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The Reality of War:
Memorial Mile, May 28-30
by Scott Camil
2011 will be the fifth year of the Veterans for Peace
Memorial Day project known as Memorial Mile. The
display consists of tombstones bearing the name, date of
death, age, rank and hometown of fhe American service
men and women who have died due to the wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq.
The display is.set up in Gainesville along NW 8th
Avenue. It runs east from 34th Street for one mile, then
crosses to the north side of the road and runs west back
toward 34th Street. When we started this project in 2007,
we did not think that we would still be involved in these
wars today. In 2009, we ran out of room on the south
Some of the more than 5,400 tombstones that line NW 8th
Avenue (between NW 34th St. and NW 23rd St.) as part of
the Memorial Mile Project. Each tombstone represents an
American killed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Photo
An interview with Tom Burke, a
Michigan activist subpoenaed to
appear before a Grand Jury for his
solidarity work in Colombia and also
Please tell us about the FBI raids
and Grand Juiry repression of
On Sept. 24, under the orders of
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald,
the FBI raided two homes in
Chicago, five in Minneapolis, and
the Anti-War Committee office
in Minneapolis. Agents carted off
cell phones, computers, personal
notebooks, political documents,
children's artwork, books and boxes
full of whatever they wanted. Here
in Michigan, the FBI followed me
to my wife's work where they gave
us subpoenas to Fitzgerald's Grand
Jury in Chicago. Of the original
14 activists subpoenaed, many of
us are well known in the anti-war
and union movements, speaking at
meetings and appearing in the media.
Nevertheless, the raids on family
homes shocked our children, our
neighbors and us, but we quickly
started organizing to put a stop to this
Continued page 3..
Continued page 2... courtesy of Gainesville's Veterans for Peace.
FBI Targets Anti-war, Labor Activists
Hollis Watkins........ ....4
Meal limit protest ........ 7
Prosperity to Austerity .... 8
Labor Notes Party ........ 8
May Day 2011........
Group directory ...... 10-11
Arab Spring............ 14
Alternative Radio axed... 16
Peace Poetry .......... 18
Abortion speakout ...... 24
Memorial... continuedfrom p. I
side of the road and that is why we
crossed to the north side and have
started west. At the current rate of
American deaths, in 2012 we will run
out of room.
The whole display has 3 parts. The
main part is the tombstones, which
are displayed by theater of war and
date of death. We have books at both
ends of the display that allow us to
help people find the tombstones they
are looking for.
The second part of the display is a
set of panels that show the cost of
these two wars in human lives, dollar
amounts, and lost opportunities.
The third part of the display is the
Peace Ribbon, which is a project of
Code Pink. It honors the victims of
the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq by
creating a cloth memorial panel to
individual fallen soldiers and Afghani
and Iraqi civilians. The Peace
Ribbon is an ongoing grassroots
project in which individuals and
groups make the panels. There are
over 225 panels. To find out more
about the Peace Ribbon go to
In 2007, the display consisted of
3,843 tombstones representing
the 386 Americans who died in
Afghanistan and the 3,457 who died
in Iraq. In 2008, there were 4,577
tombstones, 500 from Afghanistan
and 4,077 from Iraq. In 2009, there
were 4,979 tombstones, 685 from
Afghanistan and 4294 from Iraq. In
2010, there were 5,479 tombstones,
1,081 from Afghanistan and 4398
from Iraq. In 2011, the number is still
When you visit our display, you will
see that some of the tombstones have
flags on them. We started marking
local tombstones with flags so they
would be easier to find. We now also
put flags on all tombstones that have
been visited. Currently, more than 54
tombstones are marked by flags.
Each year, the community is brought
to focus on the latest local, young
person who has died in Afghanistan
or Iraq. Last
year, the focus
was on Philip P.
Clark who died --
Check out this year's Memorial
Mile on NW 8th Avenue near
NW 34th Street and Westside
Park Saturday through Monday,
May 28 through May 30.
If you're interested in helping
out, contact Scott Camil at 352-
in Afghanistan on May 18, 2010 at
the age of 19. The press talked about
how Philip had always wanted to be
a Marine. They talked about how he
even had a Marine uniform when
he was 10 years old. When I looked
at the total display last year, I was
struck by the fact that the first young,
local person to die was Jeffery M.
Wershow who died July 6, 2003 in
Iraq at the age of 22, when Philip
P. Clark was 12 years old. I am sure
that when Philip was running around
aspiring to be a Marine, his family
never thought he would be joining
Jeffery M. Wershow as a casualty of
these wars. Who will be next? ck
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FBI Raids... continued from p. 1
Next in December, the FBI went to
the homes of nine more activists,
many Arab-Americans, all Palestine
solidarity activists. So now there are
23 international solidarity activists
subpoenaed. The activists decided
not to speak at the Grand Jury-a
secret inquisition, with no judge,
the jury hand selected by the U.S.
prosecutor, and you are not allowed
to have a lawyer with you inside the
Why is the U.S. government doing
U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald claims to
be investigating material support
for terrorism, but it is political
repression pure and simple. The U.S.
government is violating our right to
free speech and the right to organize.
We have done nothing wrong, only
organized protests against U.S. wars
and occupations overseas. Those of
us raided and subpoenaed organized
the big 30,000-person anti-war
protest at the Republican National
Convention in St. Paul, Minn., in
2008. Leading up to the RNC protest,
a Federal Agent "Karen Sullivan"
joined the Anti-War Committee in
Minneapolis, lying about her name,
her identity and her purpose. She
pretended to be an anti-war and
international solidarity activist who
cared about the people she worked
with and their cause promoting peace
between the U.S. and peoples in
other countries. It was all a big lie
and now Fitzgerald is considering
using the Federal Agent to indict,
put on trial, and imprison some of
us. It seems the U.S. government
is particularly interested in those
amongst the 23 subpoenaed activists
who are members of the Freedom
Road Socialist Organization that
publishes Fight Back!, a newspaper.
So what will happen next?
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald may
pursue a new type of McCarthyism
where he puts us on trial for holding
revolutionary ideas, for speaking our
minds and for writing and publishing
articles opposed to U.S. war and
Empire. Fitzgerald may decide to call
some of us back in front of the Grand
Jury and when we do not testify, he
can jail us for many months or even
years. Otherwise, Fitzgerald may
arrest people and hold a political trial
about our support for movements and
groups fighting oppression in their
countries, with the goal of sending
some or many of us to Federal Prison
What are your plans?
The response of the anti-war
movement and unions, student
groups, professors, various faith
activists, is outstanding. There
were 70 protests in the two weeks
following the raids. Then we
formed the Committee to Stop FBI
Repression (CSFR), and on Jan.
25, 60 cities protested in solidarity
with the nine refusing to appear at
the Grand Jury: Now we are asking
for solidarity by people signing the
Pledge To Resist on our website. We
want groups to send solidarity
statements like Gainesville Students
for a Democratic Society (SDS) did.
Organize your campus and professors
to sign a letter.
Anything else you want to add?
Those active in Central and Latin
American solidarity know the history
of repression. We are asking you to
help organize and stop this round of
repression. The activists are being
targeted because of their solidarity
with Colombia and Palestine in
particular. The U.S. Empire is staking
its strategy for domination and
exploitation on those two places. We
are asking you to organize solidarity
with us and put an end to U.S.
wars of aggression and stand with
oppressed peoples. ct
For more information and to see
how you can get involved, check
out CSFR's website at: http://www.
You can sign the petition here: http://
The Gainesville Iguana
is Gainesville's progressive
events calendar & newsletter.
(or more ifyou can)
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GAINESYILLE, FLORIDA IGUANA, MAY/Ju~ 2011, PAGE 3
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 3
History and the People Who Make It: Hollis Watkins
transcribed by Pierce Butler
This is the second in a continuing
series of excerpts from transcripts
in the collection of the Samuel
Proctor Oral History Program at the
University of Florida.
At the age of 19, Hollis Watkins
was the first Mississippi student to
join SNCC (Student Non-Violent
Coordinating Committee) as a
voting-rights organizer. Ever since,
he has been a leader in state and
local civil rights work, notably
as Co-founder and President of
Southern Echo, Inc., a leadership
development organization dedicated
to empowering local residents
throughout Mississippi and the
Watkins was interviewed by Dr.
'Paul Ortiz on May 6, 2009, at the
Sunflower County Civil Rights
Paul Ortiz: ...Could you tell us why
you are here today?
Hollis Watkins: My major purpose
here today as part of the reunion is
to share with the people here today
background information on music
as used as a part of the struggle,
sing some of those, and talk about
how those songs in the struggle was
used and the major purpose for those
songs being used....
PO: Why was music so important in
HW: One of the reasons that music
was so important was because music
in the movement, as we saw it, could
be used as a tool for bringing people
together, of introducing yourselves
to people and getting close to people,
motivating people and inspiring
When you look at Mississippi
in particular, Mississippi is a
state where religion is very, very
prevalent, so people are used to
singing songs. So if you're going
to be working with people, it's a lot
easier to get people to listen to what
you have to say if you come to them
with something that they're already
familiar with rather than trying to
introduce them to something new
from the very beginning. So that's
one of the reasons that the music,
the songs, were so important, is that
people were used to singing in the
different churches. So if you come
doing that, then they can relate to
Also, music is therapeutic. It is
also a bonding device. You can.
send messages through music.
You can also motivate and inspire
through music. You can present
different things in music that is
not as intimidating, that is not as
frightening, when it's presented
through music as it would be if you
sat down in dialogue or if you gave a
PO: What was your musical
background before the movement, or
did you have a musical background?
at the University of Florida
We gather, preserve, and promote
living histories of individuals
from all walks of life.
Tell us YOUR story:
HW: I grew up in ... southwest
Mississippi not too far from
McComb and Summit. I'm the
youngest of twelve children. I grew
up going to the churches. My family
was a family that sang. In addition to
singing in the church, being a part of
the church choir, my family itself had
a group of its own, ... it was more
of us than four family members who
sang so it wasn't exactly a quartet,
but that's what it was called. ...
Naturally singing became a part of
me, and as I got into the movement,
I analyzed the singing and realized
how important it was as a tool to be
able to reach and communicate with
PO: Now, you mention you analyzed
the music, like when you were
getting in. Did that mean that you
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IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 4
were looking at, say, the lyrics? How
did you go about analyzing?
HW: In some cases in analyzing
music, I listened to the lyrics. In
other cases, I just take note of the
rhythm. I paid strict attention to how
people joined in and participated,
you know, in the singing.
In other words, I'm looking at how
this is really a bonding piece in the
church when people would sing
songs that people were familiar with,
99 to 100 percent of everybody in
the church would be singing. There's
not a lot of things you can get 100
percent participation from, so to me,
that's an indication that this is a very
powerful instrument here as a part of
Also, when I looked at how the
church service took place, there
was some singing going on before
anybody began to talk. To me,
that is saying to me that this is an
attention-getter. This is a bonding
force that is taking place. This is
getting people ready and prepared
to receive a message coming from
someone. I'm saying if this can
work and has tremendous effect in
the church, then I can use that same
approach in working with people in
the community as a part of our mass
PO: Mr. Watkins, when you say
music is a bonding force, do you
mean that you saw the music as a
way to get people to bond with each
other in a way?
HW: Well, naturally, if something
is going on and everybody is
participating in it, that within itself,
that very act, creates connectivity,
a connectedness to everybody else
that's participating in that. It's a
process of unifying people for that
"The thing that I realized
and discovered is that
when people get involved
in singing, they throw off
their weight that they're
carrying around. They
forget about whatever their
burdens are right then and
there. When you're not
dealing with your burdens,
your troubles, then
for that period of time,
In most cases, we as human beings,
if we can see or are shown how, we
can come together around one thing,
that's a good indication that we can
come together around other things.
Maybe not to the same extent but at
least a certain percentage of us can
and will come together, and maybe it
will be at the same percentage level.
But it, it creates that possibility there.
The thing that I realized and
discovered is that when people get
involved in singing, they throw off
their weight that they're carrying
around. They forget about whatever
their burdens are right then and there.
When you're not dealing with your
burdens, your troubles, then for that
period of time, you're free.
If you have the feeling of freedom
for that period of time, you're more
open and you are more susceptible
to listen, to try to get understanding
and even more open and susceptible
to the possibility of joining on and
doing something in relationship to
what is being said that need to be
done, then you would be if your
mind is completely bogged down on
with-that, you can't think about what
somebody is saying to you because
you are dealing with your problems,
that which is weighting you down.
Singing is a way of getting people to
shed off some of the weight that they
PO: Do you have a favorite song out
of all of the songs that you sung or
HW: Believe it or not, I don't have
a favorite one because to me, to me;
the songs are tools that I use to do
and reach people that I'm trying to
reach. So for different kind of people,
you use different kinds of songs.
It's just like if you're getting ready to
do some carpentry work, you know,
you want some hammers, some
nails, you want some levels. You're
not coming out with the axe and a
hoe. Good tools in reference to other
things but not in reference to doing
this carpentry work.
So what I do is I look at and try to
get an understanding of who the
people are that I'm dealing with and
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determine based on that assessment
which of the songs that would be
best. And if which in most cases
I do but if there's a chance that I
can't exactly figure that out, then
I just reach and grab any song that
is one that is about bringing folks
together and do a test to see how it
works. That's it.
If, for example, I'm in a certain
mood, you know, and I want to do
something for myself, I'll think about
certain ones that do that. For me, I
see them strictly as a tool. So because
of that, I don't necessarily have my
Most folks have some little favorite,
but, you know, I just say all of them's
my favorite. I put all of them in my
bag. I got them to be used at various
points in time, depending on what
it is I'm doing and who I'm doing it
PO: Yeah. How did the movement
change your life?
HW: How did the movement change
my life? It probably prevented me
from venturing off in money-making
careers. I don't know how that would
have been, so I can't really talk about
what change that would have been.
But the movement enabled me to
get closer to people and get a better
understanding of people as to where
they were coming from, you know,
why they did certain things and all of
that. I think all in all, the movement
helped to make me into a better
person. But in terms of specifically
how it changed, I don't really know.
If I hadn't got into the movement,
there's a great possibility that I would
have been or could have been a great
athlete, which I never became. You
know, because I was growing up as a
child and when I went to high school
and. even when I went to college,
I was very fast. I was an excellent
baseball player, you know, and a
pretty good basketball player. ... I
could relatively easy do the 100 yard
dash in 10 seconds... I.say I was
My last three years in high school
playing basketball, I had between an
18- and 22-point average. In baseball,
I was the pitcher's worst nightmare.
I played baseball and only struck out
three times in three years... The three
times I struck out were with the same
person, nobody else other than with
that person, twice in one year and
once in one year. So in three years of
playing baseball, I struck out three
PO: That's amazing.
HW: There were times when I
came to the bat
and the pitcher
would have to
between 15 and
pitches before our
duel was decided.
... So had I not
"But the movement
enabled me to get closer
to people and get a better
understanding of people as
to where they were coming
from, you know, why they
did certain things and all of
that. I think all in all, the
movement helped to make
me into a better person."
gotten into the movement, there's a
possibility that I had a chance in any
and all three of those, and I probably
could have even done something
in terms of singing. Those were
opportunities that was out there ...
that went by the wayside... All of
that, don't really know. See, those are
just possibilities. ... And, you know,
I don't regret having done what I
did. I don't regret not being able to
pursue any and all of those. ct
An audio podcast of this interview
(and more) can be found online at:
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IGUANA, MAY/Ju~ 2011, PAGE 6 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
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IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 6
The Fight Continues: Ending the Meal Limit
in Downtown Gainesville
by Sean Larson
For the last several months, the
130-meal limit on St. Francis House
(SFH) has been a contentious issue
in the press, in the elections and in
the Gainesville community. The
most active advocate for the repeal
of the meal limit, the Coalition to
End the Meal Limit NOW, has been
consistently struggling to bring an
end to this unjust ordinance.
A petition brought forth by the SFH
would change the numerical limit on
meals to a time frame in which the
shelter could serve food. In the three
hours from 10:30am to 1:30pm, SFH
is confident that they can serve all
those who need food, which would
effectively mean an end to the meal
After a long and expensive
submission process, the SFH petition
was put to a vote at the planning
board meeting in late March, where
it passed without any objection. This
medns that the City Commission's
own body charged with investigating
the petition has unanimously
recommended that it be passed, but
the final word must still be given by
the City Commission itself, which
has historically ignored planning
board recommendations regarding
the meal limit.
Meanwhile, the downtown
developers responsible for pressuring
the commission to enforce the
ordinance in the first place have
conveniently remained hidden from
the public eye on this issue. That is,
until the Coalition to End the Meal
Limit NOW organized a successful
picket against Nathan Collier,
owner of Paradigm Properties, and
the McGurns, who own the Sun
Center, during the farmers' market
in mid-April. The success of this
demonstration lies not only in the
fact that it recruited multiple new
allies to the cause, but for many
Protesters march in downtown Gainesville against developers Ken McGurn and
Nathan Collier, who heavily influence the City Commission on keeping the 130-
meals-a-day limit in place for the St. Francis House. Photo by Amanda Adams
Gainesville citizens, it also brought
to light the crucial connection
between these developers and the
disgraceful meal limit. Through
the picket, the Coalition wanted
to highlight the disproportionate
influence over our local government
by these businessmen.
Shortly after the demonstration,
Arthur Stockwell, proposed a
"compromise": in return for the
lifting of the meal limit, the city
would impose "vagrancy laws"
downtown. This would mean
that police officers would roam
the downtown area looking for
"vagrants," who would then have to
relocate to another area. Besides the
fact that the only way of physically
identifying a "vagrant" is by open
discrimination, vagrancy laws
reflect the blatant classism behind
the criminalization of the poor. The
Coalition will uncompromisingly
stand up to these laws if proposed,
but recognizes them as a distraction
from the meal limit itself. The
Gainesville community is constantly
told that new measures must be
implemented for the control of the
"homeless problem," but raising
these issues distract from the fact that
the meal limit doesn't help a single'
person or business, and only has
While the City Commission vote on
the SFH petition will not take place
until June, the Coalition has been
working with the neighborhoods
and businesses downtown. The
overwhelming support for SFH in
these areas flatly contradicts the
main pillar of the Commission's
argument for the meal limit. Armed
with the facts and the support of
the community, the Coalition will
continue to fight the meal limit until
it is finally repealed. ctt
Sean Larson is a member of
Coalition to End the Meal Limit
NOW. If you'd like to get involved
with the Coalition to End the Meal
Limit NOW, check out their website
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA IGUANA, MAY/Ju1~ 2011, PAGE 7
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 7
From Prosperity to Austerity: Dialing Down
by Jenny Brown
In the middle of the 1982 recession,
with the worst unemployment since
the Depression, Ronald Reagan
gravely looked into the camera and
told us that prosperity was right
around the comer.
Reagan famously declared it was
"Morning in America," and ribbed
opponents for being pessimistic.
We haven't heard much about that
recently from Reagan's political
heirs. Instead politicians and pundits
are falling all over themselves to
lower our expectations.
"The economy has changed
fundamentally," said state senator
Sharinon Jones, the main sponsor of
Ohio's anti-labor law SB 5. Families,
businesses, and governments all
"have to adapt to tougher economic
circumstances," Jones told the New
Paul Ryan, the Republicans' chief
budget-cutter, tells Americans they're
going to have to live worse than
their grandparents. Bedrock old-age
protections like Social Security and
Medicare? "We're going to have to
come to grips with the fact that these
programs cannot exist," Ryan says.
