Urbana Indymedia Center Shut Down by Local Officials Under Dubious Circumstances

Yesterday the performance space at the Urbana-Champaign IMC was shut down by the City of Urbana with no warning or notice, even though the fire inspector gave the IMC and its landlords until May 29 to clear up some small violations. I’m still gathering details, but according to my trusted associates at the IMC, attempts to negotiate with the City of Urbana have been met with “disrespect, hostility, and abuse.”

Here is the press release from the IMC:

On Thursday, May 8, 2003, at approximately 6 PM, the performance space
at the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (UCIMC) at 218
W. Main St. was closed by the City of Urbana under highly irregular

The UCIMC was first inspected three days earlier, on Monday, May 5.
At that time, the UCIMC was given notice of six violations of the
Urbana fire code and informed that a follow-up inspection would be
conducted on May 29, 2003.

On Thursday evening after business hours, the Division Chief of the
Fire Rescue Services Department returned unannounced with a building
official to close the performance space. It is extremely unusual for
an inspection to occur after business hours and with little notice.
Furthermore, the city has thus far given no reason why the space was
suddenly shut down instead of reinspected on May 29, as stated in the
original notice.

The UCIMC has already made significant progress in addressing the
violations listed by the Fire Department, and plans to continue
addressing these concerns. It is unclear why the decision to close the
performance space was made after it was determined at the initial
inspection that the organization would have 24 days to fix the

The performance space at the UCIMC is Champaign-Urbana’s only all
ages, volunteer operated, not-for-profit, non-smoking venue for
regularly scheduled touring and local music performances.


Zach Miller Meghan Krausch

217-367-4678 217-390-6051

217-265-8458 217-244-4682

zach@ucimc.org meghan@ucimc.org






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