On April 18, 2011, rabble celebrated its 10th anniversary. Highlighting 10 important moments of rabble's history over the course this year, current and former people involved with rabble have been asked to share their highlights from their time with us. This monthly rabble history series elaborates on some of the most common highlights submitted.
We also know that many of you have your own ideas of what the highlights of rabble's 10 years have been, and we want to know what you think. If you have thoughts on how you'd like to see us grow, please share as well in the comments section below.
Not only was rabble.ca covering the protests, rabble was part of the protests.
As the Iraq war was looming in 2003, mainstream media outlets were intent on justifying the invasion. Much news coverage consisted of government propaganda designed to support the U.S. position. In Canada, rabble.ca was one of the few alternative sources of war information, offering informed articles and news, as well a place for people to discuss the situation in the babble discussion forum.
The imminent invasion of Iraq in March of that year was preceded by a global day of protest. Over 10 million people in over 60 countries around the world were estimated to have participated. In Canada, that translated to over 70 cities, including Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver holding protests.
rabble founder Judy Rebick recalls rabble's participation: "In 2003, rabble was able to provide full coverage for the extraordinary anti-war protests around the world. Through babble we were able to follow protests everywhere around the world and the rabble news coverage could point out how extraordinary both the size and the purpose of these demonstrations were."
Expanding on the global significance of the protests, Rebick elaborates: "It was the first time the people of the world tried to stop a war, the demands were similar around the world and the size was massive. Outside of the U.S., it was bigger than any anti-war march in human history." Not only was rabble there covering the protests, rabble was part of the protests.
Frank Preyde, a long-time babble moderator, finds the ongoing threads on the topics of both the Iraq war and the war in Afghanistan to be especially interesting: "I think of particular note with Iraq, because it's mostly over, is that looking in retrospect, a handful of armchair dissidents and cranks, myself included, called that war better than all the overpaid statesmen/women, generals and pundits," he recalls. "In a nutshell, we were right and they screwed up. Things are turning out the same way in Afghanistan. Really, they could save a lot of money by hiring us," Preyde jokes.
Five years later in 2008, on the anniversary of the invasion, more anti-war protests coincided with the launch of rabbletv, which proved to be an integral part of Canada's participation in the anti-war movement. rabbletv offered livestreaming of Canadian rallies. Matthew Adams, rabble's director of special products and co-host of the podcast I Read the News Today, Oh Boy! remembers it as "The first real live Internet TV we did for the anti-war protests." He elaborates: "We were on the street trying to get wireless signals and interviewing people while others were preparing for our livestreaming of the rally."
rabbletv was truly a breakthrough for rabble, independent media and the anti-war movement in Canada, as pointed out by Mai Nguyen, a former rabble news intern: "The launch of rabbletv was quite the bold launch for rabble, covering anti-war events live in real time in Toronto and other cities in the country."
Kim Elliott, rabble's publisher, also recalls this significant time in rabble's history: "On the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Canadian war protesters shared their message to the world by partnering with rabble.ca as it launched rabbletv -- livestreaming protests in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. Another first in Canada."
The launch of rabbletv at the time of the fifth anniversary war protests proved to be groundbreaking, bringing independent media and social justice movements to an entirely new level.
Noreen Mae Ritsema is a former rabble intern and writer of the rabble history series.
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