Champaign County

WRFU Birthday Extravaganza Nov. 13 & 14

You are invited!

Friday, Nov. 13th & Saturday, Nov. 14th

at the Independent Media Center

WRFU BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA

Celebrating the 4th anniversary of Radio Free Urbana

Community radio by and for the people

Friday
The Show                    10pm-12am
Watch the making of a live episode of The Show with Ray Morales*

Saturday

Audio Skill Shares      11am-2pm
Learn how to make great radio!  All ages, all skill levels

Potluck Dinner            6pm-8pm
Meet-and-greet for radio lovers & past and current members, unveiling of photo gallery, audio scrapbook listening party, and group history of WRFU

birthday flyer small.jpg

US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study

by Eric Zuesse

study, to appear in the Fall 2014 issue of the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, finds that the U.S. is no democracy, but instead an oligarchy, meaning profoundly corrupt, so that the answer to the study’s opening question, "Who governs? Who really rules?" in this country, is: 

Starving College Students and the Shredded Social Contract

by Michelle Goldberg

If you want to know why millennials are far more economically liberal than other generations, consider the news that colleges have started opening on-campus food banks to keep their students from going hungry.

Dozens of food pantries are “cropping up at colleges across the country in recent years as educators acknowledge the struggles many students face as the cost of getting a higher education continues to soar,” the Associated Press reported this weekend. Tuition alone, the article notes, “has become a growing burden, rising 27 percent at public colleges and 14 percent at private schools in the past five years, according to the College Board. Add in expenses for books, housing and other necessities of college life and some are left to choose between eating and learning.”

Ammons Whips Mike Madigan's Money -- and Sam Rosenberg

News reports indicate that Carol Ammons -- and the mass of motivated citizenry supporting her -- has won the 103rd State Representative Democratic Primary when ballots were counted this evening. This hard fought victory against the Madigan machine came about despite the fact that Madigan spent roughly $100,000 more than the Ammons campaign was able to. The difference was people. People on the street. People door to door. People calling, emailing and messaging.

Is there hope for a Democratic Party that represents the people of Illiinois, rather than a weak alternative to Republicanism? There is now. The people of Illinois demand better.

We Must Stop Throwing People Away

by Harry Belafonte

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=84Bjm0OW3EQ

There is a crisis that demands our urgent attention. For the last four decades, this country has been obsessed with expanding the number of people we throw behind bars and the length of time we hold them there. Crime rates have been falling for the last 20 years, but still we have a massive and unsustainable prison population, particularly targeting the poor and powerless. We're not strengthening communities, we're using our criminal justice system to throw away certain people's lives – disproportionately the lives of Black and brown men, women, and children. This has decimated communities around the nation and it's gone on for far too long.

Private Equity Predators and the Great American Farm Grab

Half of US farmland being eyed by private equity interests

by Carey L. Biron

Industry analysts say the institutional share of U.S. farmland ownership is rising quickly. (Credit: Bigstock)

WASHINGTON - An estimated 400 million acres of farmland in the United States will likely change hands over the coming two decades as older farmers retire, even as new evidence indicates this land is being strongly pursued by private equity investors.

A Reflection on the No More Jails Campaign in Champaign County

By James Kilgore, Champaign-Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice

When we began our campaign to stop jail construction in Champaign County in early 2012, I thought we were doomed.  The grand plan to spend $20 million on this project seemed like a done deaI. The Sheriff was driving the initiative; the leading lights in the County Board seemed to think jail construction was the only prudent course. Yet, nearly two years later we have a very different scenario. The 2014 budget for Champaign County doesn’t include a single cent for jail construction. In fact, the county has allocated more than $200,000 in new money for social programs aimed at keeping people out of jail.  In a county of slightly more than 200,000 residents, this is an important start.

How did this happen?  The answer is simple- a campaign of ordinary people, led by a core from the Champaign-Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice (CUCPJ), turned the situation around. This campaign is proof that action by people at the grassroots level can make a difference.

America Is Still a Deeply Racist Country

Gone is the overt, violent, and legal racism of my childhood in the 1960s. It's been replaced by a subtler, still ugly version

by Chris Arnade

A week after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, I walked into my old hometown bar in central Florida to hear, "Well if a nigger can be president, then I can have another drink. Give me a whiskey straight up."

Only one day in the town and I thought, "Damn the south."

I had returned home to bury my father, who had spent much of the 1950s and '60s fighting for civil rights in the south. Consequently, my childhood was defined by race. It was why our car was shot at, why threats were made to burn our house down, why some neighbors forbid me to play on their lawn, why I was taunted at school as a "nigger lover".

It was nothing compared to what the blacks in town had to endure. I was just residing in the seam of something much uglier.

Victory! County Votes More Money for Prevention None for More Jail Cells

After a year and a half of grassroots organizing by the No More Jails Campaign of CU Citizens for Peace and Justice, Champaign County has realized a major victory in local and national efforts to move away from incarceration and towards healing and restoring our communities.
 
Here is their statement:
 

The GOP’s 'Hunger Games' Vision of America

Cutting food stamps and sabotaging Obamacare aren't irrational – they're part of the 1 percent's all-out class war

by Andrew O'Hehir

Jennifer Lawrence in "The Hunger Games" (Photo: Lionsgate/Murray Close)American conservatives love to attack anyone who raises the issue of worsening economic inequality for waging “class war.” Their compulsion to keep repeating that phrase is revealing in itself; it’s like the serial killer in a movie who can’t help returning to the scene of the crime. Because the only class war being waged in 21st-century America is the relentless, all-fronts struggle conducted by the rich against the poor.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer