"Chomsky and the CMC changed my life"
One tesimony among many from the 10th Anniversary of the Civic Media Center:
In 1993, as a 19-year-old UF student, I didn't know who Noam Chomsky was, and while I was interested in politics, I didn't know much I hadn't learned from the mainstream news. However, I saw a flyer for Chomsky's speech at the Reitz Ballroom and, for some reason (maybe I was bored that night), I decided to go.
When I saw the overflow crowd-it must have been hundreds-crammed into the hallways outside the ballroom, it was clear something special was happening. I was one of the lucky ones who got a seat, and what I heard was truly life-changing. Chomsky talked about class, about the true motivations and consequences of U.S. foreign policy, and, presciently, about the rising danger posed by biotechnology and its intersection with intellectual property rights. I had long understood there was something seriously wrong with our system, but until that night had lacked an intellectual framework for understanding it or, more importantly, doing something about it.
At the end of the talk, I signed my name to the list for the newly-established Civic Media Center, and went down to volunteer the next day. I learned a tremendous amount over the next year from the CMC media collection and from talking to veteran activists like Joe Courter. My time at the CMC set me on a life-long path of activism and political work, and I'm sure there are many others who can say the same.
I now live in Oakland, California, where I work as a civil rights/criminal defense lawyer and have been very involved in political activism for a long time. I represent the Angola 3 (www.angola3.org), Black Panthers who have been imprisoned for more than 30 years in Louisiana, and I have been involved in the anti-prison, globalization, and anti-war movements.
I am very glad to know the CMC is still a vital community institution in Gainesville and it was great to join everyone in marking its 10th year of operation.
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