VOLUME VII, ISSUE III
SPRING 2015 FREE
CO VE R ST O R Y Local activists support a national movement, p. 28
f o t Ou dows a h S e th ls
choo s c i l pub s â€™ a for d i e f a Flor s n are u outh, y + Q LGBT .22 p
this issue The Show Must Go On
(pictured left) Locals remember 911 House, a punk landmark that recently burned down.
Published with support from Generation Progress/Center for American Progress (online at GenerationProgress.org).
Damian Gonzalez Samantha Schuyler
Layout Director Creative Writing Editor
Sarah Senfeld Melia Jacquot
Damian Gonzalez Samantha Schuyler
Isabel Branstrom Sidney Howard Yatrik Solanki Kelley Taksier
SwampCon creates an empowering space for intersecting indentities.
p. 18 Cover art by Samantha Schuyler.
COLUMNS Heads Together, p. 06 Mental illness is a treatable disease. Homestead Instead, p. 14 No â€˜Poo, No Problem.
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Spring Fever, p. 20 A comprehensive guide to North Central Floridaâ€™s springs. Common Sights on Saturday Nights, p. 33
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A new comic by Aneri Pandya
FEATURES #BlackLivesMatter, p. 28 Local activisits support a national movement. Identity Crisis, p. 26 A program that connects homeless to new technology.
02 | T H E
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from THE FINE PRINT’S
ISSUE II VOLUME VII,
WINTER 2014 FREE
Multimedia, more stories, blogs It was early December when a grand jury and a community calendar. ruled to not indict the police officer PLUS! Comment on stories, see who had put Eric Garner, an unarmed photos from the printed issue (and black man, in a deadly chokehold. In more!) IN COLOR, flip through response, 25,000 protesters shut down a digital version of the printed New York City’s FDR Drive. e th Into Wild edition and much, much more, all In February, a Republican updated throughout the month. representative in Miami proposed a bill that would heavily police Florida public bathrooms, making it illegal to enter a AND RNERS P. 28 UNS E G OMBS, SCAPE CUTS CO bathroom that did not match your assigned B “ THTHE UF TS US LAND CA ’S KEMP C O R facebook.com/thefineprintuf THE D THE RE A AN birth sex. Trans folk, whose lives are already in IPS, LS O @thefineprintuf RSH WA SYMB N ALL HUMA constant danger, could be fined up to $1,000 .” E thefineprintgainesville.tumblr.com OF R U FAIL and one year in jail for using a bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. In early March, the bill passed through the House Civil Justice Subcommittee, vaulting the first hurdle to becoming a law. It is overwhelming, the sense of a terrible breadth of bad things. They happen in exhausting, relentless succession. They compound, coagulate and then congeal into Aneri Pandya unbudging norm. They become so structurally ingrained that you could talk to entire strata of people who have never heard of them. But the same week New York City was overrun with protests, Gainesville joined the din. Do you remember when the corner of 13th and University was flooded with people? They wore black in mourning and flashed signs; they shouted and chanted and held hands. Before being asphyxiated, Garner had told the police 11 times he couldn’t breathe. So hundreds of local protesters stopped traffic for 11 minutes. A thousand miles from where a man was choked to death, a small city in North Central Florida came together to mourn and unite in solidarity. And it should be noted that as of now, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has raised nearly 47,000 out of the 50,000 signatures needed in a petition against the bathroom bill. The Fine Print is, essentially, a tool. Our purpose is specific. We want you to know how to be a voice of dissent on the streets of New York, on University Avenue, as part of a petition. If we can introduce you to a topic that strikes you, tempts you to the Internet to explore, to eventually join the voices intent on helping stymie (or at least resist) Aneri Pandya is a junior studying applied physiology the ceaseless barrage of bad things, then we’ve served our and kinesiology at the University of Florida. She illustrates purpose. We want you to know that enormous, national and makes comics for The Fine Print. When not drawing, issues affect our tiny city, and also that our tiny city affects Aneri indulges in activities such as admiring nature, enormous change. eating all the food, putting people in awkward situations Enjoy this issue, and we invite you to do more than just and having an existential crisis over how amazing the read. body is. She also enjoys onesies, free T-shirts and driving for long periods of time. IE
gun ere a rio wh ely. In scena uctiv ion a t destr countless envis d no cult to re up es ly an conju suicid It is diffi d effective easy to shootings, ved be use painfully ul n pro sef gu could ost rpo of a it’s alm otings, pu sence fact, , the pre ntal sho n news foreig nd of accide on, where stic or ha so ht me d an . y do the rig sing rophic or read an rally in t haras catast quen tch the are lite a delin Just wa that guns aining er it be an maint mic clear no eth is it eco wh em ss, and polic g the ipal o oppre th, a princ tectin all wh in his pa ry pro gun is the ne milita e anyo or a l. Th tion quo werfu stroy. ed no status the po and de , delud eover by press sts of antic intere all who op t tak we the rom agains ich tool for is always t holdout e, wh r and im reg r las There can fea atics nical are ou tyran Ameri fan guns n of t ed gu cifi tha facet are aid unspe as a anny are afr nize some of tyr ople shot? recog kind ere pe should . But what society wh y might get s go kid A oia the ir t? paran ven cause g the ies, to pre lettin eet be librar l safe trying in the str rsity t safe? not fee here unive lk are no guns ts do to wa ?W aters paren use of the ho re cism nd’s Whe movie elf fanati ed its at a frie ools and t the bedd play sch is tha will. s em ntary It ha reality of its eleme es ime. tims ering reg vic sob mselv The nical are all d the tyran rest and we who tricke own d the U.S., is its er. An fear for those in the answ were ant s the deeply to suffer t nst wa co t , violen lence live in rized The firs ing vio , as we milita a think too s o e in int tim main we liv are vic two cause of us from and ety be stems rates guns, our saf ges reality life . ura pro try co ate t tun coun re tha and en ecially unfor cultu rifies esp This t glo terial ns are to be the s: a ma culture tha se gu d source al y ten Becau ologic n, the lence. an ide , uctio of vio oting destr use of sho ls X the of too vent wake ive as e. to pre effect choic t in the and try ing: The on of pe tha nk p back weap uld ho t the ul thi e a ste wishf We wo might tak are no us t is vio t guns iety t tha the ob ists tha our soc e. Bu is, ins on xt tive blem the ne nant narra in the pro mi duced atever predo d wh are pro ns. m, an n guns proble is more gu 2 millio on up to soluti year, Every
A community garden gets re close to natu p. 22
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int finepr T | the
Spring 2015 | T H E
COLUMN / PAPER CUTS Ouch! That hurt s doesn’t it? Paper Cuts are our shor t, erratic and slig htly painful updates on current local an d national events . See our website for more Paper Cuts at thefineprintuf.o rg
Paper Cuts CEASE AND DESIST What happens when the police stop policing? Do we, like unsupervised children, start to gleefully wreak havoc? Take New York, for instance—does it pretty much become “The Warriors?” After two officers were killed in late December — apparently in vengeance for Eric Garner’s death — New York saw a virtual work stoppage. Everything was unofficial, and union leaders denied any organization (police strikes are, after all, illegal), but the NYPD made 66 percent fewer arrests than they had the same time last year. Criminal summonses and traffic citations went down 90 percent. There was even a memo that circulated among officers — first said to be penned by the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, which later denied authorship — that instructed them to, for their safety, not make any arrests unless they were absolutely necessary. Which led Matt Ford at The Atlantic to ask: How many unnecessary arrests was the NYPD making before? And, as New York Magazine pointed out, nothing really happened. It turns out, making fewer arrests — that is, less policing — doesn’t mean that the world spirals into unmitigated chaos. The Associated Press even mentioned that reports of serious crimes went down from 04 | T H E
F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
Image courtesy of the Government Pr ess Office by Miln via Flickr Common er Mos s.
4,130 to 3,707 in the same period last year. One week is a small sample size. But then again, only two months later the city experienced its longest number of consecutive days without a murder. So the police stopped doing their jobs. On one hand, they let drunk drivers and people who illegally possessed guns slide. On the other, there was a marked decrease in arrests for small crimes — the ones that, according to Police Commissioner William J. Bratton’s philosophy of “broken-window” policing, must be rooted out to discourage larger-scale problems. And the city did not go up in flames. These arrests actually often target low-income people of color who do not have the means to pay bail, creating a heavily policed and jailed lower class. So this begs the question: Are “police” and “safety” at all the same thing? By Samantha Schuyler
GUI LT BY ASS OCI ATIO N From cries of hate speech following the Charlie Hebdo massacre to the murder of three Muslim Chapel Hill students, Islamophobia has been a point of serious discussion over the course of the past few months. But according to The Atlantic, the French prime minister refused to even
utter the very word Islamophobia when describing the phenomenon that is antiMuslim prejudice following the Charlie Hebdo incident. Guilt by association is not only damaging, but further marginalizes individuals who choose to practice the Muslim faith. Despite rallying cries from the Muslim community, mainstream media outlets took almost an entire day before making an active effort to report on the death of the Chapel Hill students. The New York Times made it clear that prosecutions based on hate crime are a rarity in North Carolina, where the incident occurred. In the wake of post-9/11 antiMuslim prejudice, the increase in hate crimes targeting innocent Muslims is a measurable reality. Reports by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights showed that while the number of reported hate crimes against Muslims has declined since 2001, it is still substantially above pre-2001 levels. Even with statistics backing claims of targeted hate crime, the Muslim community continues to be vilified under the guise of protecting the sanctity of liberty. Should the freedom of speech be given priority over the very livelihood of a community that suffers as a direct result of ignorance? By Damien Gonzalez
COLUMN / MONTHLY MANIFESTO
BY CHELSEA CARNES, CO-DIRECTOR Gainesville Girls Rock Camp is a local summer camp that uses music and performance as a platform to promote self-esteem, community and creative selfexpression in girls from ages 8 to 17. The Girls Rock Camp is an international program that began on the West Coast in 2000 and has now spread around the world with hundreds of camps, some as far away as Brazil and Sweden. The Gainesville Girls Rock Camp got rolling in 2013 after I found inspiration from volunteering at Girls Rock Camp Jacksonville. Upon returning to Gainesville, I teamed up with Jennifer Vito, and we began recruiting the summer camp staff of my dreams. Our local rock camp is volunteer-run by an entirely woman-identified cast of talented badasses, many of whom hail from local bands such as No More; The Ones To Blame; As Is; SODA; GUTS; and Wax Wings. Together each summer, we create a week of music and feminism meant to rock the world of the young girls who attend, who often bring with them crippling insecurities and inhibitions developed from living life as a girl in a patriarchal society. Our curriculum includes daily group music lessons on electric bass, electric guitar, keys and drums, as well as workshops ranging from “Girls’ Self-Defense” to “The History of Women in Music.” Campers are broken into bands on their first day, then with direction from their band leaders and music instructors spend the week writing a song. On the last day, we book a local venue, and the girls’ bands perform their original songs in front of a large audience of friends, family, staff and the Gainesville community.
