Category Archives: Section

It’s Not a Labor Shortage, It’s a Workers’ Rights Shortage

The Great Uprising, the Great Resignation, even the unofficial General Strike: analysts and pundits—left, right and center—speak of mounting worker unrest in the US in awestruck terms. What these labels certainly do capture is the expansive scale of this unrest … Continue reading

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There’s Something Happening Here

Gun violence in Champaign-Urbana has certainly dominated public discourse of late. As a city council member, I hear a lot of it. Here are some common myths being thrown around about local gun violence and law enforcement: “The libs on … Continue reading

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Ubuntu Project Statement on Automated License Plate Readers

The Ubuntu Project Urbana-Champaign is disappointed to learn that the Champaign City Council is considering voting to purchase license plate readers. Considering the well-documented controversial reputation and questionable value of license plate readers, the Champaign people need more information on … Continue reading

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Posted in African American, African Americans, civil rights, Crime, Gun violence, Justice, police accountability, Policing, Violence | Comments Off on Ubuntu Project Statement on Automated License Plate Readers

Illinois Responds to “Code Red” Climate Alarm

  IPCC Issues a Code Red for Humanity “Code Red for Humanity” has become the new rallying cry for climate action. The phrase was coined by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in reference to the August climate report, released … Continue reading

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The Border We Build Every Day: Guatemala in Champaign-Urbana

The border mechanisms that capture headlines—the roundups, the cages, and the deportations—deserve attention, but this human sorting isn’t confined to the moment or space of the frontier crossing. It is part of the food we buy, the clothes we wear, … Continue reading

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A Conversation with Urbana Poet Laureate Ashanti Files

The Public i recently talked to Urbana Poet Laureate Ashanti Files Please tell our readers a little about yourself. “I am a wife, mother, and registered nurse. I currently work in mental health and addiction services. I enjoy reading, writing … Continue reading

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Posted in African Americans, Arts, Community, Local Arts, Poetry, Voices of Color, Women | Comments Off on A Conversation with Urbana Poet Laureate Ashanti Files

Victory! Dynegy Will Move Its Ash

No More “Cap and Run” After a multi-year campaign calling for the clean-up of coal ash along the Middle Fork of the Vermilion, Illinois’ only National Scenic River, Dynegy Midwest Generation, owner of the coal ash, has finally agreed to … Continue reading

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How the Campus Becomes the Border

In August, 2020, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) opted for a hybrid in-person/online semester. The decision to partially reopen was made possible by the innovative SHIELD: Target, Test, Tell initiative. A crucial part of this program was … Continue reading

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The Ubuntu Project and the Need for a Progressive Shift in Policing

Ubuntu is a term that originated with the Zulu people and roughly translates to “humanity” in English. The term emerged as a political concept following apartheid’s disintegration in South Africa. Now a collective of local community members, scholars, clergy, and … Continue reading

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Posted in African Americans, Community, Justice, police accountability, Police Brutality, Policing, Voices of Color | Comments Off on The Ubuntu Project and the Need for a Progressive Shift in Policing

Police Brutality is Not Uniquely American: Try France

While we are rightly preoccupied with abuse by the police in the United States, almost no Americans know anything about policing and justice in other countries. France offers a particularly interesting case. In January, six nongovernmental organizations, including Amnesty International … Continue reading

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Posted in 1968 Revolt, France, International, Justice, Police, Police Brutality, Police brutality, Policing, Racism, Students | Comments Off on Police Brutality is Not Uniquely American: Try France

The WTO Vaccination Charade

It’s not an accident that the World Trade Organization (WTO) is the site for the battle over the pandemic and the health of the world. Many critics of corporate control of international trade, and of most of everyday life, have … Continue reading

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Posted in Big Pharma, COVID-19, Foreign Policy, International, pandemic, Politics, Public Health, World-wide death and suffering | Comments Off on The WTO Vaccination Charade

Moving to End Anti-AAPI Hate

Despite May having been the month to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage, the preceding year saw the increase of violence and hate towards Asians and Asian Americans that ranged from attacks on Asian and Asian American elders … Continue reading

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Posted in Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, bigotry, Racism, violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Voices of Color, Women | Comments Off on Moving to End Anti-AAPI Hate

Yemen: A War of Many Fronts

Journalists describe the conflict in Yemen as a sectarian proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, but that fails to capture the complexity of the war: in October, 2020, Human Rights Watch reported more than thirty battle fronts between various … Continue reading

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Posted in Arab Spring, Foreign Policy, International, International, Islam, Middle East, War | Comments Off on Yemen: A War of Many Fronts

Ubuntu, Hope, and Respect: Socially Conscious Music from the African Continent, the Indian Ocean, and North America

Music is often a reflection of struggles for social change, and a source for joy and hope for the future. This can be heard in the songs noted in my first music review article in the February 2021 issue of … Continue reading

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Slightly Out of Focus: A Review of One Night in Miami and Judas and the Black Messiah

For more than 70 years and over a century, respectively, television and cinema have presented demeaning images of Black people. And for equally as long, African Americans have responded with boycotts, pickets and alternative visions that “depict[ed] our men and … Continue reading

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The Quiet Strength of Bamboo: Three Wonderful Films from the Pacific to Stream

Add these three visually stunning and thoughtful films to your watch list. Each, to varying degrees, tells a story of indigenous culture from an insider’s point of view, and each offers the special pleasure of real people playing themselves in … Continue reading

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Palestinians Aren’t Safe Anywhere, Not Even in their Classrooms

In the past month, Palestinians have witnessed yet another escalation of Zionist violence inflicted onto our homeland without reservation. Israeli warplanes murdered over 250 Palestinians and displaced nearly 100,000 people from their homes during a two-week-long bombardment of the Gaza … Continue reading

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Posted in International, International, Israel/Palestine, Palestinians, Section, Students, Voices, Women | Comments Off on Palestinians Aren’t Safe Anywhere, Not Even in their Classrooms

Chile: The Hopes and Challenges of Drafting a New Constitution

In May, Chilean citizens flocked to polling stations to participate in an election for an unprecedented four categories of office. On top of the regularly scheduled elections for mayors and city councils, citizens also elected governors for the first time … Continue reading

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Anarchism and the American Labor Movement

Anarchists, proponents of “anti-authoritarian socialism,” seek to abolish the state and capitalism. Anarchism replaces authoritarian governance and private ownership of resources with federations of self-managed industries and communities in which those affected by decisions participate in making them directly in … Continue reading

Posted in Anarchism, Anarcho-syndicalism, Labor, Labor/Economics, union solidarity | Comments Off on Anarchism and the American Labor Movement

What Can we Learn from The Amazon Union Vote in Bessemer, Alabama?

During the past year, as the pandemic reshaped our daily lives, the media has paid more attention to work and workers than it has in a long time. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the deep inequalities that persist … Continue reading

Posted in Labor, Labor/Economics | Comments Off on What Can we Learn from The Amazon Union Vote in Bessemer, Alabama?