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Attached is the 2011 jail inspection of the Champaign County jails by criminal justice specialist Brad Bresson of the Illinois Department of Corrections. Despite claims by Sheriff Dan Walsh that the downtown jail is uninhabitable, it passed state inspection.
Another crowd of people showed up for a second week to oppose plans for expansion of the Champaign County jail. Several individuals spoke during public comment. Among them were:
Mikhail Lyubansky, who writes and teaches about restorative justice, said, "Jail is just one strategy, not the only one" to public safety and called on the County Board to look into alternatives to incarceration.
Peter Campbell of the GEO Solidarity Committee said, "To argue that we should expand a jail in order to treat prisoners better is perverse: any public official who makes this argument is trading on the lives of the most vulnerable in our community for their own political gain."
Chris Evans spoke about the history of the public safety quarter cent sales tax, passed by voters in 1998. The sales tax ought to be brought back to voters, he said.
On Feb. 21-May 15 I will be co-teaching a series of classes for caregivers of individuals with mental illness. I took this class 2 years ago and it really helped me with dealing with the brother with Asperger Syndrome.
The classes are for the CAREGIVER, not the person with mental illness. There are other classes for them.
I encourage you to send this with the poster attachment to anyone who you think might benefit from such classes. We ask for a 13 week commitment. There is a lot of material including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the latest info on treatments for all kinds of disorders.
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 356-1925 if you have any questions.
We have room for a few more people in the class.
Thanks for caring about those who are caregivers,
In honor of Black History Month, the IMC will be hosting a film series celebrating African-American filmmakers. The first showing will be of the 1993 film Sankofa on Tuesday, February 14th at 6:00 PM. Admission will be $3, with all proceeds going to IMC.
The story follows Mona, a contemporary model, as she is visited by spirits lingering in the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana and travels to the past, where, as a house servant named Shola she is constantly abused by her slave masters. Nunu, an African-born field hand, and Shango, Shola's West Indian love interest, all continuously rebel against the slave system. For Nunu this means direct conflict with her son (whose father is a white man) benefiting from the system as a head slave. Inspired by Nunu and Shango's determination to defy the system, Shola finally chooses to fight back against her masters.
On June 5, 2011 Champaign police choked a 20 year old African-American man in the back seat of a squad car while he was in handcuffs. His crime? Asking why he had been stopped, roughed up, and pepper sprayed while walking in campus town.
The below report is by Belden Fields, writer for the Public i, newspaper of the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center.
It has been two years since Kiwane Carrington was killed by a Champaign police officer, but 18-year-old black youth, Calvin Miller, is still afraid of the police. So when a Champaign cop attempted to pull him over for no apparent reason, he panicked. He only wanted to get home that night.
When Calvin appeared in court for arraignment on Monday afternoon, he walked into the courtroom with crutches. His right ankle was sprained, maybe fractured. His right eye was swollen shut. He also had bump on the right side of his forehead. Other people noticeably stared at him.
Called before Judge Richard Klaus, Calvin was told that he was being charged with resisting a “peace” officer. He had “exited a fleeing vehicle” and “lunged” toward Champaign police officer Matt Rush. He was also being charged for criminal damage to property, less than $300, when the vehicle he was driving ran into the porch steps of a house. The story Calvin told me after the hearing was significantly different.
Today, UCIMC co-founder Danielle Chynoweth was awarded Woman of the Year in Champaign-Urbana, at an award ceremony organized by the News Gazette. To a packed room of over 300, Danielle gave a speech highlighting what she attributes her success to - the ability to see what is not there yet - and talked about the role of the Independent Media Center in our community. She said:
"I was one citizen going to where the silences are and advocating for new possibilities, but I wondered how to develop an infrastructure that would enable many people to do the same. So a group of twelve gathered in my living room 11 years ago to conceive of an independent media center that would provide the tools and training to surface many unheard voices in our community – to provide a forum to talk about problems and seek solutions together."
The annual Unity March took place on Saturday, Oct. 8, a march that this year was organized by Jobs With Justice, CU Citizens for Peace and Justice, and a newly-formed organization Occupy 217. The march began in front of the WEFT radio station in downtown Champaign and ended at Chase Bank. A photo gallery of the march appears below.
After receiving $98 million in bailout money, Chase cut 14,000 jobs.
A group of demonstrators walked into the Chase bank for a temporary occupation.
An advertisement invited visitors, "Get Your Cash Back."
Somewhere outside of a bar scene, just women, open space, open expression, no class, no rules, no right or wrong. All movement is right!
Books To Prisoners Presents: Fall 2011 Book Sale-Pages for Pennies
Friday September 30th: 4pm-8pm
Saturday September 31st: 8pm-5pm
Sunday October 1st: 10am-2pm
$0.75 for paperbacks
$1 for hard covers
***Sunday Special: Bag Sale (fill a bag for only $5)***
202 S. Broadway
Independent Media Center (Main Floor)
To learn more about the Books To Prisoners Program visit: www.books2prisoners.org
On Saturday October 8 from 8pm-Midnight, come out and suport Champaign's own, Edward "G-Da-Man" Hicks, in his first film release debut! "The Dying Breed" is a story that deals with youth violence in the African American community, where kids killing kids is an everyday thing until someone has to make a stand. Charged up by some of the hottest Hip-Hop tracks by some of the tightest MC's of the Midwest, along with non-stop Martial Arts action, this film delivers a must see for all.
An art exhibit of photographs remembering Kiwane Carrington and the Unity March VII by Patricia T. Rosario. The show will run from October 7 - 21. Opening reception on Friday, October 7, 6 - 8 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.
The Third Annual Film Festival features local film and video by local artists. Come out to catch this year's festival to catch films like Revolting by Mike Boedicker, This is My Journey by Kate Brickman, Imperial Tourism by David Gracon, and Once Upon a Time in 1972 by Chris Lukeman. Friday night is documentary and will feature a film and discussion hosted by Aaron Ammons on the topic of felony convictions. All events are free to the public, thanks to the help of a grant from the Urbana Public Arts Commission.
Unlike the phony debt crisis, the jobs crisis is real. It did not just happen, either, but results from very specific policies over many years. Unemployment and underemployment are much higher than the official unemployment rate, simply because so many categories of people are not counted: students, workers who are laid off after a short time on a new job, workers who are laid off seasonally or from time to time, the long-term jobless, people who have never had a job, people who are barely employed at just a few hours a week, etc.
(For more: http://www.bls.gov/news.
On Wednesday, August 3, two Urbana police officers approached "homeless" Bill Walton in the back foyer of the Urbana City Building, and asked Mr. Walton if he would come with them, pursuant to a court order issued July 22 that Walton be "medically" evaluated. Officers were ordered to drive Walton to the Danville Veteran's Hospital rather than Carle Clinic where Walton has been seen before. Walton complied without incident. On August 6, The News-Gazette's Jim Dey reported that Walton was visited by his Guardian Ad Litem, attorney Andrew Bequette, and Bequette was quoted by Dey that Bill "....doesn't want the public to know his business." (Which is the right of those being placed under permanent guardianship.) Therefore, the proceedings would be closed to the public. Ironically, the media, i.e. the almighty News-Gazette, would be allowed into the courtroom to carefully broadcast Bill's "business" county-wide.
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Catherine Hogue, long-time Democratic member of the Champaign County board, and community activist, this morning.
I remember seeing Ms. Hogue at every year's Unity March until she fell ill. When I would say, "It's nice to see you see you," she would reply, "It's nice to be seen."
You can listen to a 2003 interview with Ms. Hogue here.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family.