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Fri Nov 21: Breaking News From The Streets Of Miami @ The FTAA Protests

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

1:50 PM EST:
U-C IMC reporters called in from a park where activists have set up a Really Really Free Trade Bazaar, where people are doing skill-shares, giving massages, giving away food, and sharing other things they think are valuable. There are bike cops present, but no riot cops, and the mood seems to be relaxed and even festive. Local TV news crews are also there.

The Bazaar was moved by police this morning to a new location which is used by many homeless people. Spokespeople from the Bazaar talked with many of the people staying there to make sure they would not be intrusive and bring unwated attention. The people in the park then extended an invitation for the Bazaar to be there today.

Groups are now forming to do jail support as bail bond hearings begin this afternoon. Emphasis is being placed on supporting the approximately 50 people arrested on felony charges. Activists doing jail support will be gathering outside where the felony hearings are going on, but may change tactics if it looks like their actions are hurting, rather than helping those arrested.

12:58 PM EST:
FTAA IMC has posted some brief instructions on how to supported arrested activists in Miami.

FTAA IMC also reports that there are 50-60 protestors in front of the Miami Herald, which had embedded reporters with the Miami police surrounding the FTAA. Police are at that scene, but no hostilities reported.

10:40 AM EST:
There are no protests or demonstrations currently happening in Miami. The FTAA Summit talks ended last night with an agreement on a watered down draft version of the treaty.

There is a gathering of activists at the convergence center this morning to decide on any actions, including plans for jail solidarity.



Miami Police Arrest At Least 5 Independent Journalists

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Five independent journalists (including at least three IMC reporters) are in jail tonight after they were arrested by Miami police while they were covering the FTAA protests. Instructions for how you can help get them out are below:



GEO Pickets University Of Illinois Over Inadequate Health Care Offer

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

World-class institution makes health care benefit package offer described as "junior-college level." Approximately 150 Graduate Employees' Organization members and supporters marched in an informational picket outside Grainger Library, site of ongoing but nearly stalled contract negotiations with the University of Illinois, after hearing details of the University's initial health care benefits package offer.



Missing Teenager In Urbana Illinois

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Rachael Sandy was last seen on 12-01-03 leaving her home on Kerr Ave in Urbana to catch the bus on her way to the Urbana High School. She never showed up at school and she has not been located. Please notify the Champaign County Sheriff's office if you have any information



Support The Resistance

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Support for a local female whose conscientious objector case was recently denied. For those of you who don't know, yesterday morning (13 NOV 03) I, Diedra Cobb, a 21yr old female from Urbana, IL, found out that my conscientious objector case was denied. I have been struggling through this case since Jan. 03, living in barracks in which I currently reside at Aberdeen Proving Ground in MD. This denial of my case means that I can now be called upon to go to Iraq, and that I will be starting the process of filing a writ of habeus corpus case at the federal court level to appeal this decision. The problem is that in these times of militaristic machismo coupled with a great shortage for the type of lengthy war that we are waging, they need people. If they lose too many people, they will have to reinstate the draft and this is a move that would kill president Bush's election campaign in the upcoming election. So I'm in a situation where I presented a strong case (from what I've been told the orgs that have aided me), however, since the final decision is left up to a military committee called The Conscientious Objector Review Board, which is located at the Headquarters of the Dept. of the Army, it really doesn't matter what kind of case I present, they can deny it and make up any number of reasons why they don't think I'm sincere enough to be granted CO status. This is why my only option now is to make noise and let them know that people know about this and that this cannot and will not be swept under a carpet as they are so used to having the privilege of doing.



Vehicular Assault, Police Belligerence Back At P4P

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Once more, peaceful protesters at AWARE's Prospect for Peace demonstration faced an angry motorist driving along the sidewalk and a hothead cop with a tin ear for the US Constitution.



FCC Issues Construction Permit For New Low Power Radio Station On 104.5 FM To Socialist Forum

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

News was received today that the FCC granted a Construction Permit to Socialist Forum on Dec. 19 to construct a Low Power FM station on 104.5 Mhz in Urbana.



Prairie Greens Step Towards Filing Suit Against Champaign County Clerk

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Four members of the Prairie Green Party of East Central Illinois are making preparations to file suit for ballot placement against the Champaign County Clerk. The clerk refused to accept the petitions to place the candidates on the ballot for the March 16 primary.



USDA And Beef Industry Downplay Discovery Of Mad Cow Disease In US Beef Supply

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Despite assurances from the USDA that they think beef is safe to eat, there may be substantial risks to beef consumers throughout the world.



Getting A Vote

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

State Senator Emil Jones refuses to call a vote on SB101. What kind of democracy exists when we don't vote on things until we know they will go our way? By now you have probably heard about the Massachusetts' court decision stating that the MA government discriminates against gay people by denying them access to the same benefits heterosexual people have through marriage. What you may not have heard is how this ruling affected every person in Illinois. On November 19th, 2003 the mere threat of voter backlash in November 2004 destroyed the chances of progress on an equal protection bill when Senate President Emil Jones, Jr. refused to hold a vote with on SB101, a bill that will add the words "sexual orientation" to the Illinois Human Rights Act.



New Walmart To Spark Sprawl On Urbana's East Side

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

According to a report in today's (31 Dec. 2003) Champaign News-Gazette, Walmart is confirmed as the anchor store in a vast new development in a cornfield at the Urbana city limits. The News-Gazette confirmed "one of those worst-kept secrets" in Champaign County by frontpaging the story today (31 Dec. 2003), saying that Walmart will construct its third store in the metropolitan area in the cornfields at Urbana's rural eastern edge. Left unmentioned in the N-G story was the character of this potential Urbana business, a mega-corp recently implicated in immigration-law-violations, as well as numerous charges of unfair and exploitative labor practices. Bypassing Urbana's blighted, but high traffic count, Sunnycrest shopping area on South Philo Road, a development plat has been submitted to city officials detailing SpraWlmart's 24-acre store plan. SpraWlmart's new store will be part of a larger, 74-acre scheme to pave rural areas, instead of recycling neighborhoods and prior city infrastructure improvements by redeveloping Sunnycrest.



No Joke: FBI Almanac Alert And Response

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

The FBI is warning police nationwide to watch for people carrying almanacs - no, seriously - and local activists are responding. The Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette has once again deprived its readers of a good laugh at the US government's expense. The paper did not report that, according to the Associated Press, "The FBI is warning police nationwide to be alert for people carrying almanacs, cautioning that the popular reference books covering everything from abbreviations to weather trends could be used for terrorist planning" (Dec. 30, 2003) -- although news outlets from the Memphis Commercial Appeal to the New York Times, Washington Post, CBS and NPR did run the story. The AP story describes "a bulletin sent Christmas Eve to about 18,000 police organizations," in which the FBI said terrorists may use almanacs "to assist with target selection and pre-operational planning." "It urged officers to watch during searches, traffic stops and other investigations for anyone carrying almanacs, especially if the books are annotated in suspicious ways," according to AP, which also said the wire service had obtained a copy of the alert and verified its authenticity -- a point AP articles do not usually feel compelled to make. Presumably even mainstream journalists recognize the absurdity of the alert on some level, and know that a lot of people may assume it's a joke. Some may even see humor in it.



UCIMC website receives update

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

The UCIMC website software has been updated to the latest version of DadaIMC, which should fix many bugs and provide new features, but which will also likely provoke new bugs and break some features, so be paitient!

Over the next few weeks the imc-web team will be tweaking the site to use dadaIMC's new stylesheet mechanism, so you should expect to see the look-and-feel of the site shift in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.

Peace!
-Clint



Watch the Nat'l Conference on Media Reform on UPTV Cable Channel 6 - Tuesdays @ 4 PM

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Thanks to Greg Boozell at Chicago Access Network TV, coverage from the Nat'l Conference on Media Reform, held Nov. 7 - 9 in Madison, WI, will air on Urbana Public TV, Insight Cable Channel 6, on Tuesdays at 4:00 PM, beginning January 6.



Wal-Mart Passes Urbana Plan Commission! Precious few days left to stop Wal-Mart!

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

The Urbana Plan Commission passed the proposal that will allow Wal-Mart to come to Urbana. The last chance to stop this proposal will be at the Urbana City Counsel meeting on January 20th.



UC-IMC celebrates 3 years of independent media!

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

The UC-IMC invites its members and community to come out and celebrate 3 years of independent media Monday, January 19th from 6:30-8:30 pm at 218 W. Main in Urbana with live music, food and good company.



New Report: The State of the Dream: Black-White Gaps Still Wide - Some Even Widening - Since Dr. King's Death

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

"There is nothing new about poverty. What is new is that we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty. The real question is whether we have the will." -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Racial inequities in unemployment, family income, imprisonment, average wealth and infant mortality are actually worse than when Dr. King was killed, according to United for a Fair Economy's new report, "The State of the Dream: Enduring Disparities in Black and White."



Urbana-Champaign IMC Turns 3!!!

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

The Urbana-Champaign IMC celebrated its third anniversary on January 19, 2004. Over 100 people have come to the celebration for an evening of conversation and cake.



Urbana City Council approves Preliminary Plat for Walmart Development

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Tonight, 4 city council members (Patt, Wyman, Chynoweth, Hayes) voted unanimously to approve the Preliminary Subdivision Plat for Walmart in East Urbana at the corner of route 130 and route 150.



Prairie Greens Lose Suit Against Champaign County Clerk

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

In a press conference Friday, January 23, Ken Urban, plaintiff and Green Party member, stated, "We respectfully disagree with this decision. We are determined to pursue this matter and will be speaking with our legal team about our options." Dale Strough commented, "Our government is sending troops into Iraq to establish democracy, but we can't even get on the ballot in Champaign County."



Supporters of Fired Lesbian Nurse Protest Carle Foundation Hospital’s Delay in Hearing

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Twenty activists today demonstrated in support of fired Carle Foundation Hospital pediatric nurse, Lynn Sprout, outside the hospital one day before her lesbian discrimination hearing was to take place before the Urbana Human Relations Commission.



Clowning Not Swimming to Cambodia

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

We are 'humanitarian clowns' which means we use the antics of clowning for purposes of social change. Like activists and medical practitioners, we move towards(not away from) suffering, trying to lessen it, clowning in checkpoints and refugee camps, as well as hospitals and orphanages. In the airport we arrive in full clown costume and clown with the airline staff, waiting passengers, and at the security stations (NOT in the US, we'd be guillotined). Pain? Boredom? Deadly serious power over? Here we come. We try. I'm an accordionist, a beginning clown. I consider what we do a political act.



Major Grant Awarded to Community Tech Project

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

LOCAL COMMUNITY WIRELESS NETWORK PROJECT RECEIVES MAJOR GRANT FUNDING FROM THE OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE TO BUILD THE WORLD'S MOST ADVANCED COMMUNITY WIRELESS NETWORK. The Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (CWN) has been awarded a significant grant from the Open Society Institute, funded by the Soros Foundation, to develop wireless technology to be used around the globe, with a focus on developing nations. Urbana-Champaign will become the testing ground for this technology.



KILL YOUR HUMDRUM CULTURE, MAKE PARTY NOW!

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

The Independent Media Center, in conjunction with Clamor magazine presents the KILL YOUR HUMDRUM CULTURE, MAKE PARTY NOW party! February 28th at the Iron Post (120 S. Race, Urbana) 8-30p-1a. $5-50, ALL AGES.



Local CBS Affiliate Runs Basketball Coach Show Instead of Presidential Debate

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

The local CBS affiliate, WCIA, ran a women's basketball coach show instead of the much publicized CBS democratic presidential debate Sunday morning.



Protesters Decry US-Sponsored Coup in Haiti

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Anti-war protests now include opposition to US meddling in Haiti, a bloody pattern that has persisted for 200 years. (Champaign) The Bush Administration has given anti-war protestors a new reason to demonstrate on North Prospect this Saturday, March 6, from 2-4 pm. Even if US troops did not literally kidnap Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide on February 29 in the narrowest sense of the word, protesters say, it is clear that US interference is what forced him from office. Clear, that is, except to those who rely on the US media for understanding world events.



Update on Recent Federal Guidelines and Charity Care Programs of Local Hospitals

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

A press conference was held by Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) on March 3rd 2004 regarding recently released Federal guidelines and their implications for the charity care programs of hospitals. Recent changes in the charity care programs of two local hospitals, Provena Covenant Medical Center and Carle Foundation Hospital, both of Urbana, Illinois, were described. The speakers at this event were Claudia Lennhoff, Janna McGregor, and Mary Jane Gillespie, who are staff members or affiliated with CCHCC.



Light Rail Vote this Monday in Urbana

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

This Monday, Urbana's city council will have a resolution before it concerning the future light rail system proposed for the core area of Champaign-Urbana. It appears the vote will be close. The Mass Transit District is finishing its analysis of alternatives for the future of local public transportation and has asked the cities and University of Illinois to weigh in on the issue. This article offers background information and goes into detail about how the community could pay for the tram - the largest bone of contention in recent conflicts over the issue. It also responds to a host of arguments against the tram.



The Past, The Present, The Future

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

This is the story of one of the most fascinating invention in the history of American technology, which is delivered into this article "from the mouth of the horse". There are also some words in conclusion: 1. The official version, maintained in the USA: " The real inventor of microprocessor is unknown!"; 2. Nobel Prize in Physics of 2000, which was awarded for achievements in computers, and communications' development didn't mention the word "microprocessor". The inventor of pocket calculator, the device much less important than microcomputer, is one of this Nobel Prize's winners; 3. The world name for microprocessors - The Best and The Most Widely Utilized Technological World's Invention of The 20th Century!



Concerned Champaign Residents Question Need for Tasers, Chief of Police and City Manager Defend Position at Community Meeting

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Champaign Chief of Police RT Finney, City Manager Steve Carter and three police officers tried to convince a crowd of 50 concerned citizens at a community meeting Monday night that the police need Taser electroshock guns to reduce the threat of injuries to officers and suspects. The crowd wasn’t convinced of the need for Tasers and expressed concerns that Tasers would be used against them.



Everyday Low Wages: The Hidden Price We all Pay for Wal-Mart

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

I've been watching the community-wide discussion on Wal-Mart and have been hoping to find a document that adequately represents my own serious concerns with facilitating the entry of Wal-Mart to Urbana. Whether you agree or disagree with the Urbana City Council decision, I believe that having access to well-documented information will help facilitate constructive debate.



Champaign-Urbana -- and World -- Still Say ‘No’ to WAR

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Local and national events mark the first anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq this Saturday, March 20. Dr. Mohammad Al-Heeti, who has just returned from Iraq, will speak at the Urbana Middle School. Urbana City Councilwoman Danielle Chynoweth, community activist Imani Bazzell, and Meg Miner, a US Air Force veteran, peace and social justice activist, and local librarian, will speak at the Champaign County Courthouse.



One Year After our Anti-War Resolution: What We Can Do Now

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Last year, Urbana became one of 120 cities for peace when we passed an resolution against war. Despite the fact that Iraq was not an imminent threat, had no nuclear weapons or stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, and had no link to Al Qaeda of the attacks of September 11th, we went to war. Bush's decision killed 10,000 Iraqi civilians and risked the lives of hundreds of thousands of U.S. Soliders. Some 575 have been killed. What follows is a text of the speech I will be giving in front of the County Courthouse at 4 PM today. The event starts at 3 PM at the Urbana Middle School.



Champaign City Council Deadlocked on Taser Vote; Mayor Blasts Public for its Input

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Champaign City Council Members were evenly split Monday night over a resolution to purchase Taser electroshock guns for the police department. The vote was 4-4 with one member of the 9-member council absent. The final vote will be taken at the Council's April 6 meeting.



Champaign Police Withdraw Request for Tasers After Community Speaks Up

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

One day after the public turned out en masse at Tuesday's Champaign City Council meeting to oppose the purchase of Taser electroshock guns for the police force, the police chief and city manager decided to withdraw their request and work on strengthening relationships between community and police.



Military Families, Veterans Say No to War

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Rosemary Slavenas, whose son Brian was killed in Iraq last November, and others spoke out against the Iraq war and Bush regime at the library on Thursday evening.



Four &quot;civilians&quot; killed in Iraq were US mercenaries.

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

While the mainstream press continues to claim that the U.S. citizens killed in Iraq were "civilians" -- their company was actually hired to protect Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq. Why the imporant fact that they were hired as mercenaries is being obfuscated by U.S. press remains an open question. However, as the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, the continuing misinformation being reported to the American people raises serious concerns about the dominant press' persistent failure to report important information to the general public.



Alternative Weekly <i>The Paper</i> To Close

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

As reported on this evening's edition of WEFT's mediageek radio program, the alternative weekly paper, The Paper, will cease publication in two weeks, citing poor ad revenue as a cause.



&quot;Anti-Chief &quot; Sit-in in Progress

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

This morning, a multicultural coalition 40 University of Illinois students, faculty, alumni, community members, and Native peoples have occupied Swanlund Administration Building on the Urbana-Champaign  campus of University of Illinois in protest of the continued use of  "Chief Illiniwek" and the U of I Board of Trustees' disregard for  democracy. We need your help and support! 1. Contact Trustee Eppley at (312) 372-1121 and tell him "I support  the occupation and urge the Board to end the controversy and eliminate the "Chief" today!" You can also leave a message for the  Board at their office at (217) 333-1920 or at mthompsn@uillinois.edu.  Please copy all emails to prc@prairienet.org. 2. Come to Swanlund Administration Building (601 E. John St, on corner of 6th & Wright) now to show your support for the occupation!   We will be picketing and rallying all day outside of Swanlund. If  you'd like to lend additional support, we desperately need money for  food, supplies,other essentials for the occupation, and (potentially) bail money if arrests occur. Checks can be made out to "PRC" with "occupation" in the memo.



