A group of radical journalists are capitalizing on the Democratic National Convention's discord to publish an alternative newspaper which seeks to shed light on the Democrats' failures both in Philadelphia and the country as a whole.
Suzy Subways, independent journalist and a current editor at Prison Health News, spoke to teleSUR about how the Unconventional Times seeks to expose the Democrats’ shoddy record on both the city and the nation as a whole.
“We wanted to start a conversation among Philly residents,” Subways said, saying that she and her three collaborators have long covered issues of police brutality against Black people, wealth inequalities and gentrification in the city of Philadelphia.
Protesters at the DNC in Philadelphia | Photo: AFP
Launched July 17 at a block party held by the DNC Action Committee, a broad-based coalition of groups opposed to the DNC and the Democrats, the publication is being distributed at cafes, community centers and libraries, as well as to demonstrators at the DNC.
“Hillary and Bill Clinton have a reputation for being there for working people, Black people and women, but their record shows otherwise,” Subways said. “That’s why we’ve published a timeline of the Democrats’ broken promises.”
Explaining that these have included failing patients diagnosed with HIV, introducing crime bills that have swollen the prison population, as well as policies that have helped holllow out the productive sectors of the U.S. economy and impoverish tens of millions, Subways said support for Democrats has been reduced to fear.
“People are voting out of fear because Trump is so scary,” she explained, “They think the Democrats are on our side, but they’re really on the side of Wall Street.”
Many Black Lives Matters protesters rejected the two-party system that protects the impunity of killer police officers. | Photo: Reuters
With the pages of the publication filled with scathing critiques of the Democrats’ policies and record, the journalists hope to reach out to more people that feel the party is too tied to militarism and neoliberal economic policies—including those Bernie Sanders supporters that are now feeling especially alienated.
“I was never a Sanders supporter—I’m a social movement activist—but I’m inspired to see his supporters now wanting to join greater social justice causes,” Subways said.
The journalists plan to distribute future copies to bystanders of the DNC protests.
“We want to be friendly to people not involved in protests,” the independent journalist explained, alluding that broader support against the arguably right-wing agenda of the Democrats will help dismantle inequalities.
So far the new media outlet, which has included contributions from other writers beyond the team of four who are volunteering their time outside of their days jobs to curate it, has received a positive response, especially among Black community members and activists.