In Washington, leaders of the two
parties settled on $39 billion in
budget cuts over the weekend. They
will hit transportation, education,
health, and labor rights enforcement
The politicians are remarkably grim,
given the unimaginable quantity of
cash overtopping the vaults of the
very rich, and crowding the coffers
of large corporations like GE that pay
no taxes at all.
Wall Street's top five firms found
$90 billion to pay in bonuses last
year. Corporations reported their best
returns ever last fall, booking $1.7
trillion in profit.
Still, the pundits tell us that since
most private sector workers no longer
have real pensions, government
workers should lose theirs, too. They
quote irate taxpayers: "Why am I
paying taxes so public sector workers
can have something I don't?" The
Associated Press calls it "pension
envy," and its final result is clear: no
pensions to envy.
And as sure as the sun sets in the
west, politicians tell us, the cost of
health insurance is destined to eat
away at our paychecks.
This is the kind of rhetorical about-
face that makes you wonder. Has
the right abandoned the sunny
rhetoric about the ever-upward climb
of our economy and the endless
inventiveness of U.S. capitalism?
Whatever happened to the mythical
invites you to a party
Civic Media Center, 433 S. Main Street, Gainesville
Friday, May 20, 7:00 pm (program 8:00-8:30)
Bring food or drink to share (pizza provided)
* Hear Labor Notes staffer Jenny Brown on the labor fight
nationwide and local union activists on the fight in Florida.
* Learn about Labor Notes & get a copy of A Troublemakers
* Fundraising party to support Labor Notes' outreach and
educational work to build a stronger labor movement.
.aL,- lr .- r r More Lfo- 352-281-8078 or leinnvylabornotes.org
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 8 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 8
rising tide that was supposed to lift
Now the water's going out, and it's
only greedy public school teachers
and overpaid union carpenters who
are stuck in the past, imagining that
for a hard day's work they should get
health care, a pension, a decent wage,
and some respect on the job.
We're told it's in the interests of
U.S. "competitiveness" to get rid of
unions, which are keeping wages
"artificially high." But for 40 years,
pay has been eroding for working
Next stop: getting rid of that "job
killing" minimum wage. In Maine,
Republicans are trying to pass a six-
month "training wage" of $5.25 for
workers under 20 (instead of the state
$7.50 minimum wage).
Better yet, no onerous government
regulations around child labor. A
Missouri state senator introduced
a bill to make it legal to employ
workers under 14.
The labor movement should be able
to make hay while the six-figure
pundits try to sort out their confused
message: The United States is the
greatest country in the history of the
world, but you need to take a wage
cut and forget about retirement. (The
Democratic version is: take a wage
freeze and retire later.) To make
up the shortfall, why not send your
children out to work?
The "vision thing" suddenly belongs
to protesters in Wisconsin, Indiana,
and Ohio, those incurable optimists
who say this country can do a lot
better, and we can find the money
by taxing the rich. Better than the
Republicans, better than the tax-
cutting, budget-slashing Democrats,
yes, we can. c1
This article was originally published
in Labor Notes, a labor movement
publication, on April 11. You can find
more Labor Notes articles at www.
May Day 2011: A Celebration of The Real Labor Day
On Sunday, May 1, more than 175
people of all ages gathered at Civic
Media Center to celebrate May Day
-"the real Labor Day." Most of
the world's workers celebrate May
1st as International Workers Day in
remembrance of the struggle for the
Co-sponsored by the North Central
Florida Central Labor Council,
Gainesville Industrial Workers of the
World (IWW), the Alachua County
Labor Party, and Gainesville ISO
the celebration featured a cookout,
speeches, music by Lars Din and
Dirty Fist, and a Corporate Pig pifiata.
LV I f
(Clockwise,from top left) The IWW's James
Schmidt delivers the May Day Address to fellow
workers; A proud Amalgamated Transit Union
member's t-shirt; Some of the more than 175
people celebrating May Day 2011 fill the Civic
Media Center courtyard; A CMC volunteer tends
to the grill. Photos by Joe Courter.
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA IGUANA, MAY/JuNE 2011, PAGE 9
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 9
Alachua County Labor Party Just
Health Care committee works on
universal health care; LP also works on
economic justice, labor solidarity. P.O.
Box 12051, Gainesville 32602; 352-375-
American Civil Liberties Union
Because Freedom can't defend itself.
Local chapter focuses on racial justice,
freedom of speech and LGBT rights.
Meetings are held the first Monday
of each month at 6:00pm at the Pride
Center, 3131 NW 13th St. For info
Amnesty International UF campus
chapter of worldwide human rights
ufamnesty or UFAmnesty@gmail.com.
Bridges Across Borders Florida-based
international collaboration of activists,
artists, students and educators supporting
cultural diversity and global peace.
Campus Counterpoise Collective-based
club dedicated to alternative media and
perspectives. 352-335-2200, editor@
The Coalition of Hispanics Integrating
Spanish Speakers through Advocacy
and Service (CHISPAS) Student-run
group at UF. www.chispasuf.org
Civic Media Center Alternative reading
room and library of the non-corporate
press, and a resource and space for
organizing. 352-373-0010, www.
Don't see you
organization listed here,
or is the information
listed out of date?
Contact us at 352-378-5655
net with the update.
Coalition to End the Meal Limits
NOW! See the story on page 14 for how
you can get involved.
Code Pink: Women for Peace Women-
led grassroots peace and social justice
movement utilizing creative protest,
non-violent direct action and community
Committee for a Civilian Police
Review Board Group that demands
the creation of a citizens' police review
board to fight against the pattern
of corruption, arrogance, bias and
violence displayed by some members
of the Gainesville Police Department.
Conservation Trust for Florida, Inc.
Non-profit land trust working to protect
Florida's rural landscapes, wildlife
corridors and natural areas. 352-466-
Democratic Party of Alachua County
Meetings are held the second Wednesday
of each month at 7:00pm in the
second floor auditorium of the County
Administration Building at SE 1st St.
and University Ave. 352-373-1730,
Edible Plant Project Local collective
to create a revolution through edible and
food-producing plants. 561-236-2262
Families Against Mandatory
Minimums Work to reform Florida's
sentencing laws and restore fairness to
Florida's criminal justice system. PO
Box 142933, Gainesville, FL 32614,
The Fine Print An independent,
critically thinking outlet for political,
social and arts coverage through
local, in-depth reporting specifically
for Gainesville's students, www.
Florida School of Traditional
Midwifery A clearinghouse for
information, activities and educational
Call if this includes misinformation or inaccurate phone numbers: 378-5655.
IGUANA, MAY/JuI~ 2011, PAGE 10 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
Florida Defenders of the Environment
An organization dedicated to restoring
the Ocklawaha and preserving Florida's
other natural resources. 352-378-8465
Gainesville Citizens for Alternatives
to the Death Penalty concerned people
in the Gainesville area who are working
to abolish the death penalty in Florida.
Participate in vigils when Florida has
an execution. Meets the first Tuesday
of every month at St. Augustine Church
and Catholic Student Center (1738 W.
University Ave.) 352-332-1350, www.
Gainesville Women's Liberation The
first women's liberation group in the
South, formed in 1968, the organization
is now part of National Women's
Graduate Assistants United Union
that represents all UF grad assistants
by fighting for improved working
conditions, community involvement
and academic freedom. 352-575-0366,
Green Party Part of worldwide
movement built out of four different
interrelated social pillars, which support
its politics: the peace, civil rights,
environmental and labor movements.
Grow Radio Non-profit company
that will provide the opportunity for
community members to create and
manage unique, engaging, educational,
locally-generated programming to
promote fine, musical and visual arts and
humanities for the enrichment of, but not
limited to, the Gainesville community.
Harvest of Hope Foundation Non-
profit organization that provides
emergency and educational financial
aid to migrant farm workers around
the country. www.harvestofhope.net or
Home Van A mobile soup kitchen that
goes out to homeless areas twice a week
with food and other necessities of life,
delivering about 400 meals per week;
operated by Citizens for Social Justice.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-372-4825.
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE' 10
Industrial Workers of the World
Local union organizing all workers.
Meetings are at the Civic Media Center
the first Sunday of the month at 8pm.
International Socialist Organization
Organization committed to building a left
alternative to a world of war, racism and
poverty. Meetings are every Thurs. at the
UF classroom building at 105 NW 16th
St at 7pm. email@example.com
MindFreedom North Florida Human
rights group for psychiatric survivors and
mental health consumers. 352-328-2511.
National Lawyers Guild Dedicated
to basic and progressive change in the
structure of our political and economic
system. Meetings are the first Thursday
of the month, 6:30-7:30pm at UF Law
National Organization for Women
Gainesville Area NOW meeting
info contact Lisa at 352-450-1912.
Judy Levy NOW information,
contact Laura Bresko 352-332-2528.
Planned Parenthood Clinic Full-service
medical clinic for reproductive and
sexual health care needs. Now offering
free HIV and free pregnancy testing
daily from 9-11 am and 1-4pm. Located
at 914 NW 13th St.
Pride Community Center of North
Central Florida Resources for the gay/
lesbian community, open M-F, 3-7,
Sat. noon-4pm. Located at 3131 NW
13th St, Suite 62. 352-377-8915, www.
Protect Gainesville Citizens
Group whose mission is to provide
Gainesville residents with accurate and
comprehensible information about the
Cabot/Koppers Superfund site. 352-354-
Queer Activist Coalition Politically
motivated activist group at UF
fighting for full civil and social
equality for the LGBTQ community.
Sierra Club Meets the first Thursday
of every month at 7:30pm at the UF
Entomology & Nematology Building,
Room 1035. 352-528-3751, www.
