It is with great regret that I must tender my resignation from my position as Quebec Bureau Chief with Rabble.ca, effective immediately.
Derrick O'Keefe, Rabble's editor, has been terminated, without cause. Unfortunately, I cannot continue to contribute, or encourage others to contribute, to a publication which has gone so far astray from its original goals. The issues at play here go deeper than one man, and revolve around the journalistic independence of our outlet, and the egregious approach to labour standards practiced by a website funded largely by labour unions.
It is with a heavy heart that I go public with these issues. I first heard about Rabble in 2001 at a conference when Judy Rebick, the site's founder, sat down next to me, handed me a button and told me about this magical project she was working on. I was hooked, and I remained a religious reader of the site until the summer of 2012, when I was hired by Rabble to cover the Quebec student movement.
For the last ten months I have served as Quebec Bureau Chief without pay, after being told the site ran out of money to pay my salary. I did so out of a loyalty to Rabble, a loyalty which I now feel was taken advantage of, as I was strung along with promises that as soon as money could be found I would be paid.
I love Rabble, I have always loved Rabble, and I will always love Rabble. But I believe firmly that if we turn a blind eye to injustice within our own institutions, then we make a mockery of our struggles for justice everywhere. Labour standards must be respected, without exception. Likewise, if we wish to criticize right-wing media outlets for their bias, we cannot allow our own outlets to censor legitimate opinions for being critical of organizational funders or political parties which share our politics.
As many of you are aware, I have worked to recruit and cultivate a number of writers from Quebec in my role as Quebec Bureau Chief. I have been in contact with them, apprised them of the situation, and they have, nearly without exception, decided to join me in leaving Rabble.
Rabble is not a corporation, it is a labour of love. Our love, our trust, and our hope have been taken advantage of by bullies in positions of power who think themselves above the rules.
Rabble is an idea. It isn't a website, or a corporate structure. It is a dream, a dream of a bold, fearless and independent media, fighting through the spin to give people the facts they won't get in the mainstream media. The vessel of Rabble has been corrupted, but the idea, well the idea lives on in our hearts.
We may be leaving the website which bears the name, but we will continue to rabble-rouse, continue to speak truth to power, and continue to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. We will carry the dream of Rabble, that crazy dream that glinted in Judy's eye so many years ago, forward.
"Under Derrick's leadership Rabble fulfilled the dream we had for it when we first began by making Rabble the essential place to find out about and write about social movements, in particular the Quebec Student Strike and Idle No More." - Judy Rebick, October 7, 2013
On a personal note, I want to thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for your love, loyalty and support over the past year and a half. It is difficult for me to express in words what it has meant to me as I have embarked on this wild journey. I have loved every moment of it, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
To be able to not only cover the maple spring from the ground, but do so as I saw fit, without restriction, and tell the stories the mainstream media were missing, was a thrill I will never forget. To learn, as I embarked upon a cross country tour with Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois and Cloe Zawadzki-Turcotte, that people actually read the things I wrote, and enjoyed them, was an incredible and unique feeling. To carry on from that to develop my own unique approach to journalism as I covered the Quebec election and then the ongoing saga of P-6 and the assault on our civil liberties in Montreal was a privilege. To then be able to work with so many talented writers here in Montreal, to develop and give a platform to their tremendous talents, made me feel blessed.
You have all made this so worthwhile and rewarding, I cannot begin to thank you adequately. It is for you that I have always written, and for you that I will continue to write. I will be ever grateful to you all.
But even more than to you, I will always be grateful to Derrick. He is, by far, the finest colleague, the fairest boss and the most generous friend I have ever had the pleasure to know.
I can tell you that Derrick, myself and the Quebec writers will do our best to find a way to work together again in the future. In the short term, my leave of absence from journalism will continue until the end of the Montreal municipal campaign in early November. The best way to follow me in this period of turbulence is to make sure you follow my twitter and Facebook.
This might be farewell, but it isn't goodbye.
In love, solidarity and the never-ending hope for a brighter tomorrow,
This article was originally published on Rabble.ca. It has since been removed.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST: