Report on the Gainesville Teach-In


“Vital Issues of War and Peace” (teach-in title lifted directly from call by HAW) filled a 170-seat classroom at Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, FL, on Thursday evening, 10/18.

The panelists, in order of their talks, were David Price (Assoc. Prof. of History & Political Science at SFCC & Adj. Instructor of International Relations at the University of Fla); Brian Moore, independent candidate for United States Senate; Donna Waller, Assoc. Prof. of History & Political Science at SFCC; and Scott Camil, Marine veteran of two combat tours in Vietnam and long-time peace activist.  The event was co-organized by the Santa Fe College Global Society, Democratic Saints (the SFCC student Democrats), and Gainesville’s Community Coalition Against War & Terrorism (CCAWT).

Price and Waller, panelists for a pre-war CCAWT teach-in four years previously, reviewed their predictions in comparison with actual events, finding that their warnings had been proven mostly accurate (except that not even a few “weapons of mass destruction” were found in Iraq, and that turmoil has (so far) not spilled beyond Iraq’s borders).  Moore pointed out the complicity of both parties in America’s illegal invasion & subsequent atrocities, and outlined many of the difficulties in resolving the present chaos.  Camil provided gripping parallels between Vietnam and Iraq as experienced by combat troops as well as on the geopolitical level.

The following Q&A period was wide-ranging and diverse, generating concepts for at least two possible future teach-ins (focusing on presentations by veterans of Gulf Wars I & II, and on Iraqi civilians’ perspectives; Camil is also planning to moderate a screening of Winter Soldier at SFCC soon), and was cut short only by the need of campus security to lock up the building at 10 pm.

Pierce R. Butler <>