Student/Farmworker Alliance A
network of youth organizing with
farm workers to eliminate sweatshop
conditions and moder-day slavery in the
fields. More information is available on
Facebook under "Gainesville Student/
WGOT 94.7 LP FM
/Gainesville's Progressive Community Radio Station
We share 94.7 with other community groups,
WGOT is on the air:
Sunday: 1PM 4PM
Mon, Wed, Fri: 1PM 4PM & 8PM 5AM
Tuesday and Thursday: 1PM 4PM & 8PM 9PM
Saturday: 1PM 9PM
Check out wgot.org for upcoming events and a detailed
schedule (and new shows!) 94.7 is a Low Power FM
station with a transmitter at NW 39th Ave and 1-75, so
best reception is within 5 miles, but many people are
able to pick up the station in their car.
Questions? Comments? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Students for a Democratic Society
Multi-issue student and youth
organization working to build power
in our schools and communities.
Meetings are every Monday at 6:30pm in
Anderson Hall 32 on the UF campus.
UF Pride Student Union Group of gay,
lesbian, bi and straight students & non-
students, faculty and staff, www.grove.
United Faculty of Florida Union
that represents faculty at University of
Florida. 392-0274, email@example.com,
United Nations Association Group
that educates people worldwide about
the issues, projects and programs of the
United Nations. www.afn.org/~una-usa/.
Veterans for Peace Anti-war
organization that works to raise
awareness of the detriments of militarism
and war as well as to seek alternatives
that are peaceful and effective. Meetings
are the first Wednesday of every month
at 7pm. 352-375-2563, www.afn.
WGOT 94.7 LP-FM Community low-
power station operating as part of the
Civic Media Center. wgot947@gmail.
biw-in or Takout
Best Chinese Food in Town
Lunch Specials $525 w/soda
M-Th.: 11 am- 10:30pm
Fri, Sat.: 11am- llpm
Sunday: 4 pm 10:30pm
421 NW 13TH ST.
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 11
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 11
Radio / Gainesville's public radio station is now
a io / mostly NPR talk it's located at 89.1 on
s / i / \\ the FM dial.
Notes: Weekday schedule: 10 am-12: Diane
He, w t \Rehm (interview & call-in); noon-1 pm:
Hey, west \ Terry Gross, Fresh Air; 1-2 pm, BBC
G'ville call-in World Have Your Say, Wednesdays;
WGOT 2-4 pm: Talk of the Nation. Evenings, 8-10:
low-power FM / The Story & On Point, followed by BBC
on the air World News all night.
tune in at 94.7 / Under the Bridge, AfroPop, & Hearts of
(and set your car L/ '_ Space all continue see schedule at
radio, too): / www.wuftfm.org (or pg 16) for expanded
wgot947@ / weekend schedule and program details.
gmail.com or or A new internet resource is Grow Radio
www.wgot.org/calendar. (www.growradio.org), based in G'ville.
S Meal Limit meets at
CMC, 4 pm.
Salt of the Sea feature movie of
Brooklyn Palestinian woman in
Jaffa: downtown library, 401 E
Univ Ave, 3 pm.
Gvl Roller Rebels vs Braden-
tucky Bombers, Skate Stn, 7 pm.
S4 delegates from Gvl's
SWest Bank sister city,
Qalquilya, speak at reception in
Mennonite Meeting House, 1236
NW 18th Ave, 2 pm, & Trinity
United Methodist, 4000 NW 53rd
Ave, 7 pm.
Laura Stevenson & The Cans,
& Greenland Is Melting, at the
Atlantic, 7 pm.
29 Memorial Mile on NW 8th
.7 Ave: drive it, walk it, think
about it. (Thank you, Vets for
Peace, for doing it.)
5 Women's Movie Night 1st
Sunday, 5 pm, Pride Com-
munity Ctr, 3131 NW 13th St.
Industrial Workers of the World
meeting, 1st Sundays, CMC, 8 pm.
12 IGUANA Deadline for
July-Aug '11 issue is June
20; write gainesvilleiguana
@cox.net or call 378-5655
with events, updates,
advertisements & info.
19 JUNETEENTH -
16 Salt of the Earth classic
S labor film from 1950s, CMC,
7 pm; co-sponsored by Industrial
Workers of the World.
The Lemon Tree (based on true story
of Israeli Defense Minister and Pales-
tinian neighbor) at Mennonite Meet-
ing House, 1236 NW 18th Ave; 7:30
23 The English Sheik and the
J Yemeni Gentleman, 2000 film
explores places, cultural aspects &
history of Yemen through interaction
of an ex-pat Yemeni & a transplanted
Brit who's lived there almost 20
years: CMC, 7 pm. .- .
30 Restrepo hard-hitting docu-
Smentary of US soldiers' lives
fighting Afghan war (principal film-
maker Tim Hetherington recently
killed covering war in Libya); 7 pm,
ACLU meets 1st Mondays, 6 pm,
Pride Ctr, 3131 NW 13th St.
Julian Assange doc at CMC, 7 m.
SThe Trap: What Happened to
Our Dream of Freedom? -
hours 1 & 2 of BBC miniseries by
Adam Curtis (Power of Nightmares),
CMC, 7 pm.
20 The Trap: What Happened to
Our Dream of Freedom? -
hours 2 (re eat) & 3, CMC, 7 m.
27 The Battle of Algiers classic
Ad I drama of 1950s liberation
struggle, CMC, 7 pm.
1938: US minimum
wage law enacted.
3 County Farmers' Mkt
on N 441 by Hwy Patrol
Tues/ Thurs/Sat, 8 am-noon.
Alachua County Budget hear-
ings: 10 am & 1:30 pm, County
Admin Bldg, 12 SE 1st St.
1st & 3rd Tuesdays, Archer Rd
& SW 34th St, 4:30-6 pm.
School Board meets 1st & 3rd
Tuesday, 6 pm.
American Radical doc on
Norman Finkelstein at The
Block, 503 NW 6th P1, free.
1 O Alachua County Comm
Son 2nd & 4th Tues, 9 am
& 5 pm: citizens comment,
the Secrets of Nature" exhibit
opens at UF Health Sci Ctr Lib
- see ad, pg 18.
17 Alachua County
Budget hearings: 10 am
& 1:30 pm, 12 SE 1st St.
SW 34th St & Archer Rd,
Renee Is A Zombie & others
at CMC, 9 pm.
24 Alachua County
Comm. 9 am & 5 pm:
citizens comment, 9:30 am.
2nd & 4th Tuesdays at 13th St
& Univ. Ave, 4:30-6 pm.
Alachua County Labor Party
meets: 6:30 pm, 618 NW 13th
Ave; info, 375-2832.
Wild Words, Wild Iris Books,
last Tuesdays, open mic, 7 pm.
3 1 Alachua County
J Budget hearing, 1:30
pm, 12 SE 1st St.
Budrus (doc on Israel's Apart-
heid Wall), 7:30 pm, Unitarian
Fellowship, 4225 NW 34th St.
7 Anti-militarism sign
holding, Archer Rd &
SW 34th St, 4:30-6 pm.
School Board meets, 6 pm.
14 1928: Ernesto "Che"
8Wayward Council volunteer Arna's Children (doc on Palestin-
meeting 6 pm every Sunday, ian children & intifada) at Civic
807 W. University Ave. Media Ctr, 433 S. Main St, 7 pm: part
1863: Internat' Red Cross formed. of Free Film Fest for a Free Palestine,
1945: Germany surrenders presented all over town in May by
MOTHER'S DAY Boycott Divestment and Sanctions.
"''nol-n A .Q;n +ha
4 Free co
St, 9 am-3 pm
Ctr, 1107 NW
1st & 3rd Thu
every Wed, Dt
MAY THE 4'
2nd Weds, 4-
& a Movie: V
8 docs at
group at CMC,
1972: Gray P
1980: Mt. St.
4 bands, 9 pm,
call 375-2563 f
8 Bill & Eli
ORag in Me
DEC meets, 7
mission mtg ro
1 1 752: B
901 NW 8th A
2 1456: Po
ig at Alachua
Dept, 224 SE 24th
,M-F; & at Pride
6th St, 4-6 pm on
s; info: 334-7961.
wn Plaza, 4-7 pm.
'eace meets, 7 pm:
rH BE WITH YOU
lant Project at
wn Farmers Mkt,
Gvl meet, 6:30 pm,
ds, 7 pm, County
cs Potluck Dinner
for Vendetta, 7 pm,
for Gaza short
CMC, 6 pm, free.
:s open discussion
V 8th Ave, 6 pm.
for Social Science
at CMC, 7 pm:
ig Friends benefit:
eace meets, 7 pm:
Perras at Shake
rose, 10 am social.
mm, County Com-
t, folk-punk singer-
pture picnic: see
re, 6 pm.
le Calixtus III issues
;t Halley's Comet.
5 CMC Volunteers meet every
Thursday, 5:30 pm
Free University most Thursdays,
7-9 pm, CMC: "Home Remedies
for Allergies," w/ Maria.
Sierra Club general meeting, UF
Entomology Bldg rm 3118, 1st
Thursday, 7:30 pm.
Open Poetry at CMC, 9 pm; spe-
cial guests Ron Whitehead, Frank
Messina, & Grammy-nominated
blues-folk singer Tyrone Cotton;
1925: John Scopes arrested for
teaching evolution in Tennessee.
NATIONAL DAY OF REASON
SCMC Volunteers meet,
A 5:30 pm.
Free University: "Fundamentals
of Empathic Communication," w/
Dan Kahn, CMC, 7 prm.
Mama Trish, Lightnin' Salvage.
Open Poetry at CMC every
Thursday, 9 pm.
19 CMC Volunteers meet,
19 5:30 pim.
Palestinian Sister City Qalqilya
representatives on 6-day visit
welcomed by City Commission,
5:30 pm, Cit Hall.
Free University: "Icarus Project,"
CMC, 7 pm.
26 CMC Volunteers meet,
26 5:30 pm.
G'ville Area NOW, Pride Cen-
ter, 3131 NW 13th St, 6:30 pm.
