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About 100 people protested outside Assembly Hall where for the third year there was a pro-Chief rally organized by those wishing to revive the University of Illinois’ racist mascot. This year, protesters were made to stand behind a taped-off area and watched closely by University of Illinois police and Assembly Hall security. There was some confusion among officials over this practice, as one security guard told me that Assembly Hall was private property. When I asked UIPD Lieut. Skip Frost, he said that it was maintained by the University of Illinois, therefore it was public property, but the decision to tape off protesters had been made by the Assembly Hall management. The creation of such a “free speech zone,” which has previously been enforced at recent Democratic and Republican National Conventions, is a serious suspension of the First Amendment and modern method for controlling peaceful protest.
About 50 people met outside Swanlund Administration Building on Friday, Oct. 22, at noon. A group calling itself “Students for a United Illinois,” made up of 19 different local organizations, is holding a series of events this weekend to protest a pro-Chief rally this homecoming weekend and pressure the University of Illinois administration for a new mascot. They are holding a counter-demonstration outside of Assembly Hall on Saturday at 5 p.m. and an after-party at ARC.
Despite a letter sent to Students for Chief Illiniwek by University of Illinois lawyers asking the group to “cease and desist” from using the school’s symbol, the so-called “Next Dance” is still going on. They were holding the event at Assembly Hall “for the children,” they said. Early reports are that ticket sales have been low.
Watch the IMC Weekly, a weekly video newsletter covering the upcoming events at the UCIMC.
This story is a collaboration between UC-IMC and SmilePolitely.com
A civil suit filed on October 6 raises new questions about who shot Kiwane Carrington on October 9, 2009. The complaint filed on behalf of Jeshaun Manning-Carter and his mother, Laura Manning, alleges that Champaign Police Chief R.T. Finney, and not Officer Daniel Norbits, “fired a shot downward into the chest of Kiwane Carrington, killing Carrington.” The suit charges the City of Champaign and Finney with “intentional infliction of emotional distress” on Manning-Carter.
Alfred Ivy, attorney for the plaintiff, stated, “He [Manning-Carter] didn't want to talk about it for a long time; he wasn't comfortable talking about it.”
The allegation that Finney pulled the trigger is a direct contradiction of officers' sworn statements and the findings of the Illinois State Police investigation into the incident. Visit the Kiwane Carrington Timeline site for all the public documents associated with the investigation.
This year, the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center celebrates its 10th Anniversary. This Saturday, we are hosting the Sustaining Fund Open celebrating this achievement, and offering the public an opportunity to see our facilities, learn about our programs, and meet our staff and volunteers.
SUSTAINING FUND OPEN HOUSE
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16
202 S. Broadway Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
(The historic downtown Urbana Post Office building at the corner of Broadway and Elm in Urbana)
In addition, dedicated IMC members will announce the creation of a Sustaining Fund, ensuring the financial viability and stability of this vital community institution for years to come! Contributions will be used to pay down the mortgage, underwrite annual physical operations, and provide for emergency expenditures.
Several hundred people came out to the Unity March on October 9, 2010, marking a year to the day since Kiwane Carrington was killed by a Champaign police officer. In the face of recent news reports about supposed racial attacks, this year’s event stressed the need for unity. The large turn out was a sign that people desire a community free from police violence and media sensationalism.
The march began at 906 W. Vine St. in Champaign, the house where Kiwane Carrington approached by Police Chief R.T. Finney and Officer Daniel Norbits as he and a fried were trying to find a respite from the rain. October 9, 2010, however, was a warm, sunny day―a perfect day for a march. On the steps of the house, Nick Elam sang the Boys-to-Men song, “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye,” before a solemn crowd.
Surprisingly, Mike Sola, former WILL-580 weatherman and victim of an attack who has recently been featured in the media, showed up at the Unity March. He addressed the crowd saying that what was needed was not division, but unity to address the root problems in our community.
On Thursday, October 7, students, professors, and campus workers of the Campus Labor Coalition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign joined in a national day of action to save public education. Some 200 people showed up at a rally in front of the Alma Mater. Report cards were displayed and the crowd was permitted to grade the university on its performance. In recent years, the university administration has ballooned while tuition has gone up 9.5%, the number of black freshmen on campus has plummeted, and wages have been frozen. Due to these conditions, the grades given to the university were dismally low, with all Fs except for a D- in legislative lobbying.
The grade cards were then taken to the Swanlund Administration Building and delivered to the office of Chancellor Bob Easter. The following day, on October 8, a meeting is scheduled between members of the Campus Labor Coalition and University of Illinois President Michael Hogan at noon in the University YMCA Chapel. Today was only a report on mid-term grades. We will have to wait to see if the university administration will improve its standing.
Join us for UNITY MARCH 7! on the one year anniversary of Kiwane Carrington’s death to:
RECLAIM your neighborhood. RESTORE the relationships in the community. REMEMBER the life of Kiwane Carrington.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2010 12:00PM
Start: 906 W. Vine, Champaign End: Randolph St. Community Garden (Randolph St & Beardsley Ave, Champaign)
Garden Party with food & music! Fruit tree planting in memory of Kiwane Carrington In the event of rain, reception will be held at the Church of the Brethren (1210 N. Neil St.)
PRE-MARCH SYMPOSIUM: "Other deaths and other truths: Communities confronting state violence"
Presented by: UIUC "Landscapes of struggle in Illinois" Focal Point Group Friday Oct 8 at 6:30-9pm
Asian American Cultural Center
1210 West Nevada St., Urbana
ALL WELCOME. REFRESHMENTS SERVED
On Monday, September 27, 2010, a dozen activists, members of AWARE (Anti-War Anti-Racism Effort), and Campus Antiwar Network, held a demonstration at the FBI office in Champaign. This demonstration was held as part of a nationwide 3-day long effort to protest the federal surveillance and raids of anti-war and other social justice activists and organizers. These federal raids occurred on September 24th when eight houses belonging to anti-war activists and an office were raided by the FBI. Subpoenas were sent to 11 activists in Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan and activists from North Carolina and California were harassed. The FBI stated that no arrests were made, but these tactics point to a larger climate of state repression against anti-war, anti-imperialist and other social justice activists.
With the current crisis in higher education, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees two-day meeting on Sept. 23-4, 2010 was a highly anticipated one. At the end of the second day during the period for public comment, Pine Lounge in the UIUC union was a full, with others spilling into an overflow room. Present among the crowd were many students from the Graduate Emplyees’ Union (GEO), MEChA, and Undergraduate-Graduate Alliance.
During public comment, several students got up to address the board. Carlos Rosa addressed the difficulty of working class black and Latino students getting into the University of Illinois with the growing costs of tuition. He referred to the recent figures that only 359 African American students were in this year’s freshmen class and said it was “utterly ridiculous.” He pointed out it was more than 40 years ago that Project 500 was launched to bring 500 freshmen students to UIUC, and yet today these numbers are not nearly being met. Carlos called for the recruitment of minority students “from Chicago, to Champaign, to Cairo.”
"All That Harms Labor Is Treason To America" --- Abraham Lincoln
Despite the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, this year's Labor Day March was a spirited affair. Members of the Iron Workers union, the Illinois Education Assocation, IBEW, Campus Faculty Association, and the Graduate Employees Organization joined other local unions for a march through Urbana.
Unemployment in Champaign County is the highest it's been in decades at 9.8%. Yet among many local unions morale is high as there have been successful strikes both with the GEO in November 2009 and more recently in Mahomet where the local chapter of the IEA won a strike.
The Labor Day Parade will conclude with a picnic in Prarie Park at Washington and Lierman in Urbana.
Greg Koger was found guilty on three misdemeanor counts by a jury on Thursday, August 26, 2010. Charges against him were pressed by the so-called Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago and carried out by the Skokie police and a Cook County State's Attorney. After he was found guilty following a three-day trial, a judge immediately revoked his bond and sent him directly to the Cook County jail where he spent last night.
I met Greg in 2005 through the UC-IMC Books to Prisoners program. Greg was then an inmate in Pontiac Correctional Center and we became pen pals. In December 2006, Greg was released and has since lived in Chicago and held a job as a paralegal working for an attorney.
To hear of Greg's re-incarceration is crushing. Greg is no harm to society. His jailing is another sign of a cruel and inhumane criminal in-justice system.
Below is a statement from the Ad Hoc Committee for Reason and Dropping the Charges in support of Greg.
As students were moving into campus dorms along Florida and Pennsylvania Avenues in Urbana, the SEIU Local 73 and the Campus Labor Coalition held a rally to bring attention to the deepening crisis in public education. The union also held other pickets across campus throughout the day. At lunchtime, they marched in front of students and parents chanting “Students Move In! Tuition Hikes Out! Students Move In! Wage Freezes Out!”
As freshmen students return to campus this fall, they face a 9.5% tuition increase voted on this summer by the Board of Trustees. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is asking workers to accept wage freezes and recent hires among the Building Service Workers are recommended to take a 13.5% pay cut. Across the campus, empty faculty positions are not being filled, job searches are being cancelled, tuition waivers for graduate students in Fine Arts are being rescinded, and annual contracts for lecturers and instructors are not being renewed.
The first day of school for Mahomet Seymour students did not happen today because the Mahomet Seymour Education Association (MSEA) has been out on strike since 7 am.
The union has had previous struggles with the school board over employment issues. The summer of 2009 was spent pressuring the district to bargain with MSEA about staff performing medical procedures like the insertion of catheters. The district board had refused to negotiate the matter and expected non-medical staff to perform medical procedures.
World's First Udderbot Recital: Jacob Barton preforms new xenharmonic music by local composers on a unique instrument
Multi-instrumentalist and composer Jacob Barton presents his first full-length concert featuring the udderbot, a unique slide woodwind instrument invented in 2005.
A joint project of OddMusic-UC and UnTwelve, the concert will feature adaptations of pre-existing compositions and new music commissioned especially for the occasion. Sixteen composers, half of them Champaign-Urbana residents, participated in the commissioning project.
The recital will take place at 8 PM on Friday, August 20, 2010, at the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center. Admission is a $10-15 sliding scale, with no one turned away for lack of funds. RSVP is recommended.
New issue of the Public i is out on stands now with a report back on the US Social Forum by Sarah Ross, an article about the local film scene by Jason Pankoke, news about the Odyssey Project by Noah Lenstra, a story about the Odyssey Project by Kerry Pimblott, two articles about programming for local youth by Belden Fields, and more.
The cover image is of a brick dedicated to Grandpa Walfeldt, grandfather of the local progressive movement.
The following letter to the editor from Caroline Yang was printed in Sunday's News-Gazette.
It responds to the trial of Keving Hemingway and in particular the skewed article on the trial by NG reporter Mary Schenk
Thanks to our kind readers for notifying us of the letter's publication.
As someone who witnessed most of the trial of Kevin Hemingway, I noted a troubling untruth and a glaring omission in Mary Schenk’s report. First, Ms. Schenk’s assertion that Mr. Hemingway “admitted to Champaign police that he robbed Herbst” is simply not true. This was never revealed during the trial. Considering that this case carries the possibility of an extended sentence, it would be generous to call Ms. Schenk’s error irresponsible.
The IMC was recently awarded $6,400 from the City of Urbana for the second annual IndyMedia & Arts Lab as part of the Consolidated Social Service grant. The Lab will take place July 26th-August 5th and will guide youths 13-16 years of age though a series of workshops focussed on: audio/radio production, community gardening, painting, and instrumentation. This 2 week-long initiative seeks to provide affordable summer activities that will empower youths to utilize their talents to explore various outlets of self-expression in a safe, nurturing environment. Lunch will be served to participants. Time - TBA. Enrollment is still open, and spots are limited! For further information contact Katy Vizdal at email@example.com or at 217.344.8820."
Learn to swing dance or polish you skills! Get ready to dance to great bands at the Champaign Music
Festival......or just have fun learning a classic couple dance!!!! $ adults $2 kids. Proceeds to
benefit Community Center For the Arts (C4A) www.c-4a.org (Donations als welcome to
support C4A's music camp scholarship fund.
On Monday night, June 14, 2010, longtime community activist Terry Townsend delivered a list of demands for construction of the new school to replace the Booker T. Washington School in Champaign. The new school is to fulfill the requirements of the consent decree to provide an additional 200 seats in the historically black community of the North End. The Unit 4 School Board is currently reviewing bids for the $13 million school. The old school has already been torn down and its replacement will be roughly double the size. Townsend says that this will significantly impact the neighborhood, bringing increased traffic and paving the way for gentrification.
Approximately 50 people protested in Champaign-Urbana against Israel's recent attack on a flotilla carrying aid to Palestinians in the Gaza strip. The blockade against Gaza has been in place since the democratic election of Hamas in Gaza and basic humanitarian aid has been shut off to the people residing there. The flotilla was in international waters when Israeli Defense Forces were dropped from a Black Hawk helicopter. In an ensuing clash, at least ten pro-Palestinian activists were shot and killed. One of those still missing is an activist who was on the Mavi Marmara boat, according to Chicago IMC. Other protests took place in Chicago, across the country, and around the globe.
According to Champaign City Manager Steve Carter, the appeal of a 30-day suspension given to Daniel Norbits, the officer who shot and killed Kiwane Carrington, was denied.
A day after the suspension was announced, an attorney with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) filed an appeal on behalf of Norbits. A hearing was held on May 18, 2010 between the FOP attorney, Norbits, Deputy Chief Troy Daniels, and Carter.
After a CCAPP meeting held Monday, May 24, 2010, Carter told me personally that he had made his decision and the appeal was denied. The city, he said, would send me a copy of his statement in response to a FOIA request for the results.
See the attached pdf. for Carter's letter to Norbits.
The demolition of Booker T. Washington Elementary began on May 19, 2010. A new two-story school costing $18 million is going to be built to fulfill the requirements of the "consent decree." The new school will double in size, significantly impacting the neighborhood.A traffic study has been conducted showing the increased traffic in the area.
According to local black activist Terry Townsend, a plan is underway to destroy the historic Douglass Park neighborhood.