Why Public Protest Matters: War Tax Info Picket on Mattis

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

This morning, I spent a couple of hours at the Mattis post office distributing literature on military uses of our tax money. When we were asked to leave, it revealed a great deal about the limits of permissible speech and ideas about public space.



Anti-Chief Sit-in still going after 18 Hours

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Anti-chief protestors log 18th hour amidst rowdy oblivious bar crowds. A group of IMC reporters checked in at the Anti-Chief sit in this evening. We interviewed activists inside and outside the building and cheered as the 17th and 18th hour marks were posted.



Chief protest ends; makes gains

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

The 4pm press conference outside Swanlund gave details of the agreement between the sit-in-ers and U of I administration.



The Public Square: Our Work and Why We Do It

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Before an event designed to celebrate, congratulate, and consume art work, come share how you understand yourself as one who works in a world that requires that you do.



Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman visits WEFT &amp; IMC

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Amy Goodman is the host of the syndicated daily news program, Democracy Now!, carried on over 200 community radio stations, public access TV and Free Speech TV. She stopped in Champaign on Friday afternoon for an interview on WEFT's mediageek radioshow, a visit to the IMC, and to give a benefit talk for WEFT.



Concerned Citizens Inspect UIUC For Evidence of Weapons of Mass Distruction

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

An impromptu group of concerned citizens and UIUC students gathered Tuesday afternoon for a "weapons inspection" of the UIUC Engineering Campus.



GEO Demonstrates Growing Strength

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Hundreds of GEO members and allies picket Swanlund, deliver message to University legal team. The Swanlund Administration Building was the site of a four-hour long picket today by the Graduate Employees' Organization. Protesting the lack of substantive progress after nearly a year-and-a-half of negotiations, hundreds of GEO members, along with faculty and staff allies, fought high winds with picket signs and chants of indignation at the glacial pace of the talks with the University of Illinois on an initial contract for graduate employees.



Ted Koppel is the New Dixie Chick -- Sinclair's Power Play

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Sinclair broadcasting owns local NBC affiliates WICD-TV channel 15 and WICS-TV channel 20. Both these stations will flip to ABC affiliation in 2005, along with a Sinclair station in Dayton, OH.

Tonight Sinclair will pull the Nightline program from its ABC affiliate stations over the program's plan to run a tribute of the American service people killed in Iraq, where host Ted Koppel will read their names as their pictures are shown on screen. Sinclair claims the program is intended to galvanize viewers against the war .

Listen to the mediageek radioshow tonight at 5:30 PM on WEFT 90.1 FM for more information and analysis.



IMC-FEST -- May 5th @ the Canopy Club!!!

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the IMC! This will be an 18+ IMC party featuring Water Between Continents, i:Scintilla, the Greedy Loves, Wanamaker (from Chicago), Nu Orbit Ensemble, Joni Laurence, Cynthia G. Mason (from Philadelphia), and more. The feature-length documentary about the Zapatista movement, Storm from the Mountain, will be shown at 6 PM.

This show is located at the Canopy Club, 708 S. Goodwin St. (map), Urbana.

More information is available here.



Food Not Bombs vs. Pizza Hut: a Win-Win Situation

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

This afternoon, at the corner of 5th and Green, the new local chapter of Food Not Bombs (see http://www.foodnotbombs.net) had its debut on the sidewalk in front of Pizza Hut. Passers-by stopped to have a free and healthy vegan lunch of soup, garlic bread, banana bread and Kool-aid. This project was part of "The Public Square", a three-week long project dedicated to reclaiming public spaces while bringing issues that are under-discussed or confined to private sectors (such as teen sexuality, radical christianity and public school budget planning) into the public sphere. Today's Food Not Bombs event was planned and orchestrated by members of the Comm 490 Political Performance class, as well as members of the IMC. Food was gathered both from surplus supermarket stock and local donations.



Channel X: An Awful Apple Apology

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Now that The Paper is gone, Channel X is back on the web...




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