The transit workers strike is one of those moments
where everything becomes crystal clear. Corrupt
politicians like Pataki talking about the rule of law.
A billionaire mayor presenting himself as a champion
of busboys and house cleaners. The corporate media
discovering the struggles of working New Yorkers only
because they could present them as victims of "greedy"
and "lawbreaking" strikers.

Yet here were workers of all colors standing up
despite the fury unleashed on them. They knew what was
at stake: their right to make a decent living with
respect that could have a long-lasting effect on other
labor struggles. At the same time came a tremendous
outpouring of support from everyday people for the
transit workers. It's no secret that all working
people want proper healthcare, a living wage and a
secure retirement.

But you didn't hear these voices or issues in the
mainstream press. The media was too busy demonizing
some 33,000 workers who make $40-$50K a year. This is
in a city where -- hold your breath -- there are more
than 250,000 families worth over $10 million.

The super-rich have become a mass-based class, and
it's done so by ruthless warfare. All over the city,
the nation and the world people are squeezed and
terrorized and brutalized so more money can flow to
the wealthy elite. And if some dare resist they are
treated as criminals.

The elite were all united: the politicians, the courts
and most all the media. Other than a few lone voices
like Juan Gonzalez or Wayne Barrett, you had to turn
to the alternative media to hear the real story of
what's at stake; outlets like Democracy Now, WBAI and
NYC Indymedia.

We are particularly proud of the role we played,
mobilizing dozens of volunteers--most of whom have
regular jobs--to do original reporting from the picket
lines, to take photos, to manage the huge flow of
content on our website (nyc.indymedia.org). Traffic
has skyrocketed because many people know that NYC
Indymedia is a great source of information and debate
during dramatic struggles.

Sadly, however, we were unable to produce a special
issue of The Indypendent. At many points in the
past--Sept. 11, the invasion of Iraq, the Republican
National Convention and, most recently, Hurricane
Katrina--we rushed to produce an issue that would get
into the hands of tens of thousands of New Yorkers
right away.

Every time we received a tremendously enthusiastic
response. In times of crisis and media consensus,
people want to know that they aren't the only ones
questioning the status quo. They want to hear
different ideas, read the opinions of ordinary people
and make up their own minds rather than being told
what to think by well-paid cynics.

We had the means and motivation to produce such a
special issue on the transit strike but not the money.

We won't recount all the mind-numbing detail of our
fundraising--the grant-writing, selling subscriptions,
advertising, merchandising, direct mail, etc.--but we
do want you to know that we do all our projects--web,
video, multiple newspapers--for less than $50,000 a
year. It's a puny sum.

Despite this, we probably have more reach than any
other independent media outlet in the entire city.
Every year we get hundreds of thousands of copies of
The Indypendent into the hands of New Yorkers, We get
more than 50,000 hits on our website a day. Our video
team produces a regular news program as well as
ground-breaking documentaries. And year after year,
The Indypendent wins more awards for outstanding
reporting, writing and photography than almost 100
other independent newspapers throughout the city.

But this is just the beginning. We need to distribute
millions of copies to make a real impact. And that
takes real money.

To keep growing, we need to mobilize our strongest
allies--people like yourself. After five years, we've
reported on almost every community group and struggle
that you can think of in New York City. This is what
we exist for: to amplify the voices of people in
struggle, to get their issues to a widespread
audience, to be part of all movements for social and
economic justice.

We want to ask you to take the time right now to make
a contribution. Because our budget is so small, your
money goes far.

We need your help right now. The problems are many,
our foes are powerful, but there is a profound hunger
for change. And we want to play a significant role in
that.

As we just saw through the transit strike, change is
only won through hard-fought struggle and solidarity.
That's why we really need you to step up now. We want
everyone to stand up and be counted.

Please donate as much as you can, but know that every
little bit helps and we appreciate it tremendously.

Just go to indypendent.org and click on the donate
button on the right-hand side.

It's that simple.

Thank you.

P.S. Or take 30 seconds and write a check and mail it
to: PO Box 1417, NY, NY 10276