Free University: topic TBA,
CMC, 7 prm.
Open Poetry at CMC, 9 pm.
2 CMC Volunteers meet,
Sierra Club meets see 5/5.
Open Poetry at CMC, 9 pm.
6 Uptown Art Hop, 6-9 pm, Thorne- 7 Capoeira Batizado program
brook/Millhopper Shopping Ctrs. I (Brazilian art/martial art presenta-
Sierra Club presents Gasland Oscar- tion) at Boltin Ctr, 516 NE 2nd Ave,
nominated documentary on hydraulic 10 am-1 pm.
fracturing for natural gas at Civic Media 2011 Equality Fla G'ville Gala, Cox
Center, 6:30 pm. Warehouse, 602 S. Main St, 7 pm -
Books for Prisoners book-packing suggested minimum contribution $100;
parties Fridays at Wayward Council, see http://eqfl.blogspot.com.
807 W. University Ave, 7 pm. SFC Queer/Straight Drag Ball
Lavell at Satchel's Pizza/Lightnin' Sal- Masquerade, 9 pm, CMC.
vage, 6-9 pm: live music Wednesdays Doug Clifford Saturdays, 11-12 pm;
through Saturdays schedule at WSKY-97.3's one hour of lefty talk
lightninsalvage.com/livemusic.html per week.
Whether here or anywhere: 1 1st Internat'l Freethought
please support live music! 1 Film Festival, runs 13th-15th,
13 Zero Degrees of Separation Tampa: see freethoughtfilmfest.org.
1 (doc on gay/lesbian Palestinian/ World Fair Trade Day & 20th anni-
Israeli couples at Pride Ctr, 7:30 pm. versary celebration at Alternatives,
Little Jake Mitchell at Kickin' Devil 4203 NW 16th Blvd.
Caf6, 2017 NE 27th Ave, 8 pm, $5. Peace Poetry Contest Awards, 2 pm -
Skydogs, Downtown Plaza, 8-10 pm, see pg 18.
free. "The Change We Knead Now" tour
Gvl Women's Lib benefit, CMC, 9 pm. with Food Not Bombs cofounder Keith
r McHenry, CMC, 6 pm.
Labor Notes fund-raiser with M C
h former Ig co-editor, now Labor 21 Is'amophobia As Cultural
Notes staff writer, Jenny Brown, at Ideology," book talk by Dr.
CMC: potluck 7 pm, program 8 pm, Stephen Sheehi, author of Islamopho-
socializing till 10: see pg 8. bia: The Ideological Campaign
Against Muslims, 7 pm, CMC.
Slingshot Hip Hop doc on young
Palestinians using hip hop politically, at John Emil, amazing slide guitarist, at
the Block, 503 NW 6th P1, 8 pm, free. Lightnin' Salvage, 6-9 pm.
27 Critical Mass Bike Ride, 2 Memorial Mile setup begins
S5:30 pm, UF Plaza of Americas. &0 very early am, NW 8th Ave &
Gay Movie Night last Fridays, $2, 34th St see article, front page.
7:30 pm, Pride Ctr, 3131 NW 13th St. Area Pagans meet & greet, Pride Ctr,
Art Walk Downtown; many galleries 3-5 pm.
& venues participate, including CMC Dennis Banks, American Indian
and Plus Gallery (next door to CMC); Movement cofounder, speaks on
7-10 pm, last Friday of each month. "Longest Walk III"-- continental US
walking tour raising awareness &
3 funds for diabetes prevention & other
Keep up with the CMC at issues in Native communities; CMC
www.civicmediacenter.org for time & details at civicmediacenter.org.
events created after this
calendar was printed, and into Veg 4 Life 1st Saturday potluck,
the future (also see pg 21). 6:30 pm at UU Fellowship,
4225 NW 34th St: 375-7207.
1 Farm to Family Summer Full 1 Find Alternative Radio online
0U Moon Festival opens see 1 at alternativeradio.org.
farmtofamilymusic.com; see ad, g 18.
17 Third Stone plays, downtown 1 Gainesville Roller Rebels vs
plaza: concert series, 8-10 pm Panama City, Skate Stn, 7 pm:
Friday, different bands all summer that see gainesvillerollerrebels.com.
we haven't had room to tell you about.
24 NOW Nat'l Conference opens 25 Hairball Variety Show,
"in Tampa see www.now.org. Pride Community Ctr, 8 pm.
Ju y 1 See www.gainesvillebands.com
July 1 1492: Jews given 30 for info on live music in G'ville.
days to leave Spain. Thanks, Glyph!
Mirage and Reality in the Arab Spring
by Mark LeVine
This story was originally published
on Al Jazeera's website on April 22.
Reading the chronicle of the violence
and death that have blanketed the
western Libyan port city of Misurata
during the last week, I couldn't help
thinking of a quote from Martin
Luther King, Jr.'s 1967 classic,
Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos
"The ultimate weakness of violence
is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks
to destroy. Instead of diminishing
evil, it multiplies it... adding deeper
darkness to-a night already devoid of
King understood the continued
urgency of the struggle for equality.
Similar to the situation today across
the Arab world, promised reforms
had yet to produce significant social
change in 1967 indeed, they were
being undermined by the country's
rapid descent into the darkness of the
But the expectations they raised
did inflame the passions of those
whose lives they'd failed to improve.
"We are confronted with the fierce
urgency of now," King declared.
"This may well be mankind's last
chance to choose between chaos or
Victory through violence?
Among King's arguments was that
violence inevitably rends the bonds
of community, sowing chaos that
weakens the ability of oppressed
people to develop the "substance
and program" necessary to achieve
large scale structural changes in their
Except under the most favourable
circumstances, the move to violence
produces a mirage of victory and
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Sunday: 2 pm 11 pm
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disappears soon enough down the
road of armed insurrection.
It was, in part, this argument that led
my last column to question whether
the turn towards violence by nascent
Libyan democracy movement,
however understandable, did not
make inevitable precisely the scenes
the world is now witnessing.
Of course, the fierce urgency of the
now, the feeling that tomorrow would
never arrive unless the existing
system was torn down, was palpably
felt as Gaddafi threatened merciless
violence against pro-democracy
activists. Indeed, this feeling helped
spark the revolutionary fires across
the Arab world.
The region's youth-led protests
have been inspired by the writings
of King. But they have also been
influenced by Lenin, whose seminal
1901 tract What is to be Done?
-7 W _. .
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IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 14 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 14
. GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
forcefully argued that revolutions are
won and lost in good measure on the
depth and coherence of the strategies
and tactics they develop, which were
crucial to winning the support of a
critical mass of the population to
overthrow the system.
Revolution or refo-lution?
Lenin's tract argued for a total
revolution; but in Tunisia and Egypt
the pro-democracy forces succeeded
because, as Asef Bayat described
in the journal Jadaliyya, the aims
during the protests were much closer
to refo-lutions, which "want to push
for reforms in, and through the
institutions of the incumbent states,"
rather than revolutions that seek
completely to topple the system.
The advantage of such a potentially
paradoxical process is that they
increase the chance for an orderly
transition that is relatively free
of violence, destruction, terror
and chaos. The problem is that
they demand constant and long
term pressure from below "the
grassroots, civil society associations,
labour unions, and social
movements" to succeed.
Once the tap of violence is opened
fully, as has happened in Libya,
even more problems arise that harm
the prospect for successful political
transformation across the region.
First, inevitably (it seems),
international law becomes reduced to
a tool of war-craft rather than being
the measuring stick against which all
sides must be held accountable. In
this case, as the UN approved no-fly
zone failed to stop the violence, the
Western and Arab "allies" enforcing
it have moved to calling for regime.
change and arming the rebels, both
of which clearly exceed the actions
authorised by UN Security Council
If Security Council resolutions can
be ignored or exceeded in Libya,
why should other countries, such as
Israel, Iran or any other number of
states, consider themselves bound by
them? And so a noble humanitarian
impulse to rein in a brutal dictator,
can seriously weaken the institution
primarily responsible for maintaining
peace, security and stability globally.
The second problem, as King
warned, is that violence too easily
begets even greater violence. wThis
is not only clear in the horrific sieges
Gaddafi's forces have placed on
rebel-held cities, but also in the news
that some rebels are considering
engaging in suicide bombings to
even the playing field, a move
which would be used by Gaddafi
to "prove" his argument that rebels
are little better than al-Qaeda. What
would happen if rebels use weapons
supplied by UN-sponsored forces to
engage in suicide bombings?
This dynamic is in no way limited
to Libya. The tragic murder of two
pro-Palestinian activists in the last
week Italian journalist and peace
activist Vittorio Arrigoni and the
celebrated Israeli Palestinian actor-
activist Juliano Mer-Khamis offer
more evidence of how the culture
of violence cultivated by Hamas
and other more mainstream militant
Palestinian groups ultimately escapes
their control, leading to the murder of
Palestinian "friends" as well as (and
even more than) enemies.
While protesters in Yemen have
remained remarkably disciplined,
the violence that pervades Yemeni
society could easily swallow the pro-
democracy movement if only a small
minority of the protesters lose faith
in the process and take up arms. A
similar fate would befall the Bahraini
democracy movement if the ever
intensifying crackdown against it led
even a small number of the protesters
to resort to violence in response.
Hypocrisy and doublespeak
Even if the moral calculi of violence
could be squared by the "allies" in
Libya, the larger political equation
of countries arming Libyan rebels
while supporting the intensifying
repression in Bahrain (or Palestine,
or Saudi Arabia, or other vital
strategic partners) creates a level of
The voice of activists who are
"Putting the movement back in
the Labor Movement"
for in-depth and up-to-date
reporting from around the
hypocrisy and doublespeak that sows
confusion among governments and
protesters alike across the region.
