The Indy Week is a vital independent journal that I depend on for fearless on-the-ground news from the capitol city -- especially the writing of editor Jeffrey C. Billman, whose daily email summaries of what's up have become a must-read ritual for me (see below for a link for signing up for those emails). It was the final let-down of the day yesterday -- after another tragic week -- when we got this news from Billman:
I awoke this morning to learn that, following the George Floyd protest-turned-riot, our downtown Raleigh office looked like this:
Fortunately, no one was hurt. But our reporter Leigh Tauss was working inside when the first person threw a brick through the glass. She escaped into a hallway and then took an elevator downstairs as looters came in. After she left, sometime around 2:00 a.m., others came by, stole a computer, and set our office furniture ablaze. That set off the sprinklers, which soaked everything for the next four hours until the property manager arrived.
Needless to say, the office—and everything in it—is a total loss.
Leigh was downtown last night doing what the INDY has done since its founding in 1983: providing fearless, high-quality local journalism amid a crisis. Like the community we serve, our small, independent news organization has already been facing an unprecedented economic shutdown.
Throughout, our readers have sustained us by joining the INDY Press Club, our membership program.
Now, like others in downtown Raleigh, we are picking up the pieces. And once again, we are asking for your support. Our community needs fiercely independent reporting more than ever—and today, we need your help more than ever.
Your contributions to the INDY Press Club will allow us to continue making better journalism to foster a better community.
If you can, please join our growing community of donors by contributing $12 a month or $100 today—or more, or less, whatever you feel comfortable with—so we can get back to doing what we do best: providing our region with the best independent local reporting and enterprise coverage our small but mighty newsroom can produce.
In solidarity and hope for a better tomorrow,
Jeffrey C. Billman, editor in chief
I contributed immediately, and I hope you'll consider it too. Check out the Indy Week website: https://indyweek.com. Here's the link for signing up for daily email newsletters: https://indyweek.com/supporttheindy/indy-week-newsletter-sign-up/
The trashing of the Indy Week office is a tragedy that we can help heal.
I've thought about this incident for a week. We'd need to know just who, what kind of "looters" did this to understand why.
Black Lives Matter or Floyd mourners wouldn't have a motive. It could have been provocateurs seeking escalation. It even could have been targeted by haters of journalism, or those having a particular grudge against this particular news outlet. When we see something progressive taken down we should wonder exactly why. In normal times law enforcement could initiate an investigation, but maybe not now, maybe they wouldn't want to.
INDY Week is operating still. Look at their June 5 story about the false retaliatory arrest of activist Conrad James in the middle of the night after he announced a lawsuit over teargas use. Plain wrapper police raided his mother's house and made false statements. It would be easy to see why Blue Extremists hate Indy Week.
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