Radical Rush Report
The third annual Radical Rush, which ran from Sept. 26-29, was a great success upon which will be built an even better one in 2001. Many thank yous are in order: Student Peace Action for coordinating campus permitting and logistics; the parking booth women and men who facilitated our off loading and packing out; the Carpenters Union for lending us extra tables; the Purple Porpoise Blowhole and the Shamrock Pub for the respective kickoff and closing parties; the bands who played at these events: Guido Incident, Vanguard, Polline, Hamhock & Slide, Still, Radio Friendly, Oriflamme, and the Goddamn Deluge; TNT Graphics for doing a great job on the shirts; and all the groups who tabled. For those who did not get a shirt, activist directory, or the 32-page Active Gainesville booklet, more are available at the Civic Media Center, located at 1021 W. University Ave.
Looking ahead to next year, we hope to have an even broader base of support and tabling effort. A suggestion has come to bring a keynote speaker to set the weeks tone as to the value and historical necessity of grassroots organizing. This seems to be a model which other campuses could emulate to lower the wall between town and gown. It could open the way for campus activists to share their talents and energy and have lasting impact on the communities they live in as well as the campuses on which they study.
Once again, the value of the Civic Media Center was reinforced on Sept. 29, Friday evening. The local chapter of Amnesty International hosted a statewide meeting, and those that came to the Radical Rush party wandered around the CMC in amazement. The general sentiment was, 'What a rich stockpile of resources we have!' The turnout of people for the nights music show, and the post-music show internal music circle with Lars Din, showed that the fine collections of human resources revolving around the CMC are also amazing. Were building a community of activists. Oct. 18, 2000 will mark seven years for the CMC. Seven years of community organizing. Seven years of personal growth and change from exposure to the books, tapes, magazines, and people of the CMC. Seven years of positive social activism in a culture which offers few other options (especially for youth!) than cynicism and negative energy.
Mass media mergers are continuing unchecked. Intelligent debate with a historical context is being replaced by increasing amounts of superficial trash news and barking dog counterpoints. The knowledge of choices available to many citizens is being shaped by the corporation dominated media and electoral process. We have a crisis. And institutions like the CMC are part of the cure. The best birthday present the CMC could receive is your involvement --your ideas, your financial help, your help with resources. Tell us of an event you would like to see at the CMC. Get a membership to explore our resources. Your contributions can lead us on toward further improvement--we have some debts, but we also have dreams and needs. We would love to expand our books and magazines with some choice purchases that have not been donated to us. We would also like to build a wheelchair accessible back porch. But ideas like these wait while our month-to-month struggle continues to pay our rent, our utilities and our hard-working paid staffer.
So please, come to our events, get a membership, let others know about us. Come to see Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky & the Media--at the Hippodrome on Mon., Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m.--which lays out why counter institutions like the CMC are needed. If you are already a CMC fan, come toast our success on Oct. 18.
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