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rabble's 15-year history as a voice for new movements

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Judy Rebick

We've got some great gifts from Michael Moore and Lawrence Hill to give away to our supporters. Help rabble celebrate our 15th anniversary and find out how you can help build a new era in independent media!

Dear rabble readers,

It's hard to believe that rabble.ca is 15 years old this year. We launched rabble from the streets of Quebec City reporting on the street battles and demonstration against the FTAA. Activists stood up to three days of tear gas from a militarized Quebec City police force and rabble was there, providing a perspective from the streets instead of from the fortress where governments were meeting.

Ever since those dramatic first days, rabble has been providing space for a wide diversity of voices coming from social movements and unions, providing an audience for their perspectives. 

In those early days, rabble was one of the only places where readers could discuss the issues of the day with each other. babble, our discussion board, was the most popular part of the site. Everywhere I went, young people would introduce themselves to me as babblers. Part of an older generation, I didn't really understand babble's popularity.

"I can figure out what I think better by talking to others like me," the babblers would explain to me. Prior to Facebook and Twitter, we got a taste of what would become so central to 21st-century media. But we weren't interested in making money, we were in it to provide a space for voices that weren't being heard. When we started, we thought of rabble as a newspaper on the web. It was our readers who taught us the potential of this new medium.

While we weren't interested in making money, we wanted a site that would have professional standards of journalism and that meant paying staff and writers. While many people did not understand the importance of online journalism to the Left in those days, people were inspired by the new idea that rabble represented and we were able to raise enough money to launch a beautifully designed, dynamic, interactive and professionally edited site.

Since rabble's founding, movements have come and gone. The anti-globalization movement went into decline soon after rabble was founded mainly because of the post-9/11 pressures but progressives kept thinking, strategizing and debating and rabble was there. Then came the Arab Spring, The Maple Spring, Occupy, Idle No More, Black Lives Matter and The Leap Manifesto. Along with the new movements came more and more alternative websites as well as the massive corporate social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Yet rabble.ca continues to play an important role providing a voice for new movements as they arise and a space for debates and discussion of the strategies and tactics needed in this time of neoliberalism. We have always relied on you, our readers, to provide the financial support we need to sustain the high-quality, interactive media that rabble has become. 

On our 15th birthday, we are asking you again to please provide support for the news and views that have, we hope, become vital to your political life.

In solidarity,

Judy Rebick
rabble.ca Founder

P.S.: Become a sponsor, at $15/month and rabble will send you the Best of rabble.ca 15th anniversary edition and a copy of either Lawrence Hill's The Illegal or Michael Moore's new film Where to Invade Next?

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

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