Our volunteers work hard to fundraise throughout the year so that we can offer full and partial scholarships to girls in need. Through these scholarships, we are able to keep our camper demographic economically diverse. We provide all musical equipment as well as daily lunches and snacks. Many of the girls come on the first day having never touched an instrument before. By the time they leave, they have basic knowledge of playing an instrument and have written and performed an original song in front of a live audience. On the first day, many of the girls are too shy to say their names audibly. By the end of the week, they are comfortable writing down their thoughts and screaming them into a microphone in front of a crowd. In 2015 we plan to accommodate 50 campers, more than we’ve ever facilitated before. We are offering two sessions, one in July and one in August, and we NEED VOLUNTEERS! No musical experience is necessary you are a woman-identified feminist with an interest in offering young girls a chance to get loud and be heard, please contact us for more information!
You can contact Gainesville Girls Rock Camp at: girlsrockcampgainesville.com firstname.lastname@example.org facebook.com/RockAndRollCampForGirlsGainesville
Spring 2015 | T H E
COLUMN /FRANKLY SPEAKING
TOGETHER BY VANESSA KINSEY ILLUSTRATION BY SARA NETTLE
“But you seem so normal.” It’s a response I’ve become all too familiar with. I live with bipolar disorder. After several years, I’ve finally found a combination of medication and therapy that allows me to pass as “normal.” I’m fortunate enough to even afford treatment, a luxury many do not have. The general population is not wholly unfamiliar with mental illness. From Amanda Bynes’ recent erratic behavior to Britney Spears’ infamous shaved head in 2007, anyone with a TV has witnessed how detrimental mental illness can be. But these public breakdowns only provide us with a limited scope. Media sensationalism only fuels stigma. It makes it easier to detach ourselves from the reality of mental illness. We can believe that people living with mental illness are outright crazy. That they can’t be trusted. That they are a spectacle. Even when we sympathize with celebrities, we construct barriers. “Of course a former child star has a meltdown,” we tell ourselves. “Anyone would cave under the burden of lifelong fame.” What we forget is that it may be the girl who sits next to you in class that struggling to get out of bed every day. I am that girl. I am still there, trudging across campus, sitting behind you in a classroom, raising my hand and engaging in discussion. I show up for my internship on time, manage projects and blend in with my co-workers.
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Are there some differences? Of course. I have to take medication every day. I have weekly sessions with a psychologist. My life doesn’t look like Hollywood’s depiction of typical college life. But I doubt most of ours do. After a long period of trial-and-error, I’ve discovered what is essential to my stability. And sometimes, those things separate me from my peers. I have a bedtime. I have to severely limit my alcohol consumption. I need routine and structure built into my daily life. So that spontaneous show at the cool new bar on a Thursday night – it’s not happening. Turning down such tempting invitations isn’t easy, particularly when a well meaning acquaintance is pushing for me to just cut loose. It’s often in that very moment when I decide to disclose my illness. The reactions are often less than stellar. “I don’t believe in bipolar disorder.” “Psychiatric drugs don’t help anyone.” “How do you know you really have it? Have you had a brain scan?” “But you won’t have to be on medication forever, right?” This is just a sampling of the negative reactions I’ve gotten. Even my own mother tried to convince me that it was just a problem with my thyroid. That is, until she had irrefutable proof—an inevitability with untreated mental illness. Though the reactions to my illness make me sound like an anomaly, I’m not alone. A quarter of Americans experience a mental ill-
COLUMN /FRANKLY SPEAKING
ness each year. If you’re reading this in a coffee shop right now, look around. That’s one out of every four people there. And with three-fourths of documented mental illness developing by age 24, I’m certainly not the only young person dealing with this. Yet I am met with genuine shock when I admit that I have teetered on the brink of homelessness and made several visits to the psychiatric ward. But my illness, just like diabetes or epilepsy, is treatable. It is something that can be managed. I am one of the lucky ones. More than half of the adults living with a mental illness never receive treatment. In stark contrast to wealthy celebrities, we’re exposed to those who live with mental illness who don’t have access to mental health care. Often, lack of treatment leads to a stint in prison or homelessness. Individuals with mental illness are more likely to end up in the prison system than a hospital. While hospitalization carries a heavy stigma, it is often necessary for recovery. But hospitals cost money. I have health insurance, and it covers a small portion of mental health services. Many health insurance plans don’t provide any coverage for such services. That’s if someone is even lucky enough to have insurance in the first place. Paying out of pocket? It’s nearly impossible. And if you need treatment to be able to hold down a job, what then? Social security doesn’t even provide enough to cover basic housing for most individuals. Financial burden aside, many law enforcement officials aren’t properly trained to recognize or handle a mental-health crisis. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 20 percent of state prisoners are diagnosed with a mental health issue. Even if a prison has a mental-health wing, it’s often not equipped to handle the number of inmates who need it. The crushing cost of treatment becomes a moot point when there aren’t even services available. This happens far more than we might think. Even with the services Alachua County offers, it is classified as underserved in mental health matters. So the guy murmuring to himself on the street
corner becomes a “crazy:” a mentally unstable person with a criminal record. While it’s easy to believe that a progressive, open-minded person isn’t actively reinforcing stigma, we do it all the time. Stigma is a mark of shame or disgrace. Stigma is setting a particular group of people apart from the rest of society, and in doing so imply they have less worth. Stigma is pervasive. It’s a way to differentiate ourselves from those people. It can seem impossible to imagine that if the guy murmuring incoherently had access to adequate care he could be sitting next to you in lecture, dutifully taking notes. Even when mental health services are accessible, it is often shame that prevents people from seeking treatment. Just admitting you’ve gone to counseling can raise eyebrows. Discussing the details of your disorder, or simply admitting you have one, can lead to the loss of family and friends. Mental illness is isolating enough. The lack of social support could very well be the last straw. We must acknowledge mental illness. Suicide and hospitalization should not be quietly ignored. We must challenge ourselves as individuals and each other as a society to, first, recognize the seriousness of mental illness and second, employ our most empathetic selves. If we are to eliminate stigma and encourage people to seek treatment, we must first and foremost acknowledge that those living with a mental illness are just that—people.
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P U D A E R
N W O D W O CH
BY DANNY DUFFY ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE YIN PHOTO BY SAMANTHA SCHUYLER Downtown Gainesville, already known for its bars and music scene, has become a sanctuary for local foodies. Although deciding on a favorite restaurant may be next to impossible, an oasis of comfort and authentic Japanese cuisine has nestled its way into the line of restaurants along SW 1st Ave. With an open kitchen and dimly lit, sleek interior, Crane Ramen brings big-city craft noodle shops to li’l ol’ Gainesville. After opening its doors in December, co-owners Fred Brown and Bill Bryson have developed a warm, contemporary spot infused with traditional Japanese elements. And Bryson, a Gainesville native, and Brown, a University of Florida alumnus, certainly aren’t new to the business. Ramen has been a part of Brown’s life since he was a Chef in New York City’s East Village. Brown said that when he wanted something “wholesome and restorative, it was ramen” that satisfied his craving. The craving Fred describes is similar to the one all students have one time or another. Now, instead of cooking pre-packaged, dried noodles on a Bunsen burner in a college dorm, students can experience Japanese ramen and a comfortable dining experience at Crane. An incredible amount of time has been dedicated to forming an enjoyable dining experience for customers, and it’s evident in the decor. From the re-appropriated 08 | T H E
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wood paneling to the contemporary Japanese banners with Crane’s logo, the design is a departure from the ramen houses of Japan, which customers are in and out of in 15 minutes. Aesthetics aside, the true beauty of Crane lies in its ramen. Chef Steve Grimes, who recently came aboard in September, has 12 years of experience in Japanese cuisine and has worked in cities from San Francisco to Tokyo. Grimes said that making ramen is a “precise” process that takes “hours and hours.” He assures customers that there is “at least one broth going 24 hours a day.” All of Crane’s dishes feature quality ingredients, most of which are grown in Alachua County. According to Grimes, 80 percent of their vegetables and all protein is sourced from local farms. For the stuff you can’t get locally, Grimes buys from the best—the dough, for example, is made from a prestigious ramen-maker called Sun Noodle. The team at Crane Ramen has thought through every angle of its enterprise down to the name, which was chosen to pay homage to the droves of cranes that visit Gainesville each year. The crane symbolizes the process of coming home.
NOTE: For this recipe, some ingredients can only generally be found in Asian Markets, like Chun Ching on Eighth Avenue. However, if you’re on a tight budget with limited time (boy, do we feel you), we’ve offered some substitutes you can find at any grocery store.
