Author Archives: Brian Dolinar

About Brian Dolinar

Brian Dolinar has been a community journalist since 2004.

The Trump Administration Just Opened a New Immigrant Prison in Rural Michigan

From his office at the Cristo Rey Church in Lansing, Michigan, Oscar Castañeda runs a campaign against a new federal immigrant prison, part of President Donald Trump’s escalation of immigration enforcement. In May, 2019, the Trump administration awarded a ten-year, … Continue reading

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Illinois Prison Phone Rates Are Lowest Following Grassroots Activism

“There were a lot of times my sons tried calling me,” recalled Annette Taylor, who regularly receives calls from her two sons in prison, “but there was no money on the account.” Those were some of the “hardest calls,” she … Continue reading

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Local Sheriff Cooperating with ICE

On the day Manuel went to have his electronic monitor cut off, he was feeling “uneasy” about being picked up by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It only took minutes for the sheriff’s deputy at the county jail … Continue reading

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After Four Months in Detention, 8 Year-Old Girl Reunited With Family in C-U

This eight-year-old girl (on the right in the photo) traveled 4,000 miles and spent four months in detention to get a hug from her mother. They were reunited last week at Willard Airport in Champaign. The news reports about children … Continue reading

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Open Scene Open Mic w/ DJ Silkee

Open Scene Open Mic w/ Host DJ Silkee Wednesday, Nov. 14, 6-8pm at IMC Join the Urbana Public Arts Program and Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center for the next installment of Open Scene Open Mic, a downtown showcase of poetry, spoken … Continue reading

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Call For Artist to Design IMC’s New Outdoor Sign!

The IMC is now seeking proposals from artists to design and paint a new outdoor sign. We seek a diversity of applications by a variety of artists. The chosen design will serve as a main identifier for the public to … Continue reading

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ICE on Main Street: Undocumented Immigrants Arrested in Urbana

  When Juan showed up for work one morning at Siam Terrace on Main Street in downtown Urbana, two men were waiting for him in the parking lot. They were dressed in plainclothes, but wearing guns on their hips. They … Continue reading

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New Bill Takes Effect Cutting Cost of Calls from Illinois Prisons

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 8, 2018 FOR MORE INFORMATION: Brian Dolinar, Program Director, Independent Media Center, (217) 621-5827, briandolinar@ucimc.org The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (UCIMC) is proud to announce that as of January 1, 2018, a new state law took … Continue reading

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Soros Fellowship Awarded to UCIMC’s James Kilgore for Electronic Monitoring Campaign

July 25, 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE We are proud to announce that James Kilgore has been awarded the prestigious Open Society Foundation Soros Justice Fellowship for 2017-18. Building on work supported by Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (UCIMC) for the last … Continue reading

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No Accident: White Cop Shoots Another Black Man in Champaign

The shooting of unarmed Black men by white police in the United States is a story that keeps repeating over and over. The recent case of a local 22-year-old African American man shot in the shoulder by Champaign police officer … Continue reading

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The Cops Killed Richie

No matter how much training or technology they get, the cops just can’t stop killing Black people. On a Wednesday morning, November 16, 2016, at approximately 8:30 a.m., Champaign police received a call about a “disorderly” subject, Richard “Richie” Turner, … Continue reading

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IMC Announcements

Final Open Scene Workshop with Hill L. Waters April 14 (6-8pm) and April 16 (2-4pm) Independent Media Center, 202 S. Broadway There is a last Open Scene workshop with Hill L. Waters (April 14-16), a Black feminist love praxis project … Continue reading

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Orange Crush: The Rise of Tactical Teams in Prison

Since Ferguson, there has been a public outcry over militarized police who shoot down African Americans on the streets of our cities, but less is known beyond prison walls about guards who regularly brutalize those incarcerated. In Illinois, there is … Continue reading

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Congrats to Urbana for Being a Sanctuary City!

Congrats to Urbana for re-affirming our status as a Sanctuary City! An original resolution was passed in 1986 designating the city a refuge for Central American refugees. One of those who took part in the earlier campaign, Francis Boyle, University … Continue reading

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Regulation of Prison Phone Calls Sweeps the Nation

The Justice Department’s recent recommendation to end the use of private facilities for US citizens in federal prisons has been hailed as a victory by reformers, but the widespread privatization of everyday services in prison, like hygiene products, food, laundry … Continue reading

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Black Lives Matter Courthouse Rally

On Friday, Sept. 23, Black Lives Matter: Champaign-Urbana held a “No More Stolen Lives” rally at the Champaign County Courthouse. Photo credit: Paul Mueth

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Champaign County Facing Million Dollar Lawsuit for Jail Death

On August 8, 2016, attorney Shayla Maatuka sent a letter to Champaign County Board Chair Pattsi Petrie requesting a million dollar settlement for the wrongful death of Toya Frazier, who died in the Champaign County jail. The letter is a … Continue reading

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Makerspace Float in Pride Parade

UCIMC’s Makerspace participated in this year’s Pride Parade with a mobile dance party! Photo credit: Jay Schubert

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IMC Helps Pass Prison Phone Justice Bill in Illinois

State Representative Carol Ammons and Wandjell Harvey-Robinson attended the signing of HB6200 on August 22, 2016. The bill will cut in half the cost of phone calls from Illinois prisons. Thank you to Rep. Ammons and Wandjell for fighting for … Continue reading

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Prison Boycott in Illinois Targets Costs of Incarceration

During the month of April, at least 100 of those incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center, about an hour outside of Chicago, participated in a boycott of the overpriced phone calls, commissary goods, and vending machines. “Mass incarceration is a luxury … Continue reading

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