Smile Politely

C-U Tent Community in the news

A small group of local homeless people have been camping out on a vacant lot adjacent to the Catholic Worker House (317 S. Randolph St.) in Champaign since early June. Since Champaign’s zoning ordinance prohibits “living outside,” neighbor complaints begat police surveillance, begat confrontation, begat people who are and aren’t involved in the situation chiming in with their take on the situation. The C-U Tent Community is becoming a regular feature in local media, and here’s a summary of the coverage it’s received thus far:

UC-IMC: “C-U Tent Community!”, June 11 — Tent Community releases communique stating their reasons for initiating the camp, including “a reaction to the demands on these resources for shelter currently being greater than the cities ability to supply and distribute them.” First comment after the entry details the confrontation between community members and the police.

News-Gazette: “Officials taking it slow against illegal tent city,” June 23 — The City of Champaign, Catholic Worker employees and Tent Community advocates state their positions, and neighbors wax paranoid.

WCIA-TV 3: “Champaign’s Tent Community,” June 23 — Hey, look at these poor homeless people! But, first, watch this ad for a car dealership!

WEIU-TV: “Tent City in Champaign,” June 23 — No actual video here, just a nine-sentence, nine-paragraph statement of events. Kind of like a sonnet, except with more typos.

IlliniPundit: “Tent City Coverage,” June 24 — Looks like one of the campers — Joe Stockett, interviewed for the WCIA report — is a felon and an anti-Semite. And once the Anonymous Internet takes over in the comments section of this one… well, just see for yourself. OK, here’s a preview: “Unlike Mr. Stockett, Jesus didn’t have a history of arson or illegal firearms possession.”

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