Crane Ramen 16 SW 1st Ave. Gainesville, FL 32601
ROASTED MUSHROOM SALAD INGREDIENTS Mushroom Vinaigrette: 1 3 1 1 3 1
cup mushroom dashi tablespoon ginger 1/2 garlic clove cup canola oil tablespoon green onion cup Tosazu
5 ounces enoki 5 ounces shimeji 5 ounces maitake 15 ounces shiitake (We substituted these with a mix of shiitake, oyster and portobello with good results!)
Salad Mix: spinach, arugala, mizuna Tosazu: Tosazu is a Japanese vinegar mix. If you can’t find it pre-made in store, you have a couple options.
For the most accurate taste: 1/2 cup water 1/3 cup rice vinegar 2 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon mirin, a Japanese sweet cooking wine, 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt ½ tablespoon bonito flakes. For on-the-fly, on-a-budget dressing: We combined rice vinegar, soy sauce, water, mirin, sugar and salt, which worked nicely.
1. Begin by de-stemming and washing all greens. Be sure to cut them if they are too big into the size of your choosing. 2. Wash and slice enoki, shimeji, maitake and shiitake. Cut off all butts and reserve for future use. 3. To make shiitake fries, place all pre-sliced shiitake mushrooms on a baking sheet and bake in canola oil at 350° F until tender and crisp. Once they’re finished, sprinkle salt, pepper and togarashi over them for flavor. 4. In order to make the mushroom dashi, place dry shiitake mushrooms in a bowl and soak them in warm water for 15 minutes or until softened. Make sure they are fully submerged and become fully rehydrated. Upon completion, give a gentle squeeze to each mushroom to drain of any water. Run the liquid through a strainer to make the vinaigrette. 5. To prepare the vinaigrette, take all ingredients, including the freshly made dashi, and run them through a blender until liquified. 6. Toss the salad, mushrooms and vinaigrette in a bowl. Add some of the shiitake fries and add a dash of togarashi for amped-up flavor.
IN SEASON A N D F R E SH bell pepper broccoli cabbage cauliflower cucumber celery radish grapefruit spinach squash and more!
Spring 2015 | T H E
FOR THE RECORD Reviews of local bands, the next big thing, and all your friends
Duke, a local hip-hop artist, rocks some headphones. He is the mastermind behind “The Bigger Picture.” Photo by Steven Longmire.
>> DUKE THE BIGGER PICTURE
hip-hop/rap Released / Dec. 13 Recorded at / In-home studio Flow like / B.o.B Content like / Lupe Fiasco, Lecrae Inspiration / Life’s struggles Key tracks / “Mountaintop,” “Falling Star,” “Old School Part 2,” “Find You” Where to get it / hiphopduke. bandcamp.com Upcoming shows / TBA
Duke // Guitar, keyboard, vocals
Resist the urge to mindlessly bob your head to the beat and ignore the lyrics. Hip-hop artist Bunduki “Duke” Ramadan’s new album, “The Bigger Picture,” is for the listener who asks for more. Armed with his story and the struggles of those around him, Duke shares an uplifting message of hope. “I want, through my music, for people to feel like, ‘Dang, I can do anything.’” he said. Foregoing the usual money, sex and drugs narrative often found in hip-hop, Duke uses his music to share his past and to encourage others toward a better and brighter future. “I won’t say that I preach or teach,” he said. “I just speak.” “Falling Star,” written in Spring 2012, accurately displays his wordsmithery and lighteningquick delivery, coupled with soft voices in the hook. Most of the songs negotiate the delicate balance between a good message and good music. But listening to Duke doesn’t mean that you have to trade style for substance, or a fire beat for impactful lyrics. Tracks like “Mountaintop” and “Old School Part 2” thump to a ‘90s-style beat for playful nostalgia while pushing some of the most
10 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
If you’d like to see your band reviewed in For The Record or if you want to be considered to play at our next benefit show, email email@example.com and let us know.
thought-provoking themes of the album, covering topics like the contrast between the hopes of Martin Luther King Jr. and the reality of the struggle in AfricanAmerican communities today. “Jacksonville is kind of crazy. I don’t know if you know that,” he said. “It’s easy to get caught up there. I almost got caught up. But I stayed level headed and kept my head in the books.” Having deftly avoided the lure of street life in Jacksonville, Duke now attends the University of Florida. He plans on graduating next fall with a degree in economics and a minor in Arabic. Duke’s message of hope and progress is one that resonates throughout his album and pushes boundaries. The album encapsulates the artist’s passion for music and need to inspire whoever may benefit from hearing his story. “The Bigger Picture” artfully and fearlessly challenges the status quo while still embracing the poetically nuanced truth that is hip-hop.
BY GABRIELA DELVA
>> THE CO-PILOTS EXTRATERRESTRIAL
alternative Released / May 7 Recorded at / Self-recorded Sounds like / And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead Inspiration / My Bloody Valentine, St. Vincent, The Flaming Lips, LCD Soundsystem and overall alienation Key tracks / “Rosewater,” “Colorblind” Where to get it / thecopilotsgainesville.bandcamp.com Upcoming shows / TBA
FOR THE RECORD Pedro Sanchez // Drums (Live) Marvin Jacobson // Guitar (Live) Ricky Brockway // Base, Keys (Live)
The opening wail of intense guitar riffs, similar to what you would hear during a shootout in a Western film, cuts right to the point that Strange Lords are ready for anything. “Knuckle Duster,” the first track off Strange Lords’ self-titled album, makes clear that Thornton and Seward are ready to take you on an adventure of a lifetime. The adventure: They are strictly an instrumental band. But only using two instruments – the guitar and the drums – allows Thornton and Seward to demonstrate their twist on rock music with Waylon’s grisly guitar riffs and Seward’s unabashed drumming. Together, the two change moods with each song. They wanted the songs to speak for themselves, Thornton said. “People get upset that we’re an instrumental band because they don’t have someone barking at them,” he said. “We want people to enjoy what rock used to be about.” The self-proclaimed “dad rock” musicians have stripped down to basics. Between Thornton and Seward, they have about 20 years of live performances under their belts, evident in the first song they collaborated on,
Kentucky Costellow // Drums, vocals Kara Smith // Bass guitar, vocals
“Amano-Iwato.” The heavy guitar riffs make you forget there are only two guys making this music. Their first show was at the Toplantic’s 10th Anniversary Block Party this summer, and Thornton and Seward had technically rehearsed only three times before the show. With the duo living in different towns, rehearsing should have been tricky – but not in this case. They sent each other their tracks online, and Waylon mixed them at his recording studio. “We send each other tracks when we have time, and it’s never a rush,” he said. “We have fun.” Thornton said that although the album is out, they still plan on pressing vinyl copies. “Once we had all the songs done, we posted the entire album on Bandcamp the next day,” Thornton said. They didn’t want people to have to wait until they could get the album pressed, which won’t be until early 2015. “We thought it would be unfair to have everyone to wait that long,” he said. Thankfully, we don’t have to.
BY DANNY DUFFY
Samantha Jones // Guitar, drums, vocals Rebecca Butler // Keyboard, vocals
Listening to “Lucky All Over,” the debut album of all-female quartet GUTS, is as dynamic an experience as their live shows. Their sound, which ranges from the delicately layered vocal harmonies of “Sugar” to the stomp-and-clap percussion of “Ramblin’,” launches you into an aural adventure. “When we first formed we all had these completely different styles,” bass guitarist Samantha Jones said, “to the point where we all thought, ‘How is this going to work?’” The rest of the band laughed in agreement. GUTS began through Band Roulette, a Gainesville event that randomly forms participating musicians into soulful, rhythmic girl-power harmonies bands. The resulting groups are given three weeks to Released / Dec. 7 Recorded at / A friend’s house practice, culminating in a final showcase. Drummer in St. Augustine and vocalist Kentucky Costellow, however, joined soon Sounds like / Cat Stevens, Rising after the Band Roulette show, but not before she beAppalachia, Warpaint came their biggest fan. Inspiration / Peaches, tUnEyArDs, Le Tigre “I had a dream that they asked me to be their drumKey tracks / “Sugar,” “Puppies,” mer,” she said. “It was fate.” “Wrong Side of the Street” With musical backgrounds ranging from classic Where to get it / gutsgainesville. punk to introspective folk, it’s no wonder “Lucky All Over” spans so many genres. Opening track “Puppies” immediately propels the listener into a bluesy four-part harmony and thumping drumline, while the more sub-
LUCKY ALL OVER
Tanner Williams // Guitar, Keys, Vocals Alex Roumbos // Guitar, Bass, Keys, Drums (Studio) John Tamburro // Guitar & Drums on “Rosewater” (Studio)
dued “Tied Up” closes the album with layers of hushed piano and ukulele. “We’re all really interested in dynamics and not being just one-note,” said bass guitarist and vocalist Kara Smith. The result is a sound that’s both innovative and powerful. Whether it be their dominating percussion or stirring blended vocals, GUTS has mastered the balance of continuity and progression while also proving their merit as instrumentalists. Recording “Lucky All Over” was an organic experience according to Jones, with the band commuting to St. Augustine to record with friend Lenny Rutland. She also said that being a group of close-knit friends enhanced this tedious process, with all of the members giving each other the space to exercise their talent while also providing honest feedback. Attend one of GUTS’s live shows and catch a glimpse of their blatant love for high-energy female powerhouses among the likes of Amanda Palmer, Peaches and Janis Joplin. It manifests itself in their stage presence, sound and attitude—and they know it, said Rebecca Butler, who covers vocals, piano and ukulele. “We’re an awesome league of bad-ass bitches,” she said.
BY MARISA PAPENFUS
Spring 2015 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 11
BIRDS OF A
COLUMN / SIMPLY SCIENCE
BY ANNIE BRADSHAW ILLUSTRATION BY ALEX LOCASTRO The chicken came from the dinosaur. You’ve probably seen that fact in every high school biology textbook, nestled under a “Did You Know?” side-margin that you skimmed because it wasn’t part of the assigned reading. Until recently, however, we weren’t sure where that relationship began. What’s more, we haven’t even been confident what birds are related to, once they and dinosaurs parted ways on the evolutionary tree. Where have birds perched on our tree of life? Just like humans continue to seek the long-lost relatives who would complete our family tree, scientists across the world have been combing the avian genome for answers. And partly thanks to researchers at the University of Florida, we finally have it. Dr. Edward L. Braun, Associate Dean of the biology department at the University of Florida, headed the “Early Bird” project, which studied the relationship between animals like alligators, waterfowl, chickens and peacocks. This, along with the research of hundreds of evolutionary biologists across the world, finally mapped the genome of the 10,000bird species, an accomplishment that landed on the cover of Science magazine this past December. With his tie-dyed “EVOLUTION” T-shirt and tortoise-shell glasses, Braun looks like he would be as comfortable behind binoculars as he would a microscope. He has been studying the bird genome since graduate school, painstakingly piecing together the A’s, C’s, T’s, and G’s to give us a map of the bird genome. The four base chemicals of DNA — denoted by the letters A, C, T and G — can be sewn together into groups of three, called genes, to form unique traits. Different permutations like AUG, GTC, CTT, GGG, TAG, and so on create feathers, beaks, the tendency to poop on cars — essentially everything that makes a bird a bird and not, say, a human reader of The Fine Print. Like many of the genetic researchers in the ‘80s, Braun said he spent much of his research
interpreting DNA sequences one gene at a time, making a spool of only thousands in the span of months. For each letter recorded, he and others used a program which automatically repeated the letters punched into it: A A A T G C C T and so on, thousands and thousands of times in a synthesized voice, as if unhappy with its lot in life. But genomic sequencing has come a long way. That old, cumbersome process has, like many things in science, become automated with new technology. Using strips of RNA, a strand of biological data that mirrors DNA, researchers can match the A’s, T’s, C’s and G’s. So, like teeth in a zipper, we are able to line up the different strands until we get a more complete picture. Computers allow for as many as 40 billion sequences of data to be processed in the span of a week, leaving human computation in the dust. Researchers like Braun are only interested in 1 percent of that picture,
Natural selection has been a strange boss, ordering some species to evolve while others remain the same as they have for millions of years. Even within the avian tree, certain branches grew at accelerated rates while others — such as waterfowl and and large landfowl like the ostrich — fell by the wayside. Braun said that this may be due to factors like length of life: A zebra finch’s life is measured in years, while an alligator’s or ostrich’s is measured in decades. Such a quick turnover leads to remarkable shifts in evolution, producing everything from the fat, waddling chicken to the nimble hummingbird. While most of this research seems like biological semantics, it provides us vital information. Millions of years ago, the world teetered on a precipice very similar to the one we lean over now. This event, aptly called a Great Extinction, wiped out the dinosaurs—and something similar is looming upon their distant
Like a Noah in a post-apocalyptic arc, we must choose which species will benefit the emerging world the most. however. The other 99 percent of the genome is the same for all vertebrae, ourselves included. That 1 percent can provide a lot of information, though. From it, new branches grew from the tree of life, while others were trimmed away. Like an awkward family reunion, birds unaware they had any relationship to one another were shoved together as their genome was ordered. This reclassification put birds previously thought distant relatives, like doves and flamingos, next to one another. What an ancestor of both a flamingo and dove would look like is still up for debate. Braun’s research delves further into the avian genome than just doves and flamingos, though. He studies “deep avian genomics,” which explores the ancestors of birds and their commonality with more exotic creatures like the alligator and turtle.
relatives (us). With things like man-made climate change and dwindling resources, our home is becoming much less hospitable. So inhospitable, in fact, that we could lose as much as 95 percent of species on our little blue planet. Like a Noah in a post-apocalyptic arc, we must choose which species will benefit the emerging world the most. By studying the branches that grow from the tree of life, we can better understand who can act as archives of life’s intricate history. We can better see the branches that lead to twigs and leaves, rather than those that stick out into the sky, barren. And, unfortunately, we have to decide who we will save from the shears.
Spring 2015 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 13
COLUMN / HOMESTEAD INSTEAD
‘POO PROBLEM Say hello to your healthy, economically savvy, and environmentally friendly new mane. BY ZOE GREEN ILLUSTRATION BY MARISA PAPENFUSS If the name “No Poo” pushes you away at first, its benefits will draw you right back in. Although many of us couldn’t imagine going a couple of days without using commercial shampoo and conditioner, replacing these products with simpler ingredients can benefit your health, your hair, your wallet and the environment. Because shampoo makes hair “clean” by completely stripping it of natural, necessary oils, your scalp responds by quickly producing a flood of oils to make up for what was lost. This is why most people have to wash their hair every one to two days to avoid dirty looking hair. Without the harsh ingredients (and possibly harmful chemicals like cocamide DEA, sulfates, and parabens) in shampoo, you’ll cause a lot less damage and you won’t need to wash your hair as often. Additionally, the “No Poo” method is very cheap. A two-pound cardboard box of baking soda is $1.24 at Target. Since you only need one tablespoon of baking soda per wash, that $1.24 will give you about sixty three washes. Still need more convincing? Think of all the tiny plastic bottles that your shampoo and conditioner come in. By buying baking soda and vinegar in bulk, you can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint.
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F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
COLUMN / HOMESTEAD INSTEAD
W HAT YO U’ LL NE ED
” HOW TO “SHAMPOO
baking soda, apple cider vinegar, water, plastic cup or other container to mix ingredients
Keep your baking soda and vinegar in separate containers inside your shower for easy access while you’re in the shower. While your vinegar will probably come in a plastic bottle with a cap, make sure you keep your baking soda in a plastic or glass container with a lid to keep it dry while you’re not using it. In the shower, measure out one tablespoon of baking soda and put it in your designated shower cup. (You might want to actually measure things out the first couple of times, but you’ll soon be able to eyeball it.) Add one cup of water to the baking soda and stir with your finger until the baking soda dissolves in the water. Pour the mix over the greasy parts of your hair. Focus on distributing the mix over your scalp and roots—the ends of your hair don’t really get greasy, so you don’t need to pour baking soda there. Lightly massage your scalp to make sure the baking soda mix has reached all of the greasy spots and has time to work its magic. The baking soda does not lather like regular shampoo, but don’t be scared to work those fingers! After a minute or so, completely wash the baking soda mix out of your hair. Rinse out your shower cup and make sure it doesn’t have any baking soda left in it.
N” HOW TO “CONDITIO
Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your cup. (Again, you can eyeball this once you feel comfortable.) Add a cup of water and stir with your finger until the vinegar and water are evenly mixed. Pour the vinegar mix over all parts of your hair. I promise this will make your hair feel super silky and happy. Completely wash the vinegar mix out of your hair, and you’re done!
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be doing this every day. Try to make it at least two or three days days, but you might be able to space it out even more than that. If you want to wash as infrequently as possible, make sure to continue to wash your hair with water and massage your scalp, even when you’re not using the baking soda mix. Good luck!
Spring 2015 | T H E
OUT OF THE SHADOWS Local organizations look to facilitate a safe environment for queer kids BY ASHLEY YO ILLUSTRATION BY LAUREN NICHOLAS When Ali Brody, a 24-year-old University of Florida finance major and self-identifying queer woman, moved from a diverse South Florida community to a more conservative North Florida one at age 15, the culture shock sent her reeling. This was around the time that Brody was coming into her queer identity, making other queer friends and exploring her sexuality. “I had a hard time adjusting and how I identified,” she said. “I felt held back.” Her high school in North Florida did not have a Gay Straight Alliance; there were no LGBTQ+ friendly community organizations; and the queer youth population of her school could be counted on one hand. Brody’s peers, being generally unfamiliar with queer sexuality, projected microaggressions toward her by reducing Brody’s identity to her sexuality, constantly asking questions about her sex life and her partners. Brody felt pressured to answer the uncomfortable and invasive questions. “I felt like I was representing the whole LGBTQ+ community,” she said. “I was the only out person they knew.” She also said that sometimes peers would use words like “faggot” or “dyke” when addressing her. Not only that, Brody’s home life was difficult: Her parents were divorced, and only one parent supported her sexual identity. When Brody brought her first 16 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
partner home to meet her father, he erupted into homophobic remarks. “I just remember crying a lot and him yelling a lot,” she said. “And he told me that I needed to leave.” Brody’s experience is not unique, and several LGBTQ+ youth living in Florida experience similar daily adversities and harassment stemming from peers, parents, and a lack of community support overall. A recent study conducted nationwide by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network that studied inclusivity and safety of LGBTQ+ children in public school systems gave Florida dismal ratings regarding school climate, student victimization and available LGBTQ+ student resources. The GLSEN study made a point to open their research results with the statement, “Florida schools were not safe for most LGBTQ+ secondary school students.” Florida’s statistics are more than alarming. A reported 87 percent of students feel deliberately isolated, 60 percent have been sexually harassed, 53 percent of students were victims of cyber bullying and 45 percent had experienced property damage or theft. The most unsettling is that over 50 percent of students never reported incidences of bullying. And even if they did, the proper authorities effectively dealt with less than 30 percent of reported harassments. GLSEN attributes these results to a significant lack of queer-centric organizations, few anti-bullying policies and a desert of queer-identifying role
models on staff. Over the course of the past several years, various organizations have sprouted in Gainesville in an effort to facilitate a safe environment for queer kids, such as Gainesville Equality Youth (GEY), a number of Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA) and Students Teaching Open Mindedness and Pride (STOMP). GEY is a relatively new program to the Gainesville community open to queer youth between the ages of 13 to 18. The group, which meets at the Alachua County Library on Wednesdays at 6 p.m., provides an inclusive space that is not always available in the public school system. For many of these children, this group of friends has become a home away from home, especially for those who lack familial support due to their sexual or gender identity. Hiram Martinez-Cabrera, the executive director of Pride Awareness Month at the University of Florida, works with GEY administratively and has equated the work of GEY to his experiences in Orlando with the Zebra House, an LGBTQ+ volunteerrun homeless shelter. Although GEY does not provide shelter for homeless queer youth, it does provide resources that are often taken for granted by those in stable and supportive home environments. According to MartinezCabrera, GEY has the potential to one day parallel the success of the Zebra House. “The main goal is to give back to the teens,” he said. “Providing school supplies, backpacks, food, donations, toys, bikes, clothes and toothbrushes.”
SPOTLIGHT Martinez-Cabrera identities as a gay affirming environment. However, Hannahs “There’s a lof sex work, prostitution and cisgender male and openly shares his life story drove home the point that we are far from drug work for money just to live off to eat and with anyone willing to listen. He said that it accomplishing a truly safe space for these breath,” he said. is important to connect with LGBTQ+ youth youth in school. This money is also important to trans folks emotionally and build a lasting relationship Hannah’s point is not unfounded, who need money to undergo transitioning, an by sharing his story. Having started the especially when one addresses the current expensive and lengthy process, he said. Gay-Straight Alliance at his high school in statistics available on the subject of LGBTQ+ Beyond the scope of student control and Orlando, he said he strives to encourage more harassment. For example, the Center for quantitative studies, the School Board of youth to start their own organizations, get Disease Control has dedicated an entire Alachua County addresses LGBTQ+ youth involved and support one another. webpage to LGBTQ+ youth and the effects of harassment in 5515.01 of its bylaws and “The teachers, the advisors [and] the harassment. According to the webpage, queer policies under “Bullying and Harassment.” principles aren’t going to know what’s youth are at double the risk of attempting The statute states that “the District will not happening in the small interactions of [the] suicide compared to heterosexual youth. tolerate bullying and harassment of any youth,” he explained. The CDC also cites a national study that type” and extends the terms of harassment to Martinez-Cabrera said he realizes the estimated 61.1 percent of LGBTQ+ youth “sexual, religious, or racial harassment.” necessity for students to gather and create feel unsafe or uncomfortable in their school The mention of “sexual harassment” is an open channel of communication in a safe environments. short and ambiguous. place when, often, administrative protection Although there are national and statewide Both Hannahs and Martinez-Cabrera is dismal. statistics for Florida, Alachua County has offered several steps to dealing with this Gainesville High School’s Students yet to conduct a successful study regarding issue. Hannahs recommended seeking not Teaching Open Mindedness and Pride LGBTQ+ youth harassment. just one solution, but to address the cultural (STOMP), for example, is a dynamic and Hannahs, who has, alongside UF’s LGBT influences at large and how the harassment active organization that provides an open- Affairs, attempted to study local LGBTQ+ of this community is a reflection of deep set minded environment for students to gather youth, added that Gainesville is such a prejudices and phobias that must first be and discuss identities relating to race, gender, transient population that conducting long- rooted out. and sexuality. term research is a challenge; not only that, Martinez-Cabrera said that young people “I like being in STOMP because you don’t disclosing your sexuality can be dangerous. are the country’s next leaders. Their actions need to be like everyone else in the club,” a Because of this, simply gaining compliance of and beliefs reflect our culture’s progress in student board-member said. “We’re bound the subjects makes conducting such a study dealing with discrimination. He stressed to simply by our common goal of making incredibly difficult. LGBTQ+ youth who are in unsafe conditions people feel comfortable with who they are.” It has been estimated that there are about to, foremost, maintain their safety first. STOMP members are active in their 300 LGBTQ+ homeless youth in Gainesville, For Martinez-Cabrera, the most important school and community, participating in Hannahs added. But this number is simply an support system a child can have is the Gainesville’s Pride Festival parade and estimate based upon anecdotal and qualitative personal connection and support that comes volunteering their time with special-needs information, and not the result of quantitative from having queer-identifying role models. kids on campus. STOMP members hope to data. He said it is important for those who can to represent all students who are excluded or Martinez-Cabrera said that the most volunteer, contact local advocacy groups and marginalized by bullies on campus. common cause of LGBTQ+ youth talk to their directors. Find out what supplies “We’re not just an ally group,” another homelessness is the lack of support from are needed, he said, and if you are able, donate student said. “We’re run by successful family, your time and money--the results could be LGBTQ+ students.” “If the parents don’t accept the child,” he life-changing. LB Hannahs, the director of LGBT Affairs said, “they get kicked out.” After all, he added, the “things that last at the University of Florida, is actively involved Once kicked out of a household, youth longer in life is that emotional strength with GEY and has studied LGBTQ+ bullying are difficult to keep track of, especially if they and perseverance that a child needs.” and harassment at the Queering Education fear prejudice or discrimination from family Research Institute currently located at Hunter and friends. Martinez-Cabrera also said that College in New York City. homelessness can bring financial benefits too. PLACES TO CONTACT FOR Hannahs said that although VOLUNTEERING AND programs such as the GSA and STOMP provide a positive environment for DONATING RESOURCES queer youth in the public school THINKING ABOUT THE MILITARY? Gainesville Equality Youth system, they are also not sufficient Olivia Potter, MAKE AN by themselves to tackle the beast of LBH@multicultural.ufl.edu LGBTQ+ harassment. INFORMED CHOICE. “I think [GSAs] prevent schools Pride Community Center of North Central Florida from looking at the other barriers for ADVICE FROM VETERANS Terry Fleming, LGBTQ+ youth,” Hannahs said. “They ON MILITARY SERVICE firstname.lastname@example.org think, ‘We created a GSA, we’ve done our job, we’re done,’ versus ‘What are AND RECRUITING PRACTICES The Civic Media Center the many avenues that are not accessible A Resource Guide F or Y oung People 433 S. Main St. to LGBTQ+ kids or teachers or parents 352-373-0010 Considering Enlistment that make their lives harder?’” Hannahs said she does not Wild Iris Bookstore mean to discredit the presence and http://www.afn.org/~vetpeace/ 22 SE 5th Ave, Suite D accomplishments of these organizations. 352-375-7477 Their existence, historically, is Gainesville Chapter 14 monumental for LGBTQ+ advocacy, Pride Awareness Month allowing for recognition and acceptance creatingchange.org of LGBTQ+ youth in a public and Spring 2015 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 17
BY ZACH SCHLEIN PHOTO BY VANESSA GUTIERREZ
On any given Saturday, the Reitz Student Union is devoid of life. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch freshmen without cars munching on Panda Express or graduate students who prefer the comfort of cushioned booths to the rigid chairs of Library West. During the week, the North Lawn would be littered with people clad in Greek letters and tank tops making their way to their next class. On Feb.ruary 7 and 8, however, the area was instead filled with a menagerie of fictional characters, vendors and families to celebrate SwampCon. A free convention that has been held annually since 2012, SwampCon brings together thousands of anime, comic and gaming fans from various backgrounds. As such, the assimilation of various communities over the past four years has led to an inclusive environment, one in which women and queer folk feel at home in a space that is predominantly perceived as being male-dominated and heteronormative. There is no mistake that SwampCon plays host to many diverse interests and niches within the “geek” community. Although the primary purpose of SwampCon is to have a good time, the notion of having a diverse and comprehensive convention was always a stated goal, according to its event coordinator Lawrence Chan. Chan, a 21-year-old journalism senior, is one of the key figures behind SwampCon’s inception. In his own words, SwampCon 18 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
aims to “bring a lot of different groups and interests together… and provide a platform for people to celebrate their fandom.” This goal has resulted in SwampCon becoming one of the larger conventions in the North Florida area. What had begun as a simple crossclub event grew in size as ambitions swelled. In the intervening years, SwampCon has grown to cover even more demographics beyond the already diverse roster it started with. Last year, SwampCon hosted its very first Drag Show, a culture not generally associated with Japanese animation, video games and cosplaying. Nicki Mirage, a fourth-year chemical engineering student at UF and the financial coordinator for SwampCon, is the Drag Show Coordinator for SwampCon. Not only is Mirage a Drag performer herself, but was one of the primary forces behind the introduction of the Drag Show to Swamp Con. “When initial planning began for SwampCon: Rising (Year 3) we had entirely new leadership and a clean slate to start with,” Mirage said. “Our event coordinator at the time had a brainstorming session with her team for fresh event ideas for that year’s convention. One of the ideas they threw out there was a drag show.” When the idea was presented to the rest of the convention board, Mirage hopped on the drag show idea and decided to spearhead it. Despite assuming responsibility for the drag show, Mirage was herself a newcomer to drag at the time. “I still hadn’t begun doing drag and had no idea how a drag show ran, so I had a lot of work to do,” she said. “But even with my lack of experience, I managed to pull together eight performers for last year’s
show, including myself, and it was a huge success.” The positivity and inclusiveness of SwampCon is perhaps best exemplified Although it was SwampCon’s first ever drag show, it ultimately by the experience of Alyssa Ison, who came to SwampCon dressed as Poison had the highest individual attendance of any event last year. Ivy, a famous femme fatale from the Batman franchise. Ison, a 16-yearWhat began as a collaboration between Delta Nu Delta, the old high school student at Gainesville’s Buchholz High School, has been University of Florida’s tabletop gaming club, and the Gator Anime attending SwampCon since its inception. club in 2011 has now become an inviting and empowering space for “Even though the Gainesville area is very open about a lot of geeky stuff, individuals of intersecting identities. there’s not really a lot of places to go and do that [express What began as a that interest],” said Ison. “So, I think SwampCon is really “We were essentially going to have a day where they [the club members] just watch a show and play some collaboration between the only place where you can do that… I wish there was table-top games on the side,” Chan said. “Somewhere Delta Nu Delta, the more [in Gainesville], to be honest.” along the line, they said ‘Why don’t we have people When asked if she had ever dealt with the sort of University of Florida’s harassment reported by many people at events of this come in and have a cosplay contest on the side?’” Eventually, the group realized that they could use the tabletop gaming club, nature, Ison had nothing but kind words to say about her Reitz Union for the event, as it can be rented for use by and the Gator Anime own experiences at SwampCon. student organizations. As more organizations learned of club in 2011 has now “Now that you