Such hypocrisy was once again on
display as Secretary of State Clinton
spoke to the US-Islamic World
forum last week and, returning to
the desert theme she first used in
January in Doha, argued that the
present revolution could soon be
remembered as little more than a
"mirage in the desert" if leaders
didn't make good on their pledges
Clinton spoke of the hypocrisy
of Iranian president Mahmoud
Ahmedinejad and al-Qaeda in their
denunciations of violence in one
country while endorsing it in their
She seemed not to notice that
the crimes which she found so
objectionable beating, detaining,
and even killing protesters and
innocent civilians are routinely
committed by American allies,
from Bahrain to Israel. Even more
brazenly, Clinton declared that
"violence is and cannot be the
answer" at the same time that her
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA IGUANA, MAY/Ju1~ 2011, PAGE 15
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 15
government is bombing Libya and
arming its rebels.
Equally important, Clinton lamented
that the region is "overly dependent
on oil exports and stunted by
corruption," that its countries are
less industrialized in 2007 than in
1970 and are bedevilled by "growing
poverty, slums without sanitation,
safe water, or reliable electricity,
[while] a small elite has increasingly
concentrated control of the region's
land and wealth in their hands".
What she doesn't acknowledge is
that this situation is in good measure
the natural outcome of decades
of US and European imposed
neoliberal policies. Indeed, the
revolts in Tunisia and Egypt were
in good measure against precisely
this system, whose most recent crisis
impacted the Middle East and North
Africa as much as it has the US and
What's more, Clinton tried to
remove her own government from
any responsibility if the reform
movement "fades" into a mirage
in the coming years. As one of her
deputies later said, the administration
is actually reassuring rulers in places
like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain that
it won't insist on immediate change.
"It doesn't have to come fast," the
The doublespeak and hypocrisy
could very soon come to haunt
the Syrian democracy movement.
Reports that the US has given aid
to pro-democracy protesters could
easily be used to justify even harsher
government repression against pro-
democracy activists. Bashar al-Assad
could reason that if the West and
its Arab allies are arming Libyans
without legal authorisation, there
is little to stop them from arming
Syrian anti-government protesters.
More broadly, the hypocrisy and
linguistic contortions in which
Western leaders are forced to
engage cheapens their discourse and
weakens not merely its rhetorical
power, but the positive impact it
could and should be having at this
crucial moment. Who can take
Clinton or Obama seriously when
there is such a glaring disparity
between their words and deeds?
No mirage, just a messy reality
The mirage allusion utilised by
Clinton is grossly inaccurate. The
changes that are occurring are at
the moment quite real. If they fail it
will not be because, like a mirage,
they were never there. Rather, it will
be because local leaders and their
external allies worked successfully to
frustrate their realisation.
Perhaps most upsetting, the Secretary
of State congratulated herself on
supporting women; yet she was silent
about the case of Zainab al-Khawaja,
the wife and daughter of prominent
Bahraini human rights activists
jailed by the government, who is
now hospitalized with a low pulse
and acute pain after days of a hunger
strike which has left her so weak she
could no longer breast-feed her baby.
willing to declare
war against '-
Sarah Palin and
breast pumps for
But it hasn't lifted
a finger to ensure
that a breast-
doesn't have to
risk death to get i, ~i
her husband out I !til
of jail only a few -
miles from one of .
the United States'
If there is a mirage
the Arab Spring, 1M 8NE 5
it is the Obama B
administration's / Sorit
belief that all the i
countries of the
Arab world are so fundamentally
different that "a one-size-fits-all
approach doesn't make sense".
Actually it does, as long as it
is an approach that benefits the
peoples of the region equally and
doesn't sacrifice them to purported
geostrategic interests which are
ultimately the far larger and more
dangerous mirage facing the Arab
world, and the West together.
As Michael Corleone would have
said it: "We're all part of the same
hypocrisy." And the only chance to
escape it is together. c"
Mark LeVine is a professor of history
at UC Irvine and senior visiting
researcher at the Centre for Middle
Eastern Studies at Lund University
in Sweden. His most recent books are
Heavy Metal Islam (Random House)
and Impossible Peace: Israeli
Palestine Since 1989 (Zed Books).
IGUANA, MAY/Ju1~ 2011, PAGE 16 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
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IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 16
Alternative Radio Gets the Axe from WUFT
by Joe Courter
David Barsamian's Alternative Radio
(AR) has been a regular presence on
WUFT-FM for more than 20 years,
but not any more. The writing was
kinda on the wall, as it had been in
the far-from-prime spot of Saturday
night at llpm for the last few
months. For many years there was
zero promotion of the show (except
for in the Iguana). Former program
director Bill Beckett deserves credit
for bringing it to WUFT and keeping
it going. But when he was purged in
the recent staff downsizing, despite
assurances from remaining staff as
to AR's viability, the radio show was
axed April 23.
Chalk it up to the false notions of
balance and objectivity as taught in
J-schools and practiced at NPR.
According to WUFT's Richard
Drake, who is the point person
responding to my inquiry, "The
founding and overriding principle of
Public Radio is to present all points
of view on any topic. This principle
countermands my politics, your
politics or the politics of anyone
who would disagree with any of us.
'Alternative Radio' does not present
any opposing viewpoints."
When those comments were
shared with David Barsamian, he
responded, "What rubbish. AR is
a counter to all the pro-empire and
pro-capitalism they have on. NPR
is totally establishment oriented and
systematically excludes dissident
voices. He is wrong about the
founding principles of public radio. It
is 'to be a forum for controversy' and
'to provide a forum for those who
may otherwise be unheard.' See my
book for details The Decline and
Fall of Public Broadcasting."
David wrote the book on it, and now
we are living it.
The award-winning Alternative
Radio presents voices not carried by
the mainstream, corporate media, and
"What rubbish. Alternative
Radio is a counter to all the
pro-empire and pro-capitalism
they have on. NPR is totally
establishment oriented and
dissident voices. [WUFT's
Richard Drake] is wrong about
the founding principles of
public radio. It is 'to be a forum
for controversy' and 'to provide
a forum for those who may
otherwise be unheard."'
Alternative Radio founder
David Barsamian responding
to WUFT's claims that
AR doesn't "present any
presents them in a complete, in-depth
People are actually hungry for
information. In fact, the recently
completed pledge drive at WUFT-
FM, the second since their format
change, exceeded their expectations.
But for us now, to hear AR, you'll
need to either listen to some other
station via the Internet or download
it as a pod cast from their website,
www.alternativeradio.org, which is
okay for those of us who can, but
for others? I guess they don't need
to hear it. It's a shame such a large
station, with a huge broadcast radius,
thinks so small.
As a small consolation, the Civic
Media Center's Low Power FM
station, WGOT 94.7, will likely
pick up the weekly broadcast at
a time and day to be determined.
Hopefully the station will be
streaming on line soon as well.
Stay tuned for updates. cf
6:00 a.m. Morning Edition
10:00 a.m. The Diane Rehm Show
Noon Fresh Air
1:00 p.m. World Have Your Say
(Fri Conner Calling)
2:00 p.m. Talk of the Nation
4:00 p.m. The Front Page Edition
of All Things Considered
5:00 p.m. All Things Considered
6:30 p.m. Marketplace
7:00 p.m. PBS Newshour
8:00 p.m. The Story
(Fri -BBC World News,
Capital Report, 8:30 pm)
9:00 p.m. On Point
11:00 p.m. BBC World News
BBC World News
Weekend Edition Saturday
Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me
Animal Airwaves Live
This American Life
BBC World News
All Things Considered
A Prairie Home
12:00 a.m. BBC World News
7:30 a.m. Florida Frontiers
8:00 a.m. Weekend Edition Sunday
10:00 a.m. Bob Edwards Weekend
Noon This American Life
1:00 p.m. Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me
2:00 p.m. On The Bridge
4:00 p.m. The Thistle & Shamrock
5:00 p.m. All Things Considered
6:00 p.m. BBC World News
7:30 p.m. Humankind
8:00 p.m. Ballads & Blues
10:00 p.m. Music From the Hearts
11:00 p.m. BBC World News
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 17
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 17
Second Annual Peace Poetry Contest for
Alachua County Schools
by Jessica Newman
Every day we are bombarded with
gruesome details about the unjust
wars our country wages in Iraq and
Afghanistan. We hear stories about
rising death tolls, both American
and civilian, and cases of torture in
American prisons. Now, more and
more of these unsettling issues are
coming to light thanks to cables
exposed by Wikileaks.
With an increasingly corporate-
controlled government that seems to
have little regard for the views and
desires of the American people, it's
easy to feel helpless and voiceless.
Dreams of a peaceful world quickly
become mere illusions.
But there is hope for a more peaceful
society, without war and destruction.
And that hope lies in the children
of today who will lead the U.S. and
world of tomorrow.
That is why Gainesville's Veterans
for Peace sponsored its second
annual Alachua Co. Schools Peace
Poetry Contest this year.
More than 200 students, K-12,
submitted one poem on the subject of
peace and what it means to them.
By fostering ideas of coexistence and
cooperation in young people now, we
not only hope to initiate a discussion
about peace and how to achieve it
within our own community, but also
2011 Alachua County Peace
Saturday, May 14, 2pm to 4pm
Fellowship, 4225 NW 34th St.,
to inspire students to work toward a
more peaceful world in every aspect
of their adult lives.
A panej of English graduate students
from the University of Florida, led by
Dr. Sidney Wade, judged the poems
based on creativity, use of language
The winners will be published in the
2011 Peace Poetry Booklet and will
also recite their piece at the Peace
Poetry Reading at 2pm on May 14 at
the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
on NW 34th Street. Winners will also
receive prizes according to their age
and place (first, second or third place
in their age group).
Please join us in celebrating Alachua
County's culture of peace and also
fostering a more peaceful world
through the recognition of creative
and committed young people.
These two poems were selected by a
team of English graduates students at
UF under the direction of Dr. Sidney
Wade. Both McKayla and Kendall
will perform their poems at the free
and public Peace Poetry Reading on
May 14 (see box, left).
Peace is Still
By Kendall McClellan, Senior,
Eastside High School
(1st Placefor 10th-12th Grades)
Still flat water on a lake;
A mighty eagle on its perch;
Rain falling for any sake;
Bowed heads in a silent church.
Peace is still,
But not man's will.
Men get lost,
Especially in the dark.
Everything as cold as frost,
The world is filled with savage
Peace is silent;
Man is violent...
by McKayla Jinyoung Ro,
Kindergarten (Youngest Participant)
You are my favorite
Because you do good for people.
You make them calm.
Everybody is happy
Thanks to you.
See you soon. ct
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IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 18
Three Years and Counting:
WGOT 94.7 FM Still Going Strong
by Adam Reinhart
WGOT 94.7 Low Power FM (LP FM) is happy to have
been serving the Gainesville community through quality
alternative program for over three years.
We are determined to continue in this endeavor while
expanding our programming and audience. Our music
programming is all original representing multiple genres
and features many local and regional artists that you will
not hear on other stations.
We are proud of our talk programming, which offers many
shows not found in the area. Democracy Now! is our
featured news program. You can also find the nationally
syndicated programs Building Bridges: Labor Report,
Sierra Club Radio, Writer's Voice, and Earthbeat.
There are many locallyproduced talk programs as well,
such as Stripped, Counterpoise, Good Company, Oraltale,
No Gods, No Masters, and The List. Please visit wgot.org
for show descriptions and schedule.
By summer's end we will have added even more music
programming as well as a weekly Spanish news program.
Moreover, although we can not give out a date, WGOT
will be streaming over the internet very soon. As always,
thanks for your support. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with
comments, suggestions, or ideas. ce
Frankenstein: Penetrating the
Secrets of Nature
The Health Science Center Library is pleased to host
this exhibit from the National Library of Medicine
from May 10 June 17, 2011. The exhibition
explores the woman and the world that gave birth to
Frankenstein. Some of the many, events:
Tues., May 24: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: from
Science Fiction to Fact, 12:00 PM
Thur., May 26: (Film) Frankenstein (1931), 5:00 PM
Thur., June 2: The Frankenstein Myth: Responsibility
and Science in a Brave New World, 12:00 PM
Mon., June 6: Beyond Frankenstein: Women Writing
Science in the SF Magazines, 12:00 PM
Tue., June 7: (Film) Young Frankenstein, 5:00 PM
Wed., June 15: Mothering Monsters Mary Shelley's
Frankenstein and Genetic Engineering, 12:00 PM
Full events list, locations and more detailed info at
Palestinian Delegation to
Visit Gainesville, May 18-25
by Dennis Shuman
For many years Gainesville has been involved
with a unique three-way Sister City program
(Gainesville-Kfar Saba-Qalqilia the latter are
towns in Israel and the Palestinian National
Authority, respectively). Sister City International
strives to create peace via people-to-people contact.
In hopes of moving plans forward, even at this
exciting time in history, Palestinian delegates will
be visiting Gainesville from May 18 25th to tour,
meet, and arrange future cooperative ventures.
The delegates will include the Deputy Minister of
Civil Affairs of the Palestinian National Authority,
the medical director of the Qalqilya municipal
hospital, as well as both the mayor and director
of education for Qalqilya. Considering current
events in the Middle East and Gainesvillb, this
visit presents an historic opportunity to make a
meaningful contribution to improving Gainesville's
image as well as US/Israeli/Palestinian relations.
Many schedule details are still being worked out
as of this printing. The Palestinian delegation will
at the Gainesville City Commission meeting on
Thursday, May 19 at 5:30 p.m., where the mayor
will present a proclamation to the group.
Also, there will be two public forums/ discussions
on Sunday, May 22, one at 2 p.m. at the Mennonite
Meeting House, 1236 NW 18th Avenue, and the
second at 7 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist
Church, 4000 NW 53 Ave.
For more information or if you are interested in
meeting our "Sisters" by attending events, or
otherwise being involved with the program, please
contact Steve Kalishman, Sister City Program of
Gainesville, Inc., at 376-8600. c<
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GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 19
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 19
Access Denied: Higher education under attack for
poor and middle class students
by Jeremiah Tattersal
Access to higher education for all
people, regardless of economic
background, is a fundamental
principle of fairness. Changes to
scholarship/grants on the federal and
state levels, as well as policy changes
within the University of Florida, have
the potential to drastically change the
makeup of the student body.
UF has gained the nickname of "the
rich public university" due to its
average parental income of $110,00
per year, more than twice the state
average of $44,755. The middle and
lower classes are not proportionately
represented at UF, despite it
being one of the most affordable
universities in the nation.
Two years ago, the Board of
Governors, the highest governing
body of the state university system,
voted to allow universities to
increase their tuition by 15 percent
per year until they reach the national
This is on top of the proposed block
tuition, expected to be implemented
in 2012, that will charge students for
15 credit hours a semester no matter
how many hours they take. Currently,
the majority of students take less than
15 credits and, under the new policy,
will be charged for any unused hours.
Students who work while in college,
estimated to be at about 42 percent,
will be most strongly affected by
this. Recently, the Gainesville-area
Students for a Democratic Society
staged a "study-in" at Machen's
office in protest of, as student
organizer Chrisley Carpio said, "an
open assault on poor and working
students." Block tuition might not
adversely affect the average student
whose parents make $110,000 a
year, but it has the potential to
disproportionately hurt middle and
lower class students.
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 20
Conor Munro, a 19-year-old freshman, speaks on the steps of Tigert Hall during the
"study-in" in April organized by students groups in protest of the tuition increase, cuts
to scholarships and block tuition. Photo by Amanda Adams
Bright Futures is also set to change
drastically in the next year. The intent
of this scholarship is to keep the best
and brightest students within the state
university system; hence, the current
merit-based requirements. Currently
30 percent of recipients come from
families that make $100,000 or more
a year. UF is at the upper echelon of
this, with 98 percent of UF freshmen
receiving Bright Futures scholarships
and their average annual parental
income being $105,000.
This uneven allocation of
scholarships/grants for need-based
students by the state might be
corrected if Bright Futures becomes
more need-based as proposed by the
Florida College Access Network. But
radical changes in the distribution of
Bright Futures is unlikely as only the
amount paid out is being discussed
by lawmakers in Tallahassee.
On the federal level, the future of
Pell Grants dodged a major GOP
bullet but was still grazed by the
Obama compromise. As it stands,
Pell Grants will pay out the full
$5,550 to lower income students but
no longer will students be allowed
to take out two grants per year.
The second grant is often used for
summer classes when many state-
sponsored scholarships lapse.
The future of funding for higher
education the State House and
Senate is still uncertain. The two
competing budgets call for harsh and
harsher cuts, with the Senate version
being the slightly lesser of the two
evils. If the Senate version prevails,
there will be about $500 million
more in funding than the House
version with most of this going
towards new construction. The House
version cuts Bright Futures by 15
percent (approximately $350 to $450
off average awards) and the Senate
version even more so, slashing all
benefits by almost $1,000. Students,
teachers and support staff at
universities are set to lose, no matter
which version passes.
Almost 100 students from Florida
Agricultural and Mechanical
University, Florida State University,
and Gulf Coast Community College
marched on the state capital building
and staged a sit in at the Governors
Office on April 21. These students
were protesting the lack of access
to higher education by poor, middle
class, a minority groups but were
locked out of Rick Scott's office and
never given a meeting.
The protesters announced the
formation of a coalition of students
across the state to put pressure on
the state government to fully fund
higher education. Dustin Ponder, a
zone one coordinator for the AFL-
CIO, announced "we came here
begging for scraps and they wouldn't
meet with us. Next time we're going
to take the whole damn thing".
Expect larger and more frequent
demonstrations against cuts to higher
education during the next legislation
Jeremiah Tattersal is a member
of Gainesville's Workers for a
Civic Media Center May/June 2011 Events
lursday 5/5: Volunteer Meeting, 5:30pm; Free
University: "A Handy Home Remedy
for Allergies" facilitated by Maria, 7pm;
Poetry Jam w/ Special Guests Poet/Author
Ron Whitehead, Spoken Word Artist Frank
Messina, and Grammy-Nominated Blues
& Folk Singer/Songwriter Tyrone Cotton,
Friday 5/6: Sierra Club presents: "Gasland," video
on Halliburton technique of hydraulic
fracturing for natural gas, 6:30pm
saturday 5/7: Santa Fe College Queer/Straight Alliance
Drag Ball/Masquerade, 9pm
Monday 5/9: Free Film Festival for a Free Palestine
Presents: "Ara's Children" 7pm
lesday 5/10: Art Club, 6-8pm
Anarchademics Presents: Dinner (7pm)
and a Movie (8pm) "V for Vendetta"
Volunteer Meeting, 5:30pm; Free
University: "Fundamentals of Empathetic
Communication" facilitated by Dan Kahn,
7pm; Poetry Jam, 9pm
Gainesville Women's Liberation Benefit
Music Show, Artists TBA, 9pm
Food Not Bombs Presents: "The Change
We Knead Now" Tour w/ FNB Co-founder
Keith McHenry, 6pm
IWW Presents: "Salt of the Earth," 7pm
Music w/ "Renee is a Zombie", others
Free Film Fest for a Free Palestine
Presents: Short Films for Gaza, 6pm;
Anarchademics, location/time TBA (see
CMC website or anarchademics.com
Vol. Mtg. 5:30pm;Free University: "Icarus
Project" (in Courtyard) 7pm; Poetry Jam,
Labor Notes Fundraiser w/ Jenny Brown,
potluck dinner 7pm, program 8pm
433 S. Main Street
Parking just to the south at SE 5th Ave. (see sign) or at the courthouse just
north of 4th Ave. after 7pm. Check our website for details or new events that
may have been scheduled after this went to press.
