More than 130 partygoers attended "We, the Media"--a party celebrating Chicago's independent media--held on July 4, 2003, at buddY (1542 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago). "We, the Media" was co-organized by members of three Chicago-area media groups: the Chicago Independent Media Center, Chicago Media Action, and Redline Radio. [Disclosure: The author of this article was also one of the event's organizers.]
Redline Radio broadcast live from buddY for much of the duration of the nearly-eight-hour-long celebration. Four scheduled bands performed: The Chariots (the new name of the band formerly called "Monkeypox"), The Dirt Bikes, Tarnish, and an electronica music improv session.
"We, the Media" presented local video selections from two local filmmakers: "The 7,000: Chicago's Hotel Workers Contract Fight" by Larry Duncan from Labor Beat, and "Selected Colonial Shorts" by Chicago-area filmmaker Scott Becker. The event also featured three long tables full of locally-made and locally-oriented magazines, books, zines, flyers, displays, keyrings, bumper stickers, T-shirts and other assorted paraphernalia. Partygoers also picked up a free copy of the inaugural Chicago Independent Media Guide, a listing and guide to independent radio, television, and print media.
As keeping with Fourth of July celebrations, grilled food was served at the event, and buddY was replete with assorted red-white-and-blue decorations. Temperatures hovered above 90 degrees throughout the day, which encouraged attendees to avail themselves of a wading pool in buddY's rooftop space. Two beautiful murals were collectively painted by attendees, and the lead singer from Dirt Bikes painted himself with some of the mural paint to decorate his painter's coveralls.
"We, the Media" also garnered attention outside of Chicago. Media professional and activist Danny Schechter, founder of the mediachannel.org website, mentioned the event in his web journal entry for July 3, 2003--a journal whose email version reaches tens of thousands of recipients--media professionals, activists, and citizens--worldwide.