look at cons, it’s more and more the clubs’ newfound ambition of hosting a widespread become an inviting and females going,” Ison said. “I’ve never experienced anything panel-based event, the number of panels and events on firsthand.” empowering space for the agenda increased, creating a gathering much larger Ison maintained that SwampCon is by far one of the and more inclusive than a mere partnership between individuals of intersecting most positive expressions of geek culture she has ever been identities. two student-run clubs. a part of. She noted that her attendance at SwampCon has “From there, we decided to just turn it into a full-on made her want to go to the University of Florida, and she convention,” Chan said. already plans on submitting her application. Although numbers from this year have yet to be released, a post Although founded as an event meant to entertain a specific niche of on the official SwampCon Tumblr noted that 2013’s attendance was UF students, SwampCon has gone on to not only provide a makeshift 4,405 — more than half of that from the year before. These are lofty community for people of all walks of life in Gainesville, but has managed to numbers for a gathering that was initially restricted to two student-run leave a tangible, lasting impact on their lives. organizations. The presence of the Drag Show is particularly notable given recent events in larger geek culture. Gamergate, a recent controversy that its proponents have held is centered around a desire to hold video game journalists to higher standards, has produced a number of ad hominem attacks on outspoken female figures in gaming and geek culture. This includes a an Anita Sarkeesian, a cultural critic who has spoken at length about the i c i c re a m c ec tendency of “geek” cultures to be disproportionately reflective of the interests of men, rather than the diverse group of individuals that, in reality, these niches end up attracting. Gender-issues in geek culture are not restricted to complaints of DAIRY & VEGAN ICE CREAM, SHAKES, SUNDAES, lack of proper representation- Sarkeesian’s criticisms led to her being relentlessly harassed both online and in the real world, resulting in & FLOATS, HOMEMADE VEGAN BAKED GOODS, Sarkeesian cancelling a planned speech at Utah State after death threats SANDWICHES, COFFEE, ESPRESSO, LATTÉS, TEA, last fall. BEER & MORE Gamergate has brought a seedy underbelly of geek culture to light SEE OUR FULL MENU AT — one wherein women and other minority groups experience bullying KARMACREAM.COM/MENU by individuals (primarily, at least based on Sarkeesian’s experience, white males) who feel that they seek to alter a culture that they have no genuine stake in. It is fortunate then that not only could no sense of exclusion be MON-FRI, 9AM-1AM / SAT-SUN, 11AM-1AM observed at SwampCon, but that the event actually took steps to
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WI-FI + OPEN LATE
prevent such behavior. Additionally, the selection of panels available, including but not limited to, “Anime Ladies that Kick Ass” and ‘Finding Empowerment through Positive Cosplay,’ displays an awareness and inclusivity that, although not exactly rare in these circles, can sometimes be hard to find.
1025 W. UNIVERSITY AVE. GAINESVILLE, FL 32601 352.505.6566 | KARMACREAM.COM
facebook.com/karmacream @karma_cream on Instagram Spring 2015 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 19
BY JASMINE HADDAWAY North Central Florida is host to a trove of natural springs, many of which are open to the public any day of the week. Knee-deep in crystal-clear water, with lush foliage and wildlife abound and the sun glittering off the waves, you’re experiencing the best that Florida has to offer. Anyway, it’s a good way to take your mind off of exams or taxes or our wildly conservative state senate. We’ve gathered some basic info for you on a few good springs to check out, but each has a lengthy, informative write-up on www.floridastateparks. org. Check that out for more info. And since spring’s well on its way, it’s about time to shake off the winter blues, peel off your coat and dive into some magically temperate waters.
Address: 1160 NW 115 St. Chiefland, FL, 32636 Drive time: 50 minutes Phone: 352-493-6072 Admission fee: $6 per vehicle Hours: 8 a.m. to sundown daily
Silver Springs Address: 5656 E Silver Springs Blvd., Silver Springs, FL 34488 Drive time: 50 minutes Phone: 352-261-5840 Admission fee: $8 per vehicle, $4 launch fee for personal canoe or kayak, canoe or tandem kayak $18 for first hour, $9 for every additional hour, $45 day pass; single kayak $14 for first hour, $7 for each additional hour, $35 day pass; boat tours $11 for adults, $10 for seniors, children under 5 are free Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Bonus: glass-bottom boat tours, cafe, horse trails, museum and environmental center
Address: 6470 SW 80th Ave., Trenton, FL 32693 Drive time: 1 hour Phone: 352-463-0800 Admission fee: $4 per person, $2 for seniors, children under 6 are free; $12 per car Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Bonus: firewood, camping, picnic supplies and ice are available for purchase
fanning springs Address: 18020 NW Hwy 19, Fanning Springs, FL 32693 Drive time: 1 hour Phone: 386-463-3420 Admission fee: $6 per vehicle, $2 per person arriving by boat Hours: 8 a.m. to sundown daily
CANOE/KAYAK WILDLIFE trails
Address: 19158 SW 81st Place Road, Dunnellon, FL 34432 Drive time: 1 hour Phone: 352-465-8555 Address: 5000 NE 60th Ave., High Springs, FL 32643 Admission fee: $2 per perosn, $5 per vehicle, children Drive time: 40 minutes under 6 are free Phone: 386-454-7188 Hours: 8 a.m. until sundown daily Admission fee: General admission: $12, divers: $22; $6 Bonus: amphitheater with seasonal ranger-led to rent tube. Pavilions cost $50 Sunday to Friday and $75 programming, gardens and waterfalls on Saturday. Hours: Monday to Thursday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday & Saturday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Address: 7450 NE 60th St., High Springs, FL 32643 Drive time: 40 minutes Phone: 386-454-1369 Admission fee: General admission: $10; all-day tube rental $5, 2-hour kayak rental $10, 2-hour canoe rental $15 Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Address: 28800 NW 182nd Ave., High Springs, FL 32643 Drive time: 30 minutes Phone: 352-374-5245 Admission fee: Free Hours: Thursday to Sunday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
iTCHETUCKNEE SPRINGS Address: 12087 SW U.S. 27, Fort White, FL 32038 Drive time: 50 minutes Phone: 386-497-4690 Admission fee: $6 per vehicle of 2 to 8 people, $4 per vehicle of 1 person. $5 per person canoeing, $5 per person tubing from north to south entrance Hours: opens 8 a.m. daily, north entrance closes 30 minutes before sunset, south entrance closes at sunset Bonus: full-service concession stand, playground
MUST GO ON BY ERICK EDWING PHOTOS PROVIDED BY ROSE VASTOLA
Situated on the industrial outskirts of Gainesville Regional Utilitiesâ€™ towering power grids, nestled behind a wall of palm trees and foliage, sat the 911 House. Like any of the multitude of houses rented out to broke college students, the outside was old and faded, with its subdued seafoam green paneling and white trim. But walk up the bare, skeletal porch steps and pass through its red door, and youâ€™d quickly realize that number 911 was a world of its own. Part of the roof had crumbled away, which someone had patched up with tarp. There was a trampoline and a skate ramp in the back yard. After hours, foreboding red lights flooded the front of the house; this was when 911 came to life. When the sun fell, the punks came out. Over past two decades, the 911 House had become a local spot for punk shows, with bands from around the city and across the nation performing heavy, messy music to sweaty, teeming crowds. The scene defied conventional tastes with its raw sound and equally unpolished audience, but it was all about celebrating creativity, nonconformity and individuality. Then, one late night in early January, half of the house burned down from an electrical fire. Its tenants, who preferred to not be interviewed, were suddenly
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without a home. In an effort to commemorate the people, music and culture of the 911 house, the community came together and raised over $10,000 plus replacement house supplies to get the most recent generation of tenants back on their feet. Only a specific group of Gainesville residents knew what the 911 house represented, but, as Daniel Halel, owner of Arrow’s Aim Records and former resident said, it still meant a great deal to the punk community. “It was just a house that had five bedrooms and where musicians moved into in the mid-1990s,” he said. “In the past eight or 10 years, mostly punks started living there who played in bands or held shows.” Halel described the 911 house as a crossroad for everyone in the punk community and also as a home for widely known punk musicians back in the day. “Every punk band that has ever existed in Gainesville played there,” Halel said. “Even some of the members from the band Against Me! used to live there.” Halel, now 30, lived there six years ago but knew about the 911 house even as a teenager. “I grew up two hours away and started to come to shows and parties there,” Halel said. “I moved to Gainesville 10 years ago and played in bands, and we had shows at the house.” He noted that numerous items are currently being donated to the residents and dropped off at Arrow’s Aim Records, along with planned benefit shows to raise money to help them recoup from the fire and start a new chapter elsewhere. Samantha Kirkland, a local metalsmith and bartender at Palomino Pool Bar, spearheaded the GoFundMe campaign that raised $10,000 for the residents. Kirkland, who herself doesn’t identify as punk, started it without predicting the magnitude of support that would come from both those in the punk community and people who had no idea about the house or the Gainesville punk scene. “It’s wild that so many people don’t know about it,” Kirkland said. “But after hearing about the fire, a lot
of people contacted me. It woke up the community.” Kirkland said she wasn’t particularly close to any of the tenants or even involved in the punk music community. Instead, she simply wanted to support Gainesville. “A part of me said, ‘I just want to do something a little more; I want to be a better friend; I want to be a better version of myself,’” she said. “And what better way than to put yourself out there and help?” Kirkland noted that people donated everything from clothes, hair curlers, plates and jewelry to fundamentals such as mattresses. “The residents haven’t asked for a cent,” she said. “They’re really so humble.” Kirkland’s been in Gainesville since 1997 and, like Halel, knew a great deal about the 911 house and the years of punks and bands that passed in and out of its doors. “It was always a safe place to go and where everybody could get together,” she said. “I always viewed it as a house of culture.” This house of culture, which draws the 911 moniker from its street number, is also steeped in mystery: There’s a longstanding rumor that the musician Bo Diddley once lived there. “It’s a total folklore thing… one of the ladies at the post office when I lived there used to say it was Bo Diddley’s house,” Halel said. “His name is written in the concrete of the back steps.” Kirkland is suspicious whether it’s true or not. Previous page: Allergy plays at the 911 House on May 23, 2014 LeftL The crowd gathers to listen to Allergy play at the (A) Space Benefit show.
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Top: Post Teens plays at the 911 House on May, 23, 2014 Bottom: Process plays at the 911 House on January 1, 2014
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“I don’t know if it’s true. Who knows?” she said, “I’ve heard it from enough reliable sources to believe it.” Even former tenants such as 21-year-old Joey Young knew of the Bo Diddley myth. “I remember someone said there was a curse where if anyone painted over the wall of his former practice space they’d be in deep shit,” he said. “My roommate Kyle’s bedroom was Bo Diddley’s studio.” Young, who lived at the home for three months in 2014, is the embodiment of punk fashion with his gelled-out hair, boots and black attire. He remembers the house as an enjoyable place to live. “It was a chill place to go,” Young said. “There were a lot of parties at 911, and people were always getting down to play music or just hang out.” Young said he and his roommates kept the house clean and made repairs during their time there, but he also described it as being in disarray, with piles of garbage scattered across the house — the largest was four feet tall, located in the fireplace. “There was a time when the power was off for two weeks over the summer, and we just hung outside,” he said. “Wind would go through the hallway and we’d cool off.” Young always thought about the possibility of the house burning down because of its lack of maintenance. “I thought that if the house burned down, it was going up,” he said. Regardless of its condition, Young considers the 911 house a symbol of friendship and unity in the name of punk. “Hopefully it won’t be forgotten,” he said. “It was the place to go.” Connor Harker, one of Young’s roommates who lived in the house during the same period, shared similar memories of improving the home to keep it alive and well. “I built a mini ramp there and brought a lot of skaters more towards the Gainesville punk scene,” Harker said. “The roommates were awesome, and we all just wanted to fix up the place and start having shows there again.” Harker described the house as being a major part of his self-discovery and growth. “I will never forget my time there — It is actually
“Hopefully it won’t be forgotten,” he said. “It was the place to go.” where I met my girlfriend, where I found myself and figured out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life.” Keri Smith, a member of the punk community, also viewed the house as a fixture of her life and its loss as an end to a chapter. “It was sad, and there is the aspect that I knew a lot of friends who lived there… I mean, it was the first place I practiced for my band at,” she said. “It’s an end of an era in the same way Wayward Council was for me.” The Wayward Council was a non-profit volunteer community center and record store that served as a hub for shows during a span of 14 years until its closure in 2012. Like the Wayward Council, the 911 house also helped foster an environment for punk music. However, these places weren’t and aren’t the only ones to keep the movement going. “It was one of the many meeting places for practicing,” Halel said. Secret venues at undisclosed locations are popping around Gainesville to fill in the void of local punk music shows. To get in, you have to know someone who can give you the address. The lack of publicity allows the bands to grow at their own pace without pressure from mainstream crowds. Smith, who bartends and performs in bands, explained that although official venues such as Loosey’s, Boca Fiesta and the Atlantic offer safe, structured environments for shows and musicians, there will always be the necessity for a do-it-yourself approach in the punk community. “As far as DIY, there’s a time and a place for shows at these types of venues,” she said. “But any time you have people making this sort of music, there will be underground shows.”
“I think a lot of people connected their fears to this,” Kirkland said. “Before, people thought of punks as a bunch of kids partying, doing nothing--but it’s much more than that.” Like Kirkland, Smith sees firsthand the genuineness of the people involved in the punk community. “They’re kids working service industry jobs on the side and going to Target Copy to make posters for shows,” Smith explained. “People ask, ‘Why not put that time for activism or doing something for the community?’ It’s about them working towards something important to them.” Smith especially wants people to understand one thing about punk: It is an inclusive environment. “I love that it is a tight-knit, safe place for everyone,” she said. “There’s a lot of snobbery and pretension that needs to get cut out, but punk to me, in Gainesville, is creating a space for everyone.”
All in all, Samantha Kirkland considers the house fire incident a reminder about helping your neighbor, regardless of who they are or what they represent.
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IDENTITY CRISIS BY ABBY DOUPNIK At just 35, Mark Watson has quite the social justice rap sheet. He started as an artist, then received a master’s degree in social work at the University of Kansas. Upon graduation, he moved to Florida to teach kids in at-risk neighborhoods. Now he’s working to allow the homeless community better access to technology. Watson’s idea, which he calls the Digital Home Identity Project, helps those without computers the ability to create online cloud-based storage accounts where they can upload scans of important documents, such as IDs or birth certificates. And he’s reaching out to the community to help fund his idea. Recently, Watson launched an IndieGoGo campaign with a goal of $10,000 by mid-April. In its first month, the project has raised $1,400. The money will buy Watson a portable computer, scanner and wireless card that will come along with him as he ventures out into the community to find homeless men and women that need help creating their own online identities. With the money, he would also purchase cards and a portable laminator to print their account information so that they can remember usernames and passwords.
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“We can help them set up a Gmail account, and then they can save their documents in Google Drive,” he said. “It works for personal photos too. There are a lot of things we take for granted about having safe storage.” After the original set-up, the men and women can access these accounts on computers at public libraries or by using smart phones provided by services like SmartLink and Assurance Wireless, both of which offer free cell phones and minutes to eligible customers. “This opens up the door to an existing technology that only certain populations have the resources to take advantage of,” he said. According to Shirley Roseman, a volunteer at Wild Iris bookstore and UF’s LGBT Affairs who helps coordinate Wild Iris’ Free Store, a biweekly event that provides free clothing, books and other resources, many low-income men and women are limited when applying for jobs due to a lack of basic items like the correct clothing for interviews. Without these everyday things that those who come from privilege often take for granted, low-income populations get stuck in a sick cycle: Without certain clothing or technology, they can’t get a job. Without a job, they don’t have the money
FEATURE for certain clothing or technology. Before Watson was paving the road for the integration of cloudbased technology in social services, he was a counselor at Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, a counseling center that often works with people who are or have been homeless. Here he began to see a need in the community for access to basic human necessities. â€œTherapy works,â€? he said. â€œBut therapy doesnâ€™t work if a person is just trying to survive.â€? Now, Watson coordinates the Homeless Disability Program at Three Rivers Legal Services, which has officially backed his project, making all donations to the GoFundMe tax deductible. He said his job involves spending a great deal of time outside, on the streets or shelters, talking with people about what their needs are. With the Homeless Disability Program, he focuses on those who live with disabilities. Watson also offers pro-bono legal services such as advocating for them and helping apply for benefits. â€œLots of people arenâ€™t aware of what benefits they qualify for,â€? he said. â€œOr, if they do, the application process isnâ€™t something they are able to navigate on their own.â€? According to Watson, the process isnâ€™t easy. To apply for Medicaid, you need access to your medical records. This can be nearly impossible for someone who doesnâ€™t have health insurance or has moved around a lot. He said he found that usually the older folks he worked with wouldnâ€™t have an email address to easily request these documents. â€œHelping someone sign up for an email address was so simple and opened so many doors,â€? he said. â€œYou could apply for jobs. You could communicate with your family. It was just so easy.â€? Another common problem when applying for benefits from the state was a lack of identification. In the homeless community, he said, it is common to not have a copy of your birth certificate or a drivers license. â€œTheyâ€™re hard to hold onto for a lot of reasons,â€? he said. â€œTheft, weather, just living outside stuff.â€? Gainesville Police Department provides temporary identification cards that shelters like St. Francis House and Grace Marketplace will accept. Unfortunately, these cards are made of paper and are susceptible to the same wears and tears as other forms of identification. They also are not accepted when applying for state benefit programs. â€œHaving access to resources to apply for identification is much bigger deal than people realize,â€? Theresa Lowe, executive director of Grace Marketplace, said. â€œNot only are drivers licenses expensive, but actually getting one can be complicated.â€? Watson knew that proper identification was both the problem and the solution for many individuals. It was the key to resources that would greatly impact their lives, but they were hard to hold on to and sometimes even harder to get ahold of. Often, he said, the system would send him in circles.
â€œTherapy works,â€? he said. â€œBut therapy doesnâ€™t work if a person is just trying to survive.â€? â€œI was working with someone who was from out of state,â€? he said. â€œWhere they were from, you couldnâ€™t request a copy of your birth certificate without an ID card. In Florida, you canâ€™t get an ID card without your original birth certificate.â€? But Watson said this person had a copy of an ID, which the out-of-state agency said they would accept. In this situation, Mark realized a simple solution to a problem he encountered so often. â€œCloud-based technology is free,â€? he said. â€œItâ€™s not even that new.â€? Watson saw an easy solution when he realized that not all populations were taking advantage of a free and easy-to-access resource. He said that because of stigma, people often donâ€™t think of the homeless when they look to innovate. And language often perpetuates stigma. For example, Watson said he prefers people-centric language when referring to the unhoused community. â€œTheyâ€™re not homeless; they have a home,â€? he said. â€œWhen you go out to a tent city, itâ€™s pretty impressive to see when someone can make something out of nothing.â€?
TTTT T TT TTTTT TH
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BY KYLE HAYES ILLUSTRATION BY ELIZABETH RHODES PHOTOS BY YATRIK SOLANKI Fifty years ago in Selma, Ala., thousands of nonviolent civil rights protesters made a pilgrimage to the Montgomery capitol building, where a blockade of state soldiers and local police met them when they arrived. They commanded the protesters to disperse. When they didn’t, soldiers and police rained down tear gas and baton blows in what became known as “Bloody Sunday.” By mid-August of last year, Ferguson, Mo., was similarly flooded with state troopers. An 18-year-old unarmed black man, Michael Brown, had been fatally
shot by Darren Wilson, a local police officer. Among the resulting peaceful protests and candlelight vigils, some protesters had also looted buildings and vandalized cars, prompting the mayor to send in the Missouri National Guard. A grand jury chose not to indict Wilson. So when the next high-profile grand jury decision broke in December — a police officer was, once again, not indicted after putting an unarmed black man, Eric Garner, in chokehold that killed him — cities across the nation joined in protest. In all of this, much like their Montgomery-bound predecessors, allies and people of color came together in what has come to be known as the Black Lives Matter movement. The night after the December grand jury decision was made public, activists in Gainesville organized a protest for the following afternoon, launching a series of protests that made a national movement local. “We literally planned it the night before,” said Azaari Mason, one of the protest’s organizers. “We were up planning until 4 in the morning, sorting out all the little intricate details.” Mason, a third-year political science student at UF, said they decided to stage a die-in, joining the many other groups in cities across the country who were also symbolically laying their bodies on the ground to remind onlookers of people of color killed through police violence. They decided to send out the word exclusively through text message. “Before you knew it, we had about a hundred or so people lined up, ready to go,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.” And the groundwork for this kind of accelerated reaction was first laid about three years ago. After the death of Trayvon Martin, a group of 60 students marched over 40 miles from Daytona to Sanford to protest outside of its police station. This demonstration led to the creation of the Dream Defenders, an organization dedicated to black liberation and elevation. Local chapters began to appear across the state, including one at the University of Florida.
LEFT: Dream Defender Nailah Summers leads protestors in a chant at the intersection of University and 13th; behind her Azaari Mason holds aloft a symbolic coffin.
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FEATURE Since then, the organization has worked to make something like that happens,” Tobias said. “Not only people aware of police brutality through public are we here to protect by enforcing the laws, but we’re demonstrations and community here to serve and make sure building, going as far as taking rights remain protected.” over the state capitol in a 31-day sit-in to force their message into As the Black Lives Matter the lives of the state’s lawmakers. movement gained traction, “We’ve been doing this since an increasing variety of voices before anybody cared,” said joined in support, including Mason, who is also a member of white people. Two of these white UF Dream Defenders. activists, Rebecca Wood and In fact, ever since Mason Madeliene Moyer, organized a became involved with Dream workshop at the Civic Media Defenders, he has seen some Center last January to accomplish of the organization’s platforms just that. become major mainstream issues. ABOVE: Leaders of the Dream Defenders stand in a mo“There were a couple of folks “The paradigm shift has been ment of silence while blocking traffic at the intersection. from this community who saw very evident,” he said. “I feel like a need for organizing around people are starting to realize that white racist actions but didn’t the whole concept of policing know exactly how to talk about in this country is in need of it or where to find the right some serious investigation and forum,” Wood said. reform.” The two women created the After the die-in, local activists workshop alongside local Dream with the Black Lives Matter Defenders, Wood said, making Movement shut down 13th sure that the event addressed Street. Hundreds of students and the group’s goals: elevation and locals flooded the street corner liberation. at rush hour, filling the air with Kayla Coleman, co-treasurer call-and-response chants and of Dream Defenders, said that protest songs. The city’s police while much of the group’s work department even cooperated, involves organizing the black shutting down the intersection of people of Gainesville to address 13th Street and West University pressing racial issues, they intend Avenue to ensure the safety of to create cooperation among everyone present. groups outside of the black Officer Ben Tobias, a community. spokesperson for the department, “It’s about creating said that though the police were relationships and working with the subject of the protests, the different organizations that protesters still had legitimate have the same goals as we do,” grievances that deserved to be Coleman said. “We need this heard. group of white allies to exist. “We’ve had our fair share of shortcomings in the We’re not prioritizing white voices, but we want people agency, but we work hard to repair public trust when to be involved and be in-the-know.”
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FEATURE The January workshop was meant to inspire and educate its mostly white audience. The leaders began by outlining a short history of racial injustice and civil disobedience in the U.S. They guided people through exercises that pointed out aspects of white privilege. Finally, they encouraged participants to brainstorm how to become involved in the movement while not interfering with the efforts of black activists. Members of the Dream Defenders used a Black Lives Matter demonstration at the Oâ€™Connell Center as an example, in which some white activists had attempted to take the lead and even directed their outrage toward black bystanders. They acknowledged the good intentions of these protesters but made it clear that white allies should know when they cross the line.
Story continued on p. 32
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CLOCKWISE: Nailah Summers leads protestors to the chant of â€œNo Justice, No Peace;â€? Protestors wave at police officers stationed on rooftops surrounding the intersection; Protestors march down half of University Avenue; A moment of silence was held in remembrance of recent victims of police brutality; Protestors move away from the intersection to discuss further planning.
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FEATURE Continued from p. 30 Leaders at the workshop gave out small handmade zines that began: “Hey, white folks in the streets, enraged by police brutality? Impassioned by #BlackLivesMatter? Your presence here is valued.” The zine outlined the effects of a white-supremacist society and explained why focusing on black liberation is necessary. The zine also broke down what is and isn’t OK for white allies to do with two sections titled “Please Don’t” and “Please Do.” The “Please Don’t” section advised against appropriating the experiences of people of color by co-opting slogans such as “Hands up, don’t shoot.” It also advised against decentering or dismissing black people’s experiences, such as transmuting “Black Lives Matter” into “All Lives Matter.” The “Please Do” section of the zine explained why white allies should concede the spotlight and encouraged checking other white people, allies or otherwise, with tactics like the hashtag #WhiteSilenceIsViolence. Leana Anderson was one of the white activists who attended the workshop that day. Anderson said she had been hearing about the message of the movement through friends and added that she
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wanted to find a way to get involved. Anderson lives on a farm without much access to the Internet, and because of this she said she was unsure how she could help. However, after the workshop Anderson said she felt more secure about her place within the movement. “I’m not always super involved in activism, but I feel like I want to be,” Anderson said. “This was really good for people like me that want to figure how to get involved.” Wood said she hoped that people would take the workshop’s critiques to heart and incorporate anti-racist action into their lives personally, organizationally and nationally. Many of those in attendance had already begun planning their own black liberation projects through methods like reading groups, drafting petitions and passing out educational literature. “Dream Defenders is the most inclusive organization I’ve ever been a part of,” Mason said. “[We’re] not just about tearing down institutions that we don’t believe work, we’re also about building the community. Anybody who’s down to build with us, we’re down to build with them.”
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PROSE + POETRY
Donna was sitMorgan, a preBY SERAFIMA MINTZ ting on the sofa ILLUSTRATION BY CAT ADAMSON school teacher, said, drinking the last of her “Now this is a party.” vodka, waiting on the guests to arrive Veronica, who works making tawith their beer. She was celebrating cos at one job, mixing drinks at anour eviction, which was definitely her other, and selling her dirty underwear fault. on Backpage.com, filled a five-gallon “Hey,” Donna told me. “You stay bucket with water from the hose. She here. I’m going to pull out this matbrought it over next to the fire and tress.” called me irresponsible. I pinned the It was a queen-sized mattress with irresponsibility on Donna, who was the usual stains and a sheet clinging walking back into the house with a on to three corners. It was not heavy, beer. and Donna dragged it out into the It was a warm evening, warmer bedirt herself. I followed, curious. cause of the fire, and the sunset made “Help me start this fire,” Donna the sky look pink. The mattress let said, gathering wood from around off thick black smoke and smelled the yard. We had a big yard with lots like you would expect burning plastic of trees and a garden that was mostly and synthetic fabric to smell, which radishes. “Give me a hand with this is a smell meant to warn you of canlog.” cer and harm, which I generally try to I helped her with the log and sat on avoid. the stoop behind our bathroom, lookDonna walked back outside and ing in the direction of Paynes Prairie, chucked our plunger into the flames. which has bison, horses, and gators. “Hey, I could have used that,” Su“Hey, good fire,” I told Donna afsan said, and Donna offered Susan ter she got it going. our pots and pans. “Thanks,” she answered, and threw I interjected that those pots and the mattress on top. pans were mine, and Donna began The guests—three more alcoholics, burning library books one by one, debut with jobs—arrived in time to spite all of our protestations. watch the mattress catch and explode. “Sometimes you have to let go,” Each guest had their own remarks. Donna said. “Holding on is just holdSusan, a florist with two tattoos ing you back.” She believed as a rule with dirty words, said she hoped that that there was no future and that conwe knew what we were doing. sequences were for chumps. This was
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PROSE + POETRY
detrimental to roommate relations. Example one: Donna stole our rent money for three consecutive months, causing us to lose the house. Example two: Donna fed her cat rotten food routinely, which gave her cat diarrhea, which often ended up on my bed. When I told Donna she was a cruel, cold, bad, unfeeling person, it elicited no response. Example three: Donna burned our roommateâ€™s mattress. In the morning the fire was a mass of crispy, smoldering metal springs, and I went to the university campus for a lecture on resistance to GMO forestry. Donna donated her plasma for thirty dollars at a clinic downtown, then she walked to the prairie and collected the remains of a bison, dead for maybe two weeks, which she found in tall grass when she walked off the trail. She filled the toilet with the bones and we moved out the next week.
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