(352) 373-0010 www.civicmediacenter.org
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 21
"Islamophobia as Cultural Ideology,"
book talk by Dr. Stephen Sheehi, author of
Islamophobia: The Ideological Campaign
Against Muslims, 7pm
"The English Sheik and The Yemani
Gentleman," documentary on culture and
history of Yemen, 7pm
Art Club, 6-8pm
Public Forum for Social Science Research
(topic and presenter TBA), 7pm; Friends
Helping Friends Presents: Music with The
Lunars, Banned Books, Far Away Planes,
and The Devil's Horns Kill the Matador,
Vol. Mtg. 5:30pm; Free University: TBA,
7pm; Poetry Jam, 9pm
Longest Walk III w/ A.I.M. co-founder
Dennis Banks; continental U.S. walking
tour to raise awareness and funds for
diabetes prevention and other issues in
Native communities, time and full details
of event TBA
"Restrepo," documentary on U.S. soldiers
at war in Afghanistan, 7pm
"Julian Assange: A Moder Day Hero?
Inside the World of Wikileaks," 7pm
Acoustic music w/ Ryan Sheffield (folk/
punk), others TBA, 9pm
"The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream
of Freedom?" Hour 1 & 2 of miniseries
questioning contemporary definitions
of freedom by British director Adam
Curtis ("Century of Self," "Power of
"The Trap" Hour 2 repeats, followed by
hour #3; 7pm
"Battle of Algiers," classic French drama
about urban guerillas in the struggle for
de-colonization of North Africa, 7pm
Abortion... continuedfrom p. 24
Women Are the Experts
Part of that buried history is what
we ourselves will be doing today--
speaking out, seeing ourselves and
other women as experts on our own
experiences with abortion.
In 1969, before the 1973 Supreme
Court decision Roe vs Wade, women
in Redstockings of the women's
liberation movement busted up
a New York State legislative
committee convened to consider
making small reforms to New York
State's abortion law. Testimony from
a panel of "experts"-consisting of
13 men and a nun-weighed in on
the advisability of changing the law.
"Let the REAL experts testify--
Women!" shouted feminists.
Shortly thereafter, in March 1969,
Redstockings organized the first
abortion speakout at a Methodist
church in New York City. Women
bravely spoke out about their illegal
abortions to a crowd of more than
That's the spirit in which we are
speaking out today. Women are the
experts-we know what we need
and don't need. We don't need a 24-
hour waiting period to "make up our
minds." We don't need to be told
we have to look at an ultrasound of
our pregnancy. We don't need our
parents' or husbands' permission.
Less Rights Now Than in 1973
We have less abortion rights now
than we did right after Roe V Wade.
At one time, Medicaid paid for
abortion...women in the military
could get abortions as part of their
health care...there were no waiting
periods or parental notification laws.
Our rights are already restricted. We
feminists have been fighting tooth
and nail against that.
But they keep coming back...states
all over the country are piling on
restrictions, making it harder for us to
get abortions. They are even making
it harder to get birth control-trying
to cut off funding for Planned
Parenthood, passing "conscience
laws" allowing pharmacists to refuse
to fill prescriptions for birth control,
banning schools from telling teens
how to keep from getting pregnant.
It's as if our government WANTS us
to have as many babies as possible!
States are slashing billions from
public education, childcare and
health care. Here in Florida, Rick
Scott has proposed a $3.3 billion cut
to public education alone. They are
going after our ability to even make
a living- getting rid of some of the
only decent jobs by attacking unions
and collective bargaining.
So, make it as hard as possible to
keep us from having children, and
at the same time, prevent us from
being able to support and raise the
children that we have...or to think
of it another way, pay as little as
possible for the raising up of the next
Women Can Do
We women are
Gardener's Edge .
Teaching the World to Grow Trieir Own.'
General Manager Ow'
brad@877gehydro com rn
Phone 352 375 2769
877-GEHYDRO '. .
877gehydro corn '-
5408 NW 8th Ave Gainesville. FL 3260b'2..
squeezed. We are workers, we keep
the society running-it's you and
me going to our jobs every day that
keep things running, not the CEOs of
Bank of America-and we MAKE
the next generation of workers.
that's work ONLY women can do.
Just as workers, both men and
women, must have the right to
control and organize their work and
workplace-so women must have the
right to control and organize when,
if, and how many children we will
have. We don't all have to do it, and
we don't have to do it all the time-
but pregnancy and birth is something
ONLY we can do.
That fact-that only we can do
it-can be a source of horrible and
onerous oppression. But there is
another way to think of it-it can
also be a source of great power.
Unions aren't the only ones who can
go on strike.
More than Abortion
We can't be on equal footing with
men if we cannot control when and
if we will have a child-that's why
abortion is so fundamental. But
we need so much more...we need
individual men to pull their weight
at home, and we need the whole
society to pull its weight. We need
high quality education from birth on,
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IGUANA, MAY/Ju1~ 2011, PAGE 22 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 22
national health care, a shorter work
week, paid parental leave, vacation
and sick time guaranteed by law
for all. Taking away abortion not
only takes away our right to self-
determination- it takes away our
A Woman Speaks Out
What follows is one woman's
testimony at the speakout. She wished
to remain anonymous for this article.
I have two children and had two
miscarriages between, which were
probably the most painful things I
have ever been through. As I have
moved into my '40s, I marveled that
I never had an accidental pregnancy,
and I had begun to think-this
chapter in my life is closing...
Until three months ago. When I
found out I was pregnant.
I really couldn't believe it. When I
told my husband, he said, "I think
I'm going to throw up."
At one time we had thought about
having a third child. We talked about
it -should we have another baby?
And I am going to be honest-we
could have swung it. We would have
had to make some big changes, but
if we'd wanted to we could have
But I didn't want to.
I'm 42 years old. Would have been
43 when the baby was born. 43
and starting over-breastfeeding,
bottles. I gave my crib away to my
friend who is 10 years younger than
me and starting her family...
I would have been one month shy
of 62 years old when the baby
graduated high school. 62. Now if
you want to raise a teenager in your
'60s, bless you, but that is NOT
what I have in mind! I have in mind
having the house look the same
when I come home as it did when
I left it... going to the bathroom
uninterrupted.. .having a complete
conversation with my husband that
does not take place in bed, in the
dark, after llpm. I have in mind that
my kids will be through college,
and I can think about retiring...
My kids are so enjoyable now...I
have political conversations with my
son. My daughter
is learning to
vacations! All that
would end with a
new baby in the
happen to me
and he was
worried this time,
too -what if I got
an enlarged heart
heart failure? I
worry about more
like back pain and
incontinence... pregnancy is a risk. It
takes a toll.
So we decided. I decided.
But none of my regular doctors, not
the one who delivered my youngest,
nor the one who does my pap smear
every year, would help me. Because
they don't do abortions...
So I called my local abortion clinic
and got RU-486 that day. It was no
big deal. No different than my other
two miscarriages -except this time
I was calm, in control, and relieved
instead of desperate and devastated.
My abortion was BY FAR the easiest
of all my reproductive experiences,
physically and emotionally.
But I am lucky. I had an abortion
clinic right down the street. 89
percent of U.S. counties have NO
abortion provider. I got what I
needed that day. I didn't have to wait
around for some state-mandated
waiting period. I didn't have to ask
anyone's permission. Maybe most
importantly, I was able to pay for it.
Sometimes you hear people say, "I'm
pro-choice, but...abortion shouldn't
be used for convenience." They
might even say that I had one of
those "convenience" abortions.
Oh really? Forgetting your kid's
lunchbox is inconvenient. A broken
dishwasher is inconvenient. Nine
months of pregnancy, childbirth, and
18-plus years of childrearing is a lot
more than an inconvenience!
I had an abortion simply because
I did not want another child. I
wasn't raped, I'm not homeless,
I'm not in an abusive marriage-
and I suspect that's true for the
vast majority of women who get
abortions. We just don't want to have
a child...To tell me I MUST have a
third child because I accidentally got
pregnant, that's not inconvenience.
It's slavery. cft
For more info:
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 23
1017 W. University Ave.
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA '
The Truth About Abortion:
Women Speak Out
by Amy Coenen
On April 8, Gainesville Women's
Liberation, a chapter of National
Women's Liberation, and members
of the community education class,
"Women's Liberation: Where Do
I Fit In?", organized a speakout on
abortion. Eight women spoke out
about their abortions and against
the 18 bills pending in the Florida
legislature that would further restrict
Women testified about the great relief
their abortions brought.
"When I woke up the next morning,
the sun was streaming through
the windows, and it was the most
beautiful day.. .because I wasn't
pregnant anymore," one woman said.
Many expressed surprise that their
abortions were quick and painless.
"I was so scared that it would hurt...
but they gave me an IV and when I
woke up, it was over."
The high cost of abortion was
decried, and three women had to
borrow money from friends or family
to pay for the procedure.
"$400 was a lot of money to me...
if my friend hadn't loaned me the
money, I would have been forced to
have the baby," one said.
Some spoke out about the need for
more support in raising children
and the need for publicly funded
childcare, health care, parental leave
and a shorter work week.
What follows is an excerpt from
introductory remarks at the event and
one woman's testimony.
Amy Coenen, Gainesville Women's
Liberation's opening remarks:
We're here today to speak out, to tell
the truth about our lives as women-
specifically, to talk about our own
experiences with abortion...
We are told abortion was given to us,
by woman-friendly politicians and
a liberal Supreme Court. But that's
just not true...abortion was won by
women like you and me-speaking
out, organizing, marching in the
streets-the Supreme Court and
legislators followed our lead.
Continued page 22...
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Whitney Mutch testifies at the Gainesville Women's Liberation abortion speakout last
month at the Civic Media Center. Photo by Stephanie Seguin.
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 24 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
IGUANA, MAY/JUNE 2011, PAGE 24