Demonstrators draw attention to Iraq conflict by baring it all
Published: Monday, January 6, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 6, 2003 at 12:38 a.m.
Wanna get some attention? Try taking your clothes off.
That's what a group of 22 men did in a field near Gainesville last month in a protest against a possible war against Iraq. The men formed the word "PEACE" and a peace sign with their nude bodies, while a photographer snapped photos that were sent to news media outlets worldwide.
The bare-it-all demonstration was modeled after a similar protest in California, said Linda Pollini, a Green Party activist who helped organize the event.
She said some participants had traveled to Washington, D.C., a month earlier to protest the government's stance against Iraq. Disappointed by the news media coverage of the D.C. event, they decided to try another tactic: nudity.
Apparently, buff works. Pollini said the group has been contacted by people from as far away as France, Germany and Canada. Groups in other states may be planning similar events, and others have suggested turning the photos into a calendar or making a documentary about the protests.
But don't forget, the whole thing bares a message.
"It was not done as a joke or something funny," Pollini said.
Most homeowners get to claim a $25,000 homestead exemption that reduces the taxable value of the property by the same amount.
But when the tax bills come out in November, Alachua County's 584 veterans with service-connected disabilities will get to claim an additional exemption of $4,500. The Legislature upped the amount from $500 to $5,000.
"This exemption, which hasn't been raised since 1933, honors those who gave so much for so many, on behalf of freedom and liberty," Gov. Jeb Bush said.
But they aren't in alignment yet.
Cisco Systems agreed to give Alachua County a six-month-trial of equipment.
Alachua County agreed to put the equipment on its buildings and make sure it worked.
The University of Florida agreed to supply the free Internet service.
But who will pay for the equipment and maintenance when the six-month free trial ends?
That's still being negotiated. The Alachua County Commission said it didn't have the money. Now, an unnamed company has come forward, said Kevin Smith, the county's director of information technology.
When an agreement is reached, likely within the next few weeks, light up those keyboards.
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