U-N-I-T-Y in U-C: What are YOU marching for?

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In the pouring rain Saturday, October 23, spirited members of our community
marched for unity and weathered the storm. They met at two locations –
Douglass Park on the North side and Scott Park on the South side – to walk to the
police station in Champaign, where the two groups converged and marched on to
West Side Park for a rally. The 2004 Unity March represented a wide cross-section
of the community. The following comments reflect their shared desire for unity.

Catherine Hogue, Champaign County Board District 5:

I like to see this coming together of
our entire community—children, adults,
some of us older, some of us younger—
and we can get some of these things
accomplished, because we can make
changes by doing this. I’d like to see us
not so re-active. I’d like to see us be
more pro-active.

Jim Barrett:

There’s some specific issues like the
eavesdropping case and the pursuit of a
civilian review board for the police in
Champaign. I think the main thing is to
bring the different communities of the
town together around issues of social
justice. Because of the color- l i n e —
which is definitely there, the city is segregated—
you have to make a special
effort to bring the community together.
Its my police department, this is my
town. I support the police in general, but
I like to see them treating all citizens

Anand Pillay:

I’m here to support the demonstration
in favor of a citizen review board, dropping
these eavesdropping charges, in
favor of a greater racial unity in the
Champaign-Urbana area, for all these
progressive issues, that’s why I’m here.
Racism concerns everybody. If there’s
police discrimination, it should concern
everybody. Therefore, you should be
concerned with fairness, with justice.

Peter Rohloff:

I’ve been in Champaign for six years
and I’ve never seen the North and the
South sides come together. Its just
amazing to see broad-based community
things happening and I’m excited to be a
part of it. One of the problems with
white liberal movements is that they
oftentimes don’t recognize the real
needs and concerns of minorities. I’m
here because minorities have problems,
they need to set the agenda, and then we
need to follow what they tell us.

David Kelly:

It started out to be a good deed for my
grandchildren, which are ten. I’ve
always been a person that believes in
unity and the United States and all that it
represents. This is the only way you’re
going to have unity. Everybody is on
one accord, striving to have the same
Being a born-again Christian, I’ve
learned of how God’s people are to act
and conduct themselves. They are to be
in unity for the good of each other.

Will Hill:

What unity means is, just like we did
today—it was withstanding the storm.
Holding your ground on what you
believe in. Unity to me is holding your
ground. Over the years, of what I’ve
learned about the history, is that the
campus and the town used to be a lot
more united. And over time the relationship
has been hurt. So I’m here to provide
some healing, to show some initiative,
and let people know I’m a student.
I also live here now, I’m a resident. I’m
voting on November 2nd as a Champaign
resident. Now it is critical. You
want to yell the loudest right when you
see people coming across the finish line.

About Brian Dolinar

Brian Dolinar has been a community journalist since 2004.
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