08 April 2013

At last! The opportunity you've been waiting for to support Rabble!

If you live in Dublin (or Cork, Limerick, Galway, Belfast and beyond) you'll probably already know about Rabble. It's a rather nice freesheet/website/force-of-nature that attempts to be an independent voice from the streets. It covers everything from activism to art, music, sport and an awful lot else in between with a punchy voice that's pretty much unique in Ireland. Over the last year it produced five issues, all entirely from the hard work of a dedicated crew of volunteers, and now it has launched a Fund:IT campaign to try and secure its future for the next four issues and beyond.

Some time around Issue 4 they reached out to me to throw together a few grumpy words on the Euro Referendum, and almost certainly on the strength alone of my adherence to deadlines (because they already had a wealth of much better writers) they asked me back again for Issue 5. Somehow, despite my unique approach to punctuation and spelling, I ended up lending a hand when time came to put together the last issue, and saw first hand the amount of work that it takes. 

Each issue is the end result of countless hours of volunteered perspiration from scores of writers, illustrators, designers and editors somehow wrangled, marshaled and carom-shotted together by an editorial collective that literally put their lives on hold when print deadlines are fast approaching. Thus far printing costs have been largely covered by donations and fundraising events, but relying on these allows for no sense of security, the thankless task of raising the funds for each issue begins the moment the last has gone to press.

In 2013 Rabble wants to build a truly reader-supported magazine, and to do that they have launched a Fund:It campaign, looking to raise enough to cover the cost of the next four print runs in advance. Here's what they had to say about it:
"rabble is a non-profit newspaper from the city’s underground. It’s collectively and independently run by volunteers. Since its inception, rabble has created a space for the passionate telling of truth, muckraking journalism and well aimed pot-shots at illegitimate authority.

Those involved know each other from alternative media and street mobilisations, from raves, gigs and the football terraces, or by just living in the village that is Dublin.

We range from people living and raising their families in the city, to community and political activists, to artists, messers and mischief-makers.

We weren’t sure if a publication like this would work, if the city would want us, if anyone would care. But the response since has been immense. Dublin didn’t just get rabble, Galway, Limerick, Cork, Belfast and far beyond did too. You’ve told us what you like and what you want: more culture, more investigative pieces and more razor-sharp satire.

Each of our issues have been bigger and bolder. We increased our page count and leapt up to 10,000 copies for issue five. That’s a direct response to public demand. We also work online to pump out news and views that consistently challenge the orthodoxies of austerity.

We want to continue offering an alternative look at Ireland after the boom and help contribute to the popular imagination of what’s possible. Too many naively celebrate the creative side of the recession and utter non-committal grumbles about how we got here. rabble has no qualms about what side of the fence we sit on.

As some shower once said, "there’s a lot done, more to do". Now, we need you to support us and ensure the survival of the project as a print entity into the future. Running a magazine through fundraising gigs and constant hustle has its charm - but it is not a sustainable model. We reckon Ireland can sustain a reader funded free newspaper. One that uses crowdfunding to redefine the limits of what radical publishing looks like. We want to continue offering a vital space for original illustration, photography, journalism, politics and culture.

rabble works best in hard copy, it lends credibility and value to our work in a culture of online rapid fire disposability. Equally, our organic distribution network allows the project to be constantly discovered by people outside our own online echo chambers.

With this campaign, we are asking our supporters to chip in and cover our next four print runs. That’s a full year of rabble. Help us remain a truly independent voice in these times of crisis.

Once the stresses of our printers bill are out of the way, it’ll allow us to concentrate on developing rabble. This means recruiting more volunteers, upping the stakes of the paper and our journalism, experimenting with video, organising real world events and a whole lot more.

Yes, of course - we’ll still have the odd ruckus of a gig - but this time just for the lulz."
So head on over to their Fund:It page and give whatever you can, there's lots of nifty rewards if you do so, though sadly they rejected my offer of "Unkie Dave will come and #Occupy your front garden for five months and loudly complain to the media about the subject of your choice".

Their loss (and yours).

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