From David Johnson *
A lot has been happening in the last several weeks here in Champaign/Urbana Illinois in regards to the killing of young black men by the police.
Two weeks ago we had over 250 people turn out for a protest in front of the Sherriff’s department which ended in blocking the major street in front of the Sherriff’s office and the county courthouse for about an hour.
Last Friday Dec. 6th, over 200 students at one of our local High Schools (Champaign Centennial) had a die in in the school and then went into the street in front of the school. A driver of a car plowed into the students and yelled at them, resulting in no injuries but a student hit the car’s windshield and cracked it. The police arrested the student for mob action and criminal damage to property and refused to either arrest the driver or release the name of the driver to the public.
The following Monday (Dec. 8th) over 100 of us packed the Champaign school board meeting in support of the student. Earlier in the day over 500 University of Illinois students had a die in on campus. Tuesday ( Dec. 9th ) students at the other High school in Champaign ( Central ) had a demonstration in front of their school,.
Friday, (Dec. 12th) about three hundred people scattered along a main street for about a mile. The Centennial High School students marched about two miles from their High School in west Champaign to the protest. Every other vehicle honked in support as they drove by and there were only a few incidents where people yelled obscenities or other negative comments.
*David Johnson is a co-host of The World Labor Hour broadcast on WEFT 90.1 in Champaign/Urbana IL http://new.weft.org/ Saturday mornings at 11am CST. You can contact WEFT at 217-359-9338