Twenty-two years ago this month we released our first print edition. It was called The UNst8ed — four pages, black-and-white. Its release was timed to coincide with protests against a meeting of world leaders at the United Nations and their role in promoting corporate power around the world under the guise of humanitarian action. We adopted our current name in time for our second issue. The rich and the powerful haven’t let up since then, but neither have we.
Over these past 22 years, our “free paper for free people” has grown by leaps and bounds and become a unique fixture in the New York City media landscape, providing incisive coverage of visionary social movements while elevating the voices of those most impacted by pertinent issues. During that time, we have also expanded onto the web, on social media and host a weekly radio show on WBAI-99.5 FM.
The Indypendent started as a gleam in the eye of Ana Noguiera. Her fast track to a career in corporate media was derailed in 1998 after she published stories about controversies at her university that embarrassed campus administrators. Her faculty advisor, a former Wall Street Journal reporter who had promised to use her connections to place Noguiera at her old paper, told the young reporter that “that’s not how the real world works” and broke off ties with her protege. A couple of years later, Noguiera rustled up $500 from the Puffin Foundation to start a free paper in New York City. The rest is history.
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Imagine spending a mild, late summer evening in someone’s beautiful backyard, meeting fellow lefties of all ages and movement backgrounds from across the city, snacking on tasty vegan and vegetarian treats, sipping on your choice of beer or wine and celebrating your favorite radical newspaper.
“I’m so excited to see people I might even get my hair done!” One of our readers wrote to us upon learning about our upcoming 22nd anniversary fundraising party.
The party will be held this Thursday, Sept. 15 from 6-9 p.m. in the spacious Park Slope backyard of a couple of longtime Indy supporters. We’ll be joined by an all-star cast of special guests including Democratic Socialist State Senator Jabari Brisport, Palestinian-Muslim-American freedom fighter Linda Sarsour, legendary peace activist Leslie Cagan and Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping. All guests are asked to act in a Covid-mindful way. For more about the party, click here. If you can’t make the party but want to show your support for The Indy, you can visit our donate page.
We will also release our 22nd anniversary issue at the end of the month. A volunteer-based, people-powered newspaper and website like The Indy isn’t supposed to exist in our hyper-capitalist society. Not for 22 years. But here we are. That’s something to celebrate!