Author Archives: Belden Fields

Police Unions: Solidarity and Accountability

The Police and Solidarity There are two major differences between police officers and other workers in both the private and public sector. The first is a truncated sense of solidarity, the second a lack of accountability. Unionized workers in both … Continue reading

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How Are Violent Police Held Accountable in Champaign County?

On April 10, Urbana Police officers threw an African American woman, Aleyah Lewis, to the ground and punched her while she was down. She had protested the arrest of a friend. Caught on video, this led many people in the … Continue reading

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Right-Wing Libertarian Minor at UI Springfield

In February of 2013, the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) adopted something called a “Liberty Studies” minor. There was dissent within the academic senate, but the proposal carried the day. The description of the minor begins, “It is a … Continue reading

Posted in Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government, Public Universities, Right-wing Libertarianism | Comments Off on Right-Wing Libertarian Minor at UI Springfield

Remembering Willeta Donaldson

Urbana has lost one of its most distinguished citizens, Willeta Mae Hassell Donaldson. She passed away on February 2. Willeta, who worked at the University of Illinois in the Office of Admissions and the School of Social Work, also served … Continue reading

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We Need a Medicare for All Health Care System

The parasitic presence of private insurers in our health care system is one of the things that drives up overall medical costs in the United States, costs that are higher than in any other industrialized county, and with poorer results. Despite … Continue reading

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The 1968 Revolt in France: A Fifty-Year Retrospective

In early June, 1968, I witnessed the second round of the student and worker revolt of May and June, but I had been studying student politics in France since 1963. I can only give a sketchy account of the revolt … Continue reading

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Our County Nursing Home for Sale

(Belden Fields is the Chair of Friends of Champaign County Nursing Home) At its January 9, 2018 meeting, the Champaign County Board decided to put the Champaign County Nursing Home up for sale. All the Republicans voted in favor, and … Continue reading

Posted in Champaign County, Nursing Home, social services, the elderly | Comments Off on Our County Nursing Home for Sale

Announcement

[DAVE-please put this announcement on the same page as the article on the artist Nika if possible] ART THROUGH THE GENERATIONS ART EXHIBIT AT CHAMPAIGN COUNTY NURSING HOME 500 S. Bartell Road, Urbana SUNDAY, FEB. 25, 1-5 PM Come to … Continue reading

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Israel Anti-Boycott Act a Threat to Free Speech

This article is about a bill introduced in both the U.S. Senate (S.720) and the House of Representatives (H.R.1697). These identical bills are both very complex and very dangerous to our civil liberties. They would outlaw “requests to impose restrictive … Continue reading

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County Nursing Home Deserves and Needs Voters’ Support

Much attention has been given to the election of local officials on April 4, but there is as issue that is equally pressing. That is the fate of the Champaign County Nursing Home (CCNH). Voters will be presented with two … Continue reading

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Letter to My French Friends

How could this have happened in the U.S.? The reasons are complex, some peculiar to the U.S. and some that are common to both the U.S. and Europe. The most significant one, that applies as well to Europe as here, … Continue reading

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State’s Attorney Rietz Goes Easy on Violent Police and Jail Officers

Rape On March 30, 2015, there was a ceremony in the Champaign City Building during which Officer Jerad Gale was given the award for being “Officer of the Year.” About a year later, in May 2016 this same officer pleaded … Continue reading

Posted in Justice, Police | Comments Off on State’s Attorney Rietz Goes Easy on Violent Police and Jail Officers

In Memory, Honor, and Love of Gene Vanderport

It is difficult to write about an untimely death of someone whom one has known for almost half a century. Gene was my student, my comrade, and my friend since the late 1960s. Only a couple of years after my … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Justice, Labor/Economics, socialism | Comments Off on In Memory, Honor, and Love of Gene Vanderport

The Myron Scruggs Case and the Champaign Police Department

by Belden Fields An  Ugly Image From the Past In the late 1960s, I joined the newly created chapter of the Champaign County ACLU and became the chair of its investigations committee. I received a call from a woman member … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Justice, Policing | Comments Off on The Myron Scruggs Case and the Champaign Police Department

France: The Power of Le Pens

The Left has done well in some recent elections in Southern Europe- in Greece, Portugal, and, most recently, Spain. But not in France. The Socialists, who are now in power, took a terrible beating in the December 2015 regional elections. … Continue reading

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Man Sentenced to Prison by Fired Former Judge Has Sentence Reduced

On August 13, Bidemi Ajobiewe, a Nigerian national who had been given six years in prison for an fatal accident on I-74 had his sentence reduced from six years in prison to 24 months of parole and time already served. … Continue reading

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Police Lying

Do Police Lie? The answer is that some police officers do indeed lie. The major conditions under which police lie are three: to frame a suspect, to protect themselves or fellow officers from detection or punishment of misdeed, and to … Continue reading

Posted in Justice, Policing | Comments Off on Police Lying

DUI Judge Richard Klaus Fired

In June, Champaign Country Associate Judge Richard Klaus was removed from his position by fellow Judges in the Sixth Judicial Circuit. This is the first time in 37 years that these judges have removed a colleague. The reason given was … Continue reading

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Women on Top: Celebrate Women Behind the Camera

The Art Theater Co-op is proud to present a summer-long series celebrating women feature film directors. Bringing together an eclectic mix of films representing the breadth and depth of women’s filmmaking, WOMEN ON TOP: CELEBRATING WOMEN BEHIND THE CAMERA is … Continue reading

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The Conundrum Over ISIS: The Issue of International Responsibility

In the November/December issue of the Public i, my colleague Susan Shoemaker wrote a very compelling article against the use of U.S. military strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.  After citing opinion polls finding that while 73% of Americans … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, International | Comments Off on The Conundrum Over ISIS: The Issue of International Responsibility