Radical Rush 2006
Radical Rush began in 1998 as an attempt to unite progressive community groups and organizations with students. Spearheaded by the Civic Media Center, Radical Rush also allowed those groups to network and combine efforts in an attempt to make activism more visible. The idea was to advocate and emphasize fundamental change in society by addressing the root causes of oppression. Loosely modeled on the recruitment system used by fraternities and sororities, participating groups set up tables on the University of Florida campus at Turlington Hall and created social events, such as a live music show. The goal was to provide an alternative to the Greek system by inviting students to get involved in local activities without the hazing, drinking, and judgements based on social class and appearance.
In 1998, 14 different community groups took part in the effort to make students more socially aware, including the EAG, Earth First!, Food Not Bombs, Anti-Racist Action, Free Radio Gainesville, Anarchist Black Cross Federation, Humanistic Atheist Students Association (HASA), Gainesville Committee for Democracy in Mexico, Campus NOW, Gainesville IWW, Veterans for Peace, University International Democratic Socialists, and the Civic Media Center. Radical Rush has since become an annual event, and this year, 2006, many of those same groups continue the effort to reach students, and help individuals become more socially conscious.
This year, Radical Rush will take place at the Plaza of the Americas at UF Campus, starting on September 11th at 11 am. The event will take place over four days, and will include live theater, poetry, speakers, peaceful demonstrations, raffles, petitions and a pinata. Themed t-shirts will also be available, inspired by the social realism of Mexican Artists Diego Rivera and Jose Guadalupe Posada.
In 2001, Radical Rush organizaers produced Active Gainesville, a free local guide to progressive organizations, issues, and local things-to-do-and-see, as well as a listing of non-corporate businesses to support in Gainesville. This year, the Civic Media Center is creating a Socially Conscious Guide to Gainesville, which will include radical histories of the city and controversial campus biographies. In addition, the Guide will help students to be conscious consumers by providing them with a list of independednt and socially responsible businesses and orgnizations all over Gainesville.
Over 20 campus and community groups, including the CMC, Students for a Human Society (SHS), the Alachua County Labor Party, the Alachua County Green Party, the Progressive Democrats of Florida, NOW, VOX, Students for a Sustainable Campus, Progressive Black Men, the NAACP, Nakba 48, the Gainesville IWW, Counterpoise Magazine, and many, many more, will participate in 2006. For more information, students can contact the Civic Media Center.
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