What Is a nüz/böx? One Way to Join the Movement for Hyperlocal Media

What is a nüz/böx?

First, it’s spelled with an X, a Z, two ümlaüts and a slash/. Even the name calls your attention. The pronunciation of nüz/böx is intentionally ambiguous. How do you pronounce it?

Pronunciation, like many aspects of a nüz/böx, is something the curator(s) – which is you if you decide you want to do it – give(s) form and direction to. A nüz/böx is purposely designed along minimalist lines, of concept, architecture, labor, and materials. It’s easy to do.

In simple terms, a nüz/böx is a hyperlocal, off-the-grid nexus of news, media and arts hosted by one or more households. There’s just one so far in the whole world, but I think it has wide appeal. Your neighborhood can have one …or more! I intentionally designed it to be a flexible concept, but can see networks of people joining together to put nüz/böxes along streets around town

Prison Activist Gregory Koger Sent Back to Cook County Jail

Gregory Koger’s three and a half year long saga with the Cook County courts came to an end today as police whisked him away to begin serving the remainder of a 300 day sentence. Koger’s conviction emerged from a 2009 incident where he attempted to video an anti-censorhsip  talk by Sunsara Taylor on the premises of Chicago’s Ethical Humanist Society. Instead of capturing a video, Koger ended up face down on the floor of the building while police handcuffed him, took him into custody, and ultimately charged him with three misdemeanors―trespassing, resisting arrest, and simple battery―despite the absence of any evidence that he was ever asked to leave the premises.

From the outset Koger maintained his innocence but the justice system did not concur. They insisted on pressing the charges, with Koger and his lawyer Jed Stone appealing the conviction each step of the way.

Photos from National Rally for Trayvon Martin

Approximately 150 people in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois took part in the national march called by the NAACP for a federal civil rights case against George Zimmerman who last week was acquitted for stalking and murdering 17 year-old African American youth Trayvon Martin. Sponsors included: Champaign County NAACP, CU Citizens for Peace and Justice, National Council of African American Men, Citizens with Convictions, NorthEnd Breakfast Club, Sisternet, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, an AON CCAD.

The march kicked off from Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in Urbana. Youth led the march carrying a sign to remember Kiwane Carrington, a 15 year-old black youth killed by Champaign police in 2009. Aaron Ammons led the march on bullhorn.

Marchers raised up their hoodies in memory of Trayvon as they went down University Avenue.

Another Senseless Arrest of African-American Youth

A twenty-three year-old African-American man came to a CUCPJ meeting July 13 to tell us the horrors of his encounter with the Champaign Police.

Shooting the Messenger: Reflections on the Trial of Whistleblower Bradley Manning

A first-hand account of the Bradley Manning trial by local peace activist Niloofar Shambayati.

June 25: Community Justice Task Force Report on the Jail

On June 25, at 6 p.m., the Community Justice Task Force will be presenting a final report with its recommendations for the current proposed jail expansion. The meeting will be at Brookens Administration Building (Lierman and Washington St. in east Urbana).

The Task Force has been working for over a year to develop alternatives to the county's original plan to build a multi-million dollar extension of the satellite jail. CUCPJ urges people to attend the session on the 25th and hear what the Task Force recommends. Hopefully their report will provide some concrete ideas for taking the county's criminal justice system in a new direction.

A draft report on the jail by ILPP was released on April 30 and can be read here. Below is a response from CU Citizens for Peace and Justice. A final report from ILPP will come at the end of the summer.

200 Pack the Library Board Meeting - watch live

IMC is streaming the library board meeting where 200 showed up to protest the loss of nearly half of the non fiction collection in a haphazard weeding process and allegations of intimidation of staff members. Watch live now: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ucimc

How Privatization Destroyed Award-Winning Suicide Prevention Program in Champaign County Jail

Several years ago, while working at our local Books to Prisoners, I met a volunteer who had formerly worked as a mental health counselor in the local jail. This was just after there had been three jail suicides within a six-month period in 2004. She recalled a time when she worked with the “Crisis Team,” a nationally-recognized mental health program which for 20 years prevented any suicides in the jail. In response to the three suicides, Sheriff Dan Walsh outsourced mental health services to Health Professionals Ltd. (HPL), a private company based in Peoria, Illinois. Yet this has not stopped the loss of life in the jail.

What's going on in Bristol Place?

This summer, the City of Champaign will begin the process of demolishing a neighborhood in the north end of the city. Bristol Place, northeast of Bradley and Market and home to nearly 200 residents, has been slated for total demolition by the city because of its low property values, old building stock and a purportedly high rate of crime. The city will use eminent domain to acquire the properties from even those residents who wish to stay in the neighborhood and who own and occupy houses that are in good condition. Although the city has been clear to say that the neighborhood’s total demolition is a settled issue, many questions remain: Why was the neighborhood regarded as obsolete? What’s next for residents? Is this a process that we will see for other low-income, predominately African-American neighborhoods in Champaign?

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