth
control and she said no. The doctor said,
however, that birth control and informa-
tion was a lot harder for women to come
by before the clinics were set up, that it's
much different now, "a world of differ-
Gaudy Garcia started a women's cen-
ter in Monte Carmelo and a cooperative
that does canning and makes preserves.
She said: "Women arenot only here to
produce children, but we have knowl-
edge and wisdom. But Machismo is
deep in our culture, I'm guessing not just
She said in Venezuela there's been
a decade of 'liberation feminism.' "We
don't want to compete with men, we
want to be equal with joint work and
complementarity. We have shown our
capacity is as significant as that of men."
She has traveled a lot to other coun- -
tries with her co-workers to represent
rural women's organizing. She said that
as IUIL.575 d I - 1 - -
Head of �an Peltz Culture Commitec
(seated, with child).
sometimes of the men in their families
don't want them going out of the country
to Mexico, Spain, and other places.
They have argued with the men "we have
to go, as women we are active people in
The constitution says that women are
entitled to a pension, even if they only
worked in the home, because the work
of housewives is recognized formally as
productive work. The 2007 constitution-
al reforms would have enacted a stipend
for all housewives and informal workers
(not necessarily women), close to the
minimum wage, but that failed along
with the rest of the reform package. The
government does, however, distribute a
stipend starting with the poorest, women
who don't have paid employment or,
insecure paid employment-that pro-*
gram is called Mision Madres del Barrio
(Mothers of the Neighborhood).
Venezuelans joke that every time you
turn around there's another mission. The
programs were set up as a way to get
the public money from the oil company
to the community level. Very little of it
used to escape the national oil company
and what did ended up frittered away in
government bureaucracy and corruption.
They describe the use of oil money
for community betterment as "Sow-
ing the oil." In Caracas we saw an art
exhibit of various artists conceptions of
what "Sowing the oil" means to Venezu-
The municipality of Carora is a pioneer
in applying the principles of community
power, control and accountability. They
have 200-some community councils all
over their district. We met with people
representing an urban community coun-
cil and a rural one.
Aileen Escobar told us "We are con-
stantly bombarded by the media saying
the people aren't ready to handle their
own funds." But she pointed out that un-
der the previous government, 10% would
be skimmed off the top, "so a dollar goes
farther in our hands."
They explained: "Community coun-
cils do a diagnosis of what the needs are
of the community-health, housing, rec-
reation, communication, transport (like
buses). Resources are processed through
In neighborhoods in Carora, every
� Thursday there's a 'Citizen Assembly'
which is the highest authority in the
community council. Anyone can go and
suggestions are discussed and consid-
ered. An executive group carries out the
decisions. There's a comptroller who is
always demanding transparency and to
know how funds are used exactly. (In
both the councils we met with, this role
was fulfilled by a woman.)
We were told, "When the old guard
oligarchs-the ones who used to run the
city council-come asking for additional
services they're told to organize their
community councils like everyone else."
We asked about problems. "As in
any process, there are ups and downs"
Carora official Rafael Nieves told us.
"All change produces reactions and
contradictions. For example, when we
first got started everyone talked at once.
So we needed norms of debate, norms
of living together (convivencia)." Now
they've developed those and "it's been a
beautiful experience when the previously
powerless are able to bring power to
bear" on issues facing them.
Aileen Escobar added, "Before,
power was in the hands of an elite group.
Now we've got it, we're not letting go."
We also visited San Feliz, a rural
town of 49 families about 20 minutes
from Carora. The main industries in this
flat, desert-like region are brick and tile
making. With government assistance,
the hamlet has recently built 13 new
homes and when we visited they were
celebrating the completion of two new
They told us, "We have lots of
things: Brick-making ovens. We raise
goats and make roof tiles. Also vine-
yards. Cattle, Carora cattle is a special
breed. Short root vegetables grow well.
Not many insects. But we never had a
government that cared about our zone
Adalberto Chirino explained how the
community council system works in a ru-
ral area: "We have lots of little commu-
nities with the same problems-almost
all have councils. We meet to talk about
themes that affect all of us. The figure/
concept of community councils was in
the constitutional reform. It didn't pass
but we're still using the concept." He
noted that the leaders "are selected by
the community, not by a party." He said
that "even barefoot" he could have a
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 4 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 4
say. "It's not like before when the mayor
decided where the money would go."
A retired teacher told us, "We never
imagined so many changes in Venezu-
ela." Echoing a famous quote from
Bolivar, he noted that unity was the key.
"If you come together you will over-
Higher education has been free but
inaccessible to any but the elite because
public schools were so miserably bad.
One of our guides, Charlie Hardy, told us
in his barrio, before the revolution, the
school was closed for 2 years.
We spoke with rural and urban
students. The urban students were in a
poor neighborhood of Barquisimeto and
are involved in the Centro Cultural San
Juan where they are learning Afro-Ven-
ezuelan drumming, music and dance, and
volunteering to help younger students
with their homework. Many of them are
on their way to college (through Mision
Sucre) and I asked them if they were the
first in their family to go to college (think
of their parents generation.) They said
"yes, our older siblings are very smart
butthey didn't have the opportunities we
have." That's how fast the changes have
We also spoke to students in rural
Monte Carmelo who are in Mision
Ribas, which allows students to go back
and complete high school. They all work
so their classes are in the afternoon.
When asked what they want to do after
then get their diplomas, many wanted to
study medicine or engineering.
One student, who looked to be in her
30s, told us she walks several miles to
sellingg Hil 5 Ili in th 'tEe'l Caiucaw
Sanare to work as
a street cleaner in
the morning, and
comes home to
Monte Carmelo- .
in the afternoon ..
to study to get her ...
high school de- -
gree. She's also :-
in the national re- "
serves. She said
to be somebody,
and to be a model
to my children, as
ers in Monte
Carmelo said .
they are work-
ing for "School
for more hori-
zontal relationships between teachers
and students." Nancy Garcia, one of the
teachers, said she is sometimes "More a
compafiera than a teacher-but we have
to sometimes be hard on them too, to
\ At this point 1/4 of the population
has studied in the education missions.
The programs use videos and books from
Cuba, including a world-renowned litera-
cy teaching program. The U.N. recently
designated Venezuela as illiteracy-free.
We spoke to leaders in an organic farm
cooperative and a chocolate growing
Both co-ops were started before the
current revolution, but with government
encouragement the number of coops has
risen in the last 10 years from 800 to
180,000. At least one of the hotels we
stayed in was a co-op, Posada El Cer-
rito, a former Tourism Ministry hotel in
Sanare. The workers do not own the ho-
tel and therefore can't sell it for personal
gain, but they operate it and pay them-
selves out of the proceeds. They said
that it was much better that way because
before, a manager would be sent by the
Ministry, and he would come up with
some bright idea they knew wouldn't
work, but they had to do it anyway
because he was the boss. Now, they told
us, they are able to make decisions based
on their long years of experience as hotel
La Alianza, the organic farming
cooperative, is an example to others
wanting to start co-ops-they teach
about cooperativism and get government
funding to do workshops for others wish-
ing to start a co-op.
We asked the co-op president, who is
known by his nickname 'Polillo,' what
had changed since the revolution, he said
he could spend all day telling us. But he
said that people's attitudes are slower to
change. "Now there's a lot of promo-
tion of cooperativism, but there's still
a mindset of capitalism. The spirit of
cooperatives is that you need less money
to live happily (vivir feliz)."
He said that part of what they teach
there is "Cooperative spirit-honesty,
sharing solidarity, not to live our lives
just for money-though we realize we
need money-not so much envy of one
another. It's like taking on a lifestyle."
At another agricultural cooperative-in
Chuao, which is reachable only by
boat-the chocolate co-op leader was
very practical-he had a one-word
answer to what had changed with the
new government: "credits." They could
finally get loans from a community bank.
to improve things there.
'This is unedited'
Several of the people we spoke with
emphasized, "This is unedited, this is
a rough draft. We are in the process
of learning how to do this." Roberto
Poveda, of the foreign ministry, said that
they were "inevitable mistakes" but the
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 5
important thing was to learn from the
process, that it is "a process with hope."
He noted that despite some boondoggles,
Venezuela is the first country to achieve
the UN's antipoverty "Millennium
goals," although he noted that these
goals are not very ambitious.
Luz Marina is a youth leader in
Frente Francisco Miranda. This youth
organization, among other groups, was
responsible for a nationwide replacement
of incandescent bulbs with energy-sav-
ing compact flourescents. Every small
village and poor urban neighborhood we
visited had made the switch:
Luz Mprina said, "We are struggling
for a just and socialist society, part of
being a youth is to have that spirit of
struggle. We arel00% anti-imperialist
and pro-socialist and ready to give our
lives for this revolution."
"We are daily attacked by the media
that we're indoctrinated in Cuba, which
[they claim] gives us guns to massacre
"Although we learn a lot from Cuba,
the way it's come to be, our revolution,
our historical moment is very different,
we have a very different culture, so it's'
impossible to be dogmatic, this is our
Luz Marina added, "We're wor-
ried the same thing will happen to us as
is happening to Afghanistan or Iraq."
Given the history of the U.S.'s moves to
destabilize the Venezuelan government,
this was not an unreasonable'concern.
Shortly before we left for Venezuela,
Colombia. which shares a long border
with Venezuela, bombed inside Ecuador,
destroying a rebel camp and killing the
chief peace negotiator for the FARC--
Colombian guerillas who are engaged
in a 50-year long civil war in Colombia.
The attack killed many while they slept,
including several Mexican students who
were there to interview FARC members.
Ecuador and Venezuela came down
hard on the action, demanding that Co-
lombia respect their borders. Tensions
escalated but then suddenly subsided
when the Latin American leaders met,
including Colombian president Alvaro
Uribe, and agreed to de-escalate. Ob-
servers of the meeting said Hugo Chivez
led the effort for the accord. There is
reason to believe the U.S.'s business as
usual may no longer be working so well-
-creating a space for peace and hope in
Making history in Venezuela
In the 1990s, conservatives floated the
idea that, there was now an end of history,
that we'd reached some terminal point
where history no longer matters, where
planning and coordination from above
trumps history. They would impose the
Washington Consensus using the World
Bank and International Monetaiy Fund
to guide the future economic system of a
globalized capitalist world.
Having just returned from ten days
in the Bolfvarian Republic of Venezuela,
read a number of books and articles, and
gotten a feel for the history and people of
that proud nation, I've got a definite feel-
ing history is alive and well and unfold-
ing in Venezuela.
For one thing, Sim6n Bolivar is a
very real presence: Bolivar the libera-
tor, the creator of nations as Spanish
colonial rule was defeated in Ecuador,
Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia, and what is
now Colombia. Bolivar's dream was a
unified and cooperative South American
region as a player on the world stage--
amazing and audacious, considering this
was in the early 1800s. Bolivar exists
in statues in town squares all across
Venezuela. His face and quotations are
rendered in graffiti on walls; his words
are also engraved on great buildings.
The Venezuelan currency is Bolivars,
his face on the coins. Sovereignty and
dignity are current themes in Venezuela,
concepts straight from Bolivar.
A key moment to begin a histori-
cal view of contemporary Venezuela is
what has come to be called the Caracazo.
On February 27, 1989, as a reaction to
a doubling of the bus fares, an urban
rebellion took place, first in one area
of Caracas, then others, then as media
reports spread the news, out into cities
across Venezuela. The recently re-elect-
ed President Carlos Andr6s Perez had
bowed to the pressures of the internation-
al-banking system and done a turnabout
from his prior policies, beginning the
implementation of the World Bank and
IMF neoliberal economics. Doubling the
bus fares was the breaking point for the-
people. When the military were called
out to restore order, up to a thousand
people were killed, and terror reigned
for weeks. The impact of the Caracazo
reverberated throughout the society, and
in the military as well.
One year after the Caracazo, author
,Richard Gott interviewed President
Perez. His words:
- "The decisions I made were extreme-
ly difficult, and in general they are still
quite unpopular. People resent the harsh
measures we have taken. The people's
anguish is being expressed through
demonstrations and protests, but we must
understand that these are unavoidable.
There was no other way out."
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 6
What people more seemed to
perceive was a need to challenge the
political leadership of their country. The
Caracazo was a turning point and a rejec-
tion of the stable two party system which
had cooperatively governed the country
for thirty years.
The Caracazo also had an impact in
the military, producing a kind of intro-
spective horror at the repression they'd
been ordered to impose. There had been
a consciousness among a small group of
officers within the military which had
been growing since the late 1970s as a
result of harsh tactics used to suppress
lingering guerilla forces. As early as
1977, a group of officers formed a pact
to change the attitude of the military
from simply serving as a tool of the state
to allying more with the interests of the
people. It was Sim6n Bolivar speaking
across the centuries: "Damned is the
soldier who uses his weapon against his
Hugo Chivez was among the small
group of officers who began organiz-
ing, and continued to organize within
the ranks of the military to build under-
ground unity. With the Caracazo, this
.movement magnified. In 1992, Chavez
led a failed coup attempt against the
increasingly unpopular government. It
was spectacularly unsuccessful and only
a few people were killed. However,
Chivez was allowed to make a one-min-
ute statement on TV to urge his com-
rades in outlying areas to put down their
arms and avoid further bloodshed, as the
coup was clearly a failure.
Two things stood out for a nation
stunned by these events. First, Chivez
shouldered responsibility for the coup
and its failure. This was unusual, to say
the least, in politicians and military lead-
ers. Second, he said "for the moment,
Barrio Carapita, in Caracas. In the reverse of the usual pattern, one guide told us,
the poor live on the hillsides while the rich live oh the flat land. Some hillsides can
be unstable and prone to dangerous mudslides if there is a lot of rain.
the objectives we set for ourselves have
not been achieved..." The phrase, for
the moment, "por ahora," became the
slogan of those who wanted change.
With Chavez in jail, there was a
second coup attempt in November of
1992. While only 14 were killed in the
first attempt, this was much more violent
with 170 killed, and it even included an
aerial bombing of the
presidential palace and
fighting in Caracas and nt [
Maracay. Again,'the a approved
leaders were captured
and jailed. .-:-
Despite a long
prison sentence, Hugo ,_
Chavez was released
early from prison in
1994 after only 2 years.
While in prison, he
and his fellow soldier prisoners contin-
ued to wear their uniforms,-were largely
respected, and had access to the media
for interviews. He would emerge a well-
known public figure.
Initially, Chavez devoted himself
to stimulating reforms and change in
the government. He joined with many
others in calling for the election of a
- .-. M,A.V77 98
IGUANA, MAY/JuNE 2008, PAGE 7 G..XINL~SVILLE, FLol~ID1\
SI LD HELEN WARREN
� I IREALTOFR
ERA Trend Realty
E . 4141 NW 37th Place, Sutte A
ERA Gainesville, FL 32606
s (352-377-7755 Home
E-Mail: warren @ eratrend.com
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expesnietice Wt~hs alcieint anit
woomishops, ne.6eats anb
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGF- 7
constitutional assembly to draw up a new
constitution. The Caracazo had cata!-
lyzed a big upswing in political organiz-
ing, with many newly-active political
parties and civic organizations.
What did grow out of the mid-I 990s
period was a coalescence of thought as
the Presidential election of 1998 ap-
proached, that Hugo Chavez was the
logical choice to run for president. The
ruling party and conservative wing of the
country was fractured beyond belief, and
the door was open for a sweeping coali-
tion victory in December of 1998. In the
voting, the coalition of groups supporting
Chdvez polled 56%. The next strongest
candidate was at 39%.
All this did not escape notice in
Washington DC, especially in 2001 when
the newly-appointed Bush administration
was setting up shop. Money, through
the National Endowment for Democracy,
began to flow to opposition groups in
Venezuela at a great rate. Established
in 1983 to work against the Sandinista
government in Nicaragua, the NED had
the official mission of enhancing the
democratic process in the nations to
which it sends its moneyland resources.
In reality, the NED is used to influence
and steer and even disrupt the politi-
cal evolution of a country that the U.S.
feels is not moving in an acceptable way.
This means front organizations, public
relations campaigns, electoral assistance,
workshops, and dirty tricks, all funded
with U.S. taxpayer money. All this and
more went on in Venezuela and contin-
ues to go on in Venezuela and any place
else the US wants a controlling interest
This aid and guidance blew into view
on the world stage in April of 2002, the
infamous three-day coup immortalized
in the extraordinary film The Revolution
will not be Televised. On the heels of
a series of opposition protests, a large
march deviated from its planned route
and headed towards Miraflores, the
presidential palace. At Miraflores, there
already was a large pro-Chavez rally
in progress. Shots rang out from some
tall buildings and people in both ral-
lies were shot as the two groups neared
one another. The private TV stations
repeatedly showed footage which falsely
claimed to depict Chavez supporters fir-
ing on the opposition rally. Meanwhile,
the state-owned TV station, friendly to
Chavez (and reality) was shut down by
force. Chavez was captured and taken to
a military base. The coup leaders took
power, claiming Chavez had resigned.
The coup leaders then proceeded to start
issuing decrees dissolving the national
assembly and supreme court.
Word spread to the barrios. Masses
of people came down to surround Mira-
flores in a peaceful vigil. Portions of the
military, which had at first believed the
resignation story, now reversed them-
selves and moved in to take the coup
leaders into custody. Chavez made a
triumphant return to Miraflores by heli-
copter in the early hours of April 14th.
The US had been the only nation to rec-
ognize Pedro Carmona and his brief stint
as president, and though they denied it at
the time, evidence of U.S. involvement is
now public record. Eva Golinger's well-
documented book, The Chavez Code
presents massive evidence of US ties to
the coup. Using Freedom of Information
Act requests from numerous government
agencies, Golinger, a U.S. attorney now
living in Venezuela, was able to gather
stunning details. For this work she is a
hero in Venezuela.
The next big effort at destabilization
was the December, 2002 management
lockdown of the oil industry, an attempt
to break the Venezuelan economy and
the people's support of Chavez. The oil
company management closed the refiner-
ies, creating chaos with long gas lines
and material shortages. At the same
time, the TV stations began a 24/7 blitz
of anti-Chavez programming. Charlie
Hardy, one of our guides, mentioned that
while local businesses that could tried
to remain open, the US-owned fast food
franchises throughout Caracas all closed'
in support of the anti-government efforts.
The lockout did nothing but make
for a difficult Christmas season, and in
February of 2003, after 64 days, the so-
called 'strike' was ended. They couldn't
break the will of the people to retain the
government they'd elected.
So what was next for the opponents
They began organizing for a recall
referendum. After some setbacks'with
the signature collection process, they
were able to get enough valid signatures
to force a vote. Millions of U.S. dol-
lars flowed, the attacks on the Chavez
government flew, and when the vote took
place in 2004, under international super-
vision, Chavez remained the elected, and
now re-approved President of Venezuela.
Roll on to 2006, the scheduled presiden-
tial election, when another internation-
B^B/0 LA ATRIA'DE BOLIVAR
Suaso , A LOs - MILLONES DC VOTOS ,
"Empire out of the land of Bolivar" The hands indicate the goal of O10 million votes./for Chdacz in the 2006 election
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 8
ally-supervised election took place in
December. The privately-owned media
did its best to make Chavez look bad.
Again, Chavez won.
But the war on Venezuelan democracy
continues, as any follower of the news
can see. Eva Golinger pointed out
the three lines of attack being pursued
1. He's a dictator.
2. He is destabilizing the region, and thus'
US national security.
3. He is a supporter of terrorists.
Congress may be moving soon to name
Venezuela a terrorist nation. This is the
'psy-ops' war- psychological operations
to tell lies so often that they become
true. And while this is going on, the US
military regularly conducts war games
and operations off the Venezuelan coast,
even mock invasion drills.
This is a delicate moment in Venezu-
elan history, not just for Venezuelans, but
the region. Venezuelan oil is assisting
a number of nations in the region. The
Bolfvarian ideal of a cooperative region-
al identity is growing. This is the living
history playing out, as the Washington
Consensus is being rejected in national
elections across the region. Washington
is not happy.
And as Bolivar said, "The United
States seems destined by providence to
plague (South) America with misery in
the name of liberty."
The Iguana editors thank Gainesville
Veterans for Peace, musician Anne
Feeney, the Marin Interfaith Taskforce
and members of the Gainesville
community for contributions large and
small that helped us get to Venezuela. We
will be doing another presentation on
our trip on Thursday, June 5, 7:30 at the
Civic Media Center. Info: 352 378-5655
"Yes, it is important to end poverty, to end misery, but the most important
thing is to offer power to the poor so that they can fight for-themselves."-
Hugo Chdvez, December 2004.
Progressive resources on Venezuela:
News and analysis from a variety of authors, includes the 2000 Constitution in
US political economist Steven Brouwer's notes from Venezuela-focusing on
cooperatives and grassroots struggles:
"Chavez Code" author Eva Golinger's website on U.S. efforts to undermine the
,government of Venezuela:
"Cowboy in Caracas" author Charlie Hardy's reflections from Venezuela:
Understanding the Venezuelan Revolution: Hugo Chdvez talks to Marta
Harnecker. (2005) Book-length interview in which Harnecker asks many tough
Charles Hardy, Cowboy in Caracas: A North American's Memoir of
Venezuela's Democratic Revolution. (2007) Good quick introduction from a
former barrio priest, in Venezuela for decades (originally from Wyoming.)
Richard Gott, Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution. (2005)
Progressive British journalist who's been covering Latin America since the
Eva Golinger, The Chavez Code: Cracking U.S. Intervention in Venezuela.'
(2005) Golinger is a hero in Venezuela for obtaining documents proving U.S.
efforts to destabilize Venezuela's government.
"The Revolution will not be Televised" Irish film-makers cover the quickly-
reversed 2002 coup against Chavez from the inside. Available at the Civic Media
Center or Video Rodeo.
"Venezuela Bolivariana" fast-paced history, overview, and talks with grassroots
people. Available at the Civic Media Center and can also be viewed on the web.
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 9 GAINLSVILLE, FLORIDA
"Solving Computer Problems
Is My' Business" , ,
508 N.W. 35th Terrace Phone: (352) 371-2333
Gainesville, FL 32607 Fax: (352) 371-9203
EMIrY FRANCK HMDN PhD
2531 N.W. 41 st STREET. GAINESVILLE, FL 32606
352-375-HOON * FOXBRIDGE * BUILDING C
IGUANA, IMAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 9
Acrosstown Repertory Theatre Grassroots,
cross-cultural theater at 619 S. Main St. (Baird
Ctr). Info: 375-1321; www.acrosstown.org.
Alachua County Coalition for the Homeless
and Hungry Meets 3rd Wednesdays, St Francis
House, 9 am; www.acchh.org, 378-0460.
Alachua County Labor Party Just Health Care
committee works on universal health care; P.O.
Box 12051, Gainesville 32602; 375-2832.
Alachua County NAACP Meets 4th Thursdays,
1105 NW 5th Ave. Info: Michael Bowie, 392-
9196, ext. 21.
All-African People's Revolutionary Party Pan-
African socialist party working for African libera-
tion worldwide. 352-514-7364 email poorvida@
American Civil Liberties Union ACLU defends
Bill of Rights; board meetings open to public, 3rd
Wednesday, 7 pm, SFCC Downtown boardroom.
Info: 338-7727; PO Box 1534, Gainesville 32602.
Amnesty International Gainesville chapter of
worldwide human rights movement; UFAmnes-
Animal Activists of Alachua Raising awareness
of animal exploitation - semi-monthly meetings;
Asian Student Union Umbrella organization
including Chinese, Filipino, Korean & Vietnamese
student groups; contact 392-1665 x 325
Black Student Union Organization of African-
American students at UF: 392-1665, ext 321.
Books.for Prisoners Meets Mondays, 7 pm, at
Books, Inc; PO Box 12164, Gainesville 32602;
Bridges Across Borders Fla-based international
collaboration of activists, artists, students &
educators supporting cultural diversity & global
Campus Am. Civil Liberties Union Defends
personal freedoms & civil rights. Info: caclu@
Campus Counterpoise Collective-based club
dedicated to alternative media & perspectives;
Central Labor Council of N. Central Florida
Representing the working people of affiliated
unions in 13 Fla counties. Info: 352-372-6888.
Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syn-
drome Support Network 352-281-8244.
Community Coalition for Older Adults Area
citizens helping solve problems for Alachua Coun-
ty's population of older adults. Info: http://groups.
yahoo.com/group/CCOAGroup or Sr. Services at
Civic Media Center Reading room & library
of the non-corporate press, 1021 W. Univ. Ave;
2-8 pm, Mon-Th., 2-6 Fri & Sat. Info: 373-
Code Pink: Women for Peace Women-led
grassroots peace & social justice movement uti-
lizing creative protest, non-violent direct action,
and community involvement; contact jacque@
Communist Party USA, Marxist-Leninist party
of the working class founded 1919. Florida
District P.O. Box 7664, St. Petersburg, FL 33734
Community Coalition Against War & Terror-
ism Gainesville's umbrella peace group. Meets
at Wilhelmina Johnson Center, 321 NW 10th St,
6 pm on the 4th Thursday of each month. 377-
Conservation Trust for Florida, Inc. A non-
profit land trust working to protect Florida's
rural landscapes, wildlife corridors, and natural
areas. P.O. Box 134, Micanopy, FL 32667, 352-
CopyNight Gainesville Monthly social meetup
for people interested in copyright reform. All
ages. Artists, lawyers, technologists especially
welcome. www.copynight.org, gainesville@
Critical Resistance Working on issues of pris-
ons & prisoner rights; www.criticalresistance.
org or call 338-1140.
P.O. Box 13761, Gainesville, 32604
Cultural Arts Coalition Promoting educational
and cultural activities in Gainesville's African-
American community for over 15 years. Contact
Nkwanda Jah, 372-0216.
Democratic Party Center of Alachua County
Open 12-3, M-Th. and 12-6 Friday at 901 NW
8th Ave., Suite A-3 (blue door) 373-1730.
Democracy for America Howard Dean-in-
spired PAC for progressive politics, networking.
The Dignity Project Inc. Non-profit that
provides the economically disadvantaged with
vehicles and computers. Low cost vehicles
available for purchase also. 371-6792
Drinking Liberally social networking group
for moderate and left-leaning individuals.
Promoting Democracy One Pint at a Time 4th
Wednesday at Brophy's Irish Pub 7-9pm. www.
Edible Plant Project Local collective to create
a revolution through edible and food-producing
plants. www.edibleplantproject.org 665-2094.
Environmental Action Group www.grove.ufl.
Call if this includes misinformation or inaccurate phone numbers: 378-5655. |
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 10 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice State-
wide organization; PO Box 336, Graham, FL
32042; fcpj.org; 352-468-3295.
Florida Defenders of the Environment Restore
the Ocklawaha and preserve Florida's other natu-
ral resources; 378-8465, www.fladefenders.org.
Florida Free Culture UF student group promot-
ing cultural participation, public interest intellec-
tual property policy. http://uf.fieeculture.org
Florida Military Families Speak Out Speaking
out against the war in Iraq. 352-379-2710. P.O.
Box 142271, Gainesville, 32614 www.mfso.org.
Fla School of Traditional Midwifery Clearing-
house for information, activities & educational
programs. Info: 338-0766.
Food Not Bombs Direct action group to redis-
tribute food to hungry. Food prep. Saturday
12-2pm, serves food at 2:30, downtown plaza
Frontrunners Active group for gays, lesbians
& friends; meet for run/walk Sundays &
Wednesday (call for time), Thomas Center. Info:
Gainesville Area AIDS Project Dedicated to
funding social events for people infected and
affected by HIV/AIDS; events, drop-in center:
Gainesville Citizens for Alternatives to the
Death Penalty Meets 1st Tuesday of month at
St. Augustine's Hurley House, 6 pm; execution
vigil info: 376-1077; general info: 378-1690, PO
Box 13024, Gainesville 32604.
Gainesville Community Alliance Socially
oriented group for gays, lesbians, bis & friends.
Info: 373-3557; www.gcaonline.org.
Gainesville-Cuba Friendship Network Local
group opposing embargo & promoting normal-
ized relations with Cuba; info: 386-418-3791.
Gainesville Women's Liberation The first
women's liberation group in the South, formed in
1968. Teaches radical feminist ideas and theory
through consciousness-raisings, speakouts,
actions, community classes, the Redstockings
Women's Liberation Archives for Action, and
the Judith Brown Endowment Scholarship. (352)
Gator Freethought an atheist, agnostic &
freethinking student association, http://www.
Gator Gay-Straight Alliance Anti-discrimina-
tion organization at www.gatorgsa.org.
Gator NAACP To inform youth on problems
affecting blacks & minorities, and develop
intelligent & militant youth leadership: naacp@
Gay Switchboard Referral line - Mon/Wed/Fri.
3-7 pm, Saturday 12-4 pm. Info: 377-8915.
GI Rights Hotline Advising military
personnel & recruits on service-related issues:
IGOANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 10
Graduate Assistants United Represents all UF
grad assistants. Fighting for improved working
conditions, community involvement, and aca-
demic freedom. 238 Norman Hall, 392-0274.
Green Party Meeting times & places vary.386-
Greening UF Advocating campus sustainability
through waste reduction & recycling; 273-1174;
Habitat for Humanity Building low-income
homes in Alachua County; Sat. work days. Info:
Harvest of Hope Foundation Distributes emer-
gency and educational financial aid to migrant
farmworkers and their families across the country.
Philip Kellerman, 352-372-1312 or www.harvest-
Hemlock Society Local chapter of right-to-die
organization; info: 373-9732.
Human Rights Awareness on Campus wolf@
Human Rights Council of N.C. Fla Not-for-
profit educational organization dedicated to
fighting bigotry & anti-gay propaganda. Info:
Humanist Society of Gainesville Monthly
discussion group on variety of topics. Info: 373-
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Local
union currently organizing grocery and restaurant
workers. GainesvillelWW@riseup.net. Contact
Joe at 352-246-2240.
Interweave Gay/les/bi & allies educational &
support group, based at Unitarian Fellowship.
Gator Linux Users Meets to support "open
software," a free alternative to proprietary ap-
plications imposed by the Microsoft monopoly.
Visit www.gatorlug.org. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 373-0023.
Mahogany Revue Regional black newspaper:
"Mama Raga" Lesbian identified newsletter at
PO Box 141674, G'ville, FL 32614. mamaraga_
email@example.com or www.mamaraga.com.
Matagalpa Sister City Project Info: Robin,
Mind Over Matter Economic development,
community organizing & revitalization; 392-
1655, ext 292.
Nakba 48 Advocacy group for Palestinian
National Lawyers Guild Dedicated to basic and
progressive change in the structure of our political
and economic system. The Guild works locally,
nationally and internationally as a political and
social force in the service of the people. Meets
first Thursdays of the month. 6:30-7:30 p.m. at
Southern Legal Counsel, 1229 N.W. 12th Avenue,
Gainesville. Info: 514-2955.
National Organization for Women
Campus NOW: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gainesville Area NOW: for meeting info,
contact Lori at 380-9934.
Judy Levy NOW: for meeting info, contact
Laura Bresko 332-2528.
NORML UF www.norml.com
North Florida Friends of Progressive Radio
Promotes listening to this network of progres-
sive radio talk-show hosts, political commen-
tators and entertainers. Blog, stream, listen
live and become an 'Air American' at www.
airamerica.com. Also on XM Satellite Channel
167. Join the mailing list: airamericafriends@
North Florida Homeschoolers Association
Pax Christi Local chapter of national Catholic
peace & justice movement; supports local
Catholic Worker House. 271-6941
Peace Alliance. Advocating the principles of
non-violence through education and conflict
resolution in the community and nationally.
Campaining.for a U.S. Department of Peace.
Meets 3rd Mondays at the Sun Center Atrium
(behind Maude's) Info: 337-5126.
Pride Community Center of North Central
Florida at 3131 NW 13th St. - resources for the
Rural Women's Health Project Local health
education organization developing materials
for migrant & rural women on health, AIDS &
empowerment. Info: 372-1095.
Sierra Club Meets first Thursdays, 7:30 pm
at UF Entomology & Nematology Building,
Room 1035. Info: 371-1991.
Solar City meets Thursdays at noon at Books,
Inc. to discuss alternative energy.
Stonewall Democrats educating our fellow
Democrats about issues important to the GLBT
community. Meets 2nd Thursdays 5:45 pm at
the Alachua County Democratic Party Center
(901 NW 8 Ave., Suite A-3) http://stonewall-
Students Against War Meets Tuesdays 7pm
on campus in the amphitheater by Reitz
Union email: UFTakingAStand@yahoo.com
Check out our facebook group page.
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
meet Mondays at 6:30 pm at Civic Media'Cen-
Students Making Trade Fair uffairtradc@
Students Organizing for Justice & Action
Student led coalition at UF supporting goals
& practice of aflirmnnative action: listserv at
Students for a Human Society Dedicated to
fostering improvement of the human condition
will be shown at the
Civic Media Center,
1021 W. Univ. Ave.
Tuesday, May 20th, 8 pm
Tuesday, May 27th, 8 pm.
Electronic voting machines
and the threat to our votes
Co-sponsored by Progressive Demo-
crats of Florida.
as a central theme in student life. www.students-
Sustainable Alachua County For more info,
UF Pride Student Union A group of gay,
lesbian, bi and straight students & non-students,
faculty and staff. Info: 392-1665, ext. 310; 310
E JWRU, Gainesville FL 32611; http://sg.ufl.
United Nations Association Info: 378-1560.
United Way 2-1-1 is an information & referral
service that links people with questions to re-
sources with answers, using community database.
To give or get help call 2-1-1 or 332-4636. www.
Vegetarian Events A non-profit educational
organization in Alachua County. Info: 386-454-
Veg-4-Life Vegan Potluck. First Saturday of
each month, 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Fellowship.
Veterans for Peace Meet monthly. Info: 375-
2563 or PO Box 142562, Gvl, FL 32614; wvww.
Virgil Hawkins Pre-Law Society whiterozl4@
Volunteers for International Student Affairs
(VISA) Umbrella organization of international
students & ethnic minorities at UF. 392-1665
Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood Local
chapter dedicated to educating the community
about threats to reproductive & sexual rights and
freedom. email@example.com: www.ufvox.org
WGOT,94.7 LP-FM Community low-pover sta-
tion operating as part of the Civic Media Center.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.wgot.org or
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, l',\c� 11 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 11
(interview & call-i
Fresh Air; 1-2 pm
wick; 2-4 pm: Tal
Hey, west G'ville -
WGOT low-power FM - on the air
- tune in at 94.7 (see grid, pg 19:
18 Doug Clifford Sundays,
9-10 am; WSKY-97.3's
one hour of lefty talk per week.
Then She Found Me is Hipp film,
runs 16th-29th (2 week run).
Sweetwater Unitarian Univer-
salists meet at Civic Media Ctr,
10:30 am, Ist & 3rd Suns.
Gandhi Study Group 3rd-
Sunday meeting at Holy Trinity
Episcopal Church, 100 NE 1st St,
Mighty Lester Band blues
show at Common Ground, 6 pm.
,25 Memorial Mile on NW
8th Ave east of 34th St.
City of Men. is Hipp film, runs
Women in Black vigil every
Sunday, 5-6 pm, NW 43rd St &
16th Blvd; men are welcome,
signs are not.
Claire Lynch in concert at the
Ft. Clarke United Methodist
Church, 9325 W. Newberry Rd,
6 pm; info: 332-8770.
My Brother Is an Only
Child is Hipp film, runs
1 5 The Year My Parents
Went on Vacation is
Hipp film, runs 13th-19th.
22 Blind Sight is
Hipp film, runs 20th-26th.
29 The Edge of Heaven is
Hipp film, runs 27th-4th.
acksonville's public radio station
as NPR talk during the day - it's
located at 89.9 on the FM dial.
: 10 am-12: Diane Rehm
n); noon-1 pm: Terry Gross,
: Day to Day - host Alex Chad-
k of the Nation. Terry Gross's
Fresh Air repeats at 7 pm.
Check out This American Life,
Saturday 2 pm, Sundays 1 pm
WUFT-FM (89.1) now broad-
casts Fresh Air, noon, Mon-Fri;
also Alternative Radio now airs
at 6:30 pm on Mondays.
I1 Alt. Radio: Rahminullah
/ Yusufzai reports from
Pakistan, WUFT-FM, 6:30 pm.
One Bright Shining Moment:
The Forgotten Summer of
George McGovern (campaign
'72): CMC film, 8 pm.
26 Anti-war protests in
26 Melrose, Mons, 5-6 pm,
corner of State Rds 26 & 21.
Alt. Radio: Susan Faludi on
"The Terror Dream", 6:30 pim,,
The Confederate State of Ame-
rica (CSA) is CMC film, 8 pm.
2 Alt. Radio: Richard Scher,
"The Florida Legislature
Slashes & Burns the Future";
6:30 pm, WUFT-FM.
Recount - brand new HBO
docudrama with Kevin Spacey
(examining 2000 Florida
presidential vote) is CMC film,
9 Alt. Radio: Fatima Bhutto,
"Pakistan in Peril"; 6:30 pm.,
Murder on a Sunday Morning
(documentary profiling contro-
versial Jacksonville murder
case) is CMC film, 8 pm.
16 �AR: Vandana Shiva on
16 "India: States of Resist-
ance"; 6:30 pm, WUFT-FM.
Century of Self: parts 1 & 2,
8 pm, CMC.
"23 AR: Trita Parsi on
2 J 3"Israel, Iran & US:
Treacherous Alliance"; 6:30 pnm.
Century of Self: parts 3 & 4,
8 pm, CMC.
30 From Swastika to Jim
3 Crow, CMC, 8 pm.
1 3 County Farmers' Mkt
on N 441 by Hwy Patrol
Tues/ Thurs/Sat, 8 am-noon.
Alachua County Commission
meets 2nd & 4th Tuesdays, 9
am: citizens comment, 9:30 am.
Anti-war sign-holding 2nd &'
4th Tuesdays at University Ave
& 13th St, 4-6 pm.
20 Anti-war sign-holding
at 34th St & Archer Rd,
School Board meets 1st & 3rd
Tues, 7 pm, 620 E. Univ. Ave.
Uncounted - new doc on voter
suppression: CMC, 8 pm.
27 Alachua County Com-
mission meets, see 13th.
Anti-war sign-holding, 2nd &
4th Tues, Univ. & 13th, 4-6
Alachua County Labor Party
meets: planning for 6/19 insu-
rance co. protest: 6:30 pm, 618
.NW 13th Ave; info, 375-2832.
3 Anti-war sign-holding at
34th St & Archer Rd, 4-6
School Board meets 1st & 3rd
Tues. 7 pm, 620 E. Univ. Ave.
Summer Cuts Movies - Tues-
days, dusk, at Thomas Ctr:
classic films; www.flexfest.org.
2nd & 4th Tues, Univ.
& 13th, 4-6 pm.
Zeitgeist screening followed by
discussion at CMC, 7 pm.
MasculinFeminin (1966) is
Summer Cuts film. dusk.
17 Anti-war sign-holding
at 34th St & Archer Rd,
4-6 pm. __
School Board meets I st & 3rd
Tues. 7 pm, 620 E. Univ. Ave.
24 Anti-war sign-holding at
Univ. & 13th, 4-6 pm.
The War Game (1965) + bonus
shorts are Summer Cuts films,
dusk, Thomas Ctr Turtle Court.
1 Free col
in HIV 1
NW 13th St, 9
Wed; also at Pri
NW 6th St, 4-7
Thurs; info: 37T
every Wed, Dto
meets, 7 pm, C(
sion mtg room.
Punk rock mmo
and Roll High S
Rude Boys at Pi
Night, CMC. 9
Kickstand, 10 p
28 "US as
meetup, 7-9 pm
Pub, 60 SW 2nd
Rock Movie Ni,
4 Veterans f
7 pm: call.
We Jam Econo:
the Minutemen ,
Movie Night, CI
Open Mike Mu
Wednesday at (
Tim & Terry's.
Civic Media Ctr
Band in St. Aug
2 Pastures of
ood clinic, 914
ce Ctr. 1107
pm on Ist & 3rd
wn Plaza, 4-7 pm.
'ie night at CMC
m: tonite: Rock
ink Rock Movie
sic Show at The
'-FM, 6:30 pm.
rally" - 4th
lent at Punk
ht, CMC, 9 pm.
r Peace meets,
The Stcry of
.t Punk Rock
AC, 9 pm.
sic Nights on
:lub Red and
Around the K
ek Movie series
: see www.
r.org for details.
Ily at Brophy's.
lenty - 4-part
WUFT, 6:30 pm.
1 5 Solar City meets at Books
1 Inc, noon on Thursdays.
CMC Vols meeting, 5:30 pm.
Last night for Persepolis at
Hippodrome - don't miss it!
Kathleen Kennedy & Friends
at Lightnin' Salvage.
Open Poetry every Thurs at
CMC, 9:30 pm: Gvl's longest-
running poetry jam, open to all;
informal & welcoming to both
readers & listeners.
22 CMC Volunteers meet,
2 5:30 pm.
CCAWT meets, 6 pin, WJ Ctr.
Gvl Area NOW meets: topic,
"Myths about birth control &
alternative women's health"; 6:30
pm, Pride Ctr, 3131 NE 13th St.
Open Poetry at CMC, 9:30 pm.
Public Service Announce-
ment, Thunder Over Water,
and EMA at 1982.
29J CMC Volunteers meet,
29. 5:30 pm.
Open Poetry at CMC, 9:30 pm.
Sierra Club gen'l meeting,
topic TBA, at UF Entomol-
ogy Bldg 1035, 7:30 pm.
Venezuela presentation by Jenny
Brown & Joe Courter at Civic
Media Center, 1021 W. Univer-
sity Ave, 7:30-9:30 pm; see pg
Open Poetry at CMC, 9:30 pm.
12 CMC Volunteers meet,
Open Poetry at CMC. 9:30 pm,
every Thursday night.
IGUANA Deadline for July- "
Aug issue is July 5th; call 378-I
5655 with events, advertise-
ments, group updates & info: ,
26 G'ville Area NOW
ACU meeting - viewing
ACLU Freedom Files:
Women's Rights at Pride
Center, 3131 NW 13th St:
dinner & child care provided;
6:30 pm - see pg. 18.
1 6 Julie Black in concern, free.
at Let's Go Downtown Free
Friday plaza series, 8-10 pm.
Books for Prisoners book-packing
parties at Wayward Council, 807 W.
University Ave). 6-9 pm: for info,
Jazz every Friday/Saturday outdoors
at Maude's Cafd, next to Hippo-
drome, Fridays & Sats. 10 pm-I am.
Nature Photography Exhibit at
Randy Battista's gallery (next to
Hipp, other side) for month of May:
"23 Cliff Eberhardt Melrose
house concert - limited seat-
ing: 352-475-3243. $20.
The String Kings at Let's Go
Downtown Free Fridays plaza series,
Marce. Cassette, others at 1982.
Critical Mass Bike Ride, 5
pm from Plaza of.Americas;
probable endpoint at Kickstand
Collective, 722 S. Main St, for
concert benefitting Civic Media Cir
with salsa by Alegando Ramos.
Chuck Levy & Physical Medicine
at Lct's Go Downtown Free Fridays
plaza series, 8-10 pm.
6 The Lions of Jah at I yet'ss Go
lDowntown Free Fridays plaza
series. 8-10 pm.
See G'ville Activist Network
Calendar at www.gn\an.org/
calendar for updated activities
*13 Collective Format and
Omi Ajamu at Let's Gio
Downtown Free Fridays plaza series.
f20 LA Band and Courtney
20. Scott at LeIl's (io Down-
to'wn Free Fridu\ s plaza series. 8-10
St:u~sn:a SOI.STIC (11:59 PMI)
"2i7 Critical Mass Bike Ride. 5
pm from Plata of Americas;
probable endpoint at Kickstand
('ollecti e. 722 S. Main St. for
oncicrt henclittinuL Civic Media ('ir.
4 NI)1i1',1':) . I)LY
7 International Midwives' Day
- games, food & music at
Unity Gainesville, 8801 NW 39th
Ave, 10 am-4 pm; $10-30 sliding
Indigo Green Store i-year Anni-
versary Party. 322 SW 4th Ave. 3-6
pm: 378-2285: see ad, pg 22.
Farm to Family Music: live music
in a country setting, 5 pm till late;
camping available: 386-462-5479 or
"The Word is-Spoken" at Tim &
Terry's, Saturdays, 8-10 pm: spoken
word open mike.
24 Mile-long Memorial Day
Display honoring over 4.500
US military casualties in Bush's wars,
on NW 8th Ave starting at 34th St.
presented-by Vets for Peace Sat-Mon:
www.afn.org/~vetpeace; see pg 22.
Winter Soldier (movie. 1971)
showing at Unitarian Univer-
salist Fellowship, followed by
discussion with Scott Camil: 7 pm.
The Imposters (Beatles tribute band)
in concert benefitting Chr) salis
Community at United Church, 1624
NW 5th Ave; see ad, pg 14.
Pierce Pettis and David Wilcox at
('af Ehleven in St. Augustine.
7 G'ville Peace Forum at Civic
Media C'tr, 2 pm: representative cs
from groups &/or individuals al\\ a\ s
Veg 4 Life Ist Saturday potluck. 6:30
pm a! I nitarian I nivcrsalist Fellow-
ship, 4225 NW 34th St: 375-7207.
1 A Food Not Bombs food prep.
-- nxmn-2 pm; serve ing Wednes-
days, 7 pm: Saturda s, 3:30 pm: info:
Farm to Family Music: \\ w\.farmrnto
family music.com. or 386-462-5479.
for info on live music in WGville.
Thanks. (il\ ph!
Satellite Magazine has great
listings as i ell - more than we
can fit. Pick it tip each month.
Donna Tara Lee
Most of us are aware that this
November there will be an
amendment to the state constitution
barring gay marriage. However
most of us are unaware that there
are already two laws banning gay
marriage in Florida already. Why
the need to pass an amendment to the
state constitution then?
The proponents of Amendment
2 will tell you it's needed to
prevent liberal activist judges
from declaring a gay marriage ban
unconstitutional. Let's take a look
at this argument. In a constitution
there never should be written a law
barring a group of society from the
rights of all other segments of the
society. This is institutionalized
racism, or discrimination, outlawed
by the Supreme Court of the US
when it overturned Plessey v.
Ferguson. (1954, Brown v. Board
of Education.) Eventually the US
Supreme Court should outlaw all
these marriage bans that are based
on religious beliefs.
This also is unconstitutional in
my opinion based on Amendment
1 in the Bill of Rights (including
freedom of association). These are
two legal arguments against passing
Now we get to the untold
reasoning for support of amendment
2, the insidious reason the Religious
Right is promoting it. According to
their view, those cohabitating without
being in a state of marriage are
sinning. Never mind why.
The wording of this Amendment
2 is based on the wording of the
Michigan amendment banning gay
marriage in Michigan. It is now
being used in Michigan to ban
benefits where they were granted to
those living in a relationship where
the 2 persons are not legally married.
Most of the above occurrences
are taking place where gay and
lesbian couples have been granted
Domestic Partnership status by a
municipality, employer, etc. This is
really an attempt to disallow GLBT
persons from having any kind of
domestic partnership benefits at all.
This makes these amendments
very mean spirited. Not only are
they an attempt by a small group to
impose their standards on society,
they also are attempting to punish a
group they vehemently oppose, the
LGBT community. This amendment
2 must be defeated.
On Sunday, May 1"8, at the Ritz
Hotel on SR 40 in Ocala, from 1-3
PM, there will be a brunch fundraiser
opposing this amendment. It is
sponsored by Florida Red and Blue,
co-chaired by both a Republican
and a Democrat. The cost for this
event is $10.00. I will be making a
short address on this issue in central
Florida and I shall be followed
by our Keynote speaker, Patricia
Ireland, former National President
for 10 years of NOW. She will speak
extensively of our efforts to defeat
this amendment statewide. Please
make plans to attend.
Donna Tara Lee is a Volunteer Field
Worker in North Central Florida with
Fairness for all Florida Families.
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 14 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PACE 14
In our society that is becoming
increasingly homogenized, it is
important for local businesses
to thrive in order to keep our
communities unique and vibrant.
While major chain stores like Barnes
& Noble, Wal-Mart, and Publix offer
all of the necessities for our day-to-
day needs at comparatively cheaper
prices than your local mom and pop,
it is the latter that will ultimately
keep our local economies healthy,
bring us closer to our neighbors, and
serve us socially and environmentally
responsible goods and services.
With the influx of new residents
to the city of Gainesville, and for
others who may not have thought
about it; this article was written with
'the intention to encourage the reader
to shop local.
Books Inc. right on the corner of
NW .13th St. and 5th Ave. has been in
existence for nearly two decades in
Gainesville and is a shining example
of everything that is beneficial about
a local business. Books Inc. functions
as a new and used bookstore with a
vegetarian caf6 called Booklovers
Caf6, a brief walk from campus.
The owners, Anne and Phil Haisley,
have been two active figures in the
community since moving here 20
years ago. The Haisley's both agree
that the mostimportafit reason to
shop locally is to keep the money
spent circulating throughout the
community. Anne says on average
the maximum amount of money that
will.make its way back to the local
level when you shop at a corporate
chain store is $0.13 on the dollar.
Anne says, "Every dollar spent local,
stays locak" The majority of the
Booklovers Cafd's ingredients and
produce comes from local suppliers,
Rainbow Produce and Ward's
With the recent controversy
involving the community's fight
against the East Side Wal-Mart, one
of the issues heavily discussed is the
idea of customer service. The idea
of walking into a local store, and
recognizing the same person builds a
staff-patron trust that is a component
of building strong ties in the
community. This same trust is largely
absent from major chains that are
simply too large with a staff that is
too transient to provide this stability.
There are many local businesses
here in Gainesville that have strong
concerns for environmental and
sustainability issues. "We're helping
to make the local global," says Shem
Fleenor an employee at the newly
opened SW 2nd St coffee shop Volta.
Shem explained that Volta serves
Intelligentsia brand coffee because
of their "direct trade" policy, which
sends representatives directly to
the coffee bean farms to make sure
that the commitment to healthy
environmental and sustainable social
practices is being upheld.
It is this concern for the
environment, and for issues
of globalization that set small
businesses off from major corporate
chains. The following (and apologies
to others we many have missed) are
great alternatives to your everyday
boring major chain (many located
within walking distance from
Eateries (all of which are Vegan and
Vegetarian friendly): Gator Dawgs,
Booklovers Caf6, Reggae Shack,
Buddha Belly, The Top, Leo's By the
Slice, Farah's, Satchels, Steamers,
Burrito Bros., El Indio, Harvest
Thyme, Gyros Plus, the Jones,
NewWok, Plaza Coffee Shop.
Coffee: Maude's, Volta, 2nd Street
Bakery, Sweetwater Coffee-roasters
(buy their beans at Wards)
Bike Shops: Mr. Goodbike, Recycled
Bikes, Spin Cycle
Music: CD's and More, Wayward
Council, Sharpe's, Hyde & Zeke's
Ice Cream: Sweet Dreams, Karma
Creme (opening soon)
Bookstores: Books Inc., Goering's,
Wild Iris, Omni
Household & gifts: Indigo Green,
Alternatives, D's Tees & Tings
Wednesday afternoons, 4-7 pm,
Union Street Farmer's Market at the
Downtown Plaza in Gainesville.
Saturday 8:30am-l pm,
Alachua County Farmer 's Market,
5920 NW 13th St. (at the corner of
SR 121 and US 441.
Satrudays, 8:30am-noon, Haile
Plantation Farmers Miarket, SW 91 st
Terr, Haile Village Center.
Thursday, 2-6, High Springs
Farmer's Market at James Paul Park,
Main Street and NW 2nd Ave.
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 15 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
The buzz is on! The word is out!
- . Buddha Belly Rocks!
We make and serve fresh, real food. No
unpronounceable : ..; t.-.', nio nukes.
'Just food and fire
SBUDDHA B1LLY . Check out our web site Omnorores & Vegetarians
One bock wt of www.buddhabelly.us welcome
Mi S,et on Call aheao for pick-up service Monday thru Friday llam to 10pm
NW 16A 352-3770287 Saturday Noon to 10pm
IGUANA,,MAY/JLJNE 2008, PAGL 15
Uncounted at the
Civic Media Center
May 20 & 27th
UNCOUNTED is an explosive
new documentary that shows how
the election fraud that changed the
outcome of the 2004 election led
to even greater fraud in 2006 - and
now looms as an unbridled threat to
the outcome of the 2008 election.
This controversial feature length film
by Emmy award-winning director
David Earnhardt examines in factual,
logical, and yet startling terms
how easy it is to change election
outcomes and undermine election
integrity across the U.S. Noted
computer programmers, statisticians,
journalists, and experienced election
officials provide the irrefutable proof.
UNCOUNTED shares well
documented stories about the spine-
chilling disregard for the right to vote
in America. In Florida, computer
programmer Clint Curtis is directed
by his boss to create software that
will "flip" votes from one candidate
to another. In Utah, County Clerk
Bruce Funk is locked out of his
office for raising questions about
security flaws in electronic voting
machines. Californian Steve Heller
gets convicted of a felony after he
leaks secret documents detailing
illegal activities, committed by a
major voting machine company.
And Tennessee entrepreneur, Athan
Gibbs, finds verifiable voting a hard
sell in America and dies before his
dream of honest elections can be
UNCOUNTED is a wakeup call to
all Americans. Beyond increasing the
public's awareness, the film inspires
greater citizen involvement in fixing
a broken electoral system. As we
approach the decisive election of
2008, UNCOUNTED will change
how you feel about the way votes are
counted in America.
See the film Tuesday, May 20th
and Tuesday May 27th at 8pm at
the CMC, 1021 W. Univ. Ave. Co-
sponsored by the the Progressive
Democrats of Florida. Donations
Global Fair Trade Market Place
from one world
4203 N.W. 16th Blvd
(MIIIhopper Publix Shopping Cenrtr)
Mon. - Sat 11-7, Sun 1-5
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 16 GAINESVILLE, FLORIIP
bine-in or Takeout
Best Chinese Food In Town
* PAD THAI
* COCONUT CHICKEN
* DINNER COMBOS
Lunch Specials $5 wisoda
M-Th.: 11 am- 10:30pm
Fri, Sat.: 11am - 11pm
Sunday: noon - 10:30pm
421 NW 13th St.
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 16
Signature ad drive
calls on candidates to
be bold and "stand up
to health insurance
At a 2008 Alachua County
Labor Party planning meeting
members developed the
idea of having an election
health care campaign. What
started as a pledge grew into
a signature ad in support
of H.R. 676-as a way to
pressure the candidates to
do better, and to keep the
solution that most people
want (single payer, national
health care for all) in the
The idea is to push for HR
676 instead of the plans that
Clinton and Obama have
articulated, pointing out why
it's better and cheaper. It
would be exactly the wrong
thing to do to suspend our
criticisms right now, when
there's high consciousness
about various plans, when the
subject is getting discussed
(and dismissed) in the
debates. The enemy is not the
candidates but the health
What follows is the text
of the ad that the Alachua
Labor Party is now collecting
signatures for. See ad and
form to sign on at left. A
$5-10 donation per person is
requested to defray costs of
To sign on, fill out the form
on this page and send to:
Alachua County Labor Party,
P.O. Box 12051, Gainesville,
Who's afraid of health insurance companies?
Both likely Democratic presidential nominees have plans to address our health care crisis. We think it's great that
they're talking about health care, since the likely Republican hominee,'John McCain, doesn't seems to think
there's a crisis in the U.S. health insurance system.
The problem is, we pay more for healthcare and get worse results than 37 other countries. Neither Clinton's nor
Obama's plan would retrieve that wasted money and put it towards care. Instead, both candidates will throw in
MORE public money to subsidize the private insurance companies, creating another patchwork instead of truly
universal health care.
We pay so much in the U.S. because one out of every three dollars we spend on health care is wasted on health
insurance company profits, paperwork,/administration, corporate red tape, and the costs to our doctors and
hospitals of dealing with hundreds of private insurance companies.
Both candidates say that alongside the private system, they would also create a public alternative plan, like
Medicare, and that's great. But why not just expand Medicare to cover everyone? That's the idea of HR 676,
a bill introduced by Representative John Conyers of Michigan and signed by 88 members of Congress.
HR 676: The "Expanded and Improved Medicare for All" Bill
This bill would put into place a simple, single system, funded like Medicare, that would cover everyone for all
their healthcare needs. There would be no premiums, no deductibles, no co-pays, and no more insurance
company rejections. Because the private insurance companies would no longer be profiting at our expense, we
will SAVE money. We're already paying more per person than any other country in the world! If all our money
went to care, we could cover everyone in the U.S. without spending an additional dime.
The California Nurses Association endorses it. The 15,000-strong Physicians for a National Health Program
endorses it. The AFL-CIO in 32 states, including Florida, endorses it. Florida Representatives Corinne Brown,
Alcee Hastings and Robert Wexler have signed on. The public by a 62% to 33% margin' wants a plan like this.
What are the candidates waiting for?
Tax credits, vouchers, employer mandates, proofs of low income, requirements that everyone buy insurance,
enforcement of new regulations against the insurance industry, all these make the Democrats' plans a
complicated, costly patchwork and less than we deserve. The U.S. public is ready to end the insurance company
stranglehold on our health care system. It's time for the politicians to catch up with the public and do the right
We the undersigned call on all the candidates to BE BOLD. Stand with the people of the U.S. and stand up
to the health insurance companies. We call on Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (as well as
Senator McCain and Florida Senators Nelson and Martinez) to introduce a companion bill to HR 676 in
the Senate, and to vote and work for HR 676: "Expanded and Improved Medicare for All."
Name (as you wish it to appear)
Address (won't appear in ad)_
City, State, ZIP
This ad will appear in the Gainesville Sun shortly bhe/ore the Democratic and Republican conventions.
Individuals: $5-10 sliding scale
Organizations: $25-50 sliding scale
Please write & mail checks to: Alachua County Labor Party, P.O. Box 12051, Gainesville, FL 32604.
For more information, call 352 375-2832 or write email@example.com For more on HR 676, visit
Healthcare NOW at www.healthcarc-now.org' or www.sickocure.org or www.justhealthcare.org
' October 20. 2003 ABC News/Washington Post poll. Sixty-two percent said they'd prefer a universal insurance,
which everyone is covered Lnder a program, like Medic:nc. that's run by the government and funded by taxpayers.
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 17 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 17
Democrat Tim Cunya challenges
Stearns for Congress
Cliff Steams, the entrenched
conservative Republican who's been
safely ensconced in the sprawling,
gerrymandered North Florida
Congressional District 6, will face a
new opponent this Fall. Tim Cunha
(pronounced cun-ya) will pick up
from prior challenger Dave Bruderly
and try to take District 6 back to
the Democrats. Tim is a resident
of Ocala, and while he is new to
Florida, he is not new to politics
He started in politics at the age of 13,
in suburban Ne
Jersey. Elected in
the Democratic -
primary as the .
member of a
New Jersey at 16, he went on to
serve as a municipal chair and county
vice-chair at 19, and was elected to
his local government at the age of
22, the only Democrat in a staunchly
Republican town. He managed
campaigns for county, state, and
federal offices while in high school
and college, and when he returned
to New Jersey after completing law
school. at Rutgers University and
Georgetown University Law Center.
He's still licensed as an attorney-
at-law, in New Jersey, and for
many years taught honors seminars
at Rutgers on topics of legal and
political philosophy, justice, and
globalization. He also practiced
dispute resolution as a family and
He has extensive experience
in forming and managing
entrepreneurial companies in diverse
fields including the manufacture
of engineering and surveying
and production of state-of-the-art
'graphics computers, and technical
book publishing. His business career
has equipped him to understand
and appreciate both the perils and
potential of small business, and the
constant struggle "Main Street" has
competing with the special interests
of "Wall Street."
For the past nine years he has
worked in the field of biological
research, providing expertise in
sales management, marketing,
manufacturing processes, research
and development. His scientific
work in the areas of obesity,
diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and
nutrition have been presented iia
poster sessions at various scientific
meetings and is the subject of
upcoming journal articles..
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 18
Gainesville Area NOW & UF Campus NOW
2008 Summer Film Festival
ACLU Freedom Files - Women's Rights
& NOW: 40 Fearless Years
Women have made great gains in the fight for equality, but I -4
sexism and discrimination against women continues to "
create huge barriers for many - especially for immigrant
women, women with low incomes, victims of domestic RUS
violence, and women seeking reproductive health care. Also. En e
celebrate NOW's 40 years of Fighting for Feminism.
June 26 @ 6:30 PM
FUNDI: The Story of Ella Bakerreveals the
instrumental role that Ella Baker, a friend and advisor to Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr., played in shaping the American civil-
rights movement. The dynamic activist was affectionately
S' known as the Fundi, a Swahili word for a person who passes
skills from one generation to another. By looking at the 1960s
from the perspective of Baker, the "godmother of the Student
Nonviolent Coordinating Committee," FUNDI adds an
essential understanding of the U.S. civil rights movement.
July 24 @ 6:30 PM
by Maggie Hadleigh-West ,S . L
War Zone is about sex, power K M I
and what happens when men -
either knowingly or unknowingly - threaten a woman's right to walk undisturbed on the streets.
Shot all over the US, Hadleigh-West turns her camera on men in the same way
that they turn their aggression on her. War Zone is incredibly explosive footage
as the filmmaker places herself in very real danger by daring to ask the men on
the streets why they are treating a complete stranger in a sexual way. In the
process, she has been hit, yelled at, apologized to, and engaged in mesmerizing
conversations with the men that have harassed her. Hadleigh-West reveals the
anger, fear, and frustration as well as the affection, admiration, and humor that
characterizes relationships between men and women.
August 28 @ 6:30 PM
All screenings are at The Pride Center - 3131 NW 13th Street
Dinner and Chlldcare Provided * Look for Balloons and NOWrounds
GainesvilleNOW.org * 352-380-9934 * firstname.lastname@example.org
UF Campus NOW * 904-814-0489 email@example.com
There will be a lot of
political races to plug into,
and with our local races
Mike Byerly and Eileen
Roy will be facing strong
challenges. But for now,
early on, consider trying to
help Tim Cunha to get his
campaign going. Thus far
he's the only Democrat in
the race, and may be the
only one. Plug in, to his
or any other Democrats
campaign through the
local Gainesville party
headquarters at 901 NW 8th
Ave; phone 352-373-1730,
or go to Tim's website at
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Midweek Music Delight
Tuesday in the Grooves
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Underachievers March & Fight Snow
Sierra Radio Club
Lick's from the Lounge
Cult Classic Hour
SAT 12-lam Backseat Vinyl Uncomfortable
1-2am Music Mix
3-5am Your Music w/ Evan
5-8am Democracy Now!
2-3pm CMC Counterpoints
3-4pm The Seneca Hour
4-5pm Music Mix
5-7pm The Aquanet
SUN 1-2pm Sweetwater Presents
2-3pm No Gods, No Masters
3-4pm Sunday Jazz w/ DJ Angd & Angelina
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From the owners of Shamrock comes
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Sat. 4pm - 2 am, Sun. 4 pm- 11 pm
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 19
Student hunger strike ends
but issue won't go away
For the last year, Students for a
Democratic Society (SDS) has tried
to reach out to the administration and
UF's Board of Directors regarding
its policy for socially responsible
investing only to be repeatedly
Socially responsible investing
calls for the establishment of a
transparency committee that will
report to the board of trustees on
the investments of the $1.2 billion
endowment fund of UF to ensure
that the university is not investing in
corporations that are profiting from
the War on Terror, environmental
destruction, or human rights abuses.
Originally the campaign started
as a push for the divestment in such
socially irresponsible investments,
meaning through a long and
complicated process the university
would withdraw its funds from
companies it felt were ethically
But soon the movement realized a
new goal - that of transparency. SDS
felt it was important for students,
alumni, faculty, investors , whoever
to be aware of the corporations that
their funds were supporting.
SDS met with UF's President
Bernie Machen and/or the board of
directors on three different occasions
to discuss their proposal for a
transparency committee, each time
being politely denied or pushed aside
in some shape or form.
Initially President Machen
supported SDS's socially responsible
investment policy. In a letter he
wrote to the organization, he said he
supported their ideas and would look
With 81.5 percent of the
students supporting the
creation of a transparency
committee, SDS felt victorious.
into the matter further. But after he
and the board of directors attempted
to placate the students by enacting
policies that would allow the board
of directors to consider divesting
in firms it considered capable of
causing "substantial social injury."
He also added that the board was
considering a policy used to oversee
the Florida state pension plan, which
bans investing in 57 companies
considered socially irresponsible by
But he also added, "With regard
to your specific proposals, I am.not
able to recommend them to the board
of trustees. We believe the board of
trustees' newly adopted policy and
our other considerations provide the
necessary framework to invest in a
socially responsible manner."
But according to the students'
involved in SDS and those most
closely aligned with the socially,
responsible investing campaign,
these actions that were meant to
appease the progressive types have
nothing to do with their cause. The
organization placed no faith in the
Continued-on page 24...
It3UANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 20 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
1017 W. University Avenue
New sports bar & pub next-door to the
, Civic Media Center in the old Shamrock location!
I6UANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 20
Iraqi unionists send
to West Coast
U.S. Labor Against the War is
pleased to be able to share with
you a statement of solidarity
from the General Union of Port
Workers in Iraq to the members of
the International Longshore and
Warehouse Union (ILWU) in support
of the decision by ILWU members
to shut down all the ports on the
West Coast on May Day 2008 as a
demonstration of their opposition to
the war and occupation of Iraq.
April 29, 2008 -In solidarity with
the ILWU, the General Union of Port
Workers in Iraq will stop work for
one hour on May Day in the ports of
Umm Qasr and Khor Al Zubair.
Dear Brothers and Sisters of ILWU
The courageous decision you
made to carry out a strike on May
Day to protest against the war and
occupation of Iraq advances our
struggle against occupation to bring a
better future for us and for the rest of
the world as well.
We are certain that a better world will
only be created by the workers and
what you are doing is an example
and proof of what we say. The labor
movement is the only element in
the society that is able to change the
political equations for the benefit
of mankind. We in Iraq are looking
up to you and support you until the
victory over the US administration's
barbarism is achieved.
Over the past five years the sectarian
gangs who are the product of the
occupation, have been trying to
transfer their conflicts into our ranks.
Targeting workers, including their
residential and shopping areas,
indiscriminately using all sorts of
government has been
attempting to intervene into the
workers affairs by imposing
a single government-certified
explosive devices, mortar shells,
and random shooting, were part of
a bigger scheme that was aiming to
tear up the society but they miserably
failed to achieve their hellish goal.
We are struggling today to defeat
both the occupation and sectarian
The pro-occupation government has
been attempting to intervene into the
workers affairs by imposing a single
government-certified labor union.
Furthermore it has been promoting
privatization and an oil and gas law
to use the occupation against the
interests of the workers.
We the port workers view that
our interests are inseparable from
the interests of workers in Iraq
and the world; therefore we are
determined to continue our struggle
to improve the living conditions of
the workers and overpower all plots
of the occupation, its economic and
Let us hold hands for the victory of
Long live the port workers in
Long live May Day!
Long live International solidarity!
The General Union of Port Workers
in Iraq An Affiliate Union with
General Federation of Workers
Councils and Unions in Iraq
IGUANA. MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 21 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
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IGUANA. MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 21
Memorial Day display
to honor dead, show
cost of war
Continued from page 1...
Parking will be at Westside Park
(34th Street and 8th Ave.) Volunteers
are needed for set up (Saturday, 4
am") and take do%. n (Monday, 8 pm.)
and for watching the Display
Saturday. SundaN and Monday da\
and night To volunteer contact
Veterans lor Peace at 352 375-2563.
- -C. - ~ o-'~~.zaaain1b~I'~ a
OF' :i".Q AND
Received Treatment from VA
Filed A Disability Claim
Source: DoD and VA via Veterans
for Common Sense (as of May. 07, 2008)
NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDAS GREEN HOME STORE
GREEN SOLUTIONS FOR A HEALTHY HOME
-MUSIC : FOOD.: DRINK: -AKEI GREEN. TABLES :
ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARYWCELEBRATION!
3-6PM : MAY 17, 2008: AT INDIGO: BRING THE KIDS!
322 SW 4TH AVE, GAINESVILLE, FL 32601
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 22 *,
JEAN CHALMERS, GRI
(352) 372-5375 EXT. 142 BUSINESS
(352) 378-6504 HOME, (352) 371-1526 FAX
(800) 755-0086 TOLL FREE
(352) 538-4256 MOBILE
Each Office Is Indr pendeIly
Ehe)wned Aeen Oerat www mmparrish.com
Jack Penrod was a veteran of the
MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion of
the 15th International Brigade of the
Spanish Republican Army during
the Spanish Civil War. Born in
Birmingham,Alabama, he was raised in
Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and resided
in Gainesville, Florida, where he was a
Professor and then Emeritus Professor
of English at the University of Florida.
Jack died April 12th in Gainesville at
Jack was a true forever activist. Before
Spain he had been a radical student
leader at Penn, his alma mater. There
he joined the Communist Party USA
which he would leave and rejoin three
times, before finally parting from it.
After Jack graduated from college he
went on to work with Steel Workers
Organizing Committee (SWOC) of the
newly forming Congress of Industrial
Organizations (CIO). He left union
organizing to join the defenders of
Spanish democracy in 1937.
Jack entered Spain, whose borders had
been closed, by crossing the Pyrenees
Mountains on foot by night with fellow
volunteers. He led a sniper squadron
in the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion
of the 15th International Brigade and
saw action in major engagements
including Teruel and Fuentes de Ebro.
A high point was Smith's Maneuver
where Jack, comrade Len Levenson,
and a Handful of other snipers held off
advancing fascist armies for hours. Jack
was wounded and when he recovered
became an ambulance driver until he
returned to the U.S.
He was stationed in the Philippines
during WWII where, when the war
ended, he organized a cell within his
army unit to work with the radical
Philippine Huks (the Huks had fought
the Japanese invaders in WWII and
were leading the way on land reform)
to agitate for U.S. withdrawal from the
After WWII, Jack finished his doctorate
on the G.I. Bill and became a professor
of English. At the University of Florida,
he won the Thomas JeffersonAward for
excellence in teaching. In the 1950s,
Jack worked against McCarthyist
political repression of fellow professors.
Later he helped to organize the faculty
union at the University of Florida. He
also helped to found a chapter of the
United Nations Association and was
a founder of the Unitarian Church in
He gave talks about the Spanish Civil
War at area colleges, high. schools, and
at various functions. Recordings of two
of his talks are in the collection of the
Civic Media Center. He demonstrated
against the war in Iraq, was a member
of the Labor Party, organized for
national health insurance (HR676),
and wrote letters for political prisoners
for Amnesty International. He was at
it all the time.
He was a member of the National
Organization for Women (NOW) and
supported .Carol's radical women's
liberation work including letting the
groups, Redstockings and Gainesville
Women's Liberation, store archival
material in his house, donating to fund
drives, editing drafts of tracts, getting
library books, and staffing phone banks
for a feminist scholarship fund.
He also volunteered as a readerfor blind
students, tutored ESL students, and
served as a docent at the museum.
Jack and his first wife, Jane Penrod,
who died in 1991 -a great feminist,
union organizer and environmental
activist-had two daughters, Julie
Penrod-Glen and Jill McGuire. He is
survived by Julie and Jill, three grand
children, three great grand children, and
his second wife, Carol Giardina.
Jack supported the Veterans of the
Abraham Lincoln Brigade (VALB),
the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives
(ALBA), and ForeverActivists! Friends
and Families of the Abraham Lincoln
Brigade (FFALB). He urged others to
become active supporters of FFALB.
Contributions in his memory can be
made to FFALB. Send checks made out
to Georgia Wever and mail to: FFALB,
c/o Georgia Wever, 280 9th Ave., 7D,
New York, NY 10001.
Carol and Jack in Madrid, Spain,
in 1996 at a welcoming event for
the International Brigades orga-
nized by the UGT trade union.
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 23 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 23
Hunger strike... cont. from p. 20
board of directors or the administration
in regards to investing in socially
responsible companies. Also, the
university's endowment fund was made
up of hedge funds and mutual funds,
which were outside the realm pf the
policies the board enacted.
With no otlier place to turn, SDS
gathered the appropriate amount
of signatures to place the issue on
the Spring 2008 student ballot as a
referendum. With 81.5 percent of the
students supporting the creation of
a transparency committee, SDS felt
But as the semester was coming to a
close, SDS realized nothing was going
to be done to address the opinions of
the masses. President Machen and the
board of trustees had .done nothing in
response to the student vote.
So members of
SDS decided the only Events
thing left to do was
go on a hunger strike.
They felt the only
way to make their
voices heard and to
gain the attention of
the higher-ups was by
from two to ten
days in April in an
attempt to be heard.
Some drafik fruit and
vegetable juice, while Junt
others ingested only
water for the duration
of the strike.
In the end, their
voices went unheard.
As the semester go to
ended, the Student
Senate at UF held a
-P.O. Box 14712
Gainesville, FL 32604
meeting where it rejected SDS's
proposal for the creation of a
transparency committee. 33
senators voted in favor of the
bill that would establish such a
committee, but 31 opposed the
bill, meaning the proposal failed
to get the two-thirds majority
required to pass.
US POSTAGE PAID
PERMIT # 358
With many of the activists leaving
Gainesville for the summer, no one
knows what the next step will be. B.ut
one can be certain that the issue will
not just disappear.
I'm -still usin ^^ Ig
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 24 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
$10-20 per year or free to low/no income
Call (352) 378-5655
or write to address above.
at the Civic Media Center
Weekly Monday Film Screenings
May 26- Confederate States of America
June 2- Recount
June 9- Murder on a Sunday Afternoon
June 16- Century of Self: Parts 1 and 2
June 23- Century of Self- Parts 3 and 4
Wednesday Punk Raok Movie Night
May 28- Fugazi: Instrument
June 4- We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minute Men
S11: The Shield Around the K The History of K Records
Weekly Volunteer Meetings @ 5:30pm
GainesvilWs Longest-running Poetry Jam @ 9:30pm
www.civiemediacenter.org for more information an
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2008, PAGE 24