UC2B Ground Breaking in Douglass Park

Mother Jones Spotted at Labor Day Parade in Urbana, Illinois

Many were at the Labor Day Parade in Urbana, Illinois, including Germaine Light who dressed up as Mother Jones and marched with the local chapter of Jobs With Justice.

The City of Champaign is Faltering Again!!!!

Attached is a memo sent to Police Dept employees.  They just don't get it at the City Building.  We need someone to come over and speak with all the officers with full assurances that what they say will be confidential.  Let them find out the truth.  NOTHING will change in until Deputy Chief Murphy is asked to leave..........nothing!!!!






10 Years of Indypendent Media: An Oral History of the Public i


The Public i commemorates ten years of publication by interviewing some of those who have worked on the newspaper along the way.

You can pick up copies of the August issue locally or read it online at our new web site here.

Darrin Drda

Darrin Drda is a former Champaign-Urbana resident who now lives in San Rafael, California with his wife, Annabelle. He is the author of the forthcoming book The Four Global Truths: Awakening to the Peril and Promise of Our Times (www.thefourglobaltruths.com).

Chief Finney "Retiring" From Champaign Police Dept. Jan. 20, 2012


The city has announced that Champaign Police Chief R.T. Finney will be retiring from the department as of Jan. 20, 2012.

Finney's credibility has been significantly undermined  since being one of two officers present on Oct. 9, 2009 when Kiwane Carrington, a black 15 year-old, was shot and killed by a police bullet.

However City Manager Steve Carter may spin this news, it must be acknowledged that Finney's retiring comes after sustained community pressure over the past two years. This resulted in the election of a new Mayor and has now led to Finney's not-so-graceful exit.


SPEAK Cafe is Back!

Thursday Sept 1, 2011
Doors open at 6:30pm, set from 7-9pm
Krannert ART Museum located at 500 E. Peabody on campus. take 4th St. south to Peabody, hang a left and half way down the block on the left hand side is the Art Museum
Theme: "SEIZE THE TIME" (The title of a book by Black Panther Bobby Seale)



The End Is Near

by Chris Evans

[Author's Note:  the assumptions and speculations contained in this article are not to be considered actually accurate]

Coming soon: 2011 Indy Media & Arts Lab

Coming soon at the UC-IMC ...

The 3rd annual Indy Media & Arts Lab

August 1 - 12, 2011

The Indy Media & Arts lab is a low-cost media & arts-focused summer camp aimed at empowering youths to utilize their talents to explore various outlets of self-expression in a safe, nurturing environment. Classes will include African painting, community gardening, music production, comic strip making, robotics, and more!

Registration is currently closed, but sign up here to get on our waiting list!

Urbana Holds Public Meeting on Racial Profiling Statistics

City council chambers were full at a combined meeting of the Urbana Human Relations Commission (HRC) and Civilian Police Review Board (CPRB) on Wednesday, July 13, 2011, at 5:30 p.m. to address racial profiling numbers collected by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The meeting was the result of a chorus of voices asking for a public conversation about racial profiling in Urbana.

Recent traffic stop information for 2010 was just compiled and released. This is information collected by officers, including racial information, during routine traffic stops and turned over to IDOT. The “racial disparity index,” or ratio, for Urbana police rose from 1.56 in 2009 to 1.7 in 2010, the highest in the twin cities. In contrast, the number in Champaign was 1.48; Champaign County Sheriff’s Office was 1.29; UIPD was 1.5. If no disparity was found to exist, the number would be 1.0.

Employment at the UC-IMC

UC-IMC Fiscal Manager

General Description:
The UC-IMC Fiscal Manager is responsible for keeping accurate and current records of all the fiscal and financial needs, activities and programs of the IMC.

To apply:
Send a resume to jandurl@comcast.net or call the IMC at 217-344-8820.


  • an understanding of and commitment to the IMC and social justice work
  • mature judgment, strong organization and communication skills
  • proficiency with office software and technology, Quickbooks experience/ knowledge required
  • ability to multi-task and work with a variety of people in a diverse environment
  • familiar with state and federal payroll and sales tax codes governing non profit organizations
  • grant experience helpful

Duties and Responsibilities:

Statement in Support of Pelican Bay Hunger Strike By Former Illinois Prisoner Gregory Koger


Since July 1st 2011, hundreds of prisoners in California’s Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit (SHU), joined by thousands more in over a third of California’s state prisons and in other prisons across the country, have been on an indefinite hunger strike demanding an end to the horrendous conditions they face languishing for years (some for decades) in isolation and sensory deprivation - conditions that violate international standards against torture. These courageous brothers have joined together to demand an end to the widespread, systematic policies of torture and human rights abuses that affect prisoners not just in Pelican Bay or California but are integral to the functioning of the world’s largest system of mass incarceration.

Summer Make-ation 2011

Stop in to the Makerspace this July for a series of summer DIY workshops!


Every Saturday in July, Makerspace Urbana will be running two workshops. Find something you're fascinated by and come ready to hack!


July 2: Intro to Linux 10am - 12pm

           Basic Electronics (throwy++ workshop) 2 - 4pm


July 9: Intro to HTML 10 -12

           eagleCAD Workshop 2 - 4


July 16: Intro to Linux 2 10 - 12

             Pewter Casting (please email to register, $15 materials fee) 2 - 4


July 23: Home Router Hacks 10 - 12

             Micro-controller 2 - 4


July 30: MAKE-ATION PARTY 4 - 6

Organizing Against Abuse of Power Locally and Globally: Thai media activist to speak with local civil rights group 7/9/11 4-7 at the IMC


Organizing Against Abuse of Power Locally and Globally:

Thai media activist to speak with local civil rights group

Saturday, July 9, 2011

at the Independent Media Center

4-6 pm discussion

6 pm potluck

UC-IMC Hiring AmeriCorps Members To Serve Our Local Community

Applications now being accepted until Thursday, July 14, 2011 for three full time, and two part-time; one year AmeriCorps positions at the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center and partner organizations.

The UC-IMC AmeriCorps program works to support social and economic justice in Champaign County by placing members to serve the programs of the UC-IMC and its partners.  

Ex-Cop Travis Burr Charged With Second Count In DUI

On June 22, 2011, former Sheriff’s Deputy Travis Burr was charged with a second count of obstructing justice related to a DUI he received last summer. Burr was fired after his involvement in a three-car accident on a country road outside of Sadorus, a small town south of Urbana-Champaign. This latest charge appears to be a sign that the State’s Attorney is taking this case seriously after many delay tactics by Burr’s attorneys.

State police arrived at the scene of an accident on August 14, 2010 that occurred at approximately 6:00 p.m. According to police reports obtained by the Public i, Burr had rear ended a white van that stopped in front of him and his friend Timothy Griffin subsequently rear ended Burr’s car. Police performed a breath alcohol test on Burr who blew a 0.192 (state minimum is 0.08). Griffin had a breath alcohol content of 0.176 and pleaded guilty to DUI in October 2010.

British Activists Condemn University of Illinois for Animal Testing

National Anti-Vivisection Alliance

Monday 13th June 2011

For Immediate Release

British pressure group, the National Anti-Vivisection Alliance (NAVA), have condemned the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for testing on animals in a report released today, “It's A Dog's Life”.

Experiments on dogs are exposed from a number of establishments across the USA, including three from UoI, for what NAVA describe as “A pointless waste of animal's lives and scientific resources”.

The experiments conducted were to research pet foods and fruit sugars, with all dogs involved being killed at the termination date.

NAVA Spokesperson, Luke Steele, commented: “The University of Illinois have conducted these barbaric experiments, involving the killing of many dogs, without any scientific gain.”

“UoI [University of Illinois] should come clean about what they are doing and rehome all dogs involved in experiments immediately”

Jimmy John's: Company Credibility Erodes as NLRB Investigation over Firing of Six Whistleblowers Continues

Two months after Jimmy John's fired six workers for blowing the whistle on a company practice of forcing sandwich-makers to work while sick, the IWW Jimmy John's Workers Union has released Minnesota Department of Health documents today revealing eight outbreaks of foodborne illness at franchises across the Twin Cities area in the past five years, seven of which were due to employees working while sick at the chain. The release of the documents seriously erodes the credibility of Minneapolis franchise owner Mike Mulligan who had previously claimed to reporters and employees that, "the company has made more than 6 million sandwiches during its nearly 10 years in business—and no one’s ever gotten sick from eating one." Two of the outbreaks, both caused by sick employees, were at the Mulligans' stores.

Stories from the Housing Projects Slated for Demolition

Pam Dempsey (of CU Citizen Access) and I have been spending time with K-12 kids in an afterschool program at Joann Dorsey Homes every week doing digital story-telling classes since February and talking to residents about what's ahead. Dorsey Homes in Champaign, along with Dunbar Court in Urbana, is slated for demolition this year. Most of the residents are single mothers without steady incomes. All the residents there will get Section 8 vouchers to go find homes outside of government housing. The Housing Authority assumes that the vouchers will be a step to self-sufficiency and independence for the residents, most of whom are unemployed. You can hear my interview with seven residents on my show called "To Have a Home" on the Big Boom blog. The women I interviewed can't wait to move. Their homes now - which were built in 1952 - have no modern showers or central air. While the women live in communities that provide social networks of support, they're also living in a "project," where they get hassled by the police, and frustrated by the lack of opportunities available to their kids.

Ex-Cop Lisa Staples Set For Trial On Second DUI

Trial is scheduled to begin for former Champaign police detective Lisa Staples on Tuesday, May 17 at 9 a.m. in courtroom K. Staples received her second DUI after she rear-ended a car while driving an estimated 80-90 miles per hour. Her attorney Tony Novak says his client is innocent of the charges.

On May 2, 2011, a hearing took place before judge Jeffrey Ford. A continuance requested by Novak was dismissed by the judge. Judge Ford said he had worked for six years in traffic court and had never seen a case take more than four months to reach a resolution. With the initial accident taking place December 19, 2010, it will be six months when the trial commences. Judge Ford is certainly making sure this case follows standard procedure as the courts received much public criticism after Staples was given a sweetheart deal for her first DUI.

Another case where Staples has been charged with four additional counts for lying on an application for a new driver’s license and Illinois state ID card is being